Meet the Breed: Birman Cat Breed

The Birman has recognizable blue eyes and always with white paws. Did you know that this cat hates being alone? Read on to learn more.

The Birman is a long and large cat with silky and beautiful hair. This breed is also a true feline representative, who is territorial, but hates being the only pet in the home. Interestingly, this breed will be active all day long and quiet if you are busy.

Birman Cat Breed – History

This breed comes with a fascinating history. The origin of the breed is interesting as the appearance of this breed. The Sacred Cat of Burma is how the Birman was initially known, is a temple cat who spends the majority of her time with priests.

The legend has it that this cat had a rather unusual appearance, with changing coat from white to gold and changing eyes from yellow to blue. Ever since the temple cats are given particular respect.

The legend goes so deep that many claims, even today, that temple cats are actually priests who died, and they were reborn into the cats’ bodies.

Yet, the exact origin of the need is still unknown. Some claim that they are the cross between Siamese and Persians, or a mix between Siamese with Angoras. This theory is not to be ruled out, but their original meetups are still unknown.

The chances are that the breed may have developed in southeast Asia, definitely between a long hair cat and a breed with blue eyes. Some claim that the breed was developed in France, from cats that were actually imported by two Europeans, who were given a pair of temple cats in 1919 as a reward for aiding the priests.

The cat pair was shipped to France, but the male feline died before reaching its destination. However, he did impregnate the female feline, and her kittens actually establish the breed in Europe.

The breed was officially recognized in 1925, in France, as the Sacre de Birmanie.

From that name, we got to today’s name, Birman. From France, Birman was imported to the States in 1959, and in 1967 the breed was recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association.

The Birman is also recognized by larger cat associations, such as:

  • The American Cat Fanciers Association
  • The Canadian Cat Association
  • The Cat Fanciers Federation
  • The International Cat Association

Birman Cat Breed – Physical Appearance

A cat of mystery and legend, the Birman, is a cat with a silky coat, powerfully built body, and always white color paws. Their head is rather distinctive with strong jaws, medium length nose, and firm chin.

Cheeks are with a rounded muzzle that is short and blunted, next to heavy jaws and strong chin. Ears are always medium, while eyes are always round and with famous cat sweet expression. Eyes are always blue.

Legs are heavy and medium, while paws are firm, large, and round. The tail is medium in length and always proportional to the body. The coat is medium to long and silk, while heavy ruff is around the neck, with slightly curly on the stomach.

Interestingly, their fur doesn’t mat. Coat color can be the blue, chocolate, lilac point, or seal point. Front paws are always white.

Birman Cat Breed – Personality

The Birman is an affectionate and calm cat. Some would even say that the breed is similar to dogs because it prefers to attach to only one person. They can also be jealous, which is not something that’s common in cats.

So, yes – they love attention. They are similar in one thing to dogs – they are highly territorial, but they are not aggressive. Interestingly, this breed can adapt to any home and loves being with people.

They will play with other pets if they are raised together and spend a lot of time together. They hate being only pets. They love the company and spending hours chasing and playing around.

Birmans are amazing with children, dogs, and even other cats. If you notice that your Birman is sad, and if she is the only household pet, she might experience anxiety.

That being said, make sure to provide toys and incorporate playtime every day, to keep your cat happy and healhty.

In a nutshell, they are people-pleasers, and they will leave you alone to do your work, as long as they have their own corner of silence. They will let you know whenever they need petting or some back-scratching.

Simply said, they will let you do your business as long as the time comes for you to adore them.

Birman Cat Breed – Health

As you probably know already, both mixed-breed and pedigreed cats have various elements of health problems that can be both genetic or caused by some external or internal factors.

They may also suffer from some underlying medical problems that can be discovered too late.

Still, there are some health issues that are more prone to one breed more than in another one. Some conditions are more prone in the Birmans and this what you should have on mind:

  • Congenital hypotrichosis: this condition can cause a cat to be born with no hair. Luckily, this condition is extremely rare.
  • Corneal dermoid: this condition includes hair and skin on the surface of the cornea of one or even both eyes. This condition can be corrected surgically.
  • Spongiform degeneration: this is a well-known disease in felines, which affects the entire central nervous system that can cause signs that include hind-limb weakness and even movements without coordination.
  • Shaking and trembling in kittens: this condition can appear in kittens when they re only 10 days old, or even when they are 12 weeks old. To date, the cause of this disease is unknown, and recovery happens spontaneously.
  • High concentrations of urea: this occurrence next to unusually high concentrations of creatinine in the blood may indicate kidney dysfunction. Also, these occurrences may not indicate this condition, so it is crucial to take your Birman to the veterinarian’s office.

Overall, Birmans are healthy cats, and they can live for more than 15 years. That being said, always buy a kitten from a reputable breeder who can provide necessary documentation on kittens’ health.

You can also adopt an animal shelter that will provide you with needed papers and direct guidelines on cat’s health, behavior, and preferences.

Bear in mind, know that getting a 100% healthy cat doesn’t mean that your cat won’t get sick in her lifetime.

Luckily you can prevent or postpone those moments by taking good care of your cat and providing good nutrition, regular grooming, and a healthy environment.

Birman Cat Breed – Grooming

The Birman is known for its amazingly soft coat, which is also silky. However, their coat is not to be mixed with the Persian one, but to keep it healthy, you will groom it with the same intensity.

Make sure that you have right grooming tools and to learn how to brush your feline right. Make sure that you brush your Nirman at least two times per week.

It’s important to teach your Burman from day one to tolerate grooming. Like any other cat, you Birman will spend hours daily grooming herself, and since cats are natural cleaners, they are not fond of people messing with their cleaning routine.

However, if you get your Birman as a kitten, make sure that you stat with grooming practice at an early age. This is the best way to get your cat used to being handled.

Don’t bath your Burman, unless she jumps into a muddy sport.

Again, cats are extremely clean animals, and they will groom themselves. As with all cats, your Birman will need regular vaccinations, parasite control, and, of course, annual health checks.

The Birman Cat Breed In A Nutshell

Here is what you should know about Birman before you welcome this breed into your home.

  • Playful
  • Independent, but friendly
  • Very quiet
  • Requires frequent grooming, at least twice a week, if not every day
  • Great cat to a family with children
  • Loves outdoor space

The Bottom Line

The Birman will always look at you with blue eyes and deep softness. This cat with a semi-long coat comes with an extremely silky coat to the touch. Moreover, this cat looks powerful and elegant at any moment due to a muscular body and a gentle white paws.

The Birman is known as people-and-animal-lover, and one of the rare cat breeds that actually doesn’t like being alone. This breed is also fond of playing around and been active.

If you don’t mind having a more dog-like cat in terms of personality than this cat just might before you.

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