What do Americans think of the Burmese?

The Burmese cat

The ancestors of the Burma cat (also Burmese) were Thong Daeng (freely translated: copper cat) called. The reason for this name was their special coat color, which is reminiscent of copper. It is an ancient breed: documents show that these original Burma cats lived in their native Myanmar as early as 1700.

Wong Mau - the great mother of the Burmese cat

The roots of the Burma cat can be found in Southeast Asia, more precisely in Myanmar (formerly Burma). In 1930 the American doctor Joseph Thompson visited the city of Rangoon and became aware of the cats with brown fur that lived there. He had never seen this coat color in cats before. To uncover the genetic secret of color, he took a female back home with him: Wong Mau, the great mother of today's Burma cat.
It is believed that Wong Mau was created through the natural mating of a Siamese cat with one of the original Burmese cats. According to today's breed definition, Wong Mau would be called a Tonkanese. Back in his homeland, Thompson first crossed the cat with a Siamese tomcat, followed by several inbred matings with their sons, and then crossed Burma cats again. This is how today's breed with the typical sepia coat was created.

Sepia pattern
Like the Siamese, the Burmese cat's fur has a point mark. These are dark-colored markings (points) on the colder parts of the body (ears, tail and legs). Siamese cats are partial albinos: their fur only shows color pigments at the colder points. Apart from that, it's white, the eyes are blue. In contrast, Burma cats are called a sepia pattern. The pigment production is not so severely restricted, they have darker fur. But they also have points on the colder parts of the body.

European and American breed type

Over time, two breed lines developed: the American Burma and the European Burma. The breeding of the Burma breed began in the USA and for a long time Burma looked the same everywhere. In the 1970s, the Burma hangover became Good Fortune Fortunatus presented in the USA. He caused a change of breed: What was new about him was a noticeably rounded head and a short nose. From now on all Burma cats should look like this and he was used for breeding. Good Fortune Fortunatus but was the carrier of a genetic defect that resulted in severe deformities of the head. This gene can be found in almost every family tree of the American Burma cat.
For this reason, the original wedge-shaped head shape was retained in other countries. American bloodlines have been consistently excluded from breeding outside the United States to prevent the genetic defect from spreading.

Playful cuddly cats

Burmese cats are affectionate and cuddly roommates, but they are very active and playful. You don't like to be alone and need a lot of attention. It is advisable not to keep Burmese cats as individual animals, but together with a fellow cat.

Dr. Pierre Rousselet-Blanc (ed.): Knaurs large manual of cats. Droemer Knaur. 1997
Gabi Schwab: Cats - velvety individualists. area publishing house. 2008
Candida Frith-Macdonald: Cats. Parragon Books Ltd.
Beloved Cat, July 2013 edition

Image source:
© iStockphoto / Dixi_

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