All about your Burmese Cat

Intelligent, lively and friendly, Burmese cats love human company and make fantastic family pets. Discover this curious and mischievous breed, and get tips on a range of topics from exercise, grooming and behaviour, to what you can do to keep your cat healthy and happy.

    Breed information & advice

    The Burmese has a playful and inquisitive personality, and will want to be involved in everything you do. He is outgoing and sociable so will get on well with other pets, and is even a little unconventional at times – his favourite game is fetch.

    • The Burmese actively seeks out attention, so he’ll be happiest in a home where he’ll have company most of the day
    • He loves to play and do tricks, and can be taught to wave, sit and roll over
    • Typically he will weigh between 3kg and 7kg, when fully grown
    • A healthy Burmese cat will usually live for 16 to 18 years

    Typical size of a Burmese: Medium

        Recommended exercise & nutrition

        The Burmese is happiest in a home where he has plenty of toys, people or other animals to play with throughout the day. This breed also has a mischievous side and is keen to play with any item he comes across, so it’s a good idea to dedicate a portion of time each day to keep your cat entertained.

        Some owners opt to keep their cat indoors to prevent accidents, infection or theft, provided he has lots of space to explore.

        Feed your Burmese high-quality cat food and remember to bear in mind his age and size, and always read the instructions on the packet. Try to provide a bit of variety in his meals so that he doesn’t become a fussy eater and take care not to overfeed him, as it could lead to health problems later on.

          Play and attention

          A spirited cat who loves to play and be the centre of attention, the Burmese also enjoys climbing and jumping, so try to provide perches and cat trees around your home for him to explore.

              Common health problems & illnesses

              Your Burmese will need all of the usual vaccinations and check-ups to help protect him against common ailments. There are some conditions that this breed is more prone to though, and you may want to familiarise yourself with the symptoms, so you know what to look out for.

                1. Lymphoma

                Lymphoma (cancer affecting white blood cells) is a condition that can affect all cats, and the Burmese is no exception. The gastrointestinal variety is the most common, affecting the stomach and digestive tract. Symptoms include a lack of appetite, vomiting, and sometimes a visible growth around the stomach. If you notice anything out of the ordinary in your cat, speak to your vet who will be able to diagnose the cause and discuss treatment options that may include chemotherapy.

                  2. Diabetes

                  Burmese may experience diabetes, but can be more prone to the condition if they’re older, male or overweight. Diabetes occurs when the body has a problem taking in glucose, causing unusually high levels of glucose in the blood. Symptoms can include excessive thirst, weight loss and a dull, matted coat. You can help protect your cat by not overfeeding him, and the condition can be managed with medication and by reviewing his diet with your vet.

                    3. Kidney disease

                    This breed can also experience kidney disease or renal failure. It can be caused by infections, tumours, injury or poisoning and is often irreversible, but the condition can be managed if it is caught in time. Symptoms to look out for include lack of appetite, lethargy, increased thirst and urination, and vomiting. Medical treatment and dietary changes may be advised to help treat the condition, so speak to your vet if you have any concerns.

                      4. Respiratory problems

                      Burmese may be susceptible to respiratory conditions such as cat flu and feline asthma. Cat flu is generally caused by viral or bacterial infections and symptoms may include sneezing, coughing, dribbling and a runny nose or eyes. Meanwhile, feline asthma affects the airways and can be triggered by irritants. It’s commonly characterised by coughing, difficulty breathing and wheezing, so if you notice this in your cat, speak to your vet who will offer treatment advice to help control the effects.

                        5. Pancreatitis

                        Inflammation of the pancreas, or pancreatitis, can be caused by a range of factors including injury, disease or diet. The condition results in the pancreas releasing digestive enzymes in an abnormal way, which affects the body’s tissue. If your cat shows signs of dehydration, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhoea, make an appointment with your vet, who will diagnose the issue and advise on treatment such as medication and dietary changes.

                            Cat name popularity

                            If you’re struggling to think of a name for your new Burmese, take a look at the most popular ones at Tesco Bank Pet Insurance for inspiration.

                              1 Bruno
                              2 Poppy
                              3 Coco
                              4 Sapphire
                              5 Ella

                              Average treatment costs

                              Wondering whether pet insurance for your Burmese is worth it? We’ve put together the top five conditions claimed for by Tesco Bank Pet Insurance customers in 2019, and the average cost of treatment.

                                Top five conditions and average costs

                                Top five conditions and average costs







                                            Liver condition




                                                    Tesco Bank Pet Insurance claims data from paid treatments including excesses from 01/09/19 to 31/08/20.

                                                    Considering Burmese insurance?

                                                    We know your cat is an important member of the family, so give them the protection they deserve with Tesco Bank Pet Insurance.

                                                    Tesco Bank Pet Insurance is arranged, administered and underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc.

                                                    Grooming advice

                                                    A Burmese cat is relatively low maintenance from a grooming perspective, and he’ll only require a weekly brush to remove dander and dead hair.

                                                    His short, satin coat will rarely need washing, but it’s important to regularly check his eyes and ears are kept clean. Carefully wiping the corners of his eyes with a damp cloth or cotton ball will help prevent the build-up of dirt, and doing the same with his ears can help reduce the risk of ear infections. Brush his teeth regularly too – weekly, if not daily – to help prevent dental problems and keep his breath fresh. Try to start your care routine when he’s just a kitten to help him get used to it.

                                                      Fun & interesting facts

                                                      • In South East Asia his early ancestors were treated as sacred, and kept in temples and monasteries with their own human servants.
                                                      • The breed was introduced to Burma in the 18th century, following the invasion of Thailand by the Burmese army.
                                                      • The Burmese is almost dog-like in his behaviour, and can be taught to fetch items just like a retriever.
                                                      • He loves interacting with humans and will be quite vocal when he wants some fuss.
                                                      • Do not be fooled by his sleekness and grace as he is surprisingly heavy, muscular and has been called ‘a brick wrapped in silk’.

                                                      Important information

                                                      Key information

                                                      The content on this page aims to offer an informative introduction to pet breeds, but does not constitute expert veterinary advice. If your dog or cat falls ill or has an injury, contact your vet immediately. Tesco Bank Pet Insurance has a partnership with vetfone™ which means that as a customer, you can benefit from their advice as part of your policy.

                                                      Tesco Bank Pet Insurance is arranged, administered and underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc. The vetfone™ service is provided by VetsDirect Ltd.

                                                      All facts and figures were correct at date of publication and were compiled using a range of sources.

                                                        What is vetfone?

                                                        Vetfone™ is a 24/7 unlimited, free telephone or video call service that provides expert advice from nurses qualified with the RCVS (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons). If your pet has a medical emergency, or you need reassurance on grooming, feeding or general advice, vetfone™ is there to help.

                                                        As a Tesco Pet Insurance customer, you can access expert veterinary advice provided by RCVS registered vet nurses as a standard benefit with your policy, and the service is provided at no additional cost. A quick telephone call or video call could answer any questions you have about your pet, give you peace of mind and could even save you a trip to the vet.

                                                        Tesco Bank Pet Insurance is arranged, administered and underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc. The vetfone™ service is provided by VetsDirect Ltd.

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