Federation Internationale Feline World Cat Federation
The Asian breeding programme originated with the Burmilla, bred 'accidentally' by Baroness Miranda von Kirchberg in Britain in 1981, and, having seen the pretty kittens that resulted from this mating, she decided to develop the breed further with other coat colours and patterns derived from the Burmese. Throughout the breeding programme, these lovely cats they have been bred back to the pure Burmese (often alternate generations in the early days) to maintain the wonderful Burmese shape, coat texture and temperament, and nowadays there are a good number of breeders promoting the Asian. .
The cats of the Asian Group are elegant cats of medium size and foreign type; the overall type should be the same as the Burmese cat. Any tendency to Siamese or Persian type, or the cobbiness of the British, is not permissible.
Head: forms a short balanced wedge with width at the cheekbones tapering to a blunt muzzle and showing good width at the jaw-hinge. The top of the head should be gently rounded between the ears, which are set well apart. In profile the head should show a good depth between the top of the skull and the lower jaw, the brow should curve gently to the bridge of the nose with a distinct nose break; the nose should be straight with the tip of the nose leather in line with the chin. The chin should be firm and of good depth, and the bite level and even. The head, elegantly carried on a neck of medium-thickness, should be in proportion to the body.
Ears: medium to large in size, broad at the base with rounded tips and set well apart so that the outer line of the ears continues the angle of the upper part of the face to produce a butterfly-wing outline from the front. In profile the ears should have a slight forward tilt. Ear tufts and streamers are preferable in the Asian Semi-longhair (Tiffanie). Allowance should be made for correctly shaped but over-large ears in kittens where the head size and shape is still developing.
Eyes: large and lustrous and set wide apart, the top lid forms a slight curve slanted towards the nose, the lower lid is fuller and more rounded; overall the eye shape and set is distinctive, giving a unique expression typical to the Asian and Burmese breeds.
Body: slender and of medium length and size, it should feel hard, lithe and muscular and heavier than its appearance indicates. The back should be straight from shoulder to rump. The chest should be generous and gently rounded, but not disproportionately broad.
Legs and paws: the legs should be slender, elegant and in proportion to the body, of medium length with the hind legs slightly longer than the front legs, paws neat and oval in shape.
Medium to long, to balance the body, carried proud and of medium thickness, tapering slightly to a rounded tip. The length should be sufficient for the tip to reach the shoulder when the tail is brought gently around the side of the body.
May be any colour accepted in the Asian Group. The Asian Smoke is a non-agouti cat and the undercoat of silver-white or near white should be no less than one-third and no more than one-half of the total hair length in adults. When in repose the cat should have overall appearance of a Self or Burmese coloured cat, the silver undercoat showing through when the cat moves giving the "smoke" effect. Some faint ghost tabby markings may be evident on the body, especially in kittens, but distinct tabby markings in adults are undesirable. There may be silvery speckling on the face; silvery frown marks on the forehead and silvery rings round the eyes. Note that the Inhibitor (Silver) gene has a tendency to reduce the intensity of the smoke colour.
Weight — 3.5-7 kg.
This breed is known for its superb temperament. It has a very extrovert, inquisitive nature and together with a high intelligence, this makes the Asian an ideal family pet. However, the Asian also has a very gentle side to its nature, which may appeal to more elderly people who are looking for a loyal companion. Although this is a very affectionate breed, the Asian loves showing off, especially when there are visitors to impress and charm! Like the Burmese, it is a very vocal breed, with a loud voice when it wants to get its point across clearly, and it also likes being picked up and cuddled. Because it is such a sociable cat, the Asian relates to well to human company and will adapt well to indoor living, not feeling the need to go out. However, it will need company, and will not appreciate being left alone for hours at a time - another feline companion, especially a cat with a similar extrovert personality, will be much appreciated.
The Asian will eat most good quality proprietary brands of cat food, but will also enjoy treats of cooked chicken, ham and grated cheese, preferably shared with its humans if care is not taken! However, cows' milk will probably give them a stomach upset, and a bowl of water should always be available. It has a short plush coat, which will not need much grooming, and stroking (particularly with slightly damp hands) will normally remove any dead hairs. A dry chamois leather will bring up a wonderful sheen on the cat's coat. If the Asian is to be a pet, and not used for breeding, it should be neutered at around 6 months of age as it is a breed that matures sexually at a young age.
Lifespan — 16-18 years.
Good choice for a big family. They love to be around people.
They get on well with dogs and other animals.
Shed very little.
Need a lot of attention.
The Asian appears to be a long-lived variety, with no health problems specific to the breed. In common with other cats, they need annual vaccination boosters against the common feline ailments of flu and enteritis, as well as against Feline Leukaemia if they go outdoors.