Are Burmese Cats Destructive? Full Explanation & Advices

The Burmese cat, known for its richly colored, glossy coat and muscular form, is much sought after for its affectionate and playful nature. These cats can be quite active, engaging in various activities throughout the day to satiate their curiosity and high energy levels.

While being cherished for their friendliness and intelligent demeanor, their actions sometimes raise a question. A question that perhaps you, as a potential or current cat parent, have been wondering about – are these feline companions prone to destructive behavior?

Are Burmese Cats Destructive?

Burmese cats, like all felines, have instincts and behaviors that they exhibit in their daily lives. This does not mean that they are inherently destructive. However, their active nature and keen curiosity might occasionally result in activities that might be seen as destructive from a human perspective.

Their playful disposition makes them interested in a wide variety of stimuli, which may include household objects, toys, and even furniture. It’s essential to remember, though, that what might be seen as “destruction” is often merely the cat expressing its natural behavior.

This shouldn’t discourage you from inviting a Burmese cat into your home. Understanding their behaviors can help you guide them to express their natural instincts in ways that don’t result in damage. This can lead to a harmonious cohabitation where your Burmese cat can be their playful self, without causing undue stress for you.

In a nutshell, Burmese cats are not destructive by nature, but their actions might sometimes come across that way due to their instinctive behaviors and their need for physical and mental stimulation.

Types Of Burmese Cat Destructive Behavior

Before diving into why your Burmese cat might exhibit certain behaviors, let’s take a look at the types of actions that might be seen as destructive. It’s crucial to recognize these as natural cat behaviors, even if they may occasionally cause minor disruptions in your home.

  • Scratching: This is a normal behavior for cats and is a way for them to keep their claws healthy and mark their territory. However, if your cat is scratching furniture or carpets, this can be seen as destructive.
  • Knocking Items Over: Cats are curious creatures, and they may knock items over as part of their exploration or play.
  • Chewing: Some cats might chew on various items, including houseplants, cords, or fabrics, which can result in damage.

Recognizing these behaviors can help you better understand your Burmese cat and guide them towards more suitable outlets for their instincts. These behaviors are not a sign that your cat is bad or destructive, but rather an indication that they might need more suitable outlets for their natural instincts or more environmental enrichment.

Champagne Burmese kitten.
Champaigne Burmese Kitten

What A Burmese Cat Will Destroy

So, what items might a Burmese cat target in their pursuit of entertainment, comfort, or territory marking? Here are some common targets:

  • Furniture: This is often a target for scratching, especially if the cat does not have an appropriate scratching post.
  • Houseplants: Some cats are attracted to the texture or taste of certain plants, which can lead them to chew on them.
  • Small Objects: Cats often knock small objects off of tables or shelves as a form of play or exploration.
  • Cords or Ropes: These might be attractive for cats to chew on or play with, which can cause damage.

Knowing the potential targets can help you cat-proof your home and provide your Burmese with more appropriate outlets for their behaviors. Remember, your cat is not intentionally trying to cause destruction – they’re merely following their instincts and needs.

Why Do Burmese Cats Destroy Things?

The reasons behind the behaviors that might seem destructive can vary, and understanding them can help you mitigate any potential damage. Some common reasons include boredom, territorial marking, attention-seeking behavior, lack of proper toys or scratchers, instinctive behavior, and lack of exercise.


Burmese cats are known for their playful and energetic nature. They require mental and physical stimulation to stay content and fulfilled. Boredom can set in when they are not provided with enough engaging activities, leading them to find their own sources of amusement, which can sometimes result in destructive behavior.

For instance, they might start scratching furniture or batting at objects simply because they have nothing else to occupy their attention. Providing a range of interactive toys and encouraging regular play sessions can help keep them entertained and lessen the chances of destructive behaviors caused by boredom.

Regular mental stimulation is also crucial. Puzzle toys, treat-dispensing toys, or interactive games can help keep their minds sharp and engaged, further reducing the likelihood of boredom-induced destructive behavior.

Territorial Marking

Cats are territorial animals, and marking their territory is a common behavior. They do this through various means, including scratching and spraying. These behaviors, while perfectly normal for a cat, can appear destructive to us.

Scratching isn’t just a way for cats to keep their nails healthy; it also allows them to leave both visual and scent marks, letting other cats know that the area is claimed. Even if you don’t have other cats in your home, your Burmese cat might still exhibit this behavior as it’s deeply ingrained in their instincts.

Mitigating this behavior involves providing more appropriate outlets for their need to mark territory. Scratch posts or boards placed strategically around the house can divert their attention from furniture or other household items. Remember to reward your Burmese cat when they use these, reinforcing positive behavior.

Attention-Seeking Behavior

Sometimes, a Burmese cat may resort to actions that seem destructive to catch your attention. Cats quickly learn what behaviors result in immediate responses from their owners. If knocking over a vase or scratching at the couch results in you rushing over, they might repeat this behavior whenever they want attention.

Understanding this is key to addressing the issue. Instead of responding negatively, ignore the behavior and only provide attention when your cat is calm and behaving appropriately. This will teach them that destructive behavior won’t achieve their goal.

When your Burmese cat is behaving well, give them plenty of positive reinforcement. This could be through treats, praise, or petting. Over time, they’ll learn that good behavior is the surest way to receive attention.

Lack of Proper Toys or Scratchers

If a Burmese cat lacks suitable toys or scratchers, they may turn to household items to satisfy their natural instincts. Scratching posts are essential as they give your cat an appropriate outlet for their scratching needs, and a variety of toys can help to keep them entertained and engaged.

Ensure that you provide toys that cater to your cat’s instinctive behaviors. Interactive toys can stimulate their hunting instincts, while balls or feather toys can engage their play instincts. Having a variety of toys available can help prevent your cat from getting bored and turning to less appropriate objects for entertainment.

Scratchers are also crucial in preventing destructive behavior. Cats need to scratch to keep their claws healthy and to mark their territory. Providing them with scratchers in various locations around your house can prevent them from turning to your furniture.

Instinctive Behavior

At the core of many behaviors that seem destructive are your Burmese cat’s instincts. Whether it’s hunting, exploring, or marking territory, these actions are all part of being a cat. Recognizing this can help you provide more suitable outlets for these instincts.

When your cat knocks items over or pounces on objects, they’re often practicing their hunting skills. Providing toys that mimic prey, like feather toys or laser pointers, can provide a better outlet for this instinct.

Cats also have a strong instinct to explore their environment. Providing plenty of vertical space, such as cat trees or shelves, can give your cat new areas to explore and prevent them from knocking items over on your tables or counters.

Lack Of Exercise

Lack of exercise can also lead to destructive behavior. Burmese cats are energetic and need regular physical activity to stay happy and healthy. If they’re not getting enough exercise, they may start exhibiting destructive behaviors as a way to burn off excess energy.

Interactive play is a great way to ensure your cat gets plenty of exercise. Regular play sessions with toys that encourage your cat to run, jump, and pounce can help them use up their energy in a positive way.

You could also consider providing your cat with an outdoor enclosure if it’s safe and feasible to do so. This gives them a chance to explore a new environment, climb, and generally be more active.

Do Burmese Cats Like Scratching Furniture?

Furniture scratching isn’t a behavior that’s unique to Burmese cats – it’s something that many cats do. They’re not doing it because they have a particular fondness for your furniture; it’s simply a natural behavior for them. They’re fulfilling their need to scratch, mark territory, and keep their claws healthy.

It’s also important to note that the type of furniture in your home can impact whether a cat is drawn to scratch it. Sofas and chairs covered in certain fabrics can be particularly tempting for cats, especially if the furniture is in a location that the cat considers important to its territory.

Why Do Burmese Cats Scratch Furniture?

Furniture scratching can occur for various reasons. Understanding these can help in managing this behavior. Here are some common reasons:

  • To Exercise: Scratching helps cats stretch their bodies and work off energy.
  • To Mark Territory: Scratching leaves both visual marks and scent marks that other cats can recognize.
  • To Maintain Claw Health: Scratching helps remove the dead outer layer of the claws.
  • For Enjoyment: Many cats simply enjoy the physical sensation of scratching.

While scratching is a natural and necessary behavior, it’s understandable that you might want to discourage your cat from scratching your furniture. This involves providing suitable alternatives and encouraging your cat to use them.

How To Stop Burmese Cat Destroying Furniture

If your Burmese cat is causing damage to your furniture, here are some steps you can take to mitigate the issue:

  • Provide Scratch Posts or Boards: These give your cat a suitable place to scratch, diverting their attention from your furniture.
  • Use Cat Deterrents: These can include products like sticky tape or deterrent sprays that make your furniture less appealing to your cat.
  • Trim Your Cat’s Nails Regularly: This can reduce the damage caused by scratching.
  • Use Cat-Proof Covers: These can protect your furniture while you’re training your cat to use the scratch post.

Patience is key when teaching your cat to stop scratching furniture. Remember to reward them when they use their scratch post or board, reinforcing the positive behavior.

Ways To Discipline A Burmese Cat

Disciplining a Burmese cat, or any cat for that matter, does not involve punishment or negative reinforcement. Instead, the focus should be on guiding the cat towards more positive behaviors. This involves patience and understanding, as well as recognizing the natural instincts and behaviors of the cat.

Here are some effective ways to discipline your Burmese cat:

  • Positive Reinforcement: When your cat displays behavior you want to see more of, reward them. This could be with a treat, praise, or petting. Over time, your cat will associate this behavior with positive outcomes and will be more likely to repeat it.
  • Redirection: If your cat is engaging in an undesirable behavior, gently guide them towards a more appropriate activity. For example, if they’re scratching furniture, redirect them to a scratching post.
  • Ignoring Unwanted Behavior: Cats often engage in certain behaviors to get attention. If your cat is doing something you don’t want them to, such as knocking over items or scratching furniture, ignore the behavior. If they learn that they won’t get attention this way, they’ll be less likely to repeat the behavior.
  • Environmental Management: Make sure your cat’s environment is conducive to the behaviors you want to see. This might involve providing plenty of appropriate scratching posts, ensuring they have enough toys to keep them occupied, and making sure they have a quiet, safe space to retreat to.
  • Consistency: Whatever method you choose to discipline your Burmese cat, consistency is key. Cats learn through repetition, so being consistent in your responses to their behavior is crucial.

It’s essential to understand that cats don’t act out of spite or malice. What we perceive as misbehavior is often a cat reacting to stress, expressing natural behaviors, or trying to communicate their needs. By understanding the reason behind their actions and guiding them towards more positive behaviors, you can create a peaceful and fulfilling environment for both you and your Burmese cat. And always remember, every interaction with your cat is an opportunity for bonding and building a strong relationship based on mutual trust and respect.

Are Male Burmese Cats More Destructive?

There’s no definitive answer to whether male Burmese cats are more destructive than females. Behavior can vary widely among individual cats, regardless of gender. Factors such as personality, environment, and upbringing often play a more significant role in a cat’s behavior than their gender.

It’s worth noting, however, that unneutered male cats are often more territorial and may be more prone to certain behaviors such as spraying. Neutering can mitigate these behaviors.

Burmese Cat Is Destructive At Night

Cats are crepuscular, meaning they’re most active during the dawn and dusk hours. This is a time when their natural prey would be active, so it’s ingrained in their instincts to be active during these times. As a result, your Burmese cat might engage in what appears to be destructive behavior at night.

To prevent this, you can engage your cat in vigorous play sessions in the evening, just before bedtime. This can help tire them out and encourage them to sleep through the night.

Using puzzle feeders or treat-dispensing toys can also help keep them occupied during the night. These can provide mental stimulation, keeping your cat engaged and preventing them from turning to less desirable activities.


Caring for a Burmese cat can be a delightful experience, filled with affectionate moments and playful antics. Understanding their needs and natural behaviors is key to ensuring a harmonious relationship where your cat can express themselves without causing disruption.

Remember that behaviors that may seem destructive are often your cat’s way of communicating their needs or expressing their natural instincts. By providing them with the appropriate outlets for their energy and instincts, you can guide them towards behaviors that satisfy their needs while maintaining the integrity of your home. Happy cohabitation is not only possible but can be an enriching experience for both you and your feline companion.

About The Author

Jennifer Terell, a valued author at Allpetsville, is an experienced cat owner and breeder. Her deep understanding of felines, coupled with a passion for writing, contributes to her insightful and engaging articles.

Her expertise in cat behavior, health, and breeding offers readers a comprehensive guide to feline care. Through her writings, Jennifer’s love for cats resonates, making her a reliable resource for cat owners and enthusiasts on their pet parenting journey.