Burmese cats are extroverts. They love spending time with people and with other cats. They are one of the few breeds where companionship of other cats is almost a requirement.
In one study of cats who had lost their feline companion, it was mostly Burmese cats who showed grieving behaviours – the majority of other cats seemed indifferent or even happier after their loss.
Burmese cats are shorthaired, with a dense, glossy coat which comes in a variety of colours but no white fur. They have golden yellow eyes. Although of a slightly ‘foreign’-type appearance, they are quite muscular.
The colours recognised by the GCCF are:
- brown and brown tortie
- blue and blue tortie
- chocolate and chocolate tortie
- lilac and lilac tortie
Temperament and personality
As mentioned above, Burmese cats love company! They want to be fully immersed in family life and don’t enjoy being left out. They are generally very playful and need a lot of stimulation.
Being a short-coated breed, Burmese cats require little in the way of grooming. However, as with all cats, they will benefit from a brush through once a week to keep their coat in good condition, and daily tooth brushing.
Burmese cats are very prone to developing diabetes, and for this reason it is usually best to avoid steroids in this breed, as these can trigger diabetes.
There is a genetic mutation in some Burmese cats which causes low potassium, or hypokalaemia. This leads to problems with periodic weakness. There is a DNA test available now and all breeding cats should be tested. Affected animals should not be bred from and a Carrier should only be bred to a Clear cat.
Some Burmese cats, particularly those in the USA, have been bred to have a rounder face. This is leading to problems with brachycephaly in the bread (where the skull shape becomes shorter). As in dogs, such as French Bulldogs and Pugs, this leads to breathing difficulties, as well as dental problems. In severe cases, this causes Burmese Head Defect (BHD) which will kill affected kittens. There is a DNA test available to check for the BHD gene.