The Burmese is a strong, sporty cat that holds a surprising amount of weight considering its size.
Burmese coats are short, silky, and very low-maintenance. Despite their relative heaviness, they are elegant and graceful cats with strong muscles and good bone structure. They come in a variety of colours, including sable, champagne, platinum and blue. They have wide-set, large eyes ranging between yellow and amber.
Burmese cats can weigh up to 5.5 kg and can live beyond the age of 15 years old.
BURMESE CAT HISTORY
The Burmese Cat originated in Burma (known today as Myanmar), though its exact origins are not known for sure. There is a mention of a copper-coloured Burmese-like cat in the ancient Thai Cat Book, written between 1350 and 1767.
The modern cat was founded by Dr Joseph Thompson in 1939 who imported a small, brown female cat to San Francisco. This cat, named Wong Mau, was bred with a Seal Point Siamese and their offspring were the ancestors of the modern Burmese breed.
The breed was developed in Britain in the late 19th century but eventually died out, before experiencing a revival in the 1950s.
As of 2013, according to the Cat Fanciers Association, the Burmese ranks as the 16th most popular breed of cat.
BURMESE CAT TEMPERAMENT
Burmese Cats, like their Siamese ancestors, are intelligent and social cats, though tend to be less talkative than Siamese. They are very playful cats and love being around their family. Almost like dogs, Burmese cats want to be involved in every aspect of their owners’ lives – they’ll follow you around while you do chores, cook meals and watch television. They have been known to even win over “dog people” because of their tendency to shower guests with attention and affection.
They don’t do well when left alone for a long time, unless they have another pet to keep them company. They get along well with children and other pets and make great companions for the whole family.
COMMON BURMESE CAT DISEASES & CONDITIONS
- Lipemia of the Aqueous Tumor
This refers to a milky appearance on a kitten’s eyes which will usually resolve by itself.
- Corneal Dermoid
Corneal dermoid refers to skin and/or hair which grows over the surface of the cornea. It can be corrected with surgery.
- Orofacial Pain Syndrome
When the cat is stressed, it may experience pain in its face and will lick, chew, or paw at the mouth frequently to try and reduce the discomfort. The cause is unknown, but medication can be prescribed to help manage the pain, and some cats may be made to wear collars to prevent them from hurting their faces.
- Congenital Peripheral Vestibular Disease
This is characterised by poor balance, head tilting, rapid eye movement, lack of coordination and possibly deafness in kittens.
- Burmese Head Defect
Burmese head defect is a craniofacial deformity causing incomplete or abnormal formation of the skull. It drastically reduces the quality of life of the cat. Carriers of the defective gene should not be bred.
- Hypokalaemic Polymyopathy
Hypokalaemic polymyopathy is a muscle weakness resulting from a lack of potassium in the blood. Symptoms include weakness, stiffness in the legs, reluctance to walk and tremors. It can be treated with potassium supplements.
- Flat-Chested Kitten Syndrome
This is a deformity which can prevent the development of the chest/ribcage. Kittens who survive into adulthood generally show no signs.
- Other Issues
Burmese cats may also be prone to kinked tail (a tailbone deformity which does not cause pain or discomfort), elbow osteoarthritis, endocardial fibroelastosis (a heart condition causing a thickening of the left ventricle and stretching the heart), dilated cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart) and diabetes.
INTERESTING BURMESE CAT FACTS
- The Thai name for the Burmese Cat translates to “beautiful, fortunate and of splendid appearance”.
- Burmese are sometimes referred to as a “brick wrapped in silk” due to their stocky yet delicate form.
- Male and female Burmese Cats can tend to be quite different. Females are very curious, active and emotional, while males are more relaxed and lazy.
Burmese Cat Society of Australasia: http://www.burmese.asn.au/
Burmese Rescue Australia: https://www.facebook.com/BurmeseRescue/
Burmese Cat Pet Insurance Quote
Getting pet insurance for your Burmese Cat will help ensure you can always afford the best vet care for them. Bow Wow Meow offers a range of flexible pet insurance options including cover for accidental injury, illness and routine care.
Wondering how much it would cost to insure your Burmese Cat if you got one? It’s quick and easy to get a pet insurance quote.
(Note: cats must be over 8 weeks old to take out insurance, so please enter a birth date to reflect this when getting an indicative quote.)