Burmese is an elegant but muscular, short-haired cat
with yellow eyes and a fine glossy coat. The breed was
first introduced to England from the USA in 1949 by
a Mrs. Lilian France of Derby when she imported three
brown Burmese, two females and a male. In 1955 a blue
appeared in a father to daughter mating, and was aptly
named Sealcoat Blue Surprise.
and blues were the only Burmese colours in Britain until
1969 when chocolate Burmese were imported from the USA.
Subsequent matings where blue and chocolate were on
both sides produced lilacs, the first one to appear
in England was in 1971. Between the years of 1965-1975,
English breeders introduced the red sex-linked gene
to their breeding programmes, producing reds and creams
and then brown, blue, chocolate and lilac torties.
torties were the last to obtain championship status,
this being granted in 1977. Since then Burmese have
championship status in all ten colours in England. However,
rather ironically, in the USA some States still only
recognise the brown, or sable as they call it. Anything
else is called a Malayan.
Burmese is an intelligent inquisitive cat with an outgoing
loving nature and makes an ideal family pet. They are
particularly good with children and their sense of fun
makes them the perfect small person’s companion.
worked in a school for many years, I found they made
the ideal companion for children going through the difficult
stages of growing up. It is amazing how a purring loving
bit of warm Burmese fur can make all the difference
when the world is against you and your parents don’t
the same time, they make marvellous companions for elderly
people. I am sure that some of the Burmese that we have
placed with the older generation have been the main
reason for keeping them going. A warm loving intelligent
friend that needs to be looked after, is far more therapeutic
than a visit from the home help! One elderly friend
of ours in her nineties made a miraculous recovery in
hospital from a broken hip, in order to get back to
her Burmese that we were minding for her!
Champion Typha Qweens Nighte
Pr Typha Magnum Opuss
Ch. Typha Dark Enigma
people who have previously been dog owners and who now
live in towns and flats, find the Burmese an excellent
alternative in modern day living. I remember reading
an American book years ago where they quoted the Burmese
as being a cat that thought it was a dog. An apt description.
Many of them will retrieve (for hours on end given the
chance!), they will greet you at the door when you come
home, they comfort you when you are ill or unhappy and
they give love unconditionally. Plus, and a very big
plus, they don’t have to be taken for walks. Once
you have owned one you realise that they are totally
addictive and wonder how you had ever dreamed of living
it is not recommended that they are a single cat if
you go out to work. The very nature of their makeup
does mean that they need company. The ideal when buying
a kitten is to buy two from the same litter. That way
the stress of moving is halved and the fun doubled!
is not a good idea to give Burmese access to the outside
world especially if you are out at work. Apart from
the danger from roads, (and unfortunately they do not
seem to have a lot of road sense), they are so friendly
they could move in with another family in their search
for companionship. Either way it is too risky and you
may lose your cat.
the other hand, if they are left in the home on their
own without some stimulation, they will sleep until
you get back and then want to play all night. Alternatively
they will find something to occupy their time. Unfortunately
more often than not what they consider therapeutic we
consider destructive! This principle applies to all
cats, but with the more intelligent breeds such as Burmese,
it is particularly important that they have company.
A happy cat is a marvellous addition to the home; an
unhappy one can disrupt a household!
are many advantages of having Burmese. They have a short
fine coat that doesn’t need maintenance, only
a little hand grooming. People who are allergic to cats
often find they can cope with Burmese whereas they have
violent reactions to other hairier breeds. Their coats
don’t shed as much as many cats and so the furniture
are a very popular breed of cat, which in itself is
a great recommendation. If you decide to have a kitten
(or two!) do bear in mind that they have strong personalities
and do like to be “Top Dog”! Incidentally,
they get on well with dogs, providing the dog understands
that it is the second class citizen! Everything is accepted
and has a place (including us) providing it is below
the Burmese! I love them for it.
kittens are great fun, but they don’t just sit
around and look pretty. They are “doers”
and they “do” at ninety miles an hour! Two
kittens playing can be quite exhausting to watch, but
far more fun than T.V. We recommend blue-tack as part
of the new kitten pack as it saves breakages and it
is also great fun watching people trying to pick up
an ornament to admire, and find it stuck to the table.
It needs to be if you are going to keep your sanity!
principle to work on is take the same precautions as
you would with small children, just remember you have
two levels to watch, so cookers, etc. need to be guarded.
Burmese are incredibly agile and take great pride in
demonstrating it. They are also incredibly trusting
and affectionate, so nothing is more rewarding than
purring exhausted little bundles plonking themselves
in your lap for a well earned sleep after having caused
mayhem and having everyone in stitches. Definitely better
accommodation is easy - if not a lap, a bed - your bed!
If you want any other arrangement you will have to work
at it. We have tried to bribe them with cats cradles
and leaving the radiators on all night, but it hasn’t
a rather personal note, they are great excavators, especially
in the litter tray. They dig for Australia, so it is
highly recommended you get a covered litter tray, preferably
a deep one.
is also easy - anything! They are a not a fussy breed,
though they usually prefer what is on your plate rather
than theirs. However, do follow the diet as advised
by the breeder. There will be less digging in the litter
tray if you stick to what they are used to.
Champion Typha Vulcan Warrior
Ch. Typha Silverwinged Xplorer
Ch. Typha Majik Lantin
can be vocal, but their voice is not strident. They
do like to discuss things with you, and of course
they always have the last word, but it is done politely!
of the most delightful aspects of a Burmese is that
they never grow up. The are literally kitten-cats
all their lives. You don’t have old Burmese,
you just have mature ones! My life has been enriched
for over thirty years by this brilliant breed of cat
and as a “mature” person myself, I consider
myself very lucky to have had the opportunity to share
my home with them.
are two Breed Clubs that cater for Burmese in the U.K.:
Burmese Cat Club
Secretary: Mrs. Sue Chase
Burmese Cat Society
Secretary: Mrs. Penny Akehurst
these Clubs run kitten lists and also produce informative
literature on all aspects of the breed. There are also two
GCCF Breed Shows a year, one run in June by the Burmese Cat
Club and one in December by the Burmese Cat Society. These
are usually very well attended and top awards are eagerly
coveted at these shows.
are two Organisations that cater for showing Burmese
in England, and in both all ten colours have full recognition.
They are The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF)
and Felis Brittanica.
is not difficult to prepare a Burmese for a show as
the coat usually needs very little preparation. However,
if your cat is a free roamer and loves dust baths, it
might be wise to bath him/her before the show, but do
practice beforehand. Some coats take a day or two to
settle after a bath, whilst others suit being done the
have found that with the boys a bran bath can be beneficial,
especially if they have a touch of stud tail. Do make
sure you brush it all out though, otherwise it looks
as though they have a bad case of dandruff. Also I wouldn’t
recommend it for a lilac, it tends to make their coats
the average house Burmese, it usually only takes a good
session of hand grooming to get out the loose hairs.
Do watch how much you do it though, as you can build
up static electricity and the coat separates, which
is counter-productive. A fine-toothed comb, such as
a flea comb, is effective in removing any loose hairs
and doesn’t cause static. I wouldn’t recommend
a rubber brush unless used very gently. I once made
a chocolate girl almost bald along her back the day
before a show with one. It took months to get her coat
back into show condition!
only other things that need doing before a show are
the standard ones, i.e. ears, eyes and other orifices
clean, nails trimmed and check for fleas or other unwanted
visitors and treat if necessary. One useful tip given
to me by another breeder is sieve the cat litter that
you are taking to the show. So many Burmese love to
roll in their litter tray and their coats get dusty.
This is particularly noticeable on brown Burmese where
it dulls the natural shine.
- Overall Best Kitten
Supreme Show 1991
Ch. Typha Rosie Yalger
Make sure that your cat enjoys
the experience of a cat show
Because it is such a popular
breed, most cat books have a good coverage on Burmese
under the Breeds Section. However, there is a book produced
by the Burmese Cat Club called “The Burmese Cat”,
edited by Robine Pocock, that deals specifically with
all aspects of the Burmese and makes fascinating reading.
can be obtained (as can other helpful literature) from
Mrs. Florence White, Pencnwc Farm, St. Davids, Haverfordwest,
Penbrokeshire, SA62 6RS, Tel: 01437-720523. The cost
is £10 plus post & packing and is well worth
the money, especially as the proceeds go to The Burmese
Benevolent Fund. The cover features our late brown stud
“Grand Champion Typha Dark Enigma” so the
book has a special meaning for me.
above was adapted and up-dated from the original “The
Burmese Cat” published by Batsford, which is now
out of print. However, some local libraries do have
copies, so if you are interested it is worth enquiring.