Photo by Stéphane Giner

Burmese - breed profile:

Origin: Burma, Thailand

Colours: brown, blue, lilac, red, chocolate, cream, brown tortie, blue tortie, chocolate tortie, lilac tortie
Size: Medium to large
Coat Type(s): Shorthair
Grooming: Little
Talkativeness: Vocal
Activity Level: Very high
Attention Requirement: High
Overall: Can be a handful

Burmese cats will want to participate in everything that is going on around.
Breed video: Burmese Cat Playing Fetch

This shorthair breed is often confused with the Birman cat. However, these breeds are absolutely different whether we speak of their appearance or character.

Physical characteristics

Burmese cats are medium-sized, strong, athletic and elegant. They have a very compact built with a good bone structure. "Brick wrapped in silk", - this is how the Burmese cat is sometimes called for a surprisingly heavy weight for its size. Adult males weigh 8 to 12 pounds; adult females weigh 6 to 10 pounds. Nonetheless, these cats are very nimble. Adult males are rather large while females look more delicate and graceful.
Burmese cats have a small round head and wide-set expressive eyes which are generally yellow or golden. A Burmese's tail is tapered.


These cats have a very friendly, inquisitive, interactive and loving nature. As well as the Bengal and Ocicat, Burmese cats are considered to have the dog spirit in a cat's body. They may fetch; they may greet you at the door when you come home. These cats will want to participate in everything that is going on around. They are alert, curious, intelligent, interfering and gregarious. Burmese cats love to explore the environment. They will gladly jump on the top of a door and surprise unwary visitors. A Burmese cat has never known a closed door that it didn't try to open. They are very sensitive to the mood of their owners. Dealing with a Burmese, you have to be obstinate because these cats may rule their families easily without any efforts.
Usually Burmese cats are good for families with children and old people, but if you want a less interactive pet, the Burmese is not the right choice. The social nature of these cats does require human and feline company. Toys cannot become a substitute. So it is very important that, when the owner is at work, to have two or more Burmese kittens so they could keep each other entertained. Burmese cats are able to defend themselves quite well against other cats, even against larger ones. Burmeses are as vocal as the Siamese but have softer, sweeter and nicer "meows".A happy Burmese becomes a blessing to the home; an unhappy one may cause disruption to the household.

Coat and grooming

Burmeses' colouration comprises ten main colours: brown, blue, lilac, red (tangerine), chocolate, cream, brown tortie, blue tortie, chocolate tortie, and lilac tortie. The brown is the original Burmese color. Brown tortie and chocolate tortie have shades of the red colour. Blue tortie and lilac tortie have shades of the cream colour. Burmese cats have neither barring nor spotting.
Burmese kittens by fenlandsnapper

These cats have very short coats. Their fur is usually even, fine, tight-lying, glossy, and satin-like in texture. Generally, Burmese cats require little grooming other than daily petting. Self-grooming is quite fine for them.


This is a quite healthy breed. However, Burmese cats are considered more prone to developing so called "Cherry Eye" than most other cat breeds.
Burmese cats may live up to 18 years.

Other interesting facts

- This breed was once known as the Chocolate Siamese in England, but since there was a time of disfavour for cats, the Chocolate Siamese died out from Europe little by little.
- Some people split Burmese cats into two subgroups: the American Burmese and the British Burmese. However, the majority of cat registries do not recognize that approach.
- Mixing a Burmese with a Persian generated a new breed named Burmilla.