The Burmese cat is the social butterfly of the cat world and an ideal family pet! With their silken coats and sleek bodies, these felines are as beautiful on the outside as they are on the inside. An all-in-one package for the cat-lover who wants a cat as a fun and cuddly companion.
A Brief History of the Burmese Cat Breed
The Burmese cat is a breed created by breeding the “copper cat” of Burma (now known as Myanmar) with a Siamese cat. It is believed that Dr. Joseph Thompson bought a small, chocolate brown cat with darker brown points from a sailor back from a voyage to Burma.
This cat, named Wong Mau, was bred to a seal-point Siamese named Tai Mau. Dr. Thompson’s breeding program yielded kittens with beige, brown and pointed coats. The first litters comprised some Siamese-looking kittens and some that looked like Wong Mau.
Subsequently, she was bred with one of her chocolate-brown kittens. This breeding yielded three different colorations: Siamese, dark brown with points and dark brown with no points. The latter then became the foundation of what is today known as the Burmese cat breed.
The Appearance of these Cuddle Cats
A popular description for the Burmese cat is that of a “brick wrapped in silk”. This alludes to the deceptively strong and heavy body. This robust little cat has a divine, short, silky coat.
The Burmese cat is not as large as the British Shorthair, yet not as lean as the Siamese. They have a well-muscled, compact body. Their medium-size ears with rounded tips tilt somewhat forward on their rounded heads. Their expressive, large round golden eyes are set far apart.
Average Size and Weight!
Burmese are medium-sized cats, but they are surprisingly heavy for their size. They have a large bone structure with well-defined musculature.
Adult males weigh 8 – 10 pounds (3.5 – 4.5 kg) and adult females weigh 6 – 8 pounds (2.7 – 3.5 kg). Their height, measured at the shoulder, is between 10 and 12 inches (25 – 30 cm).
Burmese Coats and Colors Explained!
Burmese coats are short and close-lying. The coats of these felines have a very silky texture. There are four different coat colors:
- Sable – a rich, chocolate brown. The nose and paw pads are brown too.
- Champagne – a warm honey-beige, shading to honey gold on the belly. The nose is light brown and the paw pads are pinkish tan.
- Platinum – pale, silver grey with fawn undertones. The paw pads and nose are a lavender-pink.
- Blue – medium gray with fawn undertones. Nose and paw pads are slate gray.
What Are Their Grooming Requirements?
Their grooming requirements are minimal. Burmese cats do not shed much. Weekly grooming should be sufficient. Use a rubber curry comb to remove loose hair and distribute skin oils. If you want to add extra shine, you can give the coat a polish with a soft chamois.
Trim your Burmese kitty’s nails regularly and clean the ears if they look dirty. To wipe out the ears, use a cotton ball moistened with a 50-50 solution of apple cider vinegar and warm water. Burmese cats do tend to have weepy eyes. Use a soft, damp cloth to remove any discharge from the corners of the eyes.
Temperament and Personality: What to Expect!
For cat lovers, this is truly a very rewarding cat breed. Burmese are super affectionate and bond very strongly with their humans.
A Burmese is a great lap-filler and will definitely want to sleep on your bed with you at night! Burmese kittens are very playful. In fact, this playfulness extends right through adulthood. These energetic and enterprising felines play fetch as well as any retriever. They enjoy interactive toys and learning a few fun tricks!
The Burmese is as talkative as its Siamese ancestors but has a more pleasant voice. These cats have a soft sweet voice and a satisfying, low, rumbling purr.
They work well in family homes. Their playfulness and love of people are great for families with young children. Burmese also get along well with family pets!
These kitties will rule the home with a velvet-gloved iron paw! Because of their gregarious natures, the one situation that they do not function well in is staying home alone for long periods of time.
What is the Average Lifespan of a Burmese Cat?
This breed of a cat has a lifespan of 10 – 16 years. As with all pets, it is up to you as the pet owner to give your furry friend the best in food and health care so that they can enjoy a long, happy, and healthy life with you.
A veterinary-approved, well-balanced diet will help to prevent some diseases. Regular check-ups at the vet will assist in finding issues that could escalate to pain and discomfort for your feline buddy.
Also, remember to keep up to date with annual vaccines. Follow a good anti-pest regime to keep your kitty worm- and flea-free.
List of the Breed’s Potential Health Issues!
Pedigreed and mixed breed cats alike are likely to get any number of health problems. Burmese are generally one of the healthier cat breeds. However, they can be prone to gingivitis and sensitive to anesthesia. Below is a list of other health issues that the breed is more prone to.
- Endocardial fibroelastosis – This is a heart condition characterized by thickening of the wall of the left ventricle in the heart. This leads to impaired heart and lung function and eventually congestive heart failure. Signs of this disease usually show in kittens from 3 weeks to 4 months of age.
- Elbow osteoarthritis – This is an early onset form of arthritis which originates in the elbow. It limits the cat’s mobility and activity.
- Lipemia of the aqueous humor (liquid within the eyeball) – This gives the eye a temporary milky appearance during kittenhood. This condition usually resolves without medical intervention.
- Burmese head defects – An abnormality in the structure of the head and/or face.
- Hypokalemic polymyopathy – Low levels of potassium in the blood cause muscle weakness. This condition occurs in Burmese kittens. It is characterized by general weakness, a reluctance to walk, a stiff gait and head tremors.
- Diabetes – This disease is caused either by the cat’s pancreas not producing enough insulin, or it can be caused by the cat’s body not responding in a normal way to the blood insulin levels. Insulin is the hormone that regulates the glucose levels in the bloodstream. Symptoms include an increased thirst and/or hunger. Diabetes is easily treatable with daily insulin injections and a controlled diet.
- Feline orofacial pain syndrome (FOPS) – Symptoms include exaggerated licking and chewing movements as well as pawing at the mouth. This syndrome is a disorder of one of the primary nerves to the head and face.
Burmese Cats for Sale!
There are a number of places that you can begin the search for your new feline friend. Ask at your local vet or pet store about Burmese cat breeders. You could also have a look online. The Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) and The United Burmese Cat Fanciers (UBCF) are good places to start your search.
Burmese Kitten Price
A Burmese kitten can cost anything between $ 500 and $ 1500. The price depends on where you buy the kitten from as well as several other factors. Burmese kittens for sale as pets only will be more affordable, whereas show quality cats from a registered breeder will be more expensive.
Breeding rights, full registration, pedigree, and lineage will all play a role in the cost of your Burmese kitten.
What to Look for in Reputable Burmese Cat Breeders!
A new cat or kitten is a commitment for their lifetime. You want to be absolutely sure that you are buying a feline that is healthy and well-adjusted so that you can enjoy a long and happy life together. Therefore, be sure to do your due diligence about the reputation of the breeder who you choose to get your kitten from.
Responsible Burmese cat breeders will welcome any questions that you may have about the breed. They perform health checks on their breeding stock to ensure that only the healthiest bloodlines carry on. A good breeder always has health certifications to confirm that genetic health issues have been screened for.
Insist on seeing the premises where the kittens are bred and raised. It is important for pets to be raised in a hygienic and homely environment. In fact, it is also probably a good idea to meet one, or both, of the parents so that you can be sure of a good personality.
Adopt, Don’t Shop! Find a Burmese Rescue Group!
Kittens are loads of fun. However, they don’t exactly come potty trained! Raising a young animal is time consuming and hard work. Evaluate whether you have the time and energy for this before deciding on getting a kitten.
An adult Burmese might be a better option. The super thing about this breed is that you won’t miss out on all the fun playfulness of kittenhood, as Burmese cats are playful deep into adulthood!
Get in touch with your vet, animal shelter, or a Burmese cat club to find out about local Burmese Rescue Groups. You can also have a look on Petfinder.com or Adopt-a-Pet.com for a cat that will fit in with your lifestyle.