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Burmese Cat Characteristics

There are a number of Burmese cats characteristics that make them very popular as pets. They are a beautiful cat and are known for their intelligent and affectionate nature. Very much a “people cat”, Burmese cats seek out human company and are not usually very happy being left alone for long stretches of time.

Burmese cat characteristics

The name “Burmese” means fortunate, beautiful, and splendid in the Thai language, and is a very apt description of this lovely cat. The modern Burmese cat breed is split into two distinct sub-groups of cats: the British Burmese and the American Burmese. Modern Burmese cats are descended from the descendents of a female cat known as Wong Mau who was brought to America from Burma in 1930. Cat registries do not normally recognise the American and British Burmese cat as two separate groups, but occasionally the British Burmese is referred to as a European Burmese.

British Burmese cat characteristics mean they are more oriental in appearance when compared to their American cousins and they have a distinctly triangular face. American Burmese cats tend to be stockier and rounder all over. The Siamese influence is now considered a fault in showing circles, as is the stocky quality often seen in the American Burmese cat.

Burmese cat characteristics

When Burmese cats were first recognised as an official breed, they were predominantly a sable brown colour, but due to selective breeding practices, there are now a wide variety of other colours found. Different breed registries have different rules as to which colours are acceptable.

British Burmese cat characteristics – acceptable colours of Burmese cats

In the UK, the Governing Council of Cat Fancy accepts the following colours: brown, blue, chocolate, lilac, red, cream, brown tortoiseshell, chocolate tortoiseshell, lilac tortoiseshell, blue tortoiseshell. In the USA, different cat registries recognise different colours, and some only accept the first four colours. All Burmese cats should have darker shading on their back that gradually lightens up beneath the body. Spots and stripes are not allowed.

A relatively small cat, Burmese cats are usually weigh around 4-6 kilograms, although they can be heavier than they first appear due to their muscular frames. A Burmese cat will often live to about 16 or 18 years old, which is older than many other pedigree breeds of cat.

Burmese cats are known for being extremely vocal and they will often call to their owner. Their meow is softer than that of a Siamese cat, but can be just as persistent when they want attention.

They are a friendly cat and can be taught to fetch toys just like a dog. They enjoy being sociable and if allowed out, Burmese cats will soon seek out the company of other people to play with, which is a good reason to keep Burmese cats as house pets. They are good with children and dogs, and are happy to play and be played with, even when old age finally catches up on them.

Unlike some other breeds of cat, Burmese are not known for their aggressive qualities and are usually fairly passive in nature. However, they will defend themselves against attack, even when the opponent is considerably larger than they are!

4 Responses leave one →
  1. Thais Menges permalink
    June 14, 2012

    I do have allergies to cats but I have heard that the Burmese are low in that. Could you tell me if this is true or not. I love animals and last July we lost our little Pom, do to an illness. I have missed her so much and would love another animal.

    • rachel permalink*
      June 14, 2012

      Many people with cat allergies are more tolerant to Burmese cats, so you may be ok. But until you give it a go, you can’t be certain. Good luck!

  2. April 7, 2014

    I have a 2 year old Burmese that is dark chocolate brown she knows how to flush the toilet and go to the bathroom in the toilet she can open doors and open cabnits too

  3. Georgina Clinton permalink
    June 16, 2014

    Looking to adopt an adult Burmese cat as a companion for my Other wee female cat, who has a Burmese look to her she has a great nature, but would love a companion for her.

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