Elegant, mysterious, and striking—these are a few things you might use to describe one A-star celebrity actress, Angelina Jolie. It’s funny that those very same words—elegant, mysterious, and striking—could be used to describe the Burmese cat because these cats are known as the Angelina Jolie of the cat world. One look into Burmese cat’s eyes and you’ll soon know exactly why.
They’re some of the most fascinating creature of the feline world, and many owners can tell you stories about how wonderful it is to have a Burmese cat as a companion. The breed is also a fairly challenging one, so to own a Burmese requires a lot more from owners in comparison to other breeds.
The Burmese breed is the ultimate domestic cat. There are currently two versions of the Burmese breed: the British version and the American version. The British Burmese is considered to be the traditional bloodline, but these were declassifieed in the 1980s by the CFA. However, another cat association banned the crossbreeding of American Burmese with British Burmese in order to keep the bloodlines pure. As time went on, these distinctions have slowly blurred.
Nowadays, cat registries just recognize one Burmese breed. Burmese breeds have been instrumental in the creation of other breeds as well including the Bombay and the Burmilla breeds among others. The story alone of the Burmese cat is enough to make you want to get one, and there are probably many things about this breed that you’re not aware of. Here are 20 fun facts you didn’t know about Burmese cats that will probably inspire you to get one.
Don’t let these cats fool you. From a distance, they might seem sleek and slim, but they’re not once you pick them up. Actually, Burmese cats are known as the heavyweight champs of the feline world. Oddly enough, once you pick up one of these animals, you’ll be surprised just as to how heavy they are. Not only are they super heavy, they’re also very sturdy and muscular. Some people even refer to these cats as the “bricks wrapped in silk.” Burmese cats are the best examples of the old adage that looks can be deceiving. Also, never judge a book by its cover much like how you shouldn’t judge a cat by its coat.
Burmese cats are probably the clingiest cats you’ll ever encounter. If you’ve ever gone to a friend’s house and have met a Burmese cat, you’ve probably become close acquaintances by the time you left. It’s not that these cats are needy cats; they just need constant companions, especially from humans. These cats were bred to be domestic indoor cats, and the primary companions of a house cat should be its owners. Burmese cats do not like to be left alone. As a matter of fact, it is highly recommended for you to get two Burmese cats instead of one, especially if you work or just expect the cat to be left alone at all times. If you’re not there to accompany your Burmese, the best companion for it would be another Burmese.
They say that all Burmese cats have green eyes. That is actually a myth. It’s true that Burmese cats are known for the green eye trait, but there are Burmese cats out there that have yellow eyes. It might not sound as appealing as blue, but you’d be surprised just how mesmerizing yellow Burmese eyes could be. Even more, there are also Burmese cats that have blue eyes. Imagine having a sleek brown Burmese with dazzling blue eyes. You’d be more than captivated just looking at such a beauty. The truth is it doesn’t matter what color eyes your Burmese has; it’ll still be just as attractive as ever. Some even say that you’ll also find your Burmese will communicate with you through its eyes. Whether this is true or not is still up to speculation.
Most of us know that all cats meow, but cat experts know that this is absolutely not true. Cats can make more sounds than just the typical meow. There are cats that purr; there are those that howl. We also should be familiar with the sassy cat hiss. There are even cats that trill like a bird. In the case of the Burmese, their sound of preference is the rumble. They don’t exactly meow, but they make a low rumbling guttural sound that’s utterly adorable, if you ask us. Burmese cats are quite the vocal breed, and you will know exactly when these cats demand your attention. They will rumble like there’s no tomorrow until you give them the attention they are vying for. This is certainly one type of cat that you just can’t ignore because they’ll keep on going and going until you give in.
Cats that aren’t chill
Don’t take it the wrong way. Burmese cats are not high maintenance. They’re not going to give you attitude or cause you problems. That’s not what we meant when we said that Burmese cats aren’t chill. It’s just that these types of cats don’t exactly know how to settle down. They like to party. They like to play. They like to keep on going with the flow of interaction. Burmese cats need constant stimulation in order to be satisfied, and that doesn’t mean that the stimulation has to always come from you. However, they do like to engage with their human companions as much as possible, so if this is sounding a little too tiring for you, it might become a little more than challenging to own a Burmese cat.
So this splendid cat has roots in the Thai culture. Yes it’s true, but it’s actually more complicated than that. The story of how the Burmese breed came about is quite elaborate, but it’s something that should be learned for another time. What’s important for you now to know is that the name Burmese has a simple meaning in the Thai language. It means “beautiful, fortunate, and of splendid appearance.” The person who came up with the name for the breed knows exactly what they were describing because a Burmese cat is everything that its name means. Burmese cats are absolutely stunning and beautiful in appearance.
Speaking of names, there’s a story about how the name “Burmese” came about. According to history, the cats’ name is actually a combination of Burma, which is today’s Myanmar, and Siamese. Siamese is the originating breed of the Burmese cat. There’s also an old story that says that there was once a Thai temple that housed a cat. This cat was living the high life like no other cat has done before. When the Burmese invaded the area and the Thai temple, they nabbed the cat and brought it to Burma in the 18th century. Whether there is any truth to this story is unclear. We know the most recent origins of the breed, but who knows if there’s actually more to the history of the Burmese breed than we’ve already discovered. At least we know how the Burmese name was put together.
Curiosity does not kill the cat
It’s difficult to think of this adage now and think that a Burmese cat may be harmed in the process. Don’t worry. Burmese cats may be just a tad more curious than other cats, but their curiosity will not kill them. If curiosity typically kills the cat, curiosity in the Burmese takes it to another level. These cats want to be in absolutely anything and everything. Burmese cats crave involvement; they like to investigate everything around them and they are quite the observant cats. These cats are as inquisitive as they come. They’ll perch on your shoulder to watch what you’re doing, and they’ll give any suspicious activity the side eye if it’s warranted. You’ll have fun watching these cats try to discover everything they can find.
Here’s another misconception: Burmese cats come in dark brown colors. We know that it’s true. Burmese cats are known for their dark coat, and the dark brown color is probably the most common Burmese color there is. But it isn’t the only one. As a matter of fact, more and more coat colors have emerged for the Burmese cat over years of breeding. There are quite a few colors nowadays but there are a few favorites. Some of the more popular colors include chocolate and blue. But the most favorite ones from cat enthusiasts include the colors lilac and tortoiseshell.
Intuitive and involved
Besides being very inquisitive, Burmese cats are quite the intuitive animals as well. If they aren’t trying to figure out what you’re up to, they’re probably trying to figure out what you’re feeling. They know exactly when you’re feeling a little down and might need a little bit of affection to get by. These cats are very affectionate to begin with. You already know that they love the company of humans, and there’s nothing else better for these cats than to give you just the attention that you might need from them. Burmese cats are also very involved. You won’t find them isolating themselves like cats generally do and are mostly known for. Burmese cats will be in your business. So you can say that they’re not like other cats in that they’re not loners. You’ll never find them sitting by themselves on a windowsill unless they’re waiting for you to come home. Once you’re home, you’ll have this cat on your heels.
Friendly to strangers
We’ve pretty much established that Burmese cats love human companions. But we have to explain that it goes way beyond that. Burmese cats are quite the friendly animals. They’re so friendly that they’ll go up to strangers and interact with them as if they’ve been acquainted for a long time. It can be explained by the exaggerated need of the Burmese cat to just be with a companion that they’ll really just take anyone who might return their call for attention. This is also another reason why you need to be careful with your Burmese cat. You should probably keep your cat indoor most of the time unless you can accompany it while it’s outside. If you leave your cat outside by itself, someone can easily call to it and your Burmese cat will go to that person without hesitation just because. In short, it’s really easy to kidnap a Burmese, so keep yours protected.
United States cat
The name of the breed is actually a misnomer. You might think that because of the name, Burmese cats originated from Burma. It’s actually not the case. The origin breed for the cat may have come from the orient, but the first Burmese cat was actually developed in the United States. Yes, Burmese cats are American—as oddly as that may sound. The Burmese breed we know today originated from a single cat that’s known as Wong Mau. A sailor traveling through the orient brought this cat along with his travels all the way back to New Orleans. Wong Mau was subsequently given to a doctor in San Francisco.
CFA and the Burmese
In the late 1930s and 1940s, the popularity of the breed soared. A lot of people wanted Burmese kittens, which put the pressure on breeders to come up with a solution. They started breeding Burmese with Siamese cats to feed the frenzy, but they just made hybrids instead of purebred Burmese. CFA eventually stopped this by completely stopping Burmese registration in 1947. They changed the rules and made it more difficult to register Burmese cats. They said that in order to be registered Burmese, a cat has to have three generations of purebred Burmese behind it. Breeders took the message to heart. They stopped using hybrids altogether and worked harder on the purebreds. By 1956, they finally produced three purebred cats. By 1957, there were enough purebred kittens to open up the registry again.
After the hybrid production days of the 40s, Burmese cats have turned their situation around and have become one of the most successful cats in the show ring. They’ve become a favorite among cat enthusiasts in just a matter of a decade, becoming one of the most popular breeds in the 70s. Burmese cats actually ranked third in the popularity race, just behind the Persian breed and the Siamese. It isn’t too bad of an achievement considering that the breed began with just a single cat in the United States back in 1930. Today, the Burmese breed may no longer be that high up when it comes to the popularity scale, but it’s still considered as the favorite for many.
There are good news for those who want to care for Burmese cats; this breed is absolutely the low maintenance type. We know that cats tend to be low maintenance to begin with, but considering everything we’ve read about this cat so far, this is something that might be surprising for some. Burmese cats will never really require any bathing, combing, or any other type of unusual handling. You can even just use your hands to stroke your cat’s coat in order to keep it in good condition. Occasionally, you might want to remove your cat’s dead hairs by using a rubber brush. This is most particularly recommended to do during the springtime when Burmese cats are ready to shed out their winter coat. Other than these simple grooming measures, you won’t need much of anything else when it comes to maintaining your cat.
If there is one best thing you can provide for your cat, it’ll be the best cat food. You really shouldn’t be giving your cat anything else apart from premium food. This is truly important because if you want your Burmese to maintain its shiny coat and its muscular body, you’ll have to give it the food that will provide it with the nutrients it needs. In addition, you should always have at least one or two bowls of food and some water available for your Burmese. Your Burmese cat will need good quality dry food and occasional servings of wet food to supplement. Be careful, though, because Burmese cats tend to become finicky eaters. Try to switch up what your cats eat so they don’t get too picky.
There is one thing that Burmese cats absolutely despise, and that is strong restraint. Let’s just say that these cats don’t respond too well to any restraints or force at all. Burmese cats respond best to gentle approaches. They don’t like being forced to do anything, especially things that are unpleasant for them. They will develop a sort of resentment towards you if they feel like you’re holding them against their own will to do something. That’s completely understandable; nobody really wants to be held down against his or her will. But Burmese cats take it all too personally. If you’re also trying to train your Burmese cat, just remember to approach with caution. You’ll be better off teaching your cat how to behave by being a friend and not a strict trainer.
This is somewhat connected to the fact we’ve already mentioned before—Burmese cats are clingy. Perhaps they might be too clingy that they get attached way too easily. The problem is they don’t just get attached to people. That in itself is already difficult enough to cope with. However, Burmese cats also get attached to their surroundings. If you expect your Burmese cat’s atmosphere to change, you should allow it some time for adjustment. For example, if you are going out of town, help it ease into a new environment by spending some time with it. If you happen to be moving in order to live in a completely different house, you should also give it time to adjust accordingly.
Before we close up this list, let’s take a moment to talk about cat eyes again. Burmese cat eyes are unusually large; maybe that’s the reason why they’re so mesmerizing. When it comes to kittens, you might notice something else while you’re staring into it. Kittens tend to get large discharges around their eyes. Don’t be alarmed because this is perfectly normal. Due to a Burmese’s large and slightly protruding eyes, there’s usually a clear discharge around the eye as a result of blinking. Since there’s a large area to be covered for cleaning the eye, there’s also a large discharge in the end. This large discharge eventually forms into a small ball in the corner of the eye. Just be sure that the discharge is clear colored; otherwise, if its white or yellow, you might want to pay the veterinarian a visit.
Last but not the least, you should know that Burmese cats age pretty well. Not only do they age well, they’ll also age for a while. A healthy Burmese can go well into its late teens and maybe even beyond. Since most Burmese age gracefully, it also becomes difficult to tell whether a Burmese is four or 12 years old.
These cats hold on to their prime figures for a long time. They might do that and then one day, you’ll just notice some white whiskers growing on their snouts. As they get older, their physical capabilities will also diminish quite a bit. They’ll grow to be a lot sweeter as they age, but maybe it’s because they just may no longer have the same energy to do anything else. Once you notice your Burmese cat has gone from young to old, it might take only a few more months before the end of its life is near. Either way, you should have plenty of memories to cherish with your Burmese cat when that time finally comes to say goodbye.
You can also read:
- Stealth Tips for Picking Out Reputable Burmese Cat Breeders
- 10 Reasons to Reconsider Buying a Burmese Cat
- A Complete Price Guide for Burmese Cats