Burmese cats are small to medium size cats that weigh approximately 4–6 kg, but they are nonetheless muscular cats and should feel heavy for their size when held.
As mentioned before, there are two standards of Burmese cat which differ mainly in head and body shape:
The Burmese is known for being strongly people-oriented breed with a typical kitten-like energy and playfulness even into adulthood. This type of cat is "famous" for displaying puppy-like traits, developing strong bonds with the owners and interest in human activity. Many pet owners who have lived with a Burmese will tell you how this breed enjoys playing games (such as "fetch" or "tag") generally reserved for dogs, making it easier to train your cat in a variety of activities. This particular disposition is found in very few cat breeds, such as the Abyssinian, and it causes greater dependence on human contact which many experts have associated with a "dog-like attachment to owner".
If you're planning on adopting or buying a Burmese, please consider your lifestyle beforehand and research the breed. Full time workers will need to factor in time spent training and playing their kitten to prevent unwanted behaviours such as persistent meowing or "obsessive" requests to play games.
As all pets, exercise and health go hand in hand. If you're planning on having a cat take care of itself, think again and especially if your choice of animal companion falls on the Burmese. Unlike other cat breeds, the Burmese is very active throughout its entire life and it requires not only physical but also mental stimulation to remain responsive and sharp. Consider setting an exercise or playtime routine to ensure your kitten gets to use both its muscles and brain while interacting with you. Given the strong curiosity of the breed for human activity, it won't take long before your cat becomes your best friend.
This unique type of cat is at risk of diabetes mellitus (although the American standard doesn't display this increased risk due to the genetic differences with the British Burmese) and hypkalaemia, a genetic disease which is characterized by low serum potassium levels (also been seen in the British Burmese).
Overall, the Burmese is generally quite healthy and a well taken care cat can live up to 17 years of age!
One of the most important aspects of owning a pet is making sure it gets the nutrients it needs to grow healthy.
A balanced diet is essential to prevent the onset of diseases and prevent your cat from becoming a fussy eater. Given the Burmese's disposition to developing diabetes, it is especially important to find the right choice of cat food that won't increase the chances of your fur baby becoming overweight. You may consult the vet for some expert pet food recommendations.
Try to establish a regular eating schedule so that your cat won't feel the need to search for food during the day. Make sure that it has no access to food scraps or alternative food sources in case it has a habit of wandering outside the house. If you plan on training your cat you'll most likely choose to use yummy treats to teach new tricks: assess the amount of treats and try to balance it with the set meal times to avoid overfeeding your kitty.
As many other cat breeds, the Burmese doesn't require much time spent on grooming. In fact, your kitty will most likely take care of itself on the hygienic side of things and all you'll have to worry about it is collecting a few furballs from the floor.
Nevertheless, you might want to establish a grooming routine where you gently brush your pet's fur and teeth: this will not only ensure your pet is used to being handled but also help build a relationship so that your Burmese feels safe and loved.
If your cat has access to outdoor areas such as a garden or backyard, you'll want to inspect the ear and tail area to prevent dirt and unwanted parasites from entering your household. Better still, make sure your furry friend is protected with anti-parasites products to fight fleas and ticks, particularly in summertime.