Owner: Gisela Jansen,
Burmese come in different colours:
- brown (sable brown), blue, chocolate and lilac
- red, cream and tortie
- In some organizations only the four basic
colours are recognized, as for example in ACFA, CCA, CFA.
- The names for the colours might differ from
organization to organization:
brown is sometimes called sable-brown,
for chocolate you will find champagne, and for lilac you will
- Burmese are mostly not recognized in silver or
with tabby pattern.
- Also the standard differs from organization to
organization, while in some like ACF, FIFe a foreign
look is required (upper eyelid almost straight, and only the lower
eyelid rounded), in CCA, CFA the eyes shall be round and have a
Tessa vom Silvan
Breeder: Silvia Röll-Becker,
cattery vom Silvan
cattery, Friedewald, Germany
The Burmese is medium in size, extremely well
and hard muscled, and gives a foreign impression.
The head has the shape of a wedge, viewed in profile
it is relatively short, viewed from the front the cat has noticeable
high and prominent cheekbones. The muzzle is well defined with broad
jaws. The nose is not too long and shows a definite break between
The ears are medium in size, set in the outer corners of the head on
a well rounded skull.
The eyes give the cat that distinctive foreign look.
The body is medium, very compact and rather
heavy. The muscles are strong and hard. The chest is broad which
gives them the appearance of being bowlegged. The legs are medium long and
elegant with small oval paws.
The tail almost does not taper and ends in a rounded tip.
The coat is very short, is tight lying on the
body, sleek and shining like satin. The hairs are very thin and fine with almost no
It is said that Burmese have been
known for centuries living in Burma, Thailand and Malaysia in the
temples, and have
been imported together with the Siamese. The Cat Book
of Poems about 1350, preserved in the University of Bangkok Art
Department Museum shows a little brown cat with golden eyes.
Today they can be found in the natural state in some
Burmese were called the temple guards because of their distinctive
eyebrows. They appeared in England in
the late 18th century, known as chocolate Siamese, but they were
never favored and gradually the breed died out in England and in
Europe. The first Burmese was brought 1930 to the US and given to Dr. Joseph
G. Thompson, who lived in San Francisco. He was a retired ship's
doctor of the US Navy, with a great
interest in the East. Dr. Thompson named her Wong Mau, and he
considered her a new variety of Malayan-typed cat. She was a hybrid - a Burmese/Siamese mix.
Dr. Thompson joined with two prominent breeders, Virginia
Cobb (Newton cattery) and Billie Gerst (Gerstdale cattery) and Dr.
Clyde E. Keeler. Those four breeders established an
experimental breeding program. Since Siamese were considered the
closest in appearance, they were used in the breeding program. After
two generations, this program resulted in kittens with three
distinct colorations: some looked like Siamese, some looked
like Wong Mau (with medium brown body color and darker points) and
some had a solid dark-chocolate brown color. The later were bred and
a breeding program was established to focus on
the genetic makeup of the phenotype.
Discovering that these dark brown cats could consistently produce dark brown cats, while the
variety, such as Wong Mau herself, continued to produce kittens in
the three variations of coloration, the theory that Wong Mau was the
first Tonkinese was proved. The results of the original experimental
breeding program were published in the Journal of
Heredity, April 1943, "Genetics of the Burmese Cat", by the
breeders cited above. The Burmese was registered in CFA in 1936.
Registration was suspended by CFA from 1947 until 1953, because of
those outcrosses to Siamese. In 1957 the breed was recognized by CFA
Playful, energetic, acrobatic and
highly intelligent, the Burmese cat is the extrovert in the cat
world. Burmese never grow up! They play all of their life.
They love people and do know very well the needs of their owners. They will sit on your lap and watch TV with you, plaster themselves next to your head when
you are trying to sleep or will insist on climbing under the covers.
Once you have known a Burmese you have
a lifelong passion for the breed.
sleek, glossy coat requires little care. Brushing them once a week
will keep their coat shiny.