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Burmese Cat Breed Profile

If you have lots of time to devote to a feline friend and want a cat that will shower you with affection and be a loyal and loving companion then the Burmese is the cat for you.
Burmese make great family cats as they integrate well with small children and are docile, lovable playmates.


The first Burmese cats may have been kept by priests in temples and palaces.

Modern Burmese cats are thought to be descended from a single cat named Wong Mao, a female wa
lnut brown Burmese who was brought from Burma (today's Myanmar) to San Francisco by Dr Joseph Thompson in the 1930s. 

The cat resembled a dark Siamese to some, but Dr. Thompson believed she was a distinct breed. Wong Mau was bred with a Siamese to extend the breed line, and many now believe the original cat was a cross between a Siamese and a Burmese.

The first Burmese kitten was reportedly born in England in 1955. It was a blue Burmese named Sealcoat Blue Surprise.

The International Cat Association recognized the breed in 1979. Today the Burmese is one of the most popular breeds among cat lovers in Australian and around the world.


Burmese are medium-sized cats often described as ‘a brick wrapped in silk’ which is a reference to their solid, muscular body and smooth, glossy silky coat.

Burmese kitten, sable colour
Their body is surprisingly heavy, topped with a rounded head and the large eyes are quite expressive.

The short, glossy single coat may appear pointed when the cats are young and may darken over time. The Burmese breed is recognised in four official colours: sable (dark brown), Champagne (beige), blue (a medium grey with light brown undertones), and platinum (a light grey with light brown undertones). 

The cat's eye colour is typically gold or yellow.

Other colours may include sepia, lilac, chocolate, red and cream.

  • Weight: 5-6kg (Males); 4-5 kg (Females) 


Their outgoing and fearless personality makes them better suited to an indoor life where they are safe from the dangers of the outside world. 

Burmese cats are energetic and friendly. They’re also typically gentle and affectionate so they will want to spend as much time as possible with you. The Burmese speaks with a hoarse voice as if it has a bad throat from too much chatting. It is quieter than its Siamese counterpart, but will purr when it becomes restless or annoyed. 

Burmese are people-oriented and may follow humans from room to room, so they’re ideal for families with children and will generally tolerate a home with dogs.

Highly intelligent, you can tease their clever mind with interactive toys, and teach their tricks. Besides basics like sit, roll over, wave and come, they can learn to fetch a small toy or walk on a leash. 

Burmese cats love to play fetch, making them a bit dog-like. Like dogs, they’re very social and can experience loneliness or separation anxiety if left alone for a long time. 

With proper early conditioning, car rides and vet visits should be a breeze!

Grooming & Maintenance

Burmese cats are low maintenance when it comes to grooming. It is advised to brush your cat weekly to remove loose hair and dead skin but this can also be achieved with daily stroking and petting. Provide scratching surfaces so your Burmese cat can fulfill the need to scratch and to maintain the nails between clippings.

Health & Lifespan 

Burmese cats are generally healthy however they are prone to gingivitis and are sensitive to anesthesia. Other diseases and deformities have been seen in the breed, including:

  • Corneal dermoid 
  • Orofacial pain syndrome 
  • Congenital peripheral vestibular disease 
  • Craniofacial abnormalities 
  • Hypokalemic polymyopathy - low blood potassium which can lead to muscle weakness.
  • Flat-chested kitten syndrome 
  • Kinked tail, usually as a result of a deformity of the tailbone. It causes no pain or discomfort.
  • Diabetes Mellitus (particularly in older cats). Research indicates that this is more prevalent in cats in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.
DNA tests are available for three genetic abnormalities which have been found in Burmese: the Burmese head defect, GM2 Gangliosidosis and Hypokalaemia. Breeders are currently taking steps to ensure that these genes are carefully eliminated from the Burmese gene pool.

  • Life Expectancy: 10-16 years 
In 2004, the Guinness World Records recognised a very special Burmese as the world’s longest living cat. Kataleena Lady, who lived in Australia, was 27 years old when she was honoured with the title!
  • Recommended for: families with children and cat-friendly dogs.

For more information on the Burmese Cat Breed, please visit

Australian Cat Federation
Burmese Cat Society of Australasia 

National Alliance of Burmese Breeders

Even purebred cats can end up in shelters and rescues, so why not start with an adoption search first? 

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