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Burmese Cats

Burmese cats in Australia are more at risk of Type 2 diabetes than American Burmese cats or other cat breeds in Australia.  They were bred from only a few founder cats brought here in the 1960’s, which by chance had more type 2 diabetes susceptible genes than usual.  This is the opinion of West Australian diabetes researchers.

This discovery helps pave the way for genetic testing to help prevent high-risk cats from developing the condition.  Cat breeders can also use this information to breed low-risk cats.

 Cats with type 2 diabetes tend to develop it later in their lives and experience health impacts similar to humans with the condition.  Symptoms include inadequate insulin secretion and impaired insulin action and they are more at risk of obesity and physical inactivity. 

Knowing if a cat is at higher risk allows vets and owners to pay closer attention to early intervention strategies such as weight control and diet changes. Dietary and weight recommendations for cats are not always adopted by cat owners, but uptake may increase if owners know their cat is genetically at risk. 

Early diagnosis of diabetes and quick implementation of tight blood sugar control can lead to remission in more than 80% of cases compared to 30-40% if tight blood sugar is delayed. 

This is a great step for Burmese lovers as breeders can use this information to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes through breed control.

The Burmese breed originated in Burma.  Most modern Burmese are descendants of one female cat called Wong Mau who was taken from Burma to America in 1930’s.  The Burmese cat lives a good age, with 18-20 years quite common.  They are highly intelligent, affectionate, and extremely loyal. They love being with people, but also get along quite well with other cats and even dogs.  One of their most endearing qualities is loving to perform tricks.  They are also hypoallergenic, which means they are unlikely to cause an allergic reaction to owners.  They have a glistening coat, with a shiny, glimmering finish.  Best of all they love to give and receive affection.