Temperament: lively, affectionate
Lifespan: 12 -16 years
Recommended for: families, people wanting an active cat
Burmese are slim, athletic cats with a short, silky coat and golden eyes. There are many colours including; brown, blue, lilac, chocolate, cream, red, lilac-cream (also called lilac torti), blue torti, chocolate torti and brown torti.
Burmese are intelligent, affectionate cats, vocal (but not as demanding as Siamese), active and playful. Burmese kittens are especially well known for their inquisitive nature. Some can be trained to retrieve toys or balls of paper. Most are outgoing and accept strangers well.
Some breeders claim the torti coloured Burmese are especially outgoing, mischievous and rascally. They have earned the affectionate nickname of naughty torties.
As there have been cases where individual Burmese have acted aggressively, reputable breeders urge prospective buyers to inspect parents of a kitten for any aggressive tendencies.
Health and lifespan
Hypokalemia is a condition when blood potassium levels drop, initially causing cramping, then paralysis. This can be treated with oral supplements. As with other Oriental breeds, lactose intolerance is common and milk should be avoided. Burmese will wander if allowed and as a result, many are hit by cars.
A varied diet such as canned food, cheese, some mince and dried biscuits should be adequate. They should not be fed solely on dry food as this may cause kidney problems.
Burmese usually have large litters, between six and eight kittens, with few problems. Kittens are born with coffee-coloured coats which then develop into the final colour.
Many Burmese will scratch the furniture if not provided with a scratching post and some breeders trim their claws. They are known climbers and a well-aimed water pistol should be used to dissuade cats from climbing curtains and furniture.
Minimal grooming required. Hand stroking should remove loose hairs.
Space and exercise
Burmese are an ideal cat for the average home or flat, although they do like room to roam. They tend to exercise adequately on their own and are not a breed which puts on weight easily.
Most Burmese make good pets for families with children but they won’t tolerate teasing. Many people living alone find the Burmese a companion which will ‘talk’ to them, however, someone who spends a lot of time away from the home should probably have two as they can be destructive if bored.
Most breeders agree that the Burmese seen in Western countries today were derived from one female, Wang Mau, imported from Burma in the 1930’s. As this was the only cat of its type in the West, it was mated to a Siamese, then the progeny mated back. The Burmese has been recognised as a breed since the 1950’s – 60’s. It is one of Australia’s most popular, pedigree shorthair cats.
Our story was filmed in NSW with Fiona Cooper
Phone: (02) 4576 5404
Burmese Cat Society of Australasia Inc
Sue Thomas (02) 4929 3331
Mard Sim (02) 4868 2165
NSW Cat Fanciers’ Association (CCCA) PO Box 379
Phone: (02) 9834 6577′
Waratah State Cat Alliance (ACF)
PO Box 2478
Taren Point Business Centre
Taren Point, NSW, 2229
Phone: (02) 9544 1910
Fax: (02) 9527 36985
Capital Cats Incorporated
PO Box 404
Dickson, ACT, 2602
Phone: (02) 6241 3479
Queensland Feline Association Inc
Sec: Jenny Weekes
PO Box 1578
phone: (04) 3395 1013
Council of Federated Cat Clubs of Queensland
Secretary: Billie Lowe
PO Box 9139
Phone: 07 4634 5243
Burmese Cat Club of Queensland
PO Box 211
Wilston, QLD, 4051
Phone: (07) 3857 2743,
Fax: (07) 3805 2811
Governing Council of the Cat Fancy of SA
35 Buckneall Rd
Glanville, SA, 5015
Sec: Mrs Nell Evans
Phone: (08) 8449 5880
Feline Association of South Australia Inc
Sec: Mrs Barb Kemp
65 Gray Street Plympton
Phone: (08) 8351 1676 or 0414 485 200
Cat Control Council of Tasmania
Secretary Dr. John Grove
650 Blessington Road
Burmese Cat Society of Victoria
‘Adina’, Falconer Road
Park Orchard, VIC, 3114
Phone: (03) 9876 1090
Burmese Cat Club of Western Australia
Western Australia 6111
Phone: (08) 9295 2658
Cat Association of the Northern Territory
Mrs Heather Havens
PO Box 3870
Darwin, NT, 0801
Phone: (08) 8932 5225