A Burmese is a cat breed that is medium-sized and muscular. Often they are surprisingly heavy. The Burmese is known for its mesmerizing eyes, which are large, round, and gold. This unusual breed makes an excellent pet. Here's how to select a Burmese:
- Understand the breed's temperament. Burmese cats often make great pets. They are affectionate and playful, and enjoy being lap cats. Most Burmese love to sleep with or on their owners, and like to stay near people.
- Commit to the breed's requirements. The Burmese breed has little survival instinct, so it's important to keep these cats indoors. Their satiny coats require little grooming, and the Burmese is generally easy to care for.
- Know your options. Most Burmese cats are sable in color. Others are blue, champagne, or platinum. Most Burmese from breeders are kittens. Avoid selecting a kitten younger than 12 weeks, because it is not quite ready to leave its mother. Some unscrupulous breeders will separate and sell kittens at a younger age, as young as 5 weeks. If you plan to show your Burmese, make sure that you ask the breeder about show-quality kittens.
- Choose a breeder. A Burmese usually costs $300 to $500. Do not buy one from a pet store, but rather from a reputable breeder. Unfortunately there are some breeders out there who are more interested in the money than in breeding healthy purebred Burmese cats. Look for a breeder at local feline clubs or shows. A reputable breeder will ask you to sign a written contract.
- Ask about health conditions. No matter what breed of cat you buy, ask the breeder for a written guarantee against feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency viruses, two serious viruses in cats. According to some, the Burmese breed has a small gene pool, making it frail in its older years. This is a controversial idea, and others say that Burmese cats survive and thrive well into their upper teens. Ask your breeder about such issues when you select a Burmese.
- Inspect the cat. Avoid any breeder that won't allow you plenty of time to get to know the cat before making your decision. First, look for the telltale gold eyes. If your cat doesn't have them, it isn't a Burmese. Hold the cat, checking for good muscle tone. Avoid purchasing a cat with signs of illness, like sneezing and watery eyes. Make sure your Burmese's eyes are clean with pink insides. The fur should be short and sleek, glossy with no dry or flaky skin. Look for fleas or flea dirt, which looks like small black specks in their coat.
- First vet visit. As soon as possible, take your Burmese to the vet. If you have other cats at home, you should take your new cat to the vet even before introducing it into your home. This way, any illnesses can be detected early, and you'll avoid spreading them to your other pets.
Burmese cats are an unusual breed that makes affectionate and loving pets. This breed was developed in the 1930s, and is still somewhat rare. They love to be around humans, and will look at you with their unusually large, gold eyes whenever they want attention.