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Home > Cats > Cat Breeds > Burmese Cat Breed: Info, Traits & Pictures

Burmese Cat Breed: Info, Traits & Pictures

Burmese Cat

Some cats are content with just lying around all day and not socializing or playing on their own. This is not the case when it comes to Burmese cats, as these highly intelligent kitties are active, playful, very friendly, and highly sociable. In fact, some owners compare their personality to that of a dog, making even people who aren’t fond of cats quickly fall in love with them.

Speaking of people that don’t like cats, one of the reasons why is due to the amount of hair and dander that they produce all over the furniture and other areas of the home. Another advantage of Burmese cats is that you don’t have to worry about taking extra care to prevent shedding and dander.

Breed Overview


9 – 13 inches


8 – 15 pounds


10 – 17 years


Blue, champagne, platinum, sable

Suitable for:

Families with other pets and children


Affectionate, friendly, playful, sociable

We don’t want to give too much away at once, but if those reasons aren’t enough to convince you that you need a Burmese cat in your life, keep reading. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about owning one of these delightful felines so that you can determine whether a Burmese is the right choice for you.

Burmese Cat Characteristics

High-energy cat will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy cats require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a cat to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train cats are more willing and skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Cats that are harder to train are usually more stubborn and will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some cat breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every cat will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds' potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some cat breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other animals. More social cats have a tendency to rub up on strangers for scratches, while less social cats shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your cat and expose them to lots of different situations.


Burmese Kittens

The biggest thing to know about Burmese cats is that they are very active, intelligent, and playful. If you want a cat that doesn’t do much, then a Burmese is not the cat for you. Being so energetic and playful, these cats need a human that is willing to take the time to play with them and buy them lots of toys and activities to keep them entertained when you can’t play with them.

Other than being very playful and energetic, Burmese cats are very low maintenance. They have short coats that are generally very shiny, so they don’t need any extra grooming other than what cats do themselves. Simply petting a Burmese cat is enough to keep their coat in good shape and provide them with attention and socialization as well.

Something else you should note is that despite being smaller than most cats, they tend to weigh a bit more on average especially for their size. This will be important to keep in mind as you decide on what type of food to feed your Burmese. It will be important to make sure that your Burmese does not become overweight, as this can be a cause of feline diabetes that Burmese cats are more susceptible to.

However, as long as your Burmese cat maintains an active lifestyle, you shouldn’t have to worry about too many health problems. But that does circle back around to you as the pet owner, spending time playing with your cat to make sure that a healthy and active lifestyle is maintained.]

Temperament & Intelligence of the Burmese Cat

burmese cat
Image Credit: ge-hall, Pixabay

Burmese cats are certainly not couch potatoes, as they enjoy living an active lifestyle. But, that doesn’t mean that they won’t jump into your lap for pets and attention as they often form incredibly strong bonds with their owners.

Since they do form such strong bonds and are highly intelligent and energetic, they truly enjoy being around the company of people and don’t isolate themselves or prefer to be alone the way that some cats do. With that being said, they don’t need someone who isn’t willing to give them attention or doesn’t have time to play with them.

It’s worth noting that Burmese cats don’t need constant attention. However, they shouldn’t be left alone for an extended period especially without something to keep them entertained. If left alone, they may become stressed and exhibit behaviors associated with that such as excessive grooming. Or, they may look for other ways to entertain themselves including “playing” with things that you may not want them to play with.

Their high energy levels and playfulness often have to do with them being highly intelligent. Playing and interacting with things in the world around them is their way of learning and keeping themselves stimulated mentally. They aren’t trying to make your life harder by being so energetic and wanting to play. That’s what many people love about them. They aren’t boring cats by any means and they definitely need someone who is willing to play with them and help keep them entertained.

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

Burmese cats are great for families, even families with kids! In fact, they love living in a house with lots of people because that just means more people can pet them and play with them. Since they do form such strong bonds with their owners, they are sure to form those same strong bonds with every member of your household. Having more people can also prevent them from becoming stressed or bored as there will be plenty of people to keep them entertained.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Burmese cats get along with other pets because again, other pets help to keep them entertained especially when you have to leave for the day. They tend to get along best with other cats, and many Burmese owners often wind up getting another Burmese cat. This is partly for the first cat to have someone to play with but mostly because they end up loving them so much.

Burmese cats can also get along with dogs pretty easily. But if you have a dog, it’s important to make sure that your dog gets along with cats as your Burmese will be very tempted to play with your dog. The only thing is that If you have small pets such as birds, fish, or hamsters, watch your cat carefully around them or keep them out of his reach because he may think of them as toys instead of pets.


Things to Know When Owning a Burmese Cat:

If you’re going to bring home a Burmese cat, or any pet for that matter, you must know how to take care of them. Luckily, when it comes to Burmese cats, they are pretty low-maintenance other than frequently wanting your attention.

Here is some information that you might find helpful when caring for your Burmese cat. Following these care tips can help keep your pet at his or her healthiest.

burmese cat eating grass
Image By: Dmitry Kalinovsky, Shutterstock

Food & Diet Requirements

Cats are obligate carnivores who need a diet that consists primarily of meat. That means that high-quality cat food that has a high protein content is the best thing you can feed your cat. Cat food that is high in protein is especially important for Burmese cats since they are more active than other cats. Any cat food you choose should have some kind of meat listed first, but it would be better if the first two or three ingredients are meat as well.

Because Burmese cats are small in stature but tend to weigh a bit more than other cats, it’s also important to choose food that is low in fat. If your Burmese cat is getting the right amount of exercise, then he or she should have no problem maintaining a healthy weight. But if he isn’t getting enough exercise, feeding the right amount of cat food that is lower in fat is one of the best things you can do to keep your Burmese healthy.

The ingredients as well as the percent of protein and fat found in cat food will be listed on the back of the packaging. There is also usually a chart that tells you how much food to feed your cat based on his or her weight. Following these guidelines is the best way to keep your cat healthy, as being overweight can lead to health problems for your Burmese.

Exercise 🐈

If you haven’t gathered this already, you shouldn’t have any issues getting your Burmese cat to exercise. They always seem to be ready and willing to play, but you have to help make sure that they are getting enough exercise to meet their needs. Buying toys that they have to chase or that you play with them can help your Burmese cat get the exercise he or she needs.

If you live somewhere remote in which it is safe to let your cat outside, you might want to consider letting him or her outside for a little while to run around and climb trees. If it’s not possible to let your Burmese outside or you don’t feel safe doing so, building your cat a walled playground inside or investing in a cat tower can be a great way for your cat to exercise indoors.

Training 🧶

Cats are trained in the same way that dogs are, but some of them are easier to train to use the litter box than others, for example. With that being said, Burmese cats are highly intelligent and you should have no problems teaching them to use the litter box or even understand other basic commands. And since they love to play, you may even be able to teach your Burmese cat to play fetch.

Grooming ✂️

Burmese cats require very little grooming other than what they do themselves. They have a very short coat and shed very little, so you don’t have to worry about regular brushing and de-shedding. Any shedding that your Burmese cat does will be seasonal so you may just have to be more diligent about brushing or cleaning hair off of furniture during certain times of the year. The best thing you can do for “grooming” a Burmese cat is to pet him or her regularly.

burmese cat lying on couch
Image By: Viacheslav Lopatin, Shutterstock

Health and Conditions 🏥

One of the biggest health concerns when it comes to Burmese cats is diabetes mellitus or feline diabetes. It’s thought that Burmese cats are affected four times more than other cats and that 10% of Burmese cats over the age of 8 will develop diabetes. It’s not clear why this is the case, but since being overweight is connected with feline diabetes, it’s important to make sure to feed your Burmese cat the appropriate amount of food since they already weigh more than other cats their size.

Other conditions that can affect Burmese cats include feline orofacial pain syndrome, which is a neuropathic pain disorder that can cause oral discomfort and tongue mutilation. The disease can be recurring and may even result in euthanasia if it gets too severe.

Hypokalemia is a genetic disorder affecting Burmese that can cause them to have trouble walking and holding their head correctly. It’s caused by low potassium levels and can be mild to severe but can be treated with potassium supplementation. Some minor conditions that may affect Burmese cats are obesity and separation anxiety.

Minor Conditions
  • Obesity
  • Separation anxiety
Serious Conditions
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Feline orofacial pain syndrome
  • Hypokalemia

Male vs. Female

The last decision you have to make is whether you want a male or female Burmese cat. The main difference between the two is their size, as males tend to get slightly larger than females and can weigh about a pound or two more. The only other difference is that males tend to be a bit more attention-seeking than females. But, whether you choose a male or a female Burmese cat, you’re still getting a cat that is highly affectionate and energetic.



3 Little-Known Facts About the Burmese Cat

1. They are the only cat breed in which the natural color is brown.

The first cat brought to America from Burma in the 1930s was a small female that was walnut brown in color. That’s why the walnut brown color (now known as sable) is still the most common color of Burmese cats today.

2. Despite being a distinct breed today, Burmese cats were originally bred with Siamese cats.

The small walnut brown cat that was originally brought over from Burma was bred with Siamese cats. This led the way to Burmese kittens being born in other colors more typical of Siamese cats rather than the traditional brown color, including some cats with colorpoints.  But only solid cats were selected to continue propagating the breed.  It took some time and controversy to have colors besides brown recognized, but eventually blue, champagne, and platinum colors became part of the breed standard.

3. There are two separate breeds of Burmese cats.

Despite many cat groups listing the Burmese cat as one breed, there are American and European Burmese cats. American Burmese cats are more rounded in appearance and have rounder eyes. European Burmese cats can also be found in a few more colors as well as have eyes that slant more toward their nose.

burmese peeking
Image By: AdinaVoicu, Pixabay


Final Thoughts

If you don’t want a boring cat, then a Burmese sounds like a good choice for you. These cats are perfect for families and people with other pets, including dogs, because they truly can get along with anyone who is willing to play with them and give them attention.

There are a few serious health problems that can affect Burmese cats, so regular screening from your veterinarian combined with feeding high-quality cat food is the best thing you can do to keep your cat healthy. But as long as you can provide your Burmese cat with attention and the right amount of exercise, he or she will fit right into your family and you may even find yourself wanting another one as well.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Ivanova N, Shutterstock

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