Burmese Cat: Breed Profile and Care Advice

| Updated: April 16, 2023
Burmese Cat blue eyes peering over plants

If you are looking for a cat that is loyal, loving, and lively, you might want to consider the Burmese cat breed. These cats are known for their silky coats, expressive eyes, and outgoing personalities. They are also one of the oldest and most popular cat breeds in the world.

If you are interested in Burmese cats, you should know some facts about their origin, characteristics, personality, health, care, and more. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about the Burmese cat breed.

Breed Overview

Personality Friendly, affectionate, sociable with other animals, playful
Weight Up to 14 pounds
Length Up to 18 inches
Coat Length Short hair
Coat Colors Sable, champagne, platinum, blue, and variations of each
Coat Patterns Solid
Eye Color Gold
Lifespan Up to 18 years
Hypoallergenic No
Origin Myanmar (Burma)
Good with Kids High
Good with Other Pets High

History of the Burmese Cat

The Burmese cat breed originated in Southeast Asia, where they were revered as sacred animals in temples and palaces. The first Burmese cat to be brought to the West was a female named Wong Mau, who was imported to the United States by a sailor in 1930. She was bred with a Siamese cat and produced kittens that had the same dark brown coat as her. These kittens were the foundation of the American Burmese breed.

In Europe, however, the Burmese breed developed differently. Some British breeders crossed the Burmese with other breeds, such as Persian and British Shorthair, to create a more rounded and stocky appearance. These cats became known as the European Burmese and are recognized as a separate breed by some cat associations.

Today, both the American and European Burmese are popular and beloved pets around the world. They come in a variety of colors, such as blue, red, lilac, cream, and tortoiseshell, besides the original sable brown.

Burmese cat relaxing eyes closed
Photo: Pixabay


The Burmese cat breed is a medium-sized cat with a muscular and compact body. They weigh between 6 to 12 pounds and have a lifespan of 15 to 18 years. Their coat is short, fine, and glossy and requires minimal grooming. Their eyes are large, round, and expressive, ranging from yellow to green in color. Their ears are medium-sized and slightly tilted forward. Their tail is medium-long and tapered at the end.

The main difference between the American and European Burmese is their head shape. The American Burmese has a more angular and wedge-shaped head, while the European Burmese has a more rounded and domed head. Both types have a distinctive “Burmese look” that sets them apart from other breeds.

To identify a purebred Burmese cat from a mixed breed or a similar-looking cat, you should look for their pedigree papers or consult a reputable breeder or vet. Some cats may look like Burmese but have different genetic backgrounds or characteristics.


The Burmese cat breed is known for its affectionate, intelligent, and playful personality. They are very social and love to interact with humans and other animals. They are not shy or aloof but rather curious and adventurous. They enjoy being involved in everything that their owners do and will follow them around the house. They also like to talk and will communicate with their owners with a soft and sweet voice.

The Burmese cat breed is not a couch potato but rather an active and energetic cat. They love to play with toys, chase feathers, climb trees, and explore new places. They are also very smart and can learn tricks or commands easily. They can even be trained to walk on a leash or use a litter box.

To socialize and train a Burmese cat, you should start from an early age and use positive reinforcement methods. You should expose them to different people, animals, sounds, and situations gradually and gently. You should also reward them with praise, treats, or toys when they behave well or learn something new. You should avoid scolding or punishing them as they may become fearful or resentful.


The Burmese cat breed is generally healthy and robust but may be prone to some health issues and genetic disorders that affect their breed. Some of these include:

  • Diabetes: A condition that affects the blood sugar levels of the cat and may cause symptoms such as increased thirst, urination, appetite, weight loss, lethargy, etc. It can be managed with insulin injections or oral medications.
  • Hypokalemia: A condition that causes low levels of potassium in the blood of the cat and may cause symptoms such as muscle weakness, tremors, difficulty walking, etc. It can be treated with potassium supplements or dietary changes.
  • Craniofacial defect: A condition that causes abnormal skull development in some kittens of the European Burmese breed and may result in deformities or death. A recessive gene causes it and can be prevented by testing the parents and avoiding inbreeding.
  • Other health issues: The Burmese cat breed may also be susceptible to other health issues that affect cats in general, such as dental problems, kidney disease, respiratory infections, parasites, etc. These can be prevented or treated with regular vet visits, vaccinations, deworming, etc.

To prevent or treat these conditions, you should take your Burmese cat to the vet at least once a year for a check-up and follow their recommendations. You should also monitor your cat’s health and behavior and report any signs of illness or distress to your vet as soon as possible. You should also provide your cat with a balanced and high-quality diet, fresh water, and supplements as needed.

Care Advice


The Burmese cat breed is easy to care for and does not require much grooming. Their coat is short and smooth and does not shed much. You should brush their coat once a week with a soft-bristled brush to remove any loose hair or dirt. You should also bathe them occasionally with a mild shampoo or wipe them with a damp cloth to keep them clean.

You should also trim their nails every few weeks with a cat nail clipper or file to prevent them from growing too long or sharp. You should also clean their ears once a week with a cotton ball or swab moistened with a gentle ear cleaner to remove any wax or debris. You should also check their eyes regularly and wipe them with a damp cloth if they are watery or crusty.

Lifestyle Needs

The Burmese cat breed is best suited for an indoor lifestyle as they are not adapted to harsh weather or predators. They are also very attached to their owners and may suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for too long. You should provide them with a safe and comfortable living environment and enrichment to keep them happy and healthy.

Cute Burmese cat kitten lays down in a furry igloo looking at camera, very playful.
Photo: frankiefotografie/ Gettyimages

You should provide them with a cozy bed, a scratching post, a litter box, and toys to play with. You should also spend time with them every day and play with them, cuddle them, or talk to them. You should also stimulate their mind and challenge their skills by teaching them tricks or providing them with puzzle toys or interactive games.

Diet and Nutrition

You should also feed your Burmese cat according to their age, weight, activity level, and health condition. You should consult your vet for the best type and amount of food for your cat and follow their guidelines. You should also avoid giving your cat any human food or treats that may be harmful or toxic to them. You should also make sure they have access to fresh water at all times.

Where to buy

The Burmese cat breed is not very common and may be hard to find in some areas. However, there are some reputable breeders and organizations that can help you locate a healthy and well-bred Burmese kitten or cat.

The average price of a Burmese kitten from a breeder ranges from $500 to $1000, depending on the color, quality, and location. The price may also vary depending on the demand and availability of the breed. You should expect to pay more for a show-quality kitten or a rare color.

The average price of adopting a Burmese cat from a shelter or rescue group ranges from $50 to $200, depending on the age, condition, and location. The price may also include spaying or neutering, vaccinations, microchipping, and other services. You should consider adopting a Burmese cat if you want to give a second chance to a homeless or abandoned cat.

Some resources to find a Burmese cat for sale are:

  • The Cat Fanciers’ Association: This is the world’s largest registry of pedigreed cats. They provide information on Burmese breed standards, characteristics, and history. They also have a breeder referral service that can help you find a Burmese breeder in your area.
  • The International Cat Association: This is another major registry of pedigreed cats. They also provide breed information and maintain a list of breeders, which may be more expansive in other countries.


The Burmese cat breed is a wonderful companion for anyone who is looking for a loyal, loving, and lively pet. They are beautiful cats with silky coats, expressive eyes, and outgoing personalities. They are also healthy cats that require minimal grooming and care.

More Cat Breeds

If you are interested in other cat breeds similar to the Burmese, check out:


Q: What is the difference between American and European Burmese cats?

A: The main differences are their head shape and body type. The American Burmese has a more angular and wedge-shaped head, while the European Burmese has a more rounded and domed head. The American Burmese has a slender and elegant body, while the European Burmese has a sturdier and more muscular body.

Q: What colors do Burmese cats come in?

A: Burmese cats come in a variety of colors, such as sable, blue, champagne, platinum, red, cream, lilac, and tortoiseshell. However, some cat associations only recognize the four original colors: sable, blue, champagne, and platinum.

Q: How much do Burmese cats cost?

A: The average cost of a Burmese kitten from a breeder ranges from $500 to $1000, depending on the color, quality, and location. The average cost of adopting a Burmese cat from a shelter ranges from $50 to $200, depending on age, condition, and availability.

Q: Are Burmese cats hypoallergenic?

A: No, Burmese cats are not hypoallergenic. They still produce allergens such as dander and saliva that can trigger allergic reactions in some people. However, they may be less likely to cause allergies than other breeds because they have short, smooth coats that do not shed much.

Q: Do Burmese cats get along with other pets and children?

A: Yes, Burmese cats are very social and friendly cats that can get along well with other pets and children. They are not aggressive or territorial but rather curious and playful. They enjoy being part of the family and will bond with anyone who gives them attention and affection. However, they may not be suitable for homes with very young or rough children who may hurt them unintentionally.

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