The Burmese is a medium-sized cat with a round head and an elegant, well-muscled body. The breed is not as big and strong as the British shorthair, nor as elegant and delicate as the Siamese.


Breed Origin:
Life Span:
14 - 18+ years
Average Weight:
8 - 11 lbs
Hair Quantity:
General Health:

Origin and History

The Burmese cat is a breed of domestic cat that originated in Southeast Asia and is believed to have its roots in Burma (now Myanmar). The breed as known today was developed in the United States and the United Kingdom, with the American Burmese being slightly different in appearance from the British Burmese. The breed’s development started in the early 20th century when a small, brown female cat named Wong Mau, who was brought to the United States from Burma, was bred with a Siamese cat. Wong Mau was later identified as the first Burmese cat, and through selective breeding, the unique characteristics of the Burmese breed were established.


Burmese cats are medium-sized, with a compact and muscular body that gives them a surprising heft for their size. They have a distinctive short, glossy coat that is satin-like to the touch and comes in a range of colors. The traditional color is sable (a rich dark brown), but over time, other colors have been recognized, including champagne, blue, and platinum.

Their heads are rounded with a short muzzle, giving them a somewhat sweet, expressive face. One of the most striking features of the Burmese is their large, round eyes, which are typically gold or yellow in color, creating a sharp contrast with their coat. The breed has a strong bone structure, with proportionate legs and rounded paws, contributing to their overall appearance of being well-built and solid.

Personality and Temperament

Burmese cats are known for their outgoing, friendly, and people-oriented nature. They thrive on human companionship and are often described as “dog-like” in their tendency to follow their owners around, participate in activities, and greet guests. They are highly social and do not like being left alone for long periods, making them suitable for households where they will receive plenty of attention.

These cats are playful and retain their kitten-like energy and curiosity throughout their lives. They enjoy interactive play and can be trained to fetch toys and perform tricks. Burmese cats are also known for their vocal nature, often engaging in conversations with their owners with their soft, sweet voices.


Burmese cats are generally healthy, but they can be predisposed to certain genetic conditions. Some of the health issues that can affect the breed include hypokalemia, a condition characterized by low blood potassium levels, and cranial deformities in kittens. Additionally, they can be prone to gingivitis and other dental problems.

Responsible breeding practices are important to reduce the risk of genetic disorders, and regular veterinary check-ups can help ensure that Burmese cats lead long and healthy lives. Their lifespan typically ranges from about 15 to 18 years, with proper care.

Overall, the Burmese cat is a charming and affectionate breed, valued for its sociable temperament, striking appearance, and strong bond with humans. They make excellent companions for individuals and families alike, offering loyalty and entertainment in equal measure.

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