Burmese Kittens

Dr. Douglas Schar

Fat Baby Update 

As I referenced earlier, when Spot had her first babies, she thought they were turds and buried them in the litter box. I happen to see them out of the corner of my eye with my seriously funky vision(I have glaucoma) in the litter box and rescued them from a very unglamorous first and last day on the planet. Then the little boy grew super fat, and got the name fat baby. Because he was so fat. Now, this probably had to due with the fact his mother and his two aunts nursed him, but, he was a real butter ball. You may also recall that there was a scare that he was a wee-cat because his legs were so short. Well, breaking news. Fat Baby is now tall and thin. Things change. Here you can see his latest picture. His Aunt Golda still cleans him and while I was photographing him she insisted on cleaning his face. She has time for her kitten and the cat formerly known as Fat Baby. The cats groom each other and once Golda started cleaning his face, he decided he would clean her face. So much for my photo shoot.  I really should dream up a new name but unfortunately he comes to the name Fat Baby. It may be too late. 

The on thing to notice is his eyes. His mom and dad both have aqua eyes. He has the most stunning gold eyes. The thing I love about the Thai cats is they have these eyes that appear almost back lit. It does not matter what color the eyes are, they are luminescent and just pop out! He is blue as blue can be, his eyes just radiate outward. He is staying around and will become one of my new dads. He still lives with his mom and aunts but he will be moving out into a different colony sometime soon. 

Kitten Report November 12, 2017

Well, I am pleased to report there are finally kittens. As all of you on the wait list know, there has been a lot of waiting and not a lot of kittens. I think the strike is over and the cats are back in action. 

I run this natural breeding program, or as natural as it can get. The cats live in family groups, they have great houses with huge outdoor yards, I make their food on the farm, and more. They are really happy cats. No fighting and no pee-ing. The downside is that they rather decide when they feel like having kittens and I guess they just recently decided now was the right time. 

In addition, I have 7 suspected pregnancies. So, the party is just getting started. 

Crystal Had Three! 

Crystal is a lovely champagne Tonkinese and with the most stunning eyes. She under a year and though I suspected she might be pregnant, I thought she just liked her food. She and Lucretia are housemates and best friends. I came in to feed them last week and I found Crystal nursing Lucretia's babies. I went into over drive because if she was nursing somebody it meant she had had kittens. I scoured her house and tucked in a cold little ball in her sleeping nest were three precious little babies. First time moms are pretty much a complete disaster. As you may recall, Spot buried her first litter in the litter box because she thought they were poops. So, this was better than the Spot fiasco, but, I had to quickly get the kittens on a heating pad and pull Crystal away from her friends babies and get her in on the heating pad. Within an hour or so Crystal had it figured out and realized the little mice were HER babies and she should attend to them. They just get confused the first time around and when she heard Lucretia's babies squeak, she ran to them. 

In case any of you are wondering, the kittens appear to be laying on a dirty linen. What I have found with my cats is that the mom will stick to the babies and move them around less, if they are kept on the surface on which they were born. So, for the first week, I let them stay on whatever they were born on. In this case, a blue blanket thing that Crystal kept in her sleeping nest. So..... in case you were about to think I keep the kittens on dirty linen, I do. But, its not due to neglect, its to prevent the moms from moving the kittens from place to place! It must be a smell thing. 

Anyhow, sadly, one of her kittens did not make it. It had just passed away when I came to check in on the cats on their second day of life. It happens and its part of natures plan. But, for a first time mom, she is plenty busy with her two surviving kittens. They are very light and could be champagnes or platinums. The dad is Mister so I am thinking they might be platinums. 

Oh.... the Crystal back story. Her grandmother was a cat I imported from Thailand. Some of the cats came from the street and some came from breeders. In this case, it was some of both. A Siamese breeder outside of Bangkok came onto a beautiful blue burmese from the street. He brought her home and bred her to his champion Seal Point Siamese. The result was Crystal's grandmother. A lovely blue blue eyed Tonkinese. The breeder was obsessed with beautiful eyes and great grandfather had the most stunning eyes. As you can see, Crystal got them! Her eyes look like gem stones set in a cats face. Pictures dont do them justice. 

Lucretia had four! 

I am very excited about this litter for lots of cat nerd reasons. Lucretia is the grand daughter of a sable burmese cat I imported from Thailand, indeed from the most famous cat breeder in Thailand. Her father was a blue burmese that carried champagne. When I had her tested genetically I discovered that she carried sable, blue, champagne, and platinum genes. But, as a black cat, she could give birth to both burmese kittens and also whats called full color expression kittens. Its complicated, but, the her burmese kittens would appear like usual sable, blue, champagne, and or platinum kittens. But, the full color expression kittens would be a much deeper color. In Thailand, full color expression blues are called Korats, full color expression champagnes are called suphalaks, and I dont even think there is a name for full color platinums. In any event, Lucretia carried a whole lot of colors, and to my great joy, her first litter was truly a rainbow litter. She had two platinums, a full color expression blue and a full color expression champagne. You will be able to spot the champagne and the blue. But, even as kittens they are much darker than a Burmese kitten. 

In Thailand, these cats are incredibly healthy. In America, all the Thai descent breeds are having health issues. I believe that these cats stayed healthy in Thailand for thousands of years in part because they were never subject to inbreeding programs.That means mothers were never bred to sons and brothers never bred to sisters.  I have another theory along these lines. Not only were close relatives not mated to each other, but also, the various colors were bred together intermittently. These cats were known for their personalities and were bred for such and not for specific colors. The result of the Thais non-colorist attitude is in the various colors being bred back and forth. Burmese are bred to Siamese, Korats are bred to blacks, Tonkinese are bred to Suphalaks, and so on. The color genes were never segregated and bred back to themselves. Well, not for generation after generation. instead, the colors are constantly mixed up. Each of these colors represents a mutation, and by mixing the mutations up all the time, chronic color gene linked diseases are never concentrated.  

I will add that in America we have found out what happens when you breed Siamese to Siamese, for 100 years. They go blind at an early age, have terrible teeth,  and are prone to cancer. Breeding blue Korats to blue korats, and weeding out any other colors that popped up, resulted in the appearance of a chronic neuromuscular disease.  People forget that the fabulous coat and eye colors found in Thailand represent mutations, and, one has to work with mutations very carefully. A color mutation, like blue, may be linked to not so great health traits you can't see. Breeding brown to brown, over and over, may result in the concentration of defects associated with that color mutation.  Sorry, Im going on too long. In Thailand, the many colors are bred back and forth, and, I am please to have cats like Lucretia who is so genetically diverse she can have a big pile of different colored kittens.  Have a look! 

This will not mean much to pet owners, but, the blue and the brown kitten were born the colors that you see. They will only enrich and darken as they age. They will be very blue and very chocolate! 

Golda Did It Again !

So, the first time Golda had kittens, she grew enormously fat, I mean it looked like she swallowed a cantaloupe, and she proceeded to have one kitten. One. Well, again this time, she swelled to ungodly proportions, and as you will see, had one kitten. It looks like Golda may be a one kitten mom. In any event, the odd thing about this story is that her kitten opened his eyes when he was three days old. This is really early. And, he is already crawling like a two week old. It may have something to do with the fact his to aunts, Spot and Estelle, do not have any kittens of their own, so, they are all participating in his upbringing! 

Burmese Kittens: Recent Litters