The Burmese cat, which originated from Burma, is an elegant cat of foreign type which is easily recognised for its golden eyes and silk shining
The first Burmese cat was brought to San Francisco, California, USA in 1930 by Dr. Joseph C. Thompson, who named this brown cat, Wong Mai. She was the only cat of this type in the USA at the time. Wong Mai became the founder of the breed in the United States.
Dr. Thompson mated Wong Mai to a cat most similar to her type, the Seal Point Siamese. Wong Mai produced a litter that were Siamese coloured, intermediate coloured (today's Tonkinese), and solid brown like herself. The solid brown Burmese colour continued to reproduce consistently enough to allow the breed to finally be registered in 1936.
After many years of dedicated breeding, the first Burmese (two females and one male) were brought to the United Kingdom in 1949. More Burmese cats arrived later, and the breed became firmly established becoming much sought after. Over the years, other colours were developed which are all represented at cat shows.
The ideal Burmese is a small to medium sized cat with a muscular frame, heavier than it looks, and a straight back. The Burmese is not as long and slender as the Siamese, nor as heavily boned as the British Shorthair. Their paws are neat and oval shaped with slender legs and neck, which give the Burmese a distinctive elegant look. The tail is medium in length, with a slight taper to a rounded tip.
The most characteristic feature of the Burmese is their amazing coats. Their coats are short, fine, sleek and glossy, lying close to the body, and satin-like in feel and texture. Their coats are easy to
care for, a simple pat is often enough to groom it.
A Burmese cat is a wonderful companion and makes an excellent pet.
They adapt well in large, noisy households becoming part of the family. They are an intelligent breed with a boisterous, lively and alert nature. They are also individual, playful, fun loving, and even tempered. Burmese thrive on company, both adult, children and other pets alike. Often dubbed the "dog of the cat world", Burmese are extremely people-oriented. Their personalities are almost dog-like in a tendency to shadow their owners and in a desire to give and receive affection. They are interested in everything their humans do, and will often help with all the tasks. Most enthusiasts say that the most outstanding feature of the Burmese cat is its affectionate nature. You can be guaranteed a loving welcome when you share your life with a Burmese.
The Burmese cat has ten main recognised colours in the United Kingdom and Europe. These six are fully coloured, The original brown (rich brown mahogany colour), chocolate (light cream chocolate-coloured), blue (steel grey), lilac (light dove-grey), red (mandarin-coloured) and cream (very light warm red). Besides these full colours, there are four tortieshell colours, which are mixes of the full colours, Seal tortieshell (brown with red), chocolate tortieshell (chocolate with red), blue tortieshell (blue with cream) and finally, lilac tortieshell (lilac with cream).
American Burmese are commonly bred in two types: traditional and contemporary, with the latter being a more rounded look. They are only accepted in the traditional four colours of sable, champagne, platinum, and blue. All Burmese have wonderful large oval, lustrous eyes which can range from chartreuse to gold-yellow.