The Burmese Cat - History
Burmese cat is named after its country of origin,
Burma (now Myanmar). In the early 1930’s, Dr Joseph
Thompson of San Francisco acquired an attractive
walnut-brown female called Wong Mau, the “founding”
cat for the Burmese breed as we know it.
breeding program was established to produce
offspring which bred true. Dr Thompson enlisted the
help of Virginia Cobb (Newton Cattery), Billie Gerst
(Gerstdale Cattery) and Dr Clyde E Keeler. Wong Mau
was bred to a Seal Point Siamese called Tai Mau in
1932 and the resulting litter consisted of two
colours, some just like the Siamese kittens and
brown kittens with darker points (just like Wong
Mau). Wong Mau was mated to a son from this litter
(Yen Yen Mau) and this litter contained three
colours, again, some like Siamese kittens, brown
kittens (again like Wong Mau), and dark brown
kittens. The dark brown offspring did indeed breed
true and became the foundation cats of the Burmese
breed. Wong Mau continued to produce kittens with
three colour variations, and it is now accepted that
Wong Mau was in fact a Siamese x Burmese hybrid.
Burmese cat has ten recognised colours in South
Brown – the original Burmese colour, a rich seal
Blue – a soft blue grey with a silver sheen
Chocolate – a warm milk chocolate
Lilac – a pale delicate dove grey with a pinkish
Red – tangerine
Cream – cream with a distinct bloom on the head and
back giving a powdered effect
Brown tortie – brown with shades of red
Blue tortie – blue with shades of cream
Chocolate tortie – chocolate with shades of red
Lilac tortie – lilac with shades of cream
are surprisingly heavy for their size, described as
“bricks wrapped in silk.” Burmese bodies should be
well muscled and athletic. Their coats are short
with a satin – like texture that requires little
grooming other than daily petting.
kittens, Burmese are lively and remaining playful
well into adulthood. They can be clumsy and will be
hugely embarrassed when laughed at! On the other
hand, Burmese love to be the centre of attention and
many can be taught to retrieve.
warm laps and loving hands and enjoy cuddling on
your bed or under the covers. Typically, Burmese
want to be with their people. The females tend to
favour centre stage and take an active role in
ruling the household. The males prefer to supervise
and are usually more laid back and less opinionated.
so many positive ways to describe Burmese cats –
friendly, inquisitive with an outgoing and
gregarious nature. Like dogs, they will greet you at
the door and comfort you when you are ill or down.
Burmese love unconditionally and have converted the
most anti-cat person into a Burmese enthusiast.
adapt well in large households, quickly becoming
part of the family, thriving on being part of all
the activities. For those who want a less
interactive pet, Burmese would not be the right
choice. Likewise, an only Burmese is not ideal for
people who are out of their homes most of the day.
Their sociable nature means they need company –
human and feline. Toys cannot replace this company,
rather consider getting two kittens, ideally from
the same litter.
should never be allowed outdoors unsupervised. Their
trusting nature makes for poor survival instinct.
kitten should be purchased only from a reputable
breeder; avoid pet shops and be wary of scams.
Kittens should be energetic, curious, and easily
handled. The breeder should be very happy for you to
make a home visit. As I live in KZN this may not
always be practical, perhaps a friend could visit on
your behalf. I would also willingly supply contact
details of owners of my kittens. Use this
opportunity to see the health of the cats, check for
clear eyes and noses, clean ears, and
healthy-looking coats. It is advisable to check with
the SACC registrar that the breeder is in good
addition, good breeders should guarantee the health
of the kitten or cat (for a reasonable length of
time), sterilise and microchip kittens, provide
certified pedigrees and registration papers, always
be available to discuss your cat’s care and
well-being and be willing to take responsibility for
the cat if the owner’s circumstances change.
Mela kittens are ready
to go to their new homes at 3 months of age. They
may stay longer, but I will not consider kittens
leaving at a younger age! Your kitten will be
sterilised which is also non-negotiable.
kittens are micro-chipped and dewormed and will have
been given the first two (of three) core vaccines,
and the first one (of two) Rabies inoculations. At
16 weeks they require a visit to your Vet for their
boosters. After this, inoculations are done annually
or bi-annually. Your Vet will advise.
leave for their new homes with their SACC
registration papers, pedigrees and all the necessary
information required to raise them into healthy,
well-adjusted adults. You will also receive a Hills
starter pack, a goody bag containing a selection of
Feline Fun Factory toys and a soft cuddly blanket
that your kitten/kittens have slept on prior to
leaving Mela Cattery. The familiar smells are very
important in helping them settle in their new home.
Prospective owners are screened to ensure the safety
and well-being of my kittens. I reserve the right to
refuse the sale of a kitten to any persons for any
or no reason whatsoever.
If you be unable to visit the breeder's
home it is advisable to check with the SACC registrar
that the breeder is in good standing.
Information obtained from the following