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The Intelligent and Affectionate Burmese Cat Breed: All the Information You Need

burmese cat breed

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Burmese cats are short-to medium-haired, medium-sized domestic cats with outgoing, playful, and intelligent personalities. A Burmese cat loves to climb trees and jump around when happy. So, place perches, a scratching post, and a cat tree inside the house to make her enjoy quality time alone. 

This social and energetic cat looks tiny but feels heavy when picked up. It has a muscular bone structure. People have nicknamed the Burmese cats “Bricks wrapped in soft silk clothes” because of their sturdy stature and “copper cat” because of their intense gold-copper coat appearance. 

The Burmese cat is also affectionate and has a dog-like personality. It loves to be adored and also to be petted by family members. An appropriate pet for kids who like energetic temperaments and athletic indoor cats, dogs, or puppies, here is everything you need to know about the Burmese cat breed.

What does a Burmese cat look like? 

The European Burmese cat appears slim with a wedge/triangular-shaped head, almond-like huge eyes, and pointed ears. The cat is small with a very short but silky coat. 

Note that the American Burmese cats are stockier than their relatives from Europe. Also, they have a wider front face with a smooth rounded forehead. 

Physical Attributes 

  • Body: Has a medium body size. However, the male is large, muscular, and heavy with a compact appearance. Its chest is round—every part from the neck to the tail levels proportionately.
  • Coat: The coat is short with a glossy, sleek look. Additionally, its texture is soft and satin-like. The Burmese cats have no undercoats.
  • Ears: The base is broad and soft but narrow towards the tip to form a sharp point. The ears lean forward from the face and seem wide open. Moreover, the ears’ features give it an attentive and cautious look.
  • Eyes: The eyes are large and appear extremely keen and expressive – especially when something like a rodent or toy has caught their attention. They are also wide apart, with the eye color varying significantly depending on the cat’s coat. Most Burmese kittens have dark brown almond-shaped eyes with a honey-golden or yellow appearance. The golden eyes fade as the cat ages.
  • Head and Face: The head is round-shaped and forms an outward look. The face has a distinct flat profile that is slightly invisible until you keenly look at her. All these features, fortunately, make the cat look attentive. The muzzle of the European and American breeds is short but well-developed and matches all the contours around the cat’s head. The nose break is pronounced and noticeable. The chin looks rounded but forms a vertical line towards the tip of the nose. 
  • The cheeks are in some way slightly sunken. The face appears darker in complexion than most Burmese cats. 
  • Neck: The neck appears thin, but it is strong.
  • Jaws and Teeth: The lower jaw is more pronounced, and the teeth are sharp. Most Burmese cats have a firm grip when chewing tender or tough meat chunks.
  • Legs and Paws: The legs are aligned to the body symmetrically. At the paws, it forms a round shape with five toes at the front and four at the back.
  • Tail: Burmese cats have straight medium-long tails. Its body coat is similar to the tail, and the base of the tail is not as wide as its relatives. The tip is narrow and straight.  

Breed Overview 

  • Weight: A female weighs 8 to 12 pounds, and a mature male weighs up to 12 pounds.  
  • Coat color: The coat is darker at the back and lighter at the belly. Blue, Champagne, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Fawn, Lilac, Platinum, Red, Cream, and Sable are the most common coat colors.
  • Pattern: One solid color or tortoiseshell pattern.
  • Life expectancy: 9-13 years, some even up to 17 years.
  • Height: 9-13 inches tall for mature Burmese. 

Burmese Cat Nature 

This cat breed has an outgoing personality. It is very active, curious, playful, and adaptive. It is also smart and interactive. Its personality can be summed up as joyful. 

Burmese Cat Breed Information 

Attribute  Level  
Attention needs  High  
Shedding  Low  
Ease of Training High 
Activity  High  
Vocality  High  
Intelligence/ IQ  High  
Playfulness  High  
Grooming & Maintenance  Low  
Friendliness to other pets and kids  Medium-High  
Independence Medium  
Docility  Low 

History of the Burmese Cat 

Country of Origin: Burma (Myanmar) and Thailand 

The Burmese cat is a unique breed because of its detailed mythical story. This particular cat has a very long and fascinating history. 

Documented legendary stories from Burma, Thailand, and the ancient world recognize the Burmese cat breed. 

It has always been considered a cat for “royal families” and is associated with good luck charms since the 12th Century. 

The lineage of the Burmese cat can be traced back to a cat known as Wong Mau. Wong Mau was a dark brown cat similar to the darker version of the Siamese cat. 

In 1930, Dr. Joseph C. Thompson brought this cat from Burma to San Francisco, United States.  

The female cat was bred with a male Siamese to determine its originality. Wong Mau bore two kittens. A Burmese-Siamese and a pure Siamese.  

In 1947, the breed became so popular, and their hybrids began to develop. This led to the withdrawal of the Burmese cat breed by the BCSA (Burmese Cat Society of America) after it realized that the cat breeds were not pure. 

Luckily, in 1957, the Burmese cat breed was reinstated and recognized by CFA (Cat Fanciers’ Association) after BCSA assured that the violation would not happen again. Finally, an agreement was reached, and no further hybrids were developed anymore. 

Today, the Burmese cat is recognized by the ACFA, CFA, FIFe, and TICA. 

5 Facts About the Burmese Cat 

  • They enjoy fetching games 
  • They originated from Thailand 
  • Enjoy conversation
  • Are overly trusting (even to strangers) 
  • They love to learn new tricks at home 

Living with a Burmese Cat at Home 

Burmese is a friendly and active family cat with a strong loyalty bond to its owners.  They will graciously crawl under your feet to get some attention, and also, they will jump on your lap to get some warmth when you are seated on a sofa. 

It thrives well in homes with gardens because of its playful nature until maturity. 

But, a Burmese cat is more suitable around older kids who give the cat the space it occasionally needs. You do not have to worry about younger children because Burmese cats will hardly scratch when handled roughly. 

Indoor Burmese kittens and adult cats need constant attention and admiration. Avoid leaving them alone unattended for an entire day. The females are sometimes more affectionate but occasionally temperamental than the males. 

They are easy to teach and train. You will not have to worry about training your Burmese cat to get along with your other indoor pets. They can also understand a few basic commands like “sit,” “High Five,” “fetch,” “come,” and “lie down.” 

The Burmese cat should be your number one choice if you are looking for a dog-like pet. Adopt another pet companion, like another cat breed or the same breed, if you are away at work all day. 

Lastly, Burmese cats occasionally love their space.  Leave your cat to gaze through the window uninterrupted on a pleasant day. 

Common Health Problems 

The Burmese cat breed is susceptible to a few health conditions. Thus vaccination and yearly check-ups are necessary (even if it appears healthy) because it can sometimes be challenging to know the status of your cat’s health. 

They are susceptible to flu and stomach worms if you feed them an unrecommended diet. 

Always check for fleas and other external parasites if your cat frequently loves the outdoors. 

Here are the most common health problems associated with Burmese cats. 

Bladder Stones 

Burmese cats develop this condition when minerals build up in the urinary tract, leading to bladder stones. Small bladder stones can be removed through a catheter, while large bladder stones have to be removed surgically. 

Hypokalemic Polymyopathy 

This is a genetic disease that most Burmese cats carry. 

Hypokalemic Polymyopathy can lead to low potassium levels in the cat’s body. Hypokalemia often leads to muscle weakness and reduces the mobility of the cat. Unfortunately, Hypokalemic Polymyopathy disease has no cure. 

Always provide the necessary supplements to boost potassium levels in your cat’s digestive system as the parent.  

Periodontal Disease 

Plaque slowly builds up in the cat’s gums and forms horrid tartar layers that inflame the Burmese’s gums. 

Periodontal Disease results from poor oral hygiene. Periodontal Disease weakens and separates the teeth when left untreated. 

Diabetes Mellitus 

When insulin is deficient in a Burmese cat, glucose is not converted to energy. Diabetes mellitus leads to excessive urination, infections, and weight loss in Burmese cats.  

Other possible health conditions 

  • Weight loss 
  • Lymphoma 
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Chronic renal failure 
  • Asthma 

Diet and Nutrition 

Burmese cats are heavy eaters, and you risk having an overweight pet at home if you do not monitor your cat’s feeding pattern. 

Feed your pet twice or three times a day (depending on her age, physical condition, and health status). 

Also, remember that Burmese cats are choosy eaters. So, always provide the necessary diet like chicken (chicken liver, chicken fat, chicken gizzard, and chicken meat), Tuna, Sardine, Fish, Potatoes, and Pumpkin. 

Here are 6 recommended nutrient-rich cat food for your Burmese cat. 

Benefits of a nutritious meal for the Burmese cat 

  1. Helps support lean muscle growth in Burmese kittens
  2. Fuels your cat’s energy levels 
  3. Keeps your cat hydrated 
  4. Prevents urinary issues 
  5. Develop strong muscles
  6. Boosts active lifestyle 

You should also provide your Burmese cat with the necessary cat supplements to boost its diet. 

These include:

  1. Dental Powder – Helps to clean the teeth. Pro Den Plaque Off is a popular choice and costs under $20.
  2. Gut Health – This probiotic and prebiotic powder is made just for cats, unlike other supplements that are targeted at both cats and dogs.
  3. This Life Extension Cat Mix – covers kidney function, eye health, heart health, pancreatic function and general wellness.

Caring For Your Burmese 

Burmese cats do not require excess grooming like other cat breeds with thick coats. These cats can efficiently and meticulously take care of themselves. The Burmese coat, for instance, is short and does not require regular shaving and bathing. 

Nonetheless, Burmese enjoy the attention and gentle stroking when brushing her coat. 

Basic Care Tips 

Vaccination: Take your pet to the vet for all the required vaccinations. 

Deworm: Always deworm your Burmese twice in about four weeks. 

Regular check-ups: Take your pet to a veterinary for physical check-ups. 

Fur Brushing: Burmese cats have short fur that hardly detangles. Use a large brush with a rubber comb to groom your cat’s coat in the shedding season (usually in the spring and fall seasons). This 5 piece set has everything you need.

Often check your cat’s nails, teeth, ears, and eyes to avoid any infections your cat might experience.  

Nail trimming: Use the recommended clippers/trimmers to cut and shorten your cat’s overgrown nails. Do not cut or trim close to the pink area on the nails, and make sure your cat is comfortable during the process. 

Dental hygiene: It is necessary to brush your cat’s teeth regularly – maybe twice a day (if your cat likes to spend most of its time outside) 

Brushing your cat’s teeth prevents oral health complications like gingivitis and periodontal disease of the gums. 

Eyes: Wipe any dust or foreign material from your cat with a damp cloth. Do it gently and do not touch inside the eyes. 

Ears: Always use cotton balls to clean inside the ears. Use dampcotton balls to remove all the dirt and wax. 

Litter Box Maintenance 

Always clean your pet’s litter box regularly. Use a scoop to remove the waste from the box after two times of use. Put the waste in a paper bag, then dispose of it in the garbage bin. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Burmese Cats

How does the Burmese cat breed adapt to indoor living?

Burmese cats adapt well to indoor living and make great apartment pets, but they also enjoy spending time outdoors either leash walking on a safe cat enclosure.

How much exercise and grooming do Burmese cats require?

Burmese cats require weekly grooming to maintain their short, glossy coat, and regular exercise to maintain their weight. This can include time spent climbing cat trees or playing in a catio.

Are Burmese cats good with children and other pets?

Burmese cats are known for their friendly and affectionate nature and usually get along well with children and other pets.

How should I introduce a Burmese cat to my home and family?

Introduce a new Burmese cat to your home slowly, providing them with a quiet space of their own at first. Gradually introduce them to the rest of your home and family over time, supervising their interactions with children and other pets until they are well accustomed.

Are there any specific training needs for Burmese cats?

Burmese cats are known for their intelligence and trainability, they can learn tricks and enjoy interactive toys, but specific training needs may vary depending on the cat.

Enjoy Your Burmese Cat or Kitten

Burmese cats are dog-like animals and require little care. They also make the best indoor pets for homeowners looking to try cats for the first time. 

They will not shed and leave fur all over the carpet and sofas – making them an ideal indoor choice. 

Burmese cats are loving and affectionate. They are among the best pet and child-friendly companions, and you will enjoy having this cat breed at home. The cat easily adjusts to any home setting. 

As the parent, always ensure you take care of your cat by visiting the vet regularly for check-ups and scanning.  

Burmese cats are active and are fun to take for walks in the park and play fetch and other toy games. 

They are intelligent, and you can teach them new tricks or talk to them comfortably. These indoor pets also love being talked to and shown affection. 

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