The last few years have seen a lot of changes in the world of Burmese. A new breed was started in America using cats from the UK and Europe – so these were named European Burmese. These cats follow the European standard rather than the American one, and the reds, creams and torties are accepted in this breed, whereas they are not recognised in American Burmese.
Australia, and to a lesser extent, New Zealand, are now large exporters of Burmese cats, not only to Europe, but to America as well. But perhaps the biggest addition to the Burmese family is the inclusion of cats from Eastern Europe, where they are now extremely popular. Russia, Latvia, Poland, Hungary and Belarus are just some of the countries which are now importing and exporting Burmese throughout the world.
The last twenty years has also seen other cats appear, whose origins were Burmese. Burmillas are now found all over the world having had their birth in England from an unplanned mating between a Burmese queen and a chinchilla male. Asian cats are also popular, displaying diverse colours and patterns to their coats. Now we have Tiffanies, who are similar to Burmillas, but with longer coats. All these cats are primarily of Burmese type.
America saw the emergence of the Bombay – a solid black cat of Burmese type, and then the Tonkinese, which started as a cross between a Burmese and a Siamese. The Tonkinese are now very popular in America. England has from time to time had black cats of Burmese type from mis-matings, but now the Bombay breed is fully recognised and is a very striking cat. New Zealand started its own breeding programme of silver and patterned Burmese which is growing in popularity.
During the last few years the wheel has turned full circle, as a hybrid female named Mod Daeng was brought from Burma to America. Mod Daeng is of a similar type to Wong Mau and has produced beautiful, healthy kittens. I am sure we will hear more of Mod Daeng’s offspring as the years progress.
History Copyright Rosemary Hale 2012
Photographs are reproduced by kind permission of Robine Pocock, Marina Kabanets and Olesya Kolosova.