The Burma or “Holy Burma”: a cat whose name is still confusing. Moreover, in English, it is called “Burma”, a breed of cat not to be confused with the Burma! The Burma comes from a French breeding program dating from the 1920s. Learn more about this breed of cat, halfway between Persian and Siamese!
Appearance of the Holy Burma
The Burma cat owes its appearance to a cross between the Siamese and the Persian during the 1920s in France. It is not surprising that he is an animal with character and particularly exceptional!
Its mid-length dress is mostly white and dark in the extremities, namely the muzzle, paws, tail and ears. These color tasks are called “points”. According to the standard of the sacred race of Burma, the basic color of the cat is found in the cold areas of the body, at the points. On the rest of the body however, it is the white that dominates.
This coloration is one of the peculiarities of the breed. However, point-colored cats with white paws and a mid-length dress are not sacred Burma yet! The body of the Burmese cat must be slender while being muscular. The legs are short and stocky, the tail is bushy. His head is powerful and his chin marked. The deep blue eyes of this special cat will immediately catch your eye. The fur of the sacred cat of Burma is mid-long, silky, and unlike the Persian cat, the Burmese has only a few undercoats.
According to the breed standards, all point dress colors are accepted. Black and red are the most common colors, with the dilutions “blue” and “cream” as well as the colors “chocolate” and “cinnamon” and their dilutions “lilac” and “fawn”.
The colors of the sacred Burma are therefore designated according to the basic color as follows:
Seal-point: Seal-point Burma have a basic black color.
Blue-point: the basic color is black, diluted in “blue”.
Chocolate-point: at the sacred chocolate-point Burma, the basic color is brown.
Cinnamon-point: the base color is red, visible only at the points.
Fawn-point: the basic color “cinnamon” is diluted in “fawn”.
Lilac-point: denotes the dilution of brown, it is visible only at the points.
Red-point: red is the basic color of Burma red-point.
Cream-point: the cream-point Burma have cream-colored dots.
In addition, the ends of sacred Burma may even have stripes! This color style is called “tabby”. Burma seal-tortie-point, blue-tortie-point or chocolate-tortie-point are some examples. According to the standard of the breed, the red pie dress, called “tortie”, is also allowed. There are also sacred Burma lilac-tortie-tabby-point!
Today, the origin of the discolouration of the coat of Burma cats is known. It is a mutation that causes a deficient function of the enzyme tyrosinase and thus causes a disorder of the production of melanin, the basis of pigmentation. This phenomenon is called “partial albinism”. Holy Burma may also have completely white legs, called “spores”. This particularity is explained by the mutation of the v-Kit gene Hardy-Zuckerman 4 feline sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KIT). From now on, you are unbeatable on the genetic peculiarities of the sacred cat of Burma!
Burma cat character
It is not uncommon for cat lovers to fall in love with the sacred Burma, both for their majestic physique and their adorable character. These cats from the cross between Persian and Siamese are affectionate, docile and like to spend time with their master. The Burmese are easily tamed, surely why they are considered perfect cats for families with children. Cats and children form a great team, when all respect the few basic rules.
You must prepare your child for the arrival of your new cat by explaining that the latter is not a stuffed animal, but a living to respect and treat properly. Sometimes you have to leave him alone and let him have his space, he’ll be able to come back to you and ask for cuddles and pussies. It will become the best companion of your child. Although it may seem odd, consider that the same goes for animals of different species. They too need to acclimatize to each other. With a little patience, they will become the best friends in the world!
Many cat owners say that these animals trust strangers, that they like to be hugged and caressed. Burmese cats allowed to walk outside even ride in the car of people who are foreign to them. So be sure to equip your cat with a microchip and to register it in a register of domestic animals, in order to be able to find it quickly, in case this misfortune happened. Microchip electronic gates are also useful for managing your cat’s inputs and outputs. The vet of your choice can implant a microchip quickly and without pain in the shoulder area. This intervention poses no risk to his health.
The sociability of the sacred cat of Burma extends also to other animals and especially to its congeners. Like all other cats, Burma cats should ideally live in pairs, especially if you have little time to devote to your little cats.
Being a particularly mild cat with a need for average exercise, the Holy Burma is also suitable for indoor living, provided it is sufficiently stimulated. A cat tree and tunnels where to hide are essential, as well as regular moments of play between the cat and his master.
Breeding of the sacred cat of Burma
There are different points of view about the origin of the Burmese cat. One thing is certain: the ancestors of the race officially called “Sacred Burma” are Siamese and Persian. The reasons for their mating are still uncertain.
Some sources mention the story of an industrialist who brought a couple of Siamese from the East around 1919. The male did not survive the crossing and the descendants of the female had to come from a cross with a Persian. Other stories tell that the ancestors of the sacred Burma were cats from the temples of Burma.
In 1925, Burmese was officially recognized as a full-fledged breed. Since 1964, the breed has also been recognized by FIFe.
The breeding of sacred Burma then spread to Germany. The first Burmese sacred officially recognized in Germany was the male “Timour de Madalapour”. During the Second World War, Burmese breeding was slowed down. After the war, breeding was continued, with a selective program, and in 1955 the number of Burmese caught up. In Europe and the USA, catfish were the classic seal-point and blue-point cats. Breeders in England explored new possibilities and introduced chocolate-point and lilac-point Burmese cats into the gene pool.
In the meantime, other more recent color variants of sacred Burma have made their appearance. The red dot and the dot cream dilution are some examples. There are now Burmese cats in tabby and tortie. As with all sacred Burma, these colorations appear at the ends of the body only
Health and care of the sacred Burma
The Burmese cat is generally robust and healthy. Its mid-length dress has little undercoat and rarely has a tendency to tangle: just brush its sacred Burma, once or twice a week. Get used to your pet from a young age with a brush and comb for cats. You will facilitate his toilet for later!
Hypomyelination is a disease that can only be controlled by excluding sick animals from breeding, since it is hereditary. This genetic defect occurs frequently in Burmese. The animals concerned tend to be subject to acute tremors and spasticity crises, due to a communication disorder between the cells. This disease is often recognizable from the third week of life of kittens. Sick kittens have a spastic, uncoordinated, abnormally trembling attitude and develop a tumor. In general, the symptoms are accompanied by a loss of hearing or a low life expectancy. These problems can stabilize in exceptional cases during growth and are therefore not often taken seriously … A fatal mistake!
A healthy diet is the best prevention against disease and the best guarantee for a long, healthy life. A good quality moist food containing a large portion of meat and containing a lot of animal protein is the basis of a balanced diet. Scientific studies have confirmed that cats prefer food that is similar in composition to mice. The prey of the cat is generally composed of 50 to 60% of proteins, 20 to 30% of fats and 3 to 8% of carbohydrates from the gastrointestinal tract of the animal.
According to the legal provisions in force, the ingredients are classified is on the label of the packaging by quantity. It is therefore not surprising that meat comes first in the list of ingredients.
A specific diet helps keep your cat healthy. But this does not protect him unfortunately from hereditary diseases … Many breeders and owners of sacred Burma report multiple eye inflammations and a tendency to strabismus. In addition, there are dermoid cysts, especially in the ovaries and testicles, but also in the head.
How to find the right breeder of sacred Burma
The appearance of various diseases in Burmese shows how important the choice of livestock is. Breeders, who care about animal welfare, invest in genetic testing and do not hesitate to exclude sick animals from breeding. This means that you will only have to trust the professional breeders who are able to present you with documents concerning the health of the animal or the results of genetic tests.
These breeders do not only think about the reproduction of their animals, but also invest in preventive care measures, a good quality diet and allow a good socialization of kittens. They will never let a kitten integrate a new home before its twelfth week of life! This period is essential for the physical and mental health of the cat. A good breeder also gives the mother time to rest after a fatiguing gestation and often does not do more than one litter per year.
This investment has an impact on the price obviously … It is not the family tree itself that makes the price of your purebred cat. What plays the most is the experience of the breeder and the care he brings to his animals.
Do not trust the ads of the type “sacred Burma without papers at a good price.” In most cases, these are mass breeders, motivated by profit.