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Burmese Cat Breed Profile

History of the Burmese cat:

Burmese catThe Burmese cat is named after its country of origin Burma (now known as Myanmar). The exact origins of the Burmese is shrouded in mystery. There is mention of a copper coloured cat in the ancient Thai Cat Book which was written during the Ayudhya Period, stretching from 1350 - 1767.

In 1930 Dr Joseph Thompson imported a small  brown coloured female cat by the name of Wong Mau to San Francisco. Wong Mau went on to be the "founding cat" for the Burmese breed as we know it.

A breeding programme was established in an attempt to produce offspring which bred true. Dr Thompson enlisted the help of Virginia Cobb (Newton cattery), Billie Gerst (Gerstdale cattery), and Dr Clyde E. Keeler. Wong Mau was bred to a Seal Point Siamese called Tai Mau in 1932 and the resulting litter consisted of two colours, some just like Siamese kittens and brown kittens with darker points (like Wong Mau). Wong Mau was mated to a son from this litter (Yen Yen Mau) and this litter contained three colours, again, some like Siamese kittens, brown kittens (again like Wong Mau), and dark brown kittens. The dark brown offspring did indeed breed true and became the foundation cats of the Burmese breed. Wong Mau continued to produce kittens with three colour variations and it is now accepted that Wong Mau was, in fact, a Siamese x Burmese hybrid.

Appearance of the Burmese cat:

Burmese catSometimes described as "a brick wrapped in silk",  the Burmese is a medium sized cat, with a  well-muscled, athletic body.

The head is wedge-shaped, with a strong lower jaw and chin, a distinct nose break and medium sized ears. The eyes are a beautiful golden colour, large and widely spaced.

The coat is short, silky and close lying with almost no undercoat. Burmese come in a number of colours including Brown (also known as Sable), Chocolate, Lilac, Blue, Red, Cream, Brown tortie, Chocolate tortie, Lilac tortie, Blue tortie, Red tortie and Cream tortie.  

Females are smaller than males with males weighing between 4-5 kg and females 3-4kg.

Burmese  cat temperament:

Burmese cats are laid back, social, intelligent, gentle and extremely sweet natured cats. They tend to be less vocal than Siamese cats. They enjoy company and don't like to be alone for extended periods of time.

Burmese are playful cats, especially when they are younger but love nothing more than sleeping on their human companion's lap. They will follow you around the house all day long, hoping to get a pat or stroke. They get along with everyone, including children and other pets. They are an exceptional family pet.

Burmese cat colours:



Brown (Sable) Burmese

Chocolate Burmese



Lilac Burmese

Blue Burmese



Red Burmese

Cream Burmese

Blue Tortie

Brown Tortie (sitting) Chocolate Tortie (lying)

Blue Tortie Burmese

Lilac Tortie

Lilac Tortie

Special requirements:

Burmese cats are low maintenance. A weekly groom will help remove loose hairs but this can also be achieved by regular stroking and petting.

Suitable for:

Everyone. Burmese cats are very friendly and people oriented. They thrive on the company of others and make an ideal family pet. If you are away from the home for long periods of time it is recommended you get two Burmese to keep each other company. Male Burmese cats are very smoochy and affectionate, females are too, but a little more independent.


14-16 years.

Also see:

Burmese cat breeders   Cat Breeds