The Burmese cat is often described as the ideal cat for people who think they don’t like cats. This breed has dog-like tendencies, and they are fantastic companions. The Burmese is outgoing, friendly, and playful, making them a delight to have at your home. If you are interested in the breed, or you’re thinking about bringing one home, here are the most important things you should know about this cat breed.
Burma (now Myanmar)
There are a few stories regarding the Burmese cat, but most of its history is well-known. Their ancestors are the Siamese and the “copper cat” of Burma, kept mainly by priests in temples. The cat’s job was to control vermin, like rats and mice.
In the beginning, the Burmese cats were mistaken for chocolate Siamese cats. That was not uncommon in the Siamese breed, and they were even described in the 1880s. Dr. Joseph Thompson got a small, dark-brown cat named Wong Mau and used her as the breeding foundation for the new breed. Wong Mau is now credited for creating the Burmese and the Tonkinese breeds. Dr. Thompson paired his cat to a seal-point Siamese and produced kittens with beige, brown, and pointed coats. He developed a breeding program alongside breeders Virginia Cobb and Billie Gerst and geneticist Clyde Keeler. They are all credited with the creation of the modern-day Burmese cat.
Cat Breed Characteristics
It is not enough to breed any two cats together and claim you have created a new cat breed. For a breed to achieve the status of a pureblooded breed, it needs to consistently pass physical characteristics to its offspring. Here are the most important characteristics of Burmese cats.
These cats have a soft, short coat that is reasonably easily recognizable. Breed standards describe this cat’s fur as short, delicate, and glossy. These cats don’t have an undercoat, so tangles and mats are pretty rare.
Another thing that is pretty consistent within a breed is coat color. The Burmese cats come in several colors and color combinations. The original breed color is dark brown, but modern-day Burmese standard defines solid brown, lilac, red and cream, chocolate, blue, as well as the tortoiseshell pattern on a base of brown, chocolate, blue or lilac.
The Burmese is a medium-sized cat that can reach a weight of 8 - 15 pounds. These cats are usually 15 - 18 inches long, not including the tail.
As we already briefly mentioned, a breed should pass consistent characteristics to its offspring. That is true for temperaments as well. The temperament that describes the Burmese cat is a friendly one. These cats are people-oriented, playful, and outgoing. These cats love having human company and are not the ideal choice for owners who have busy working schedules and leave their cats alone for long periods. The Burmese are also fairly intelligent, so owners can easily teach them tricks.
No matter what cat you have at home, you should know they are prone to specific health issues. Unfortunately, the Burmese is prone to diseases from both sides of the family. This doesn’t mean the cat will necessarily develop any of these conditions. Still, it is a good idea to keep an eye on early warnings or signs. Here are those health conditions;
- Corneal dermoid - Skin and hair under the cornea
- Congenital peripheral vestibular disease - Affects the cat’s balance and movement.
- Lipemia of the aqueous humor - Milky appearance during kittenhood.
- Orofacial pain syndrome - The eruption of the second teeth causes extreme discomfort, and young cats tear themselves to relieve the pain.
- Diabetes Mellitus - Increased risk of diabetes.
- Flat-chested kitten syndrome - This is a disorder in cats wherein kittens develop a compression of the thorax caused by lung collapse.
World Cat Finder Team