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Burmese Cat Behavioural Problems

Burmese cats are extremely intelligent cats, which can sometimes lead to Burmese cat behavioral problems. They can be a demanding breed of cat and they very much enjoy human interaction. Most Burmese cats live quite happily with their family and never cause any problems at all, but occasionally Burmese cat behavioural problems will become a real issue.

Burmese cat behavioural problems

Like other pedigree cat breeds, Burmese cats are sensitive to changes in their home environment and do not always adjust to new pets or babies very well, particularly if they have been the only pet for a long time. Burmese cat behavioral problems can take many forms. Some cats show aggression towards a new pet, whereas other will begin vigorously scent marking everything in sight.

At this point, you have two choices. You can either find a way of dealing with the problem, or find a new home for the cat. Obviously this is a last resort, but if the cat is showing jealous aggression towards a baby or young child, you will have no choice but to find a new home for it—the risk is too great.

Negative Burmese cat behavioural problems

One of the most common Burmese cat behavioural problems is scent marking. Many cats exhibit this behaviour as a response to the addition of a new cat or dog to the family. The Burmese cat will typically scent mark furniture or curtains in protest. Not only is cat urine extremely unpleasant, it is also very difficult to eradicate the smell due to its chemical composition.

Scratching furniture is another very undesirable trait. This can cause an enormous amount of damage and if you have expensive wooden furniture, you will naturally want to curtail such destructive Burmese cat behavioural problems.

Aggression towards the new pet or baby is a big problem. If the victim is another pet, the balance of power is very often shifted once the new pet is older and more able to defend itself, but if the target is a baby or young child, you have a serious problem.

All three problems can usually be cured by Feliway. This is a natural product designed to relieve stress in cats. Feliway is an artificially produced copy of a feline pheromone. A plug in Feliway diffuser disperses the liquid and within a short time, you should see a reduction in your cat’s behavioural problems.

Excessive meowing is a less serious problem, but annoying nonetheless. Burmese cats have a rather loud meow and can be quite demanding when they want attention. The usual solution is to ignore the excessive meowing until the cat learns that meowing is not rewarded with attention.

Serious Burmese cat behavioural problems

If the behavioural problem manifests itself as obsessive grooming leading to skin problems, you will need to seek the advice of your veterinarian.

Burmese cats are intelligent enough to train, so as long as you avoid rewarding negative behaviour with attention, you stand a very good chance of eliminating the problem with patience and persistence. Just remember, your cat cannot tell you when he or she is unhappy, so try and be understanding with your Burmese cat.

14 Responses leave one →
  1. Donna Greenaway permalink
    April 22, 2011

    I have a burmese kitten 6months old who every time he is picked up bites & tries to scratch. He has been well treated and looked after. He sometimes is almost feral. Very hyperactive.
    I have just about had enough. He has just been desexed.

    Any solution to this?

    Thank you

    • rachel permalink*
      June 26, 2011

      You could try using a product called “Feliway” (usually available from the vets). It is a natural product designed to prevent scratching and other problem behaviors.

  2. Leah permalink
    August 13, 2011

    Usually after cats have been desexed they may feel pain around the back of the body. He probly thinks your tring to hurt him, leave him awhile until he seems like he wants to be picked up.

  3. Terryn permalink
    September 1, 2011

    Give it time, we had a little burmese that went through that stage… drove my dad nearly nuts… they grow out of it though!

  4. m offen permalink
    November 9, 2011

    my son has 2 burmese cats (nearly 1 yr old). I have a young labrador dog, who is very gentle. One cat is gradually accepting him when we visit, the other is quite aggressive and spiteful, spitting and trying to swipe at him and stalks him continuously. We had hoped that they would get along, but the one is making my dog (3 yrs) very nervous indeed to the point that he does not want to be there. Any suggestions as to how we can improve on the one cats aggression – please. He is making life miserable for my lovely dog and myself.

    • rachel permalink*
      November 9, 2011

      For short durations, you could try separating the two pets to avoid any upset. The cat won’t be impressed, but the dog should settle better with no cat in the immediate vicinity. Alternatively, have you tried using “Feliway”? It is a natural product designed to prevent stress related behavior and can be bought from pet stores or your vet. Hopefully things will settle down in the long term – we had a Burmese that took around 6 months to accept a new kitten. It was not a pleasant 6 months!

  5. Pam permalink
    January 18, 2012

    My 5 year old Burmese cat middens. Unfortunately he’s been doing it for two years now since I left him at a cattery. I’ve tried feliway but it has not worked. Although he does appear to be a more confident cat. Is there any other way to stop middening?

    • rachel permalink*
      January 19, 2012

      Middening is very extreme behavior in a cat and a sign of anxiety and distress and it is pointless getting cross with the cat as this just makes the issue worse. After two years, it is going to be a hard habit to break. It might be an idea to try confining him to a very small area to see if he feels more secure and stops pooing outside of the litter tray. If this works, gradually extend the space he has to roam in. If you have carpets, he can probably smell the scent from previous accidents, no matter how well you clean up, so maybe replace carpets with hard flooring? Have you spoken to your vet about the problem?

  6. Chris permalink
    February 8, 2012

    I have 2, 3.5 year old Burmese neutered males who have been the closest of friends. They play together, sleep together, eat together, etc.. Yesterday they had a massive fight and I have separated them but I tried to reintroduce them and they fluff up their tails, flatten their ears, wail at each other and then start fighting again. I am at a bit of a loss. Any advice?

    • rachel permalink*
      February 8, 2012

      If your cats have previously been the best of friends, it’s probably only a temporary spat and unless you want to keep them permanently separated, you may have to let them get on with it until their issues have been resolved. My cats fight from time to time, but usually one eventually backs down and the equilibrium is restored…until the next time.

  7. Avi Mentha permalink
    April 17, 2012

    I have two burmese kittens (5 months), who have developed very naughty behaviour. I say them one day out the backyard running around crazy and then leaping onto the clothes on the clothesline and clawing their way up to the top. I was so surprised I just laughed instead of yelled. Now one of them (or both) are bringing home clothes, with pegs attached, that definately did not come from my line. Any ideas how I stop the thieving?? Thanks

  8. Marie permalink
    October 15, 2012

    I have two Burmese sisters who are now 10 years old. They both have sensitive stomachs and I feed them on the Royal Canin sensitive food. I have noticed lately they do not seem to be close and one is dominant over the other and can be aggressive toward her sister. About two years ago the dominant sister started pooping outside of her litter tray and it has got worse and worse over that time. It has now got to the point that I am thinking of having her rehomed. She will poop at least 10 times a day and I am cleaning it up from morning to night. Apart from it being extremely unhygienic my house is smelling of poop all the time. Ive tried changing the type of litter I use, Feliway, location of trays but nothing works. I have noticed that when she poops she will raise her backside and whine slightly. I have been to the vets with her because at times her poop has had blood and mucus but these very expensive tests have not shown anything conclusive. I now think the pooping is middening and she has behavioural problems. I really dont want to rehome her, but I think she would be better off in a home as an only cat with lots and lots of attention. Out of the two sisters she is the more demanding and intelligent. I have moved home twice since I got them, and think this may of upset the home balance but Im not sure. Can anyone give me any advice??? Thanks.

  9. Caitlin permalink
    July 16, 2013

    I have a burmese kitten with similar hyper, bit aggressive, and territorial aggression just starting now. I swear he doesn’t even seem to be interested in me or want affection, yet I thought these cats were supposed to be affectionate and people oriented. Any chance he will grow out of it?

  10. Diane Saunders permalink
    May 15, 2014

    Ive had my burmise for 12yrs now, she loved retreving matchboxes she gets annoyed now at the younger grandchildren, she is very affectionate licks and grooms me, has become very vocal in her dotagebut overall I have had 12 wonderful yrs and meny more I hope.

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