The Birman is an exquisite specimen, featuring soulful blue eyes that will put you under an enchanting spell. When you get out of its captivating gaze, the unusual markings will make you want to examine it more. The roman nose, semi long coat and the four “gloved and laced” feet is definitely eye candy for cat lovers.
Birmans have resemblances with Himalayans (the pointed nose) and is the fluffier version of the Siamese. There’s no clear history or record of where the Birman comes from, which lies in accordance with the breed’s mysterious aura. Birmans are elegant but they can also let their hair down and act like youthful kittens every now and then.
Karl Lagerfeld, renowned German fashion designer owns a Birman named Choupette. Choupette has become the inspiration for Lagerfeld’s cat-themed accessory collection and has made several ads in a cat calendar for Vauxhall Corsa and for Shu Uemura, a Japanese cosmetics brand.
History of Birman Cats
Birmans are believed to have come from Myanmar, which was known as Burma before. Legend tells the tale of a Birman who lived in a temple tended by a Kittah priest. One day, the sacred place was attacked by thieves, who left the priest for dead. The cat kept the priest company until his dying breath, and a magical transformation occurred. The cat gained golden tints in its fur and its eyes became blue, bearing a resemblance to the temple’s revered goddess.
In 1919, the Birman made its first appearance in France. The title Sacre de Birmanie was given by a French registry, which was reduced to simply “Birman”. In the 60s, Birmans started appearing in Great Britain. Breeding programmes resulted in the Birman spreading to other parts of the globe.
The breed was recognized by British cat fanciers in 1966, and a year later was recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association in the U.S.
Size of the Birman Cat
Birmans belong to the mid-sized category and can weigh anywhere between 6 to 12 lbs. This breed is muscular, stocky and are heavily boned. Along with the lengthy body, Birmans sport a triangular head with prominent skulls and a face that looks almost round.
Personality of the Birman Cat
Birmans are naturally quiet, gentle and companionable. Their easy-going personality is mixed in with a sociable attitude. Sometimes they forget themselves and play for hours on end. These cats love attention and will let their owners know when they need petting or a long head scratch. After that, they’ll go about their business until it’s attention time again!
More often than not, these cats will stick to one owner and follow them around the house. They can sometimes exhibit jealousy if their chosen one doesn’t pay them much attention. Birman owners will be delighted in the fact that their cats can hold conversations using a chirpy voice. They are intelligent, curious and love to take part in anything that’s happening in your house.
Birmans are born completely white and then start developing points as they grow up to adulthood. The gloves and sock characteristics can come later while they mature. In 18 months, the cat’s markings and points should show up in full.
Choosing the right kitten is of utmost importance. You’ll need to find the right kind of breeder and do some research on what constitutes the best kitten for your household.
Birmans are highly sought after, so don’t be surprised if there’s a long waiting list for Birmans around your area.
Birman kittens should be available for adoption between the age of 12 to 16 weeks. Have your kitten checked for health complications and diseases before signing the papers. Visit the breeder’s home and see if the breeding environment is clean and acceptable. The parents of the cat should have a clean bill of health and the best possible medical history as well.
As an alternative to caring for a Birman kitten from scratch, consider rescue cats who need new homes. If you’re not keen on the idea of having to look after a lively, energetic kitten, then you must consider this option seriously.
Birman Cat Health
The breed doesn’t have a particular health concern other than their propensity to becoming obese. This can be easily avoided with regular exercise and in active portioning of your cat’s food. HCM, or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can occur in Birmans and is considered a common disease in felines.
Care of the Birman Cat
Birmans are intelligent creatures who thrive in an interactive environment. You can keep your cat entertained with one-on-one time, or you can invest in toys that will occupy your cat for hours on end. Thinking puzzle toys reward your cat with treats whenever they activate the right switches. Get toy fishing lines and a scratching post to feed their natural instincts.
These cats enjoy the company of other pets, including other cats. They don’t mind being the only pet as long as you take care of their needs. Keep your Birman healthy by feeding the right diet, getting the needed vaccinations and considering pet insurance. Moreover, you should consider spaying or neutering your cat and keeping them indoors for his or her own safety. Schedule regular check-ups with a professional vet to stay abreast in your pet’s overall health.
Litter Box Training
Litter box training starts when the kittens learn how to emulate their mothers. When bringing home a Birman, you should already have a litter box in place. Keep the box clean at all times by scooping out the feces whenever you see it and changing the whole litter each day. If possible, buy the same litter type as what the breeder used so your cat won’t have to adjust.
Birman Cat Nutrition
The type of diet for your cat will depend on its age. In Birmans, good nutrition should consist of moderate fat, low carbs and high protein sustenance. The meat ingredients should be real and without fillers such as starch, wheat or corn. Check the label and see if there are vitamins and minerals that your cat needs.
Coat Color and Grooming
Birmans have single length coats that are soft, lush and silky, which makes it relatively easy to care for. Groom your cat by giving it a good brushing twice each week.
Birmans can come in fawn, lilac, cinnamon, cream, red, seal, chocolate, blue and frost. The pointed characteristics mean that their fur is light-colored, with darker points on the tail, feet and ears.
Birman Cat Grooming
Your cat needs regular brushing and nail trimming. Get a vet-approved toothpaste to take care of your pet’s periodontal needs. Don’t forget to check the ears and the eyes and clear up any debris that accumulates.
Children and Other Pets
Birmans are perfect as house cats. This breed is known to get along exceptionally well with other pets such as dogs, cats and such. Their sweet, even-tempered nature make them instant favorites in your family or with guests.