Burmese Cat – A Brick Wrapped in Silk

Burmese is a domestic cat breed that originated from Thailand. It is often described as a “brick wrapped in silk” because of its solid and muscular body. But even though it is a heavy cat, it does not preclude it from being active and acrobatic. This cat breed descends from a single cat named Wong Mau, which was brought back from Burma by a sailor. It was then crossbred with a seal-point Siamese. Let us know more about the history and characteristics of the Burmese cat breed.


The Burmese cat breed descends from Wong Mau, a sing chocolate-colored cat that was brought back from Burma by a sailor sometime in the 1920s or 1930s. Wong Mau was later on passed on to a Siamese breeder named Dr. Joseph Thompson. He was intrigued by the small chocolate-brown cat with the darker brown points, therefore, he began a breeding program by using seal-point Siamese because he did not have any access to other cats of Wong Mau’s type.

Through the breeding program, Wong Mau produced some kittens that looked like Siamese and others looked like herself. She was later mated with one of her kittens and she produced another litter which resulted in kittens with three looks such as Siamese, dark brown with points like Wong Mau, and dark brown with no points. Those brown ones with no markings became the foundation of what we know now as the Burmese.

Later on, breeding produced kittens in colors chocolate, blue, and lilac in addition to the original sable. In 1936, the Cat Fanciers Association began registering the Burmese in their studbook, but it wasn’t until 1957 when the breed became fully recognized. It was because the Cat Fanciers Association suspended the registration of Burmese from 1947 to 1953 until breeders stopped crossing Burmese with Siamese.

In the present time, the Burmese cat breed is recognized by all major cat registries and it is a popular breed among cat lovers.This cat breed has also been instrumental in developing the Bombay and the Burmilla cat breeds, among others.

Characteristics of a Burmese Cat

Average weight:8 – 12 pounds

Life Span:10 – 16 years

Hypoallergenic: Yes

The Burmese cat is medium-sized which is compact but is very muscular with heavy boning. When you pick it up, it feels considerably heavier than it appears. It has a rounded head, large, expressive eyes in gold or yellow, and medium-sized ears that are rounded at the tips and tilt forward slightly.

The coat of a Burmese cat is short and satiny. The coat of a kitten darkens as it matures. The traditional sable has a rich, warm brown color and its nose is leather while its paw pads are brown. Champagne-colored ones have a warm honey-beige shading to a pale gold-tan on the underside. It has a leather light warm brown nose and warm pinkish tan paw pads. Blue Burmese has a medium-blue coat and slate gray leather nose and paw pads. Platinum Burmese has a pale silver-gray coat with light fawn undertones. It has a leather nose and pretty lavender-pink paw pads. Aside from these colors, some associations permit others such as tortoiseshell, lilac, and red.

The Burmese is an energetic and friendly cat. It is also highly intelligent and it always seeks out human companionship. This means that it is not suited in a home where it will be left alone much of the day. It is also a curious type of cat so you can expect it to explore your home thoroughly and know all of your house’s nooks and crannies. It is also playful, allowing you to tease its clever mind with interactive toys and teach it tricks as well.

This cat breed is somewhat clingy to its human and it will want to be involved in everything you do. This means that it will also sleep on the bed with you and may even snuggle under the covers. Whenever you sit down, it will be on your lap or right next to you, waiting to be petted. When you have a female Burmese, it will ask for more attention because males are more restful compared to them.

When it comes to living in a household with children, the active and social Burmese is a perfect choice. It can play fetch and can learn tricks easily, and it will definitely love the attention given by children. It can also live peacefully with other cats and dogs.

Caring for a Burmese Cat

Burmese kittens

The Burmese cat has a satiny coat that does not shed much, meaning, it is easy to groom with weekly brushing. To help remove loose hair and distribute skin oils and make the coat shine, use a rubber curry brush. Then, give it a final polish by using a soft chamois. A bath is also rarely necessary for this cat breed.

The other only grooming this cat needs are regular nail trimming which is usually weekly, and ear cleaning whenever its ears look dirty. You can also brush its teeth frequently to avoid periodontal disease. Always keep your Burmese’s litter box spotlessly clean because they are particular about bathroom hygiene.

When it comes to food, Burmese cats need certain types of nutrients to avoid health issues like eye conditions and heart disease. It’s important to always give your pet plenty of natural meat sources because it is a natural carnivore and requires certain amino acids found in meat products. Remember to feed it the right amount of food as well because it is prone to obesity as it grows older. Always provide your Burmese cat fresh water daily as well to keep it hydrated. If you’re not sure about what kinds of food to give your pet, it’s better to consult your local veterinarian about it.

To keep your Burmese safe, it’s a good idea to keep it as an indoor-only cat. This will prevent it from being attacked by dogs and other animals outside, acquiring diseases from other cats, and as well as from being hit by a car.

The Burmese cat is indeed a lovable pet that is well suited to any home with people that will love it and give it the attention and care it needs.