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Do Burmese Cats Shed? Breed Facts & Care Tips

Chris Dinesen Rogers

By Chris Dinesen Rogers

burmese cats lying on sofa

A Burmese makes it easy to fall in love with felines. Research has shown they are the boldest, most people-oriented of cat breeds.1 They are also the neediest for attention. Those factors come into play when considering the question of whether a Burmese sheds. If you’re sensitive to feline dander, owning one might be challenging, considering its loving nature.

The question of shedding is often a deal-breaker. The good news is that the Burmese is a low-shedding breed. Its fur is fine and silky. Proper care is another way you can tame the shedding even further.

History of the Burmese Cat

It’s helpful to consider a breed’s history to understand the necessary care a cat needs. It originated in southeast Asia, presumably in the country of its name. Cats in the United States can trace their origin to a female named Wong Mau.2 An enthusiast from San Francisco, California imported the feline in 1930. The breed was already established in England in the 1880s.

Burma has a monsoon season with a humid, tropical climate in its coastal areas. The interior of the country is drier yet still quite muggy. However, it’s a safe assumption that it plays a role in the cat’s skin and coat health.

Brown Burmese cat in the garden
Image Credit: jojosmb, Shutterstock

Burmese Care

All cats are meticulous groomers, as it’s part of their DNA, and the Burmese is no exception. Nevertheless, you can control the amount it sheds with regular care. Felines have three kinds of hair, and their function determines how often it occurs. The primary strands give their color. They are short and fine in the Burmese, and the colors range from platinum to sepia.

Secondary hairs are the fluff underneath the outer hairs. They provide extra insulation against the cold and sun. Tactical hairs include whiskers, which serve specialized purposes. They get worn and damaged over time, making shedding necessary.

You can groom your cat with a hound’s glove or rubber brush to get rid of the loose hairs that would otherwise end up on your furniture or clothing. Going over the cat’s coat with a damp chamois cloth will get the stray hairs. We recommend getting your pet used to grooming as a kitten. Treats are an effective persuader for reluctant felines.

You should also handle its paws to make trimming its claws easier and less stressful. Likewise, touch its ears and face. Your vet will appreciate the time you’ve taken to get your pet used to being handled.

man combing cat's fur
Image Credit: Olya Detry, Shutterstock

When Shedding Is Abnormal

You shouldn’t notice excessive shedding with a Burmese cat. That’s one of the many reasons people choose this breed. Sometimes, shedding can be abnormal, which indicates a health issue. Dry conditions can spur hair loss. That’s why we considered the breed’s history and the climate of its native land. Running a humidifier during the winter can make an incredible difference.

Your Burmese needs a high-quality diet that will supply its nutritional needs. After all, nutrition is the key to good skin health. If your pet has dry skin, your vet may recommend a fish oil supplement to ensure it gets adequate amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

Other causes can range from fixable things, like stress. It’s not uncommon for animals to shed their coats when dealing with sudden changes in their world. Other problems include fleas and other external parasites. Redness and inflammation often accompany these situations. Another vexing cause is ringworm. Unfortunately, people can also contract it from their pets.

Allergies can also cause excessive hair loss. It can be a contact issue or a problem with the food they eat. It may seem odd that the latter would manifest itself with shedding. Remember that an allergy is an immune response. Redness, itching, and resulting hair loss are typical signs. Chicken and beef are among the most common allergens in cats. Gluten or grain allergies are virtually unheard of despite marketing claims.

burmese cat check by vet
Image Credit: Julija Sulkovska, Shutterstock

Final Thoughts

A Burmese doesn’t shed a lot, which we’d expect with a short-haired cat. Long-haired breeds are more likely to lose a lot of hair. However, environmental factors can also cause a feline to lose more hair than normal. Some hair loss is par for the course. However, cases of excessive shedding warrant a visit to the vet to determine the underlying cause.

Featured Image Credit: Sergey Neanderthalec, Shutterstock

Chris Dinesen Rogers

Authored by

Chris is an experienced pet writer specializing in science topics, with a particular passion for health and the environment. She has been a writer for over 15 years and lives with her husband and three cats in Michigan. Beyond writing about cats and dogs, Chris loves to learn about wine. She has WSET 1 and 2 certifications and is currently pursuing her Certified Wine Specialist Award (CSW).

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