About The Burmese Cat

History of the Breed

The Burmese cat breed was developed in 1930 from a cat named ‘Wong Mau’. Wong Mau was brought back from Asia to San Francisco where she was given to Dr Joseph Thompson. Thompson bred Wong Mau with a seal point Siamese cat with the aim to produce a breed that had her distinguishing brown coat, and compact but dainty body similar to that of a Siamese cat. Wong Mau was then bred with her son again to lay the foundations of the breed. By 1954 the Cat Fanciers Association officially recognised the Burmese cat as a breed. This was after previously recognising the breed but then suspending breed recognition.

In the UK by 1952 breeders had successfully produced several generations of true Burmese cats. The International Cat Association officially recognised the breed in June 1979.

What makes a Burmese?

The Burmese is a medium-sized cat but when you pick them up, they feel considerably heavier than they appears.  They are a stocky cat and somewhat compact but is very muscular with heavy boning.

The Burmese is a cat that is round all over. The head is round, the tips of the ears are round, the eyes, chin and even the feet are round. This breed is solid both in looks and in feel and has great strength.

The coat of the Burmese is short and glossy. Darker shading on the points may be seen in kittens, but this shading disappears with age, producing richness in any of the accepted colors.

While the accepted colors for Burmese have increased in the past few years, the vast majority of Burmese are still the traditional deep brown (Seal).


Burmese cats are very friendly, sweet natured cats who thrive off attention. This cat is known for being vocal much like their Siamese cousins, however their voice is softer. Burmese cats can be attention seeking and will become lonely if left by themselves for too long. This is a great pet for a family as they get along brilliantly with children and are very tolerant. These cats are full of character and life with them will never be dull.


Younger Burmese are active, curious cats, and adapt easily to changes. However as they get older, some Burmese can become a bit too placid, preferring to watch rather to get involved in activities.

At any age, they love to look at the world around them and their favorite place may often turn out to be a window where they can observe the world outside. Burmese cats are very comfortable with other Burmese, but they may not get along as well with other breeds.

They're good climbers and jumpers and should have cat trees and perches.  They're a sturdy, stocky cat and their nutrition should be watched to prevent obesity, particularly if the cat does not get enough exercise.

While adult Burmese are placid cats, they also tend to be very kittenish and love their daily playtime. They love being adored by their parent, and love having their stomach rubbed and being petted. A daily petting session is a must for any Burmese.


Burmese exist as either solid colours or tortie.  Colours include Seal (Brown), Blue, Cream, Chocolate, Lilac, and Red

The Burmese At a glance

Weight range:

Male: large: >12 lbs.
Female: medium: 8-12 lbs.

Eye color:

Gold, Yellow

Life Expectation:

Longevity Range: 10-17 yrs.
Social/Attention Needs: High, Moderate
Tendency to Shed: Low


Length: Short
Characteristics: Smooth
Colours: Seal, Blue, Chocolate, Lilac, Red, Cream, Tortoiseshell
Pattern: Solid color, Tortoiseshell
Less Allergenic: No
Overall Grooming Needs: Low


200mm to 400mm

Burmese Cat Club

of New Zealand

We are a progressive, welcoming, non-profit organisation and our key mission is to promote the welfare of the Burmese breed of cat, responsible and ethical breeding of the Burmese breed, and the showing of purebred cats and de-sexed domestic cats.

We are affiliated with New Zealand Cat Fancy and as a specialist club we are focused on the Burmese cat (and related breeds) to offer breeder advice and guidance where possible.  We  also organise two annual cat shows per year.

Our North Island and South Island committees meet on a monthly basic to discuss specialist issues to assist breeders and owners, breed standards, and the welfare of the breed.

Contact the club for more information