The Birman is a domestic cat breed, also known as the ‘Sacred Cat of Burma’. It is not to be confused with the Burmese (cat), which is a separate and dissimilar breed. The Birman has a pale coloured body and darker points with deep blue eyes. The Birman breed is recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA).
The Birman is a strikingly beautiful breed of cat with semi-longhaired coat of colour-point pattern. It comes in a variety of colours and possesses white feet. Males can be quite large – adults reaching 5 to 6 kilos while females are somewhat smaller tending to mature somewhere between 3.5 and 4 kilos. They are affectionate and sweet natured. Their origin is cloaked in mystery and they do come with a very sweet Legend which explains how they came into being. On the whole they are robust healthy cats, many living to very old age yet they possess an ethereal quality which is very endearing.
The Birman has an easy care angora coat which requires little grooming. The fur is long and silky and has no undercoat so does not knot or tangle. Regular weekly grooming with a brush is all that is required for most of the year although your cat will enjoy it if you decide to groom more regularly. The coat is inclined to change during the hot months and at that time daily grooming may be desirable to remove surplus dead hair. Like other breeds your Birman can be bathed occasionally if desired. Scratching carpet covered posts help to keep nails short.
The Birman cat is gaining in popularity from year to year as more people are introduced to this exceedingly beautiful cat. Their popularity is of course only partly due to their beauty and the variety of colour points that can be found. They are exceptional companions and ideally suited to indoor living. They also satisfy the desire to own a long haired cat but without the continual grooming of such breeds as Persians. However it is their personality that makes them such a treasured addition to a family.
Birmans are people oriented cats. They are always pleased to see you and where you are your Birman cat will not be far behind. If you are working or relaxing in one room and the Birman has been in another soon it will stroll in and indicate by it’s expression and a softly waving tail that it is happy to see you. Although kittens are excited by your presence adults are more subject to their inherited dignity. They have soft voices sometimes described as “bell like” and some will hold conversations with you and nearly all of them have wonderful purr machinery. Picking up your Birman or a pat on the head will mostly start the purr running. Some Birmans like to sit beside you and will purr softly for hours. They may demand your attention but if you give them time to agree that they are “the most beautiful cat in the whole world” they will settle near by and allow you to continue your activity. It has been said that the Birman is intelligent, intuitive, inquisitive, charming, curious, playful, and dignified. Birman cats are generally easy going and relaxed but remain playful into old age. Anything new needs to be explored and they enjoy hours of fun with simple toys like wine bottle corks, paper and cardboard bags and of course are ecstatic when offered felt mice and tinsel balls. They love to help with all household tasks and it is not unusual to find them in the ironing basket when you are ironing, or in your waste paper basket when you are working in your study.
Birmans make wonderful pets for children. They are tolerant and also being playful will join in games. If permitted they will sleep on the child’s bed and are always happy to see the junior members of the household. Obviously small kittens and small children need supervision so that neither gets hurt while they are learning.
Birmans can live happily as a sole pet but some people who go to work for long hours recommend keeping two because they are such sociable cats. Because of their gentle friendly nature it is not recommended that they live loose outdoors where there are then prone to be attacked by marauding cats, dogs, stolen or may have the risk of being run over. Some people provide outdoor enclosed areas of the garden so that cats can enjoy the best of both worlds and the wild life stays safe.
Breeders / Birman clubs
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