ASIAN

By Naomi Johnson

 
© Anatoli Krassavine & Valentina Koulagina

The Asian Cat

 

The Asian breed includes five varieties, all of which are identical in type and conformation to European Burmese, the only difference being that they are found in many colours and patterns not currently recognised in European Burmese; there is also a Semi-Longhair variety. These five varieties are: Burmilla (Asian Shaded), Asian Smoke, Asian Tabby (in Ticked, Spotted, Mackerel and Classic patterns), Asian Self (including the Bombay), and Tiffanie (Semi-Longhair).

The breed was originally developed in the UK, via two different routes, both of which involved unintentional matings of Burmese to other breeds, beginning as long ago as the 1960s. Firstly, Burmese mated to black and tabby non-pedigree cats resulted in the development of solid (Self) black cats of Burmese type, similar to the Bombay breed already established in the USA. Secondly, an accidental mating in 1981 between a lilac Burmese and a Chinchilla Persian produced four shorthaired shaded silver kittens, one of which became the foundation queen for the breeding programme to develop the Burmilla, Smoke, Tabbies and Tiffanie, although Self (solid coloured) cats were also produced from this background. All five varieties are now classified within the "Asian Group" by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy in the UK. All 5 varieties have Championship status with GCCF, having been granted initial preliminary recognition in 1991. Occasionally, Burmese lookalike kittens appear in Asian litters - these are registered on GCCF's reference register as Asian variants and cannot be shown, but can be used in Asian breeding programmes (never in Burmese programmes). In practice they are most often sold as pets.

Asians were 12th on GCCF's list of breeds registered in 2004, with just under 700 kittens registered, making them more numerous than breeds such as Devon Rex, Cornish Rex, Tonkinese, Abyssinian and Russian Blue. Many European Burmese breeders also breed Asians, which is hardly surprising given that they are the same type and can be interbred. Overall, the Asian breed is becoming increasingly popular in the UK, partly due to many outstanding successes on the show bench, but not least as the result of an affectionate, intelligent nature inherited from the Burmese, making the Asian an ideal family pet.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

To View a list of Asian Kittens Available Click Here

To View a list of Asian Stud Cats at Service Click Here

To View a list of Asian Breeders Click Here

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