By Denis Jansen
In 2012 I began to search for an alternative for the Burmese cat breed, to address the issue of inbreeding.
During this search, as published previously, I came upon Prof Leslie Lyons of University of Missouri. I also made contact with Chrissy Russell of Ayshazen Cary in the UK, who gave me Nam Dtan (A foundation Thai-Born Burmese). Then a year later Chrissy gave me two F3*1 generation Thai Burmese.
With these cats I have managed to breed up to F5 generation kittens now, with Thai bloodlines I have quite a number of these kittens in new homes, and have asked some owners to share their experience, with the cattery, with myself and with their kittens.
I am working on my Thai Burmese program to attempt to get to F10 generation kittens, with a breeding coefficient2 under 1. In this way the Burmese genetic profile will be very heterozygous3. The ultimate goal is to rid the Burmese breed of the 10 known testable genetic defects.
This is a long term program. I am attempting to get some fellow breeders involved to help broaden the genetic base.
There are still breeders who frown on this practice. However, comments of kitten owners show the positive the impact of this program.
If anybody is interested in getting involved in this program please do not hesitate to contact Denis on 0823742719 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
*1 The F stands for Filial. F1 is a foundation Thai cat off the streets of Thailand, that fit the Burmese gene profile, then each F generation after that one mates back to a pure Burmese.
*2 Breeding Co-efficient :- Measure the degree of inbreeding that a cat has. Over its full family tree, NOT just 8 or 10 generations. The closer to zero, a group of Cats is the more heterozygous (i.e. The more genetically different) the group is. The further away from zero the more homozygous (genetically similar) a group of cats is. The European Burmese that we work with in the world excepting the United States, has an inbreeding co-efficient of 41%. The minute one goes over 3% inbreeding co-efficient, the more genetic problems occur.
Kitten Customer Feedback
Purely as a stroke of luck I came upon Denis’ website. I was intrigued by how much effort he had taken to recreate the Burmese line from Thailand…. Denis’ cattery does one thing which few catteries do: Ensure the genetic health and wellbeing of the Burmese breed OVER AND ABOVE material gain…. if you love Burmese cats more than any other breed then you seriously need to consider buying a kitten from Denis.
After mentioning to a friend we were looking for a Burmese kitten, she told us about Denis’s cattery. Seeing as there is a lot of inbreeding with Burmese cats it caught our attention that Denis was making an effort to reduce this by crossing lines with Thai imports…. From the moment we met Denis and his family of cats we knew that we were in the right place…
~ Andrew and Nadia
We found Denis on the internet where he was advertising his Burmese kittens… Well we were enchanted when we entered his house and met Denis and all his cats of different sizes and colours and just connected with him and saw his incredible love for all his cats…we are thrilled that he is a breeder of such wonderful cats.
~ Jane and Bernard
I was put in touch with Denis by my daughter who was specifically looking for a Burmese kitten… They were so loving it blew me away and Denis so attentive and knowledgeable. My daughter chose a lilac Burmese for herself and I got a blue Thai cross boy who is just the very best! So strong healthy and loving!
Our daughter did an intensive search for the best Burmese breeders in the Western Cape. One of the challenges was the long list of illnesses most Burmese were prone to because of the small gene pool. In the end she recommended Denis because he bred with Tai and American Burmese…. We are very pleased with our new cat child, which is a healthy, playful and loving dear and extremely intelligent.
~ Gert and Marietjie Malan, Mossel Bay.