The Burmese is a breed of domesticated cats descended from a specific cat, Wong Mau, who was found in Burma in 1930 by Dr. Joseph G. Thompson. She was brought to San Francisco, California, where she was bred with Siameses. This breed was first recognized in 1936 by the CFA. Due to a dispute by Siamese breeders, who regarded the Burmese as a poorly coloured Siamese rather than a distinct breed, registration was suspended by the CFA between 1947 and 1953. The breed was recognised by the UK Governing Council of the Cat Fancy in 1952.
The Burmese is a foreign shorthair. They have yellow eyes and a very short satiny coat. They are heavier than they look, as they are very muscular. By the standards of pedigreed cats they are long-lived, many reaching 16 to 18 years.
Burmese have very strong voices and are very affectionate, forming a strong bond with their owners. Other characteristics include an inclination to climb curtains and sit on doors. They are easily trained to use a scratching post to help conserve the owner’s furniture and carpets. Burmese cats are very friendly and curious even towards complete strangers.
They are athletic, brave and humorous, and may show remarkable ingenuity, particularly in finding warm places. Burmese cats tend to follow their owners everywhere, even to the point where they may become a bit disturbing.
- General: The overall impression of the ideal Burmese would be a cat of medium size and rich, solid color with substantial bone structure, good muscular development and a surprising weight for its size. This together with its expressive eyes and sweet face, presents a totally distinctive cat which is comparable to no other breed.
- Head and Ears: The head should be pleasantly rounded without flat planes, whether viewed from front or side. Face should be full, with considerable breadth between the eyes, tapering slightly to a short, well-developed muzzle. In profile there should be a visible nose break. The chin is firmly rounded, reflecting a proper bite. The head sits on a short, well-developed neck. Ears to be medium in size and set well apart on a rounded skull; alert, tilting slightly forward, broad at base and slightly rounded tips.
- Eyes: The eyes are large but not protuberant, set well apart and with round aperture, with color ranging from yellow to gold, the greater the depth and brilliance the better.
- Body, Legs, Feet, Tail: Body medium in size, muscular in development, and presenting a somewhat compact appearance. Allowance to be made for larger size in males. An ample, rounded chest with back level from shoulder to tail. Hips are the same width as the shoulders. While the Burmese is a medium size cat, consideration should be given to proper proportion and total balance. Legs are well proportioned to body with substantial bone structure. The feet are rounded and well knit and are able to support the weight of the cat without splaying. Tail to be straight of medium thickness and length, and free from vertebral defects. Five toes in front and four in the rear.
- Coat: Fine, glossy, satin-like in texture, short and very close-lying.
- Condition: Perfect physical condition, with excellent muscle tone. There should be no evidence of obesity, paunchiness, weakness or apathy.
- Penalize: Indication of points or tabby marks on legs or ears.
- NFA: Blue or green eyes
SABLE: the mature specimen is a rich, warm, sable brown; shading almost imperceptibly to a slightly lighter hue on the underparts but otherwise without shadings, barring, or markings of any kind. (Kittens are often lighter in color.) Nose leather and paw pads: brown. Eye color: ranges from gold to yellow, the greater the depth and brilliance the better.
CHAMPAGNE: the mature specimen should be a warm honey beige, shading to a pale gold tan underside. Slight darkening on ears and face permissible but lesser shading preferred. A slight darkening in older specimens allowed, the emphasis being on eveness of color. Nose leather: light warm brown. Paw pads: warm pinkish tan. Eye color: ranging from yellow to gold, the greater the depth and brilliance the better.
BLUE: the mature specimen should be a medium blue with warm fawn undertones, shading almost imperceptibly to a slightly lighter hue on the underparts, but otherwise without shadings, barring or markings of any kind. Nose leather and paw pads: slate gray. Paw pads: ranging from slate gray to warm pinkish blue. Eye color: ranging from yellow to gold, the greater the depth and brilliance the better.
PLATINUM: the mature specimen should be a pale, silvery gray with pale fawn undertones, shading almost imperceptibly to a slightly lighter hue on the underparts, but otherwise without shadings, barring or markings of any kind. Nose leather and paw pads: lavender-pink. Eye color: ranging from yellow to gold, the greater the depth and brilliance the better.