The Burmese Cat Breed – What To Expect.

grey burmese cat with green eyes lying on cream bedding staring to distance

“Brick wrapped in silk.” That is exactly what Burmese cat owners will tell you if you ask them about the breed. The expressive eyes and sweet expression combined with silky smooth fur truly make these cats distinct. And with an outgoing personality, these cats can surely win the hearts of anyone.

But those are not the only unique traits that the breed has. There is so much more that you should know before you pick them up as pets. And, the good news is that you have stumbled upon the right source for knowing all about the breed!

We will cover each of the crucial aspects and traits of the Burmese cats, which will make you well prepared for integrating them as your family member. 

An Overview of the Burmese Cat

Height9 – 13 inches
Weight 8 – 15 pounds
Lifespan10 – 17 years
OriginBurma
TemperamentAffectionate, extremely loyal, and highly intelligent
Activity LevelActive
CompatibilityFriendly toward humans, strangers, other cats, and dogs
CoatShort
SheddingSeasonal shedding
ColorsBlue or gray, lilac, chocolate or sable or brown, lavender or silver
PatternsSolid
Allergy-friendly?Yes
VocalnessFrequent
Prey DriveHigh
a beautiful chocolate colored burmese cat with golden eyes sitting on a windowsill

Characteristics and Temperament

The Burmese cats are generally known to be stocky. They are relatively compact but can be very muscular with heavy boning. And just like some of the other breeds, these furry friends are round all over.

That means the head is round, the eyes, feet, and chin are all around. Even the ear tips of a Burmese cat are round. But the round nature does not stop them from being active. They are highly social and highly playful. In fact, you might even confuse them with dogs seeing how active they are.

Nonetheless, these cats tend to grow strong loyalty bonds with their owners. And you might see many cat lovers refer to them as Velcro cats. Why? They stick to you every chance they get, wanting to spend as much time as possible around their owners.

Talking of which, Burmese cats are not as well-suited to isolation. Even if you leave them alone for a while, you will find them coming around and wanting your attention. And with prolonged isolation, they can develop some stress-induced behaviors such as aggressive grooming.

But the good news is that they will pair up with anyone. Be it senior, children, or anyone in the middle. That makes these cats an excellent pick for multi-cat households. They even learn to tolerate family dogs pretty quickly.

History

The Burmese breed descends from a single chocolate-colored grey cat. Named Wong Mau, the cat came from Burma in the 1920s or 1930s brought to the US by a sailor.

The sailor then passed Wong Mau to a Siamese breeder. Known as Dr. Joseph Thompson, the breeder described Wong Mau as a relatively small cat with a finely boned but more compact body than the usual Siamese cats

Highly intrigued by the small nature and chocolate coloring, Thompson put the cat go through a breeding program. However, the program relied on seal-point Siamese as the doctor did not have access to other cats that are closely related to Wong Mau.

After the program, this small bony cat produced kittens that mostly looked like Siamese cats. However, some did resemble their chocolate brown parent. Another round of breeding, which had her mate with one of her kittens, resulted in kittens with three different distinctive looks.

These looks included dark brown with points like her, Siamese, and dark brown with no points at all. The last type, which is dark brown without any markings, is the foundation of the modern Burmese we know now.

Later, the breeding process offered lilac coloring, blue, sable, and chocolate. Many think these colorings came because Wong Mau carried genes for chocolate and dilution.

a chocolate pointed burmese cat sitting in grass on a sunny day

Personality

Most Burmese cat owners will tell you that these cats are playful, super-smart, and amusing. And they would not be wrong! These are truly the perfect interactive cats for any home. People looking for love and amusement will not go wrong by picking them up.

Additionally, Burmese cats are often loyal and people-oriented. You will basically sign up to get unconditional love after picking them up.

Another thing that makes the breed stand out the most is that they never seem to grow up, at least mentally. These cats are as entertaining as a 16-week-old as they would be when they are 16 years old. They love to perform animated antics for their and your amusement.

Nonetheless, younger Burmese cats are the most active. They quickly adapt to changes and always remain curious. But some of these cats can become a bit too placid when they grow old. Those cats would instead watch activities rather than be involved in them.

That said, one thing that will not change with age is the curiosity level. These cats will absolutely love to discover and wander around new places. And mostly, their favorite places would be by a window where they can observe the outside world.

Furthermore, the Burmese cats are very friendly and comfortable with other Burmese. But they can sometimes be a bit problematic if you want to get them along with other breeds.

Size and Physical Attributes

Most Burmese cats will feature a compact body. However, some of the males might achieve a larger overall size. In the other cases, these cats will have a medium size and muscular body structure. Also, they will have rounded chests. 

Even the ears of these cats are medium in size. They will be set well apart from one to another and have a broad structure at the base. The tips of the ears will be rounded and will tilt slightly forward.

When it comes to eyes, they are large, set far apart, and have rounded aperture. Also, the head is pleasingly round and will not have flat planes no matter the angle you are viewing it from.

Additionally, the legs will be well-proportioned to the body. The paws will be round, and the cats will have five toes on the front and four on the back legs. And the tail will be straight and medium in size.

a brown burmese cat lying low in hunting mode

Coat and Colors

As we mentioned earlier, these cats are brick wrapped in silk. The coat will have a satin-like texture. Some cats will even offer a glossy look. But the coat will be short, fine, and will be very close-lying to the skin.

Now, when it comes to colors, most will be chocolate or sable. But champagne, blue, greyish blue, silver, and platinum are also typical for this breed. 

Health Issues

Most Burmese cats are healthy. They will live long and will not usually suffer from serious diseases. However, you cannot just eliminate the fact that all cats have the potential to develop health problems.

Any breeder claiming that their breed has no genetic problems or health issues is lying. But, as we mentioned, the good news for Burmese cats is that they are less likely to suffer from serious health issues and are generally considered a solid, healthy cat breed.

Some of the Burmese cats might develop diabetes mellitus or inherit hypokalaemic polymyopathy but generally speaking problems are few and far between.

Additionally, these cats are a bit prone to calcium oxide stones developing in the urinary tract. That can make them less active and less likely to participate in activities even when they are young.

That said, you can easily avoid most of the problems by keeping your Burmese cat healthy. Whatever you do, do not let the Burmese cats get to an obese size. They will only live a long and healthy life if they are at an appropriate weight.

How Much Do Burmese Cats Cost?

How much do Burmese cats cost? When it comes to the price of the Burmese cat, it will mainly depend on the color you are shooting for. And the starting price of these kittens will be $600 for most cases. Some breeders can even make you spend $1000 or higher.

On that note, the blue color is the most popular. Most of the breeders will have Burmese cats in this color. But, if you do plan to get the kitten from a well-known breeder, you should expect to spend at least $1200.

Final Words

The Burmese cat is one of the most loving, highly social, and playful breeds. They are well-known for expressing a couple of dog-like tendencies and pairing well with other cats and dogs of the house. So, if you were looking for a family cat, you should definitely keep the breed in your consideration.