Burmese Cat Breed: Information, Origin, and Health

Burmese cats are well-known for their dog-like personalities and their extroverted temperament. This breed is a common pet for people who claim not to like cats but cannot help but to love this breed. 

This breed has muscular and compact bodies with a silky coat. They have a short-hair, sleek coat and are in the common colors of their coat include dark brown, champagne, blue, and platinum. Burmese have expressive, large, and round eyes. Their ears are rounded towards the tips and lean a bit forward. Burmese eyes are usually golden or yellow. 


Quick facts about the Burmese

Weight: 8 to 12 pounds Height: 9 to 13 inches
Life span: 10 to 16 years
Intelligence: high Temperament: social | affectionate
Playfulness: high Activity level: active
Vocalness: frequent Coat length: short
Shedding amount: seasonal
Good with: kids | seniors | dogs | other cats | families
Traits: Burmese cats are known for their sweet and gentle demeanor. They are easy to groom and friendly towards humans, other pets, and strangers. They make for a great first-time pet owner’s pet because they are the perfect balance of independent and loving.

Burmese have oval-shaped paws, and their paw pads are typically pink, red, lilac, or tortoise-shell. Their legs can be short and in proportion to their bodies, but some Burmese may have longer front legs than their back legs. Their tails are medium and have a rounded tip. The weight of an adult female Burmese is typically between 6 and 8 pounds but can exceed up to 12 pounds. While adult male Burmese often weigh between 8 and 10 pounds. 

You will only need to brush a Burmese once a week; this is just to maintain the cat’s coat and remove dead hairs. It is recommended to brush your Burmese teeth daily; however, once a week can also be sufficient. Ears should be wiped weekly, and when their eyes have tear stains, these should be wiped off with a damp cloth. 

Burmese is a great choice for families with kids and other pets that are cat-friendly. This breed is very sociable, friendly, and intelligent. They enjoy the company of humans or other animals. 


You do not need to have a very large home for a Burmese to be able to live comfortably. However, these cats are quite athletic and will need enough space to do regular exercise. As long as you give your Burmese enough attention and regular exercise, it will be comfortable in your home. 

Burmese are the descendants of a mixture of Siamese cats and Burma cats who are more popularly known as Myanmar’s. Burmese officially made their appearance approximately in 1936.

The personality traits of Burmese include being very sociable animals, they enjoy the attention of people, and having a companion. Burmese do also enjoy sitting on their companion’s lap or next to them. They are energetic, playful as well as intelligent. This breed will need regular mental stimulation through playing games like fetch. 

There is a wide range of health issues that Burmese may be prone to. These health issues include head defects, corneal dermoid, kinked-tail, heart disease, and more. 


  • Playful and sociable temperaments
  • Only require weekly brushes
  • Intelligent


  • Require a lot of attention
  • Prone to many health issues


Burma (Myanmar)


Dr. Adedapo Adisa:

Despite having numerous variants, such as the American Burmese, the European Burmese, and even the British Burmese, the Burmese cat breed has its origin rooted in Burma in Asia.

Known to have reasonably good health and an average life expectancy ranging from 10-16 years, the Burmese cats, albeit healthy, have certain health conditions linked with the breed.

A few health issues owners of the Burmese cat breed should be aware of include; Diabetes mellitus, commonly found in the European Burmese variants. Another health issue is the Feline orofacial pain syndrome (FOPS), and lastly, Genetic hypokalaemia, a condition that affects the potassium levels in Burmese cats.

Diabetes mellitus in Burmese cats is seen more in the European and Australian variants. This health condition occurs in older Burmese cats (above 8 years of age). 

It is caused by excessive-high amounts of glucose in the blood and urine. The cats secrete a hormone known as insulin, which regulates how glucose is absorbed into the blood tissues.

However, in Burmese cats with this condition, the body fails to recognize the hormone’s command despite the hormones being released, leading to an excessively high amount of glucose in the blood and urine. 

This is somewhat similar to the insulin resistance diabetes (Type II) seen in humans.

Some common symptoms of this condition in the Burmese cats include;


● A high volume of water intake by the cats. 

● Excessive peeing of dilute urine. 

● Weight loss and weakness.

● The cat seems to be dehydrated. 


This condition is diagnosed by conducting various blood tests to reach a confirmatory diagnosis.

In severe cases, the Burmese cats may be predisposed to a condition known as ketoacidosis, whereby the cats try to generate energy from fats instead of glucose. 

This process leads to the build-up of ketones in the Burmese cats and might lead to their untimely death.

It is best to schedule a visit to your Veterinarian if these signs are present in Burmese cats.


Another health condition the Burmese cat faces is Feline orofacial pain syndrome.

This condition is characterized by self-trauma to the face and tongue as a result of discomfort felt during the process of teething in Burmese cats. 

This is caused by a neuropathic pain felt by the Burmese cats due to information passed by a particular nerve known as the trigeminal nerve. (The nerve responsible for pain and touch around the face).

The Burmese cat tries to lick, bite or use its paws to scratch the painful area leading to severe trauma or damage to the face and tongue.

Although there is no definitive diagnosis in the cats, this condition is diagnosed by a trained Veterinarian via the careful examination and symptoms exhibited by the Burmese cats.

It is best to report to your Veterinarian if self-mutilation around the face and tongue is seen in your Burmese cats.


Hypokalemia or Hypokalemic polymyopathy is another condition seen in Burmese cats. The disease is characterized by low potassium levels in the blood (serum) due to reduced dietary potassium or excessively passing potassium out via the urine.

This is a recessive genetic condition, meaning both parents must carry the defective gene for the Burmese kittens to carry them. 

The low serum potassium levels eventually lead to muscular weakness and pains, especially around the neck muscles or the whole body in Burmese cats.

Some common signs of these conditions seen in the Burmese cats include:


● Muscle pains or myalgia.

● General body weakness in cats.

● Abnormal posture and gaits.

● Abnormal tilting of the neck in the cats.


This condition is diagnosed by carrying out serum chemistry amongst other blood tests and treated accordingly.

It is best to always screen Burmese cats for these various health conditions before using them for breeding activities.

However, if the cat has been diagnosed with these health conditions, it’s best to pull such Burmese cats from breeding programs.

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