A blue Burmese cat is an exotic creature with a smooth, smoky-colored coat and large gold eyes. Many people feel that this breed resembles the Siamese cat, and with good reason. The Burmese originated in Thailand, and extensive cross-breeding has occurred in the past between the Burmese and Siamese breeds.
A Breed of Its Own
Burmese cats are very healthy, active and vocal cats that possess a natural affinity for humans. They are a friendly breed that is rumored to be good with both children and dogs. Moreover, this cat's natural predilection is for the indoors and, as a breed, it is quite comfortable with car trips. Essentially, the Burmese makes an ideal family pet.
However, this breed has been closely scrutinized in the past due to its origins. These cats are an offshoot of Siamese cats and were originally only bred to be a dark brown or sable color. The blue Burmese cat did not appear until much later around 1955. Until this time, there existed great debate as to whether or not the Burmese cat would be officially recognized as a breed of its own instead of a hybrid. The 1950s marked this breed's acknowledgment by certain British cat associations, but since the Burmese was bred in different colors, each color would face its own battle for recognition.
The Cat Fancier's Association is among the strictest in its breeding policies. A blue Burmese was originally classified as a separate breed called the "Malayan." However, the blue-colored cats were finally placed under the Burmese title in 1984, although they were judged in the "dilute" division. The brown Burmese are judged in the "sable" category and still remain the most honored of the Burmese colors.
The Blue Burmese Cat
The term "blue" can be a bit misleading in its description. A blue Burmese is not exactly blue; in fact, it's not even close to blue. Instead, this color is represented by a thick shorthair coat of a medium charcoal tone. This charcoal color can appear to have blue undertones in certain lighting. A blue, standard-bred Burmese sports a very full, shorthair coat that is rich, plush and given to little color variation. When the right lighting is present and the charcoal color does its best to reveal blue undertones, the effect can be quite striking.
According to Cat Fancier's Association, each Burmese color comes with its own breed standard. The greatest emphasis for Burmese blues will be the evenness of the coat and an absolutely minimal presence of shading. For a blue Burmese to earn top points in a cat show, absolutely no markings must be present in the coat. The Burmese has also been bred in a blue tortoiseshell version. However, this color is not recognized by strict associations such as the CFA.
Occasionally, some fans of Burmese cats will theoretically confuse the platinum and blue colors. Platinum is often given to the display of blue undertones. The color platinum, in reference to cats, differs from the metal. A platinum Burmese appears silvery, and its coat will reflect a pale, almost white at the tips, effect under certain lights.
People who are great fans of blue-colored cats may also want to explore the blue British Shorthair, which is a fine example of this rich "blue" coat color.
Buying a Blue Burmese
If you're looking to purchase a true blue Burmese feline, you will need to look for breeders who specialize in both this breed and color. There are many Burmese breeders in the United States, but not all Burmese breeders produce the same colors. Some breeders are only affiliated with cat associations that recognize certain colors. Moreover, not every breeder enjoys the blue color and will breed according to his or her preferences.
When conducting a search, you should pay attention to which cat associations a breeder has registered with. If you intend to purchase your Burmese for future show or breeding purchases, you will want to ask the breeder about the ranking of his animals within these cat associations. Familiarizing yourself with the breed standards before buying a kitten is very important, almost as important as securing a proof of pedigree from the breeder.
Not every family will purchase a blue Burmese for show purposes, but if you choose to pay upwards of several hundred dollars for a kitten, it doesn't hurt to ensure that you are receiving a breed standard Burmese.