Let's talk Asian Cats

From their satin-like coat to their graceful physique, the wide-eyed Asian cat makes for a beautiful feline companion. They have a vivacious temperament and fall into the camp of extroverts. Playing is at the top of their likes list, closely followed by knowing everything about their humans’ lives. With an almost insatiable curiosity, and plenty of smarts, the Asian cat will take any opportunity to explore new things. Their amiable personality makes the Asian cat suitable for older owners living alone, as well as families with children. 

Official name: Asian cat 

Other names: Malayan Counterpoint

Origins: United Kingdom

Black and white portrait of Asian cat

 

Shedding level

Very low

Warm weather? Very low
Energy level * Moderate Family pet? * High
Compatibility with other pets
High


* We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behavior. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed specifics should be taken as an indication.

For a happy healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socializing your pet as well as covering their basic welfare needs (and their social and behavioral needs).

Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.

Contact your breeder or veterinarian for further advice.

All domestic pets are sociable and prefer company. However, they can be taught to cope with solitude from an early age. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or trainer to help you do this.
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Illustration of an Asian cat
Male
25 - 30 cm Height
4 - 6 kg Weight
Female
25 - 30 cm Height
3 - 5 kg Weight

 

 Baby age  Birth to one month
 Kitten age  1-12 months
 Adult age  1-7 years
 Mature age  7-12 years
 Senior age  From 12 years

Two light grey Asian cats sat next to each other

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Get to know the Asian Cat

All you need to know about the breed

The medium-sized Asian cat hails from the UK (confusing name, right?) and is similar to the Burmese cat in character if just a smidge less high-spirited. Amiable and affectionate, the Asian cat thrives on attention and likes to be in the company of their humans as much as possible. For some, the breed may need just a bit too much attention. However, if you’re at ease with having a feline shadow you will appreciate the Asian cat’s sensitive nature, which makes them considerate pets.

The Asian cat will be content in an apartment, but their curiosity often leads them to explore outdoors. An enclosed space, such as a garden or balcony, will allow them to have daily adventures. This is an agile cat who enjoys showing off their jumping skills. Got high bookshelves? Expect to spot your Asian cat on them at some point!

This outgoing feline makes a great playmate for young children, although training and supervision are essential. With early socialisation, the Asian cat also peacefully cohabits with other confident cats and cat-friendly dogs. Your Asian cat may try to be top of the pecking order if other felines are around - firm but gentle training will help them understand that there’s no hierarchy. They’re an active breed but the Asian cat will be content to curl up in your lap once they’re burned off some of that energy.

Side profile of a tabby Asian cat looking at camera

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2 facts about Asian Cats

1. Colourful coat

The coat of an Asian cat is such a pleasure to stroke with a glossy look and feel. You might have to hold yourself back from permanently stroking them. But they also come in a range of rich colours, ranging from classical black and blue, chocolate, lilac, cinnamon, fawn, as well as red, cream, apricot. Good luck choosing your favourite.

2. Under lock and key

It’s useful to know that Asian cats use their intelligence and curiosity to learn how to do things like open doors. Impressive, certainly, but slightly less practical to live with. Any prized possessions should be placed in a secure place. Not even high up will work as the Asian cat gets a kick out of jumping high.       

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History of the breed

The Asian cat is a recent British breed that dates back to the 1980s. They are one of several breeds that came to be by happy accident. In this case, the oh-so-fancy Baroness Miranda von Kirchberg left her Burmese (female) unattended when a Persian Chinchilla (male) saw an opportunity and asserted himself. It’s practically a feline fairytale. The resulting litter of four short-haired kittens was noticeably beautiful, with the Baroness so taken by them that she founded the Burmilla Association.

The names of the four Asian kittens were Galatea, Gemma, Gabriella and Gisella. A cat breeder by the name of Theresa Clarke adopted Gemma. Interest amongst breeders soon grew for this accidental breed, who chose to give them a similar physical composition to the Burmese cat. Differences included coat colours, patterns and two hair-lengths (short-haired and semi-long haired).

Today there are five varieties of the Asian cat, four of which are short-haired, as well as one semi-long haired variety, called the Tiffanie. By 2003 all five varieties had received Championship Status from the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy. They remain relatively rare but have established a small presence in the United States.

Black and white portrait of Asian cat

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From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Asian Cats

1. Ears

Ears are medium or large-sized and sit widely apart.

2. Body

Lithe but muscular body with a broad chest.

3. Tail

Moderately thick tail is fluffy and tapers evenly to the tip.

Grey and white Asian cat lying against a concrete step

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Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Asian
White and ginger Asian cat lying with head upside down

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Caring for your Asian Cat

Grooming, training and exercise tips

The soft and silky coat of the Asian cat requires one weekly grooming session to remove any dead hair and stay looking healthy. Your cat will more than enjoy the extra attention so it makes for a nice bonding moment. Baths are not really necessary but do check your Asian cat’s ears regularly for dirt and a daily brush of the teeth is optimal. Exercising your Asian cat should be simple as they’re a naturally lively breed. They’ll appreciate running around in an enclosed space - preferably in a quiet neighbourhood that’s low on noise and cars. Inside they’ll enjoy play sessions with a diverse range of interactive toys. When training your Asian cat, stay firm as their intelligence can make them somewhat free-spirited. However, there is no need to raise your voice: this is an affable cat who is devoted to their humans so may be emotionally wounded if you’re too tough with them.

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All about Asian Cats

On this front, you’re safe and sound. They may have a rather fluffy appearance and technically, a double coat, but the Asian cat does not really shed. This includes the Tiffanie variety with their medium-length coat. Your Asian cat simply requires one weekly brush as part of their grooming. Great news for your furniture, right?

The average life expectancy of the Asian is 16-18 years, as they generally enjoy great health. This loveable feline is a big fan of human company, whether that’s a family with small children, or older cat-owners who spend a lot of time at home. The breed tends to keep its playfulness in their advanced years, so you can keep each other feeling young while sharing lots of love and affection.  

Other breeds that might interest you.

Sources

1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Cat Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book