Adult Weight

8-12 pounds

Life Span

12-16 years


Loving, attentive, inquisitive, family-oriented


American Burmese


Medium-sized short-haired



Personality and Temperament

Burmese cats are accomplished conversationalists in sleek, soft packages. These gorgeous cats are direct descendants of Siamese cats, which explains their chatty nature. However, their voices are softer and less demanding. Just like their cousins, Burmese cats are playful, energetic, and highly intelligent. They’re extremely sociable and they love to snuggle. In fact, these cats are so affectionate that the National Alliance of Burmese Breeders (NABB) has nicknamed them the “ultimate companion cats.” There are two types of Burmese cats: American and European. The American and European Burmese both trace their roots back to the same beginnings, but they were developed separately early on. Today, they are two separate breeds with different breed standards. The American Burmese, which in the United States is simply referred to as the Burmese, is stockier, with a broader head, a shorter muzzle, and distinct rounded eyes. The European Burmese, also called the British Burmese, has a longer muzzle, a wedge-shaped head, and eyes that are distinctly slanted.


Burmese cats do not have any special nutritional needs. Like all cats, Burmese do require high-quality cat food with meat as the first ingredient.
Thanks to their soft, fine, short coats, Burmese cats do not require much in terms of grooming. A weekly brushing can help remove dead hair, and a quick rub with a chamois can help bring out the shine in their coat. It’s also a good idea to teach your cat to accept toothbrushing and nail trimming from a young age.
Burmese cats love to play so getting enough exercise isn’t usually a problem. These energetic kitties have a reputation for carrying their favorite toys to their family members for fun games of fetch. They love to jump and climb, so you’ll want to provide a durable cat tree.
The Burmese is generally healthy, however some health issues can affect some members of the breed.


Affection Level 100%
Activity Level 80%
Pet-Friendly 90%
Kid-Friendly 90%
Sociability 100%
Intelligence 100%
Playfulness 80%
Independence 20%
Vocality 100%
Grooming 10%


The Burmese cat has an intriguing history. The breed’s story begins with a chocolate-colored cat named Wong Mau. Dr. Joseph Thompson of  San Francisco brought Wong Mau home with him after a trip to Burma in 1930. Wong Mau was small with a more compact body than that of the Siamese, with a shorter tail, a rounded head, short muzzle, and round, widely spaced eyes. Dr. Thompson also noted that the cat had darker brown points that accentuated her sable coat. Curious to see what offspring would look like, he bred her to a Siamese cat. The breeding produced a litter of kittens that included some with the appearance of Siamese cats and others that looked like their mother. Dr. Thompson then mated Wong Mau to one of her brown kittens. This time, the litter contained three different kitten types: Some looked like Siamese cats, some resembled their mother, and some were dark brown with no points. The sable colored cats without points were ultimately used to create the foundation of the Burmese breed. Burmese cats were first registered by the Cat Fanciers’ Association in 1936, and the breed gained full recognition in 1957. Part of the reason for the delay was that some Burmese breeders were crossing their cats with Siamese —a practice that was ultimately prohibited. The outcrossings resulted in the development of the Tonkinese cat, so it certainly provided some benefits that cat fanciers can appreciate! Today, CFA recognizes both the American Burmese and European Burmese. All major cat registries recognize Burmese cats, but not all colors are permitted within all registries.

The Breed Standard


The body is of medium size, with substantial bone structure and good muscular development. The cat feels heavy for its size.


Burmese cats have rounded heads with short, well-developed muzzles and a visible nose break when viewed in profile. The neck is well-developed.


The eyes are round and set wide apart. Most Burmese cats have yellow eyes, however a select few will exhibit blue eye color. Burmese cats with blue eyes are disqualified for show, however they make fantastic—and beautiful—pets.


The ears are of medium size with broad bases and rounded tips. They tilt slightly forward.

Legs & Paws

The legs are well-proportioned and the paws have a distinct rounded shape.


The Burmese cat has a straight, medium-length tail.


Burmese cats have fine, glossy coats with a satiny texture. The coat is very short and lies close to the body.


CFA recognizes Burmese cats in four colors: sable, platinum, blue, and champagne. Nose leather and paw pad colors complement the coat color.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much does a Burmese cat cost?

    How much does a Burmese cat cost?Burmese cats cost between $450 and $3,000.
  • How big do Burmese cats get?

    How big do Burmese cats get?Burmese cats tend to be medium in size. A fully grown Burmese cat might weigh between 8 and 12 pounds or more, and range in height anywhere from about 8 inches to 10 inches tall.
  • How long do Burmese cats live?

    How long do Burmese cats live?The average life span for Burmese is 12 to 16 years.
  • Do Burmese cats shed?

    Do Burmese cats shed?Burmese are short-haired cats. The coat is very fine and does not shed as much as some other cat breeds.
Scroll to Top