The Templecat is the shorthaired equivalent of the already well established Championship breed, the Birman. (known also as the Sacred Temple Cat of Burma).
In much the same way as the Exotic Shorthair was developed by outcrossing Persians to other shorthairs, the Templecat was likewise the product of a shorthair outcross.
In the case of the Templecat, a full Birman was bred to a cinnamon spotted tabby Oriental, with the first filial progeny being a sealpoint shorthair and a chocolate classic tabby, thus proving that the Birman line used was a classic tabby under its pointed pattern and also that the spotted Oriental who had come from a long line of Oriental to Oriental matings had retained the pointing gene, a very pleasant surprise.
The Templecat was the brainchild of Mrs June Mateer, a foundation member of the Birman Cat Club of New Zealand and a member of the NZCF Genetics Advisory Committee. From the first filial cross, June progressed to full register Birman Shorthairs, in Seal, Blue, Chocolate, Lilac, Cinnamon and Fawn. Generational advancements being only achieved by breedings back to FULL register Birmans.
The challenge was to produce a cat of Birman type and conformation, along with the classic Roman profile and the correct markings on both gloves and gauntlets, but with the easy care short coat. This was no mean feat. Just as the Exotic could not hide its conformation faults under a long flowing coat, neither could the developing “Birman Shorthair”.
The breed was given recognition as a Provisional Breed by CATZ Inc under the temporary breed name of “Birman Shorthair” on the understanding that another breed name would need to be applied for within a specified period. Application was subsequently made for the Breed name “Templecat” thereby linking the new Breed to its already famous progenitors, and this name was granted by the Board of CATZ Inc in August 2001.
CATZ Inc recognizes the Templecat in the eight base colours of Seal, Blue, Chocolate, Lilac, Red, Cream, Cinnamon & Fawn, including the Tortie and Lynx variations. Of particular interest with the Templecat has been the introduction of the colours Cinnamon and Fawn. The Cinnamonpoint Templecat sports a glisteningly white coat in contrast to the warm cinnamon tobacco colour of the points.
Like the Birman, the Templecat is a warm natured people friendly cat with a light-hearted but docile disposition. The coat is short and easily maintained, with a slightly springy texture, yet still remaining moderately silky to the touch.