Burmese Cat Breed Information

Learn all about Burmese Cats, read about the Burmese Breed information, find out about the Burmese Breed Standard, Burmese behavior and lots more about Burmeses.

Burmese Cat Breed Introduction

Burmese Cat

Burmese cats are often considered not only strikingly beautiful, but quite easy to get along with.

Burmese Behavior/Personality

Source: "The Joy of Burmese" by Erika Graf-Webster

Burmese cats are generally thought to be well-behaved, sturdy, active, and healthy.

Burmese History

Source: "The Joy of Burmese" by Erika Graf-Webster

The entire Burmese cat breed can be traced back to one cat, Wong Mau. Wong Mau had been brought from East Asia to New Orleans by a sailor, and was quite striking. Dr. Joseph G. Thompson, of San Francisco got Wong Mau in 1930.

Dr. Thompson gathered several breeders together to create a new breed of cats all of whom would look like Wong Mau. They chose the Siamese cat breed for the first out-cross, since there was only one Wong Mau, who was a female. At the time, the Siamese looked rather different than they do today-in fact, the Burmese of today arguably look more like the Siamese of the 1930s than today's Siamese.

The breeders actually ended up creating two breeds: one, the Tonkinese, was a cat breed with more varied coats, which ironically tended to look more like the original Wong Mau. The Tonkinese are a sort of hybrid of the Burmese and Siamese, while the Burmese keep to a single dark brown coat. Burmese-looking cats were brought to the US from Burma in subsequent decades; however, most Burmese today are still descended from the original breeding program.

The Burmese cat breed included many cat show winners and became very popular in the 1930s and 40s. By the 1970s, Burmese were the third most popular cat breed behind Persians and Siamese.

In the 1970s, there was another big development in the Burmese cat breed: Dilute Burmese, that is, cats with naturally pale fur, rather than the darker fur. These lighter-furred cats had always been born into Burmese litters, but previously breeders had preferred the darker animals. Now, however, the lighter-furred Burmese often compete in win in cat shows and are quite popular.

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