Pet Advisor Blog

Burmese Cat – Cat Breed Guide


The Burmese are a very old domesticated cat breed that is recognized as a pedigree by all major feline associations around the world. The Burmese cat is a different breed from the Birman or Sacred Cat of Burma.

The modern Burmese Cat breed has two lines, the Traditional and the Contemporary. This breed is also called by some breeders as American Burmese (these are the cats that are bred in America), British or English Burmese (these are cats bred in the United Kingdom) and European Burmese (a line that came from a pair of American Burmese but was later interbred with other European cats).

Official Name



Burmese Cats are not native of Burma. They originate from the land of Siam, the region of South East Asia that is now modern Thailand. They were only brought to Burma in 1766, after the Burmese-Siamese War where Burmese occupied the Siam.

Quick FAQs

Size: The Burmese are medium-sized domesticated felines that are substantially built.

Coat Type: Burmese cats have shorthair type of coats.

Body Type: Burmese cats have a moderate type of body.

Grooming Requirement: Burmese are shorthaired cats that will require little grooming attention

Vocal Tendency: Burmese cats are known to be vocal felines that will display average talkativeness.

Energy Levels: Burmese cats have very high energy levels.

Time Alone: Burmese cats will require 4 to 8 hours of alone time every day.

Care: Burmese cats need plenty of attention and can be a handful.

Recognized By

Australian Cat Federation Inc.
Cat Fanciers’ Association
Co-0rdinating Cat Council of Australia
Fédération Internationale Féline
Governing Council of the Cat Fancy
New Zealand Cat Fancy
Southern African Cat Council
The International Cat Association
World Cat Federation
Livre Officiel des Origines Félines
American Cat Fanciers Association
Cat Fanciers Federation
Cat Federation of Southern Africa
Canadian Cat Association
American Association of Cat Enthusiasts
Cat Aficionado Association


Burmese cats originally come from South East Asia, the region known as Siam or modern-day Thailand. Their precise origins are unclear, but Siamese arts depicted the breed as already existing as early as the 13th century. Illustrated poems written in the Siamese vernacular dating back during the Kingdom of Ayutthaya depicted three local cats the Vichien Mat which is the Siamese, the Si-Sawat or the modern-day Korat and the Thong Daeng which is the Burmese. They were brought to Burma sometime after the Burmese occupied Thailand after winning the Burmese–Siamese War.

The Burmese cat reached the Western Hemisphere during the 1930s by way of San Francisco, California. A single female specimen of this breed was brought to the United States by a retired Naval Doctor named Dr. Joseph Thompson. This single female was used to start the foundation stock of the modern Burmese cat breed.

The American Burmese shares its early history from the original Burmese cat breed. This particular Burmese breed was first developed in San Francisco, California during the 1930s. Pioneer breeding credits go to retired Naval Doctor named Dr. Joseph Thompson who imported the first specimen to the US. Dr. Thompson acquires the specimen from Burma, it was a brown coated female cat which he named Wong Mau. This cat is considered to be the ancestor of all modern Burmese cats.


People-oriented and very affectionate are just a couple of traits that the Burmese cat is famous around the world. These cats just love the company of their human owners. Some may say that the Burmese is a needy cat. They actually not that needy as some may say. They do require a lot of attention from their owners. Burmese are known to be talkative felines much like their Siamese cousins. But unlike the very loud and vocal Siamese breed, the Burmese have sweeter meows and purrs and will vocalize in a much lower volume. These are cats that will form strong bonds with their owners. They are also known to be very docile and well-behaved towards people, and will only be aggressive towards other cats that undermine them. The Burmese maybe medium in size but it is very muscular, heavy and powerful. They can easily defend themselves against larger opponents!


The Burmese cat is medium in size but has a good muscular physique and a substantial bone structure for its size. These cats have eyes that are expressive and a sweet facial expression that is distinct only to this breed.

The Burmese are a medium-sized cat that has a physique that is perfectly conditioned with noticeable muscle tones.

Burmese cats have medium-sized bodies that are muscular and compact. These cats have chests that are rounded in shape and ample in mass. The back area is well leveled from the cat’s shoulder down to its tail.

Head, Ears and Eyes
Burmese are cats with pleasingly rounded heads and no visible flat planes. These cats have medium-sized ears and are set apart and broad at the base and have rounded tips. The ears will be tilted slightly forward. These cats have large eyes that are set far apart and rounded.

Coat and Tail
Burmese cats have straight and medium length tails. These cats have fine and glossy looking coats that have a satin-like texture.

Burmese cats come in Sable, Champagne, Blue and Platinum colors.


The Burmese breeds are prone to diabetes and a genetic disease known as hypokalaemia.



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