American Burmese Cat

American Burmese cat – photo copyright Helmi Flick

I like this Helmi photograph for its sculptured look. The cat has also settled into a nice pose. The difficulty I have is deciding what colour a Burmese cat is meant to be. I would have thought that other people have a similar problem. It is fine if you are a Burmese cat breeder but few of us are!

I also have difficulty with the difference in the appearance of American and European Burmese cats. The greatest difference in breed standard description would seem to be that the American Burmese cat is “cobby” (rounded, stocky, short) and the European, “elegant” and more slender (“foreign” type). The European Burmese head is less rounded it seems to. The breed standard of the Australian cat fancy also calls for a foreign type cat. To be honest it is very confusing for buyers. Come on cat fancy, please simplify and clarify!

What about the American Burmese cat colours and patterns? Deep breath..I would say that the Burmese cat on this page has a seal sepia coat or chocolate sepia…!. The seal sepia Burmese is meant to have a “dark brown” body and points. The cat in the photo does not have a dark brown body. It is more milk chocolate coloured. Chocolate sepia seems to be referred to as “champagne”1, which is in the CFA Burmese breed standard “dilute” category – confused? The problem is the different standards and descriptions across different cat associations and countries. Rationalisation is needed, I say.

The Burmese can be shown in “sepia category, solid and tortoiseshell divisions” (legacy of the cat). The solid colours are: SEAL: sable (seal sepia), chocolate, cinnamon, blue, lilac, fawn, red and cream. These colours are also the tortoiseshell colours. As can be seen in the photo, the Burmese is a pointed cat but the points can be difficult to spot sometimes.

American Burmese cat to Burmese cat


1. Encyclopedia of the Cat – Dr Bruce Fogle page 146.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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