Origin and History
- The Burmese is one of the ancient breeds of cats as brown cats have been documented in the Cat-Book of Poems manuscript from Siam, now known as Thailand.
- They were believed to be kept by temple priests and worshiped as gods in Siam and Burma, now known as Myanmar.
- The Burmese are the offspring of the Siamese cat mating with the Copper cat called Supalak from Burma.
- The modern Burmese breed originated from one brown female cat named Wong Mau brought from Burma to the United States in 1930 and crossed with the seal-point Siamese.
- Years of selective breeding gave rise to the solid brown coat color called Sable making the Burmese a distinct breed.
- The Burmese cat is a medium sized cat with a compact but muscular body. This makes them heavy for their size.
- The average weight of the male is 4-6 kilograms while the female is 3-5 kilograms.
- The legs are slender with the back legs slightly shorter than the front. The paws are small and oval.
- The tail is medium length, straight and rounded at the end.
- The head is round continuing to a neck that is long and elegant and on to a rounded chest.
- The ears are medium-sized, set well apart with a wide base and rounded tips.
- The Burmese have large round eyes that are deep yellow to golden. The top line of the eyes slant towards the nose and the lower line is rounded.
- The coat is short, silky and shiny.
- There are four colors recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA): (1)Sable – solid dark brown; (2) Champagne – honey beige to pale gold-tan on the underside. Nose light brown and paw pads pinkish tan; (3) Platinum – pale silvery-gray with fawn undertones. Nose and paw pads lavender-pink; (4) Blue – medium gray with fawn undertones. Nose and paw pads slate gray.
Character and Personality
- Burmese cats, when treated right, are loyal to their owners.
- They are sociable and talkative with a loud voice but having a softer and sweeter tone than the Siamese.
- This breed loves attention to the point of being “needy”. They are happiest when sitting on laps.
- They are affectionate with children and friendly even towards strangers and other pets.
- The Burmese are one of the most intelligent cats. They are by nature curious and love to play interactive and mind challenging games.
- Being intelligent and loving attention, they can be easily taught to perform basic commands like sit, roll over and fetch as long as their owners give them plenty of praise.
- Burmese kittens are mischievous and hyperactive and most of them carry this behavior into adulthood.
- The Burmese does not need much grooming and bathed only when they get dirty.
- This breed, however, needs a lot of attention when it comes to oral health as they are predisposed to gum and tooth problems. They need daily tooth brushing at home and regular dental cleaning at the veterinarian’s office.
- The Burmese are also prone to developing lower urinary tract problems which may lead to fatal kidney disease when not managed properly. This can be prevented by encouraging the cat to drink enough water.
- This breed can adapt well to living both indoors and outdoors but keeping them indoors is preferable.
- The Burmese need humans who can interact and have time to spend with them.
- They are not suited to be left alone at home all day. In this case, the company of another pet is advantageous.
- The Burmese have a lifespan of about 10-16 years.
- Burmese kittens are born a coffee brown color and they become a dark solid brown, known as Sable, when they become adults.