The European Burmese cat and the Burmese breed share the same foundation stock of the cat, Wong Mau. The history between the two only diverged in 1949 when Siamese breeder, Lilian France, imported two of Wong Mau’s descendents to Britain. One of the two, Chindwin’s Minou Twrn, was already pregnant by an unrelated male. However, during that time, a six-month quarantine was required for animals entering United Kingdom and other European Countries, and it was during this period that Minou lost her kittens.
France had then imported another female Burmese from the United States that was proven to be healthy and fertile. Her name was Laos Cheli Wat. Together with her was Casa Gatos Darkee, another male Burmese cat imported by France. These two cats, then began the development of the European Burmese cat. The increase in popularity has seen the start of many more breeding programs by fanciers.
The limited gene pool in Europe has necessitated the Siamese to be included into the Burmese breeding program. This has resulted in both the intentional and the unintentional development of additional colors for the breed.
The breed first arrived in the United States around 1979. Even though the European Burmese has a long European history, but this breed was not accepted as a separate breed in North America for another 15 years. Many of the associations did not recognize any other colors that are beyond the original Burmese colors of blue, champagne, platinum and sable.
Breeders had then taken the effort to establish a new standard that described the additional colors and patterns of cream, red and tortoiseshell. The standard has also distinguished the moderate body style and head conformation of the European Burmese breed.
In 1994, the Cat Fancier Association (CFA) accepted the breed for registration. It was first placed in the non-championship miscellaneous class, but was still eligible for the championship in the international division shows.
Provisional status was granted by CFA in 2000, and two years later they advanced the European Burmese to Championship status. That then began the recognition of the European Burmese breed by many more other associations.
Some of the associations called the breed Foreign Burmese while others retained the term European Burmese. Regardless of the different terms, they refer to the same breed. Fanciers of the European Burmese have shown appreciation for its moderate compact body together with the foreshortened face of the contemporary Burmese of the North America. Today, the European Burmese is recognized by five of the seven North American cat associations.
Physical appearance and attributes
The European Burmese breed has a body type that is between svelte and chubby. This hard, muscular body is of medium length and weighs heavier than it appears. The males usually weigh an average of 10 – 14 pounds, and the female between 7 – 10 pounds. The strong, rounded chest is more pronounced when viewed in profile and its sturdy and firm back is straight from shoulder rump. It has slender legs of medium boning. The hind legs are slightly longer than the front, but they are well proportionate to the body and it treads with strength on small, oval paws. The moderate thickness and medium length of the tail complemented the line and size of the body. It tapers slightly into a rounded tip.
A medium-length neck carries its short-wedged head. The top of its head is slightly rounded between the ears that are set well apart. The ears are wide at the base with rounded tips and present a slight forward tilt. One of its more prominent facial features includes an evident nose break and wide cheekbones that taper to a short, blunt muzzle. Also, the jaw is of a considerable width with a strong lower jaw and chin. Eyes of the European Burmese are large and outstandingly alert. The top lid is slightly curved with an oriental slant towards the nose and the lower lid completes the look with a full rounded curve. They gleam in lustrous and bright yellow to an amber hue with a preference of darker color.
European Burmese has short, fine coat that is close-lying to the body with no apparent undercoat. These characteristics have helped promote a glossy, satin-like texture of the fur. What made the European Burmese different with the other Burmese breeds is the array of genetically possible colors and patterns. These include brown, blue, cream, lilac and red. Tortoiseshell is an additional acceptable pattern for this breed, and it can come in blue, brown, chocolate and lilac that are combined with patches of cream or red in varying shades. The color details hold more weight over the patch distribution on the body. In all colors, the saturation of the color on the cat’s underside should be paler than the back. In fact, the entire coat lustres in a smooth, beautiful gradient of that particular hue color in the most fascinating way.
Personality and temperament
European Burmese is a lively and active breed. It loves spending its waking hours engaging in interactive games and being around its loved ones. It takes pleasure in communications, and its soft, sweet voice can often be heard around the house. The propensity to explore every possible corner and item around the house is propelled by an innate thirst of curiosity.
Insatiably playful, it would run the extent of performing acrobatic tricks from the highest perches in the house. This breed also has the tendency to run the household. It seeks to be involved in any forms of activity together with members of the house, from reading the newspaper to cooking a meal or working at the computer; proving itself to be a loving companion. The high level of astuteness in this breed is usually revealed while learning tricks or during interactive play.
Strong-willed and determined, a European Burmese would outlast in most battles of wills. Once it has found its way of climbing onto your lap for a warm, loving fest or to explore what is behind the closed door, it will be more difficult for you to stop his quest than to just accept the inevitable.
Guests will receive full attention from this friendly breed and it will likely win over those who claim to dislike cats. Other cats and cat-friendly dogs would have no issue getting along well with a European Burmese.
Care and health issues
A healthy European Burmese can live up to an average age of between 10 – 15 years. However, health issues that need to be noted include cranial deformities, glaucoma or feline hyperaesthesia syndrome, which is an increased sensitivity to touch or painful stimuli.
Calcium oxylate stones might also occur in the urinary tract. It would be wise to purchase the breed from a qualified breeder who would provide a written health guarantee.
Grooming the European Burmese is effortless since its satiny coat can be maintained with weekly brushing to remove dead hair and distribute skin oil.
Regular nail trimming and ear cleaning would be necessary to prevent any accumulated bacteria on its body. Brush the teeth frequently with vet-approved toothpaste, and wipe the corners of the eyes to remove any discharge.
Cats would highly appreciate a spotlessly clean litter box. The efforts extended to care for this cat would ensure that it will grow to become a hearty and lively breed.
The ideal family
European Burmese can adapt well to apartment living, but most other cats, it would thrive better when there is the freedom of an enclosed escape-proof garden. Otherwise, an adventure zone area with the necessary puzzle toys and climbing poles should also serve this playful, active and intelligent breed well.
It’s love, for companionship requires it to be in a home where there is an ample of interactive time with members of the family. Solitude for long periods of time would likely result in depression.
A child friendly breed, it can be an excellent play mate to young children at home who know how to handle it gently. Even though it can get along well with other cats, it has a preference for human companionship over other cat breeds. A breed that does not fall short in its affection and adoration towards its owner, the European Burmese would make an ideal pet for homes that would make the extended time to show love and interact with it. The European Burmese would not fail to charm and fascinate you with its intelligence and exuberant nature.