Often confused with the Siamese or Birman, the Burmese is an elegant and playful breed, often referred to as a 'dog cat'. Discover their origins, physical characteristics and personality here.

Origins of the Burmese

Originally from Thailand, the Burmese dates back many centuries. In fact, the first recorded mentions of the breed can be found in a book of poems of Siam at a time during the Kingdom of Ayuthia (1350-1767). Monks who considered the breed sacred also kept the cats as companions.

The Burmese cat was officially introduced to the West by Joseph Thompson, a US Navy psychiatrist who fell in love with a Tonkinese cat in the streets of Burma's old capital, Rangoon (Yangon). Once back in the United States, he crossed the Tonkinese with other Thai cat breeds, including the Siamese. The Burmese was thus created and officially recognised in 1936.

Europe was introduced to the breed in 1947.

Physical characteristics

Burmese can be distinguished from other cat breeds by their soft and gentle expression. They have wide, round eyes that are usually yellow in colour, sometimes gold.

Their muscular bodies are often deceptively heavy for their average size.

You will find the Burmese coat comes in a variety of colours, including blue sepia, champagne sepia, platinum sepia, red sepia, cream sepia, tortie sepia, fawn sepia, and lilac sepia.

Hair is short, showcasing the svelte physique.

Personality of the Burmese

As a relative of the Siamese and Tonkinese breeds, the Burmese is a very interactive, vocal and playful cat. They are often referred to as 'dog cats' for this reason. They are delightful and affectionate in character and often looking to be stroked and petted. They can, however, be a little shy with strangers.

Burmese are expressive in nature and will be particularly vocal with their owner. However, they are less expressive and emotional than their Siamese ancestors. Regardless, they are loyal cats and extremely endearing both in personality and appearance.

While able to adapt to apartment living well, Burmese are curious and will enjoy climbing trees and hunting in a garden.

Tell us about your Burmese!

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