Black Burmese Cat vs Bombay: What’s the Difference?

Written by

Amy Sawy

Veterinarian. DVM


Joseph M. Plummer

Veterinarian, DVM, MVZ

black burmese cat vs bombay

While all Bombay cats are black, not all black felines are Bombay. One feline breed that is often mistaken for Bombay is the black Burmese cat. True enough, they present many physical similarities.

In this article, we’ll discuss the differences between the black Burmese cat vs Bombay cat.

Characteristics Bombay Cat Black Burmese Cat
  •  Short, sleek, and shiny fur
  • Muscular, medium body
  • Short, satin-like coat
  • Compact and muscular body
Personality Active, playful, and enjoys attention Intelligent lap cats
  • Length – 13-20 inches
  • Weight – 8-15 pounds
  • Length – 15-18 inches
  • Weight – 8-12 pounds
Diet A mixture of nutrient-dense wet and dry food A mixture of nutrient-dense wet and dry food
Health Prone to various health conditions Susceptible to hereditary health conditions
Lifespan 15-17 years 9-13 years

An Overview of Black Burmese Cats


Black is one of the rarest colors in Burmese cats. Black Burmese cats are medium-sized felines covered in a short yet silky coat.

Besides its shiny black fur, black Burmese felines also possess expressive eyes.

Burmese cats came from Southeast Asia, with their ancestry coming back to a female dark brown cat named Wong Mau. The breed is prominent in Burma, hence, the name.

The initial selective breeding of Burmese cats included the seal point Siamese named Tai Mau. So, you may notice that non-black Burmese cats have a colorpoint pattern.

A Brief Description of Bombay Cats


Black Bombay cats are felines with a sleek appearance, somehow resembling black panthers. They have medium-sized bodies but are heavier than they look due to their muscular build.

Feline breeder Nikki Horner developed this breed in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1958. Horner wanted a cat resembling large wild felines, which is why Bombay cats look like miniature black panthers.

Horner started her breeding program to achieve her goal by crossing a sable Burmese cat with a black American Shorthair. From then, she chose the felines that showed her desired characteristics, thus leading to the Bombay cats we know today.

Pros And Cons of Black Burmese And Bombay Cats

Black Bombay Cats Burmese Cats
Pros Cons Pros Cons
Features a unique appearance that resembles black panthers Requires plenty of attention Intelligent Noisy
Affectionate Prone to various medical conditions Active and sociable Requires a lot of attention
Playful and sociable Hard to find Loves to cuddle Can be mischievous when left alone
Requires minimal grooming Easy to groom

Comparing Black Cats: Bombay Vs. Burmese Cats

1. Appearance


While both Bombay and black Burmese cats have black coats, they have some subtle differences appearance-wise. Bombay felines have short and sleek coats, further enhanced by their shine and denseness.

Bombay cats also have round heads, expressive eyes, copper or gold, and short muscles that suit their muscular, medium-sized bodies.

Similarly, black Burmese cat breeds feature compact, muscular bodies and rounded heads. But unlike the Bombay cat, it has a broad muzzle.

This feline also has a short coat with a satin-like texture. They have large expressive eyes, which range from yellow to gold.

2. Personality


In terms of a cat’s personality, Bombay cats are active animals. They love getting their caretakers’ attention through their playfulness.

Bombay felines are intelligent, so they require lots of mental stimulation. If you plan to get this furry animal as a pet, you need to prepare a home where it can explore around.

This cat also gets along well with people and other animals, so you’ll have no problems bonding with it.

Meanwhile, black Burmese cats are sweet, making them ideal for people who like cuddling with their pets. They are lap cats, so you need to be home often if you want to keep them happy.

Like the Bombay cats, black Burmese cats are intelligent, so they require an interactive environment.

3. Size


Adult Bombay cats have an average length of 13 to 20 inches. This black cat weight reaches 8 to 15 pounds. On the other hand, black Burmese cats are a bit smaller, weighing 8 to 12 pounds and reaching a length of 15 to 18 inches.

4. Diet


Bombay and black Burmese cats have similar diets. These cats require a combination of high-quality wet and dry food to stay healthy.

Bombay and black Burmese kittens need high-nutrient wet foods, as their stomachs cannot easily process dry food yet. But once they turn into adults, they may prefer dry food better, although you should still give them wet food from time to time.

5. Health


Black Burmese cats are generally a healthy breed. However, this fact does not mean that they are safe from various health conditions.

Some of the feline medical conditions black Burmese cats are susceptible to are:

  • Glaucoma
  • Calcium oxalate stone buildup in the urinary tract
  • Cranial deformities
  • Feline hyperaesthesia syndrome.

On the other hand, Bombay cats are prone to hereditary health conditions, such as:

  • Breathing difficulties (caused by their short muzzle)
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • Excessive tearing

Moreover, both felines are susceptible to obesity. For this reason, it is important to watch their diet and control their feeding portions.

6. Lifespan


Bombay felines can reach the age of 15 to 17 years as long as they receive proper care. Your pet may even outlive this lifespan if you provide it with a healthy diet.

Black Burmese cats have a shorter lifespan, only reaching 9 to 13 years. But like Bombay cats, you can extend their lifespan by providing them with a healthy diet and proper care.

7. Temperament

Bombay and black Burmese cat temperaments are similar since Bombay cats have a Burmese feline ancestry. Both felines are extremely social and friendly, making them ideal for people who often stay home.

These cats also do well with children and other pets, so it will not be difficult for them to adjust to their new homes.

8. Cost

How Much is a Bombay Cat?


A Bombay kitten’s price can range anywhere around $500 to $700. However, this price can either decrease or increase depending on the feline’s pedigree, gender, and the breeder where you got it from.

The color also plays a role in this cat’s price. For instance, a brown Bombay cat is less expensive than the black one

Apart from the initial price, you’ll also have to spend on the cat’s food, health, grooming, and exercise needs. For instance, you need to purchase a bed, toys, and feline basic needs before even bringing your pet home.

Black Burmese Cat Cost


In terms of the cat’s price, black Burmese cats are pretty rare, so they can cost $1,000 to $1,500. However, well-known breeders can sell these cats at a higher price, ranging from $1,200 to $2,500.

Despite the higher price, it is better to get a black Burmese kitten from a reputable breeder to ensure its health.

How to Identify a Bombay Cat


If you compare a bombay cat vs a black cat, you will notice that they look almost the same. However, Bombay cats differ from regular black cats.

One way to identify if your black cat is a Bombay or not is to look at the roots of its fur. Bombay cats have entirely black fur, including the roots. These cats also have black paw pads and noses, whereas regular black cats usually have pink paw pads.

Another signature characteristic of Bombay cats is their copper to gold-colored eyes.

Frequently Asked Questions


Are Bombay cats rare?

Bombay cats are quite rare, which makes them difficult to find. And if ever you can ever find one, its price will be pretty high.

Considering the rarity of this feline, it is important to exercise caution when getting one. There are a lot of black cats that look similar to the Bombay breed.

If you are not careful during your purchasing journey, you can get scammed and unknowingly get a regular black cat instead.

How do I know if my black cat is Burmese?

The best way to identify if a black cat is a Burmese breed is to check its physical features. Burmese felines have short and silky fur covering their medium-sized, muscular bodies.

Burmese cats also have golden eyes. In addition, Burmese felines tend to be more outgoing and sociable than other black cats.

What eye color is rare for black cats?

Blue eyes are rare for black cats. Blue eyes are common on felines with light-colored coats, as there is a genetic link between eye and fur colors in cats.

So, finding a black cat with blue eyes is a one-in-a-million chance.

What is a true black cat?

True black cats are black felines born from parents that are also pure black. This factor makes the black gene dominant, overpowering other genetic colors that may be present in the cat.


Black Burmese cat vs Bombay cat – this comparison reveals how these black felines are similar yet very different.

Bombay cats are rare, while black Burmese cats are easier to find. Both felines are intelligent and friendly, making them easy to bond with.

If you plan to adopt either of these cats, considering your lifestyle and environment is crucial. Burmese and Bombay cats are attention-seeking, so they may not be ideal pets if you are always outside.

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