Temperament: Lively, affectionate
Cost: From $280
Lifespan: 12-16 years
Recommended for: Families, people wanting an active cat
Appearance: Burmese are slim, athletic cats with a short, silky coat and golden eyes. There are ten colours: brown, blue, lilac, chocolate, cream, red, lilac-cream (also called lilac torti), blue torti, chocolate torti and brown torti.
Temperament: Burmese are intelligent, affectionate cats, vocal (but not as loud or demanding as Siamese), active, playful and inquisitive. Some can be trained to retrieve toys or balls of paper. Most are outgoing and accept strangers well.
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.
Breeding: 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.
Hypokalemia is a condition when blood potassium levels drop, initially causing cramping, then paralysis. Treated with oral supplements.
May spray (urinate) indoors to mark territory. Desexing and regular cleaning of litter tray could help.
May be lactose intolerant and should not be given milk.
Will wander if allowed. As a result, many Burmese are hit by cars.
Housepet potential: 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.
Ideal owner: 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 probably should have two as they can be destructive if bored.
Space & exercise: This is an ideal cat for the average home or flat, although they do like room to roam. They are self-exercising and not a breed which puts on weight easily.
Grooming: Minimal grooming required. Hand stroking should remove loose hairs.
Feeding: A varied diet such as canned food, cheese, some mince and dry biscuits should be adequate. They shouldn’t be fed solely on dry food as this may cause kidney problems.
History: Most breeders agree that the Burmese seen in Western countries today were derived from one female, Wang Mau, imported from Burma in the 1930s. 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 1950s-60s. It is one of Australia’s most popular, pedigree shorthaired cats.
For further information
Capital Cats Incorporated
PO Box 404
Phone: (02) 6258 7402
Burmese Cat Fanciers
33 Loftus Ave
Phone: (02) 9521 1774
Breeder: Bambi Edwards
1 Short St,
Phone: (02) 9523 3507
Burmese Cat Club of Queensland
47 Green Tce
Phone: (07) 3857 2743
The Cat Association of the Northern Territory
GPO Box 3870
Phone: (08) 8981 2032
Feline Association of South Australia
21 Poole St
Phone: (08) 82482106
Cat Association of Tasmania
PO Box 116,
Phone: (03) 6272 9443
Burmese Cat Society of Victoria
Park Orchard, 3114.
Phone: (03) 9876 1090
Burmese Cat Club of Western Australia
Phone: (08) 9295 2658