Burmese CatThe Burmese cats (not to be confused with Birman cats, the “Sacred Cat of Burma”) we know today are all direct descendents of one female cat who lived in the 1930s. This cat was brought from Burma to New Orleans by a sailor,  and was then given to a doctor who lived in San Francisco. The cat was named Wong Mau, and was believed to be a mix of Siamese and an unspecified darker haired breed. At the time, most believed that it was simply a color variation, but Wong Mau’s owner pointed out that her build and body type were quite different from that of a Siamese. It’s believed that the unknown half of Wong Mau’s heritage may be a breed of cat recorded in Thailand (then Siam) in the 1700s called Thong Daeng, but unfortunately there is no way to confirm this.

A breeding program was started involving various Siamese cats, Wong Mau, and her offspring to ensure that these different traits and darker coat colors carried on, and this program brought us the Burmese cat breed.

American Burmese CatThere are currently two different variants of the Burmese cat, due to two different breeding programs. They are quite distinctly different, mostly in the face. The British Burmese (sometimes called the European Burmese) favors a more Siamese or Oriental cat appearance, with a narrow, triangular head and face. The American Burmese has a rounder head and eyes and a shorter nose, with a stockier overall appearance. The American Burmese cat has round cheeks, and a bit of a pug or bulldog look to their face.

For many years, Burmese cats were only born with brown (known to the cat fancier world as “sable”) coats. But as modern breeding programs and interest in the breed has progressed, Burmese cats are now found in a variety of coat colors. The Burmese cat is small to medium in size, usually weighing in at 8-12 lbs. They tend to feel heavier than they look, being much more muscular than their delicate appearance would indicate. Their eyes are usually gold or yellow.

Burmese cats are known for being very involved with and appreciative of people. They’re very social and friendly, and are one of the “chatty” or vocal cat breeds.