The Burmese, not to be confused with the “Sacred Cat of Burma” (the unrelated Birman), is a domestic cat that originated in Burma. Most modern Burmese are descendants of a female cat called Wong Mau, who was brought to America in 1930. A breeding program was implemented in San Francisco to identify and reproduce Wong Mau’s distinguishing traits. There are two subgroups of Burmese, the American and the British, though most cat registries do not formally distinguish the two.
Burmese are a friendly, sweet and people-oriented. They make excellent lap cats and are playful but gentle companions. They make excellent pets for families with children, as they will tolerate being held, dressed up and played with even by the smallest family members. They are highly social cats who become bonded to their owners, and will also become lonely if left for long periods, so consider a pair if you will be away from the home for extended periods of time. Burmese are intelligent, vocal animals who will happily call to their owners to communicate.
Longer lived than many cat breeds, the Burmese often reach 16-18 years in age. The American subgroup of the breed is slightly stockier than the British, but both are small to medium sized cats. Their heads are large and round, and their faces have a sweet expression. The accepted eye color for the breed is gold or yellow.
Burmese coats are known for being glossy and soft, with a sheen finish. They are easy to groom, as most shorthair cats are. Burmese were originally exclusively sable brown, but now come in a variety of solid and tortoiseshell colors of which there are four main varieties: sable, blue, chocolate, and lilac. In young cats, the points will be darker, but they will grow into a more subtly colored coat.