Similar to many traditional house cats, the Burmese breed is relatively new, compared to other popular cats.
Almost all Burmese cats are directly related to Wong Mau, a cat brought from Burma (now Myanmar) to America for breeding purposes. She was bred with an American Siamese to produce the Burmese cat we all know and love today. Because of Wong Mau’s thick black coat, many original Burmese kitties were often a dark brown color. However, because of genetics, the Burmese’s traditional coat has turned into a lighter brown color.
Although the Burmese breed wasn’t fully developed until the mid-20th century, other breeders tried to create the cat much earlier. A breeder in London attempted to cultivate the Burmese by combining two Siamese cats, however, that only created the Chocolate Siamese, instead of the Burmese. The Chocolate Siamese breed eventually died out in Europe, and the thought of breeding two Siamese cats to create a Burmese kitty soon died out. Instead, a former member of the U.S. Navy bred Wong Mau with a seal point Siamese, a Siamese with dark-brown patches on the face that extend to the ears, which produced these elegant Burmese kitties we see today.