Tag Burmese cats
Why Burmese Cats Are The Best
Since 1986, I have had fourteen different cats, and cannot imagine life without felines in my household. Seven of the cats I had have been of mixed breed, while the other seven were purebred. Of those pure breeds, I have had a Blue Point Birman (Natasha, 1991-2000), a Snow Bengal (Abbey, 2002-2005), a Scottish Fold (Sophie, 2000-2010), one European Burmese (Kazu, born in 2009 and part of my current brood), and three American Burmese (Taiko 2001-2009, Tenshi, born in 2008, Koji, born in 2021). From the moment I brought Taiko, a platinum male, home, I actually enjoyed how intensely social and needy Taiko was, and I completely fell in love with his doglike personality, which I quickly learned was characteristic of Burmese cats. It was enough to solidify my preference for Burmese cats, and now I insist on always having Burmese cats in my life.
Tenshi, my Blue American Burmese Male
Burmese cats truly are extremely friendly, need to be around their humans the majority of the time, and are so drawn to laps that they are referred to as “lap Velcro”. Having lived with Burmese since 2001, I can definitely vouch for the fact that these felines are attention whores, which is quite the opposite of what some cat haters think about cat temperament. My cats are social, playful, gentle, and intelligent, and they often want to cuddle, sometimes when I am trying to do housework or telemedicine! I’m also accustomed to having all my cats on my bed at some point during every night, and I will usually wake up with Kazu right next to me. These cats have tons of personality!
Kazu, my Cream European Burmese Female
There are some minor physical differences between American Burms and European Burms, such as head shape (American Burms have more rounded skulls, while European Burms have a slight wedge shape), and there are colors which are unique to E Burms (such as Cream, which is what my Kazu is), but both Burmese versions are very similar and also feature the same loveable personality profile. It is much more difficult to find European Burmese breeders in the United States, so if you have your heart set on an E Burm, you will probably have to travel out of state to find one.
Koji, my Sable American Burmese Male
The following are breed descriptions from CFA.org and TICA.org respectively. The CFA recognizes the American Burmese, while TICA recognizes the European Burmese.
AMERICAN BURMESE BREED DESCRIPTON:
The Burmese breed first came to America in 1930 when Dr. Joseph Thompson of San Francisco brought a small walnut brown female cat from Burma. He named her Wong Mau and bred her to Siamese cats. Through selective breeding the unique solid brown colored coat, now known as Sable, was isolated. This work demonstrated that these Burmese cats were a distinct breed and ultimately led the breeders to request championship recognition from the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA). Along the way, the other colors seen in the Siamese breed were also seen in litters. Over time and with much controversy, these other colors were accepted by CFA. The four colors we now recognize in CFA are Sable, a rich dark brown; Champagne, a warm beige; Platinum, a pale gray with fawn undertones; and Blue, a medium gray with fawn undertones.
Burmese cats carry surprising weight for their size. Their coats are short and close-lying, and they have a very silky texture. They need very little grooming, usually requiring only some daily petting. You will see a range of styles of Burmese cats, with those with rounder heads and shorter bodies being the show cats. Their large, expressive eyes radiate an innocence that will seduce you, and they have an irresistible appeal that has won over many a person who thought he didn’t like cats. Burmese cats have an endearing quality that has won the hearts of those lucky enough to be owned by one. They have great affection for their people, wanting to be with them as much as possible without being overly demanding. Many Burmese will even play fetch with a toy, given the chance.
Burmese kittens can be quite spirited. They are playful and fearless, attempting feats beyond their means and landing on their sturdy little rear ends. A Burmese kitten will remain playful well into adulthood. As they mature, their unique intelligence will reveal itself as their personalities unfold. They will soon grow into confident and charming little executives who will rule the house and your heart. Burmese are soft-spoken beings who have little trouble making their wishes known. They adore their people and are known for being good with children as well as liking (or at least tolerating) the family dog. Burmese are extremely people-oriented companions. Their personalities are almost dog-like. They will follow you from room to room, and they greatly desire to give and receive affection. They seek out warm laps and gentle strokes of your hand, and they love to snuggle up with their owners when they are reading or watching TV. Come bedtime they look forward to sleeping in or on your bed if allowed. Burmese are convinced that it is their job to run the house. Females tend to demand center stage and take an active role in managing the household. Males on the other hand tend to be more relaxed, managing from a comfortable spot on your lap. Be forewarned – Burmese cats can be addictive! It is not uncommon for someone to acquire a Burmese and find one is not enough. Many people ultimately have two or more Burmese, one of each gender or of different colors. Being one of the most trusting cat breeds, Burmese should never be allowed outside. https://cfa.org/burmese/
EUROPEAN BURMESE BREED DESCRIPTION:
Burmese can be found in a range of solid and tortoiseshell colors: rich, dark sable brown; medium, warm blue; warm, honey beige chocolate with pink or fawn tints; lilac that ranges in tone from a bright pinkish grey to a silvery platinum with pink tints; reds of a light, golden apricot with melon-orange overtones; rich, warm deep creams with hints of apricot; and the soft mingling of red or cream with sable, chocolate, blue or lilac found in the tortoiseshells. In young cats, the points will be darker but as the cat gets older and the coat matures the body color becomes deeper and richer until there is only a very slight difference between its body and the color on the legs, head and tail. On Mar 29 1955, the first blue Burmese kitten, Sealcoat Blue Surprise, was born in England. Cats other than sable had appeared earlier, but most Burmese breeders chose to breed only the sable cats. It is now believed that Wong Mau also carried the genes for dilution and chocolate that resulted in the appearance of chocolate, blue and lilac kittens. The red factor was added later in Europe. The Burmese was one of the original breeds TICA recognized in June 1979.
Comical Cat Jump Fail On YouTube
Check out this little blooper from some video footage I shot…I have no idea what freaked out my cat Tenshi, but he cracks me up!
SureFlap Microchip Pet Feeders
For the past two years, I have tried just about every tactic to train my obese European Burmese cat Kazu to eat a special diet. We put her on scheduled feedings, only giving her wet food, and tried to ban her from the dry kibble which we needed to leave out for the other two cats (both of whom are normal weight). Kazu continued to sneak dry kibble throughout each day, despite being scolded for doing so.
After all my unsuccessful efforts to get Kazu on a unique feeding schedule, I was at my wit’s end. Then a couple of people suggested that I purchase a microchip pet feeder. I looked up microchip feeders online and discovered SureFlap Microchip Pet Feeders. I almost keeled over when I saw the price of these units: $149. What’s worse is that I knew I had to purchase TWO of these feeders, since Kazu would have to be trained on one feeder, while Tenshi and Shima would be trained on the other.
I saved up so that I could buy two feeders. $365 later (I had to purchase C batteries, as well as extra RFID tags since only one tag comes with each feeder, and we have three cats), I was ready to give them a try.
The training period consists of five stages, in which the door progresses from remaining completely open (stage 1), closes a small amount (stage 2), then closes incrementally more until stage 5 when the door closes completely, only opening for the pet who is programmed to the feeder. The idea with the incremental training is that the pets will eventually understand that the closed door will open when they approach the feeder to which they are programmed.
Without going into agonizing detail, I will say that it took a good six weeks before my cats finally understood how the feeders worked. They were so afraid of the devices at first that I honestly began to doubt whether the system would work for my household. As soon as the door would move back or forward, my cats would just freak out, so we were at training level 2 (the door only moves a small amount and the chamber is very accessible) for close to 3 weeks.
I’m not sure how I feel about these things. While they are well constructed and work well, they are inaccessible to people who can’t afford the units. In addition, our household STILL hasn’t progressed beyond the training setting, because when the doors are completely closed (as they are in regular post-training mode), my cats don’t consistently understand that all they have to do is approach the feeders for the doors to open.
What this basically means is that I must have dry kibble available to all three cats in both feeders, which completely defeats the purpose of buying these devices in the first place. I purchased these feeders THREE MONTHS AGO. In addition, all three cats race into the kitchen when I enter it, and beg for wet food like starving street urchins. I relent, because I want to make sure my babies are fed.
Kazu just keeps getting fatter, while my wallet is definitely slimmer from purchasing the devices which mainly serve to startle and confuse my entire brood.
My Adorable European Burmese Is Like A Dog
I apologize for the poor audio quality. It was shot with my Android phone. You can still see how cute my cat Kazu is though!
My Blue Burmese LOVES Hugs And Kisses
I never realized how few people have bonding experiences with cuddly cats. I also guess I am lucky to have had several of the most affectionate cats. My blue Burmese absolutely loves to be hugged, and he adores kisses. It is rather common for me to pepper his cute little forehead with a barrage of kisses, which I know most cats would never tolerate.
Tenshi has gotten to the point that he expects and demands hugs and kisses from his humans. If I don’t hug and kiss him hello, he gets grumpy! Check out my video of him getting kisses.
My Lumpy Cat
I have three cats:
an American Burmese male named Tenshi, a silver spotted tabby female named Shima, and a European Burmese female named Kazu. Tenshi is built like a miniature puma, sleek and well muscled, and he maintains a perfect weight despite being a complete pig and prone to eating ANY food that he can get his paws on. Shima is my slender girl, long limbed and with a long tail.
Then there is Kazu. Over the past year or so, Kazu has put on considerable weight, and it troubles me to know that in almost 30 years of having cats, I now have an overweight cat! She is a small cat, consistent with the size of most Burmese, but she weighs 11.2 pounds now. She should be 9 pounds.
I know you may be saying, “She doesn’t look overweight”, but trust me, this little lady has a midsection that is downright lumpy! The vet doesn’t have a good answer for why Kazu is overweight, and I can’t figure out what to do with her. One consideration is the fact that she has always been constipated, but I doubt that my cat is actually THAT full of crap!
Look at Kazu’s deep chest in the picture below. You can see that she has some mass to her and is a muscular cat, which is also consistent with the Burmese breed. Perhaps she is in her “off-season bulking phase”!
My Cat Loves Socks And Underwear
I have a very affectionate, playful cream European Burmese cat who is an absolute joy to live with. However, don’t be fooled by her adorable face and sweet demeanor. Kazu is quite mischievous and has a tendency to steal underwear and socks. It doesn’t matter if they are clean or dirty, or even if they are brand new. Kazu just has a strange fixation on those wardrobe items. I have watched her dig through the laundry basket to find a random sock, then trot all over the house with her little treasure. Here is a photo of a recent sock heist which ended at the food bowl:
Kazu will often make a game of her conquest by tossing the item into the air with a whip of her little head so that she can chase after it, and at times will initiate a game of fetch utilizing the pilfered piece of clothing. Because of my cat’s habit, I must put away clean laundry immediately, and I also have to keep Kazu out of my closet so that she can’t go in there and hop into the dirty laundry bin. My morning ritual consists of hiding my underwear and socks so that she won’t steal them as I am showering.
More recently, Kazu has fallen into the habit of running off with my Incrediwear therapeutic sleeves. If I have to wash dishes, I will take my arm sleeve off and leave it on the coffee table or kitchen counter, only to discover that she has stolen it. Apparently she enjoys the anionic technology of Incrediwear products! In all the years that I have lived with cats (a few decades!), I have never encountered a cat who steals small articles of clothing. It’s an amusing character trait which makes Kazu even more endearing.
My Cat Kazu Loves Playing Fetch
As Tough As Bathing A Cat
A lot of people think I’m nuts for giving my three cats baths every two months, but I can honestly say it makes a huge difference in a household of people with mild allergies. Besides, two of my cats are purebred Burmese (one European and one American), so they are naturally a bit spoiled already. Since I never have time to brush my cats’ coats, this is a way to keep them well groomed with minimal effort. I have developed a system in which I gather all the bathing supplies such as towels, nail clippers and basins in a stealthy fashion so that they don’t realize what torture I have planned for them. I have a denim jacket which I have had for two decades which has, as its only purpose, protecting my arms, forearms and torso during the process.
I watch my cats for many hours on the designated day, waiting for the most opportune moment to grab all three cats and rush into the bathroom. Let me tell you, carrying three squirming cats into a small room is no easy task! The meowing begins almost immediately, usually by my silver spotted tabby rescue who loves to bellyache about the whole experience. No amount of talking in a soothing voice calms my kids down sufficiently. They simply hate everything about bath day. Before you assume that my cats are unaccustomed to baths, you should now that the Burmese cats have had regular baths since the age of 3 months, and the rescue began having baths at three weeks of age.
I have become quite skilled at holding onto a squirming mass of wet mammal with one hand while shampooing and rinsing with the other hand. This was especially challenging today, since I am still suffering from a forearm injury which has rendered my right forearm and hand almost useless. However, I was determined to get the job done with minimal hassle, and miraculously, my little monsters behaved pretty well this time around. As usual, I finished the chore pretty much completely soaked, with a wet bathroom floor and cat hair clogging my shower drain, but it took very little time for the cats to dry in our current 80 degree Fahrenheit weather. The cats are very clean now, and their shedding has dropped to minimal levels.
One of these days, I may have someone record me bathing my cats just so people can see how I get it done!