Every Burmese in the world shares a single ancestor, the chocolate-colored Wong Mau. (No records remain about this cat's political leanings, but we assume all cats secretly harbor socialist leanings.) This world-traveler originally hails from Southeast Asia, and is even mentioned in a Thai poem from the 11th century. Burmese are close cousins with the Siamese, and were once known as “Chocolate Siamese” in Britain. But they're a bit hardier than Siamese are. While they look silky, they're surprisingly hefty—kind of like a silk-wrapped brick.
Burmese love to be wherever you are, and these chatty kitties will definitely keep you updated about whatever's on their minds. This breed is so laid back she'll even let your kid dress her up in doll clothes, but this is surely beneath a Burmese's dignity.
This breed can grow to between 8-12 pounds and lives an average of 15-20 years. (One Burmese in Australia lived to be 24!)
Did someone say “toy?” Yes, please!
I looooove being with you
I'm a chatty catty
You can SEE me thinking
I mostly groom myself
Call me Fido
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS THE BURMESE'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
Burmese are brilliant, playful, and love to make you laugh. They're devoted to their people and want as much time with you as possible. This is a very social breed, so if you're out of the house a lot, you might consider getting your Burmese a furry friend to keep her company. She gets along well with dogs, other cats, and children.
WHAT IS BURMESE BEHAVIOR LIKE?
Oh, were you reading that? Too bad—your Burmese's butt needs to go on that paper/book/laptop. Right Now. This is an active breed that retains a lot of kittenish energy into their adult years.
The Burmese's voice sounds raspy—they're sort of the Kathleen Turner of cats. They're not as chatty as, say, a Siamese, but if they're feeling some sort of way, you're going to hear about it.
HOW CAN I KEEP MY BURMESE ENTERTAINED?
A Burmese will happily play fetch with you and also enjoys learning tricks. Offer her high perches and scratching posts.
CARE & HEALTH
WHAT DO BURMESE LOOK LIKE AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
With those big round eyes, Burmese look so innocent! If something gets knocked over, she's certain the dog did it. Compactly built and athletic, this is a muscular breed.
They have satiny short coats that don't need much grooming—just petting them thoroughly every day will help their fur stay shiny. It's a win-win!
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO BURMESE HAVE?
Though generally healthy, Burmese can have urinary issues, glaucoma, cranial deformities, or increased sensitivity in response to pain or touch. Keep an eye on their teeth as well—this cat can be prone to gingivitis.
Remember that cats often hide disease symptoms! It's important to bring your furry friend in for veterinary checkups at least once a year.
ARE BURMESE GOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES?
Burmese aren't among the breeds generally recommended for allergy sufferers.
Remember that no breed is 100% hypoallergenic, and any breed can aggravate allergies. You can reduce your furry friend's impact on your allergies with daily brushings. This will reduce pet dander and loose hair floating through the air. (Bonus: think of the money you'll save on lint rollers.) If your pet allergies are mild, a regular grooming session could have a big impact on your quality of life with your pet.
WHAT IS MY BURMESE'S BEST DAY?
Your Burmese will enjoy outsmarting puzzle toys, cuddling on your lap, and telling you about her day. You might think about setting up a toy treasure hunt around the house: hide your kitty's favorite toys in different spots (maybe stash a ping-pong ball in the tub?) and consider a well-placed catnip mouse to pique your furry friend's interest.
SHOULD I ADOPT A BURMESE?
I mean, only if you want a soft, loving friend who wants to sit in your lap and bask in your affections. (Who wouldn't love a Burmese?) They'll fit best in households looking for a constant feline companion. If you're looking for a sleek, silky shadow, the Burmese is for you.
Have you decided that a Burmese is the purr-fect cat for you? Why not be your new best friend's hero and adopt a rescue! Be sure to check out our article on what to expect when you're adopting a dog or cat.