European Burmese

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Is the European Burmese right for you?

The basics:
With a milk-chocolate coat and the sweet personality to match, the Burmese is a cat who loves to love. You’ll never be alone when you live with a Burmese, which is either good or bad depending on how much you value your privacy. The Burmese will help you read your paper, make dinner, do taxes, and wait faithfully for you while you shower. At the end of the day, you can expect this devoted kitty to curl up on the bed with you. They’re also eager conversationalists, and though their meow is a bit softer than their Siamese counterparts, they are no less chatty.

The History of the Burmese dates back thousands of years to the “copper cat” of Burma. There, these precocious little cats were kept and bred in temples and palaces. The modern Burmese is the result of a single cat named Wong Mau, who arrived in San Francisco in 1930. Wong Mau was bred to a seal –point Siamese, and the resulting kittens carried both the Siamese coloration, and Wong Mau’s rich brown with darker points. The dark kittens of the litter were then used to keep the breed going.

It should be noted that there became two breed standards for the Burmese, with efforts to keep both varieties genetically distinct. While the much-beloved Burmese temperament is the same, the breeds vary in body style and colors. The American standard can be read about here.

So beloved has been the Burmese that the breed was used to found three other distinct breeds: the Bombay, the Tonkinese, and the Burmilla.

Appearance / lifespan:
The European Burmese is a medium-sized cat, compact but elegant, and lighter in frame than their American counterpart. They tend to be a muscular cat, weighing more than the look. Their legs are rather slender with small, oval feet. Their head is a rounded wedge with broad cheekbones and jaw and moderately-sized, low set ears that incline slightly forward. The European Burmese has a smoldering gaze. The top line of the eye is straight giving them a distinctly unimpressed stare. The bottom line of the eye is an almond curve, slanted slightly upward towards the ear. Typical eye colors range from yellow to amber, with deeper colors favored.

Their coat is short and satin-like in texture, with a glossy sheen. They almost entirely lack an undercoat. The European Burmese may come in a broad variety of colors including brown, blue, chocolate, lilac, red, cream, brown tortoise, blue tortoise, chocolate tortoise, and lilac tortoise. They should be solid in color with no tabby banding, except in red and cream colorations. They may have contrasting tips. The under belly will be slightly lighter in shade than the back.

Behavior / temperament:
The Burmese is an extroverted, people-oriented, and sweet-natured cat. They are extremely devoted to their owners, and will want to be involved in everything that you do. Some might describe the Burmese as “clingy”, but if you’re looking for unconditional love and affection, this might be the breed for you. The Burmese will not be happy being left alone for long periods of time, and some Burmese enthusiasts recommend having two cats that can keep one another company in your absence. They make an exceptional family cat, not just tolerant but even enthusiastic about playing with younger family members.

They’re an intelligent, curious, and adventurous breed. They hang on to their kitten-like energy well into adulthood. They will enjoy any game they can play interactively with you, including fetch. Puzzle toys are toys that present an added challenge may appeal to the Burmese.

Like many oriental breeds, the Burmese is a highly vocal cat who is likely to keep talking to you even when you don’t talk back. Their voice is softer and sweeter than some of the other chatty breeds, but even so, you should be prepared for a cat that seems to enjoy hearing its own voice.

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