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Birman

A Beautiful Cat with Sapphire Eyes, a Moderately Long-Haired Coat

Birman

Jon Crimes - Last Updated on January 25th, 2021

What you Need to Know about the Birman

Piercing blue eyes with a Golden Retrievers personality is a good way to introduce the Birman cat breed.

This long-haired feline is perfect for anyone wanting a loyal companion. They will stun you with their charm and amaze you with how affectionate and gentle they are.

Many legends surround this striking animal. One of these includes a pure white cat with golden eyes. The animal watched as its holy master died in the presence of a beautiful golden goddess. 

His soul passed to the cat, transforming the cat's colors. Paws of immaculate white appeared because of the holy master’s pure spirit. 

A gold sparkle appeared on the cat’s coat from the golden goddess.

Appearance Matters. What does a Birman look like?

The ideal Birman cat is relatively large, stocky, and long. They have silky hair that has no undercoat. This makes their fur not as thick as other breeds and less prone to matting.

The coat color is light and may have a golden cast as if sprinkled with gold dust. 

The face, leg, and tail points are darker and similar to the Siamese and color-pointed Persian patterns. This might explain why they are sometimes known as the Birman Siamese cat.

The breed has also been confused with another cat, the Ragdoll. The Birman Cat Ragdoll doesn't exist, with the Ragdoll looking similar but being much larger.

Birman's eyes are rounded and deep blue. Set in a strong face, they have heavy jaws, a full chin, and a nose with the nostrils set low. The nose is often described as 'Roman'.

Wide at their base, the ears are proportionately tall. The cat’s front white 'gloves' should match. The rear paws include white 'laces', which extend up the back of the leg. 

But, it is rare to find a Birman with four perfect paws.

Birman Colors

Birman cats come in a wide variety of point colors. These include:

  • Blue Point
  • Blue-Cream Point
  • Chocolate Point
  • Cream Point
  • Seal Point
  • Seal-Tortie Point
  • Lilac Cream Point

And tabby variations of all the above. There are also particolored points and solid points.

Kittens are born pure white and will begin to manifest other colors after about a week. Final coloration usually requires a good two years of age.

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It's all Personal. The Birman Character

Good-natured, personable, and docile sums up the Birman cat personality. 

They will accept most home situations and be at ease with active children, older people, or other cats.

When you want to be quiet, the Birman tends to respect your preference. Engage them in conversation, and they'll 'talk back' in a soft provocative voice.  

You can also be sure that this breed won't be swinging from any chandeliers or hanging off curtains. Unlike other cats, they much prefer to stay close to the ground.

With lots of love, good food, grooming, and proper health care, the Birman will serve as your best friend for life. Since Birmans come in all pointed colors, you can choose among your favorites. 

With a dog-like personality, they will follow you around as you go about your chores. They are also known as 'the Golden Retrievers' of the cat world

The Birman mimics this dog’s agreeable, loyal, easygoing, and fun-loving personality.  

They also rival some of our greatest keyboard artists. Expect Birmans to involve themselves in whatever you are doing. Regardless of their stubbornness, you can persuade them to sit back and watch with some gentle guidance. 

Like most cats, Birmans tend to sleep twenty hours a day. They will then unleash some crazy energy, careening from one end of the house to the other during playtime. 

Every Birman kitten develops its distinctive personality and routines as it matures. 

Some of these cats love to be cuddled, while others prefer a more independent stance. But all love attention and generous affection.

But they are quirky. Occasionally they will pester you for attention if you’re otherwise occupied.

Caring for your Birman

Caring for your Birman is easier than many other breeds. They have single-length fur, with no undercoat. By grooming your cat twice a week, you should ensure that your cat is mat-free.

This breed does shed hair but not as much as many other cats. Stick to the grooming routine, and you'll keep this to a minimum.

Birmans love attention. This is super important with grooming any animal. The combing routine should prove to be a pleasant experience for you and your cat. 

Is the Birman cat hypoallergenic?

No cats are truly hypoallergenic. The Birman might be a better choice than longer-haired cats if you do have allergies.

With a tendency to being quite docile, weight gain can become a problem with the breed. Build-in some time to play with your cat, and weight-control should become relatively easy.

The Health and Happiness of your Birman

They are easy cats to care for and are rarely vulnerable to any particular diseases as a breed.

Like with other cats, however, there are some conditions to look out for. These include:

This is where abnormal skin or hairs grow on the eyelids or face and affects the eyes. Symptoms include eye redness, discharge, and a reduced ability to blink.

  • Congenital hypotrichosis 

This is a very rare condition, and symptoms decrease or absent in cat hair from birth. There is no treatment for this at the moment, but it is regarded as a cosmetic condition only.

What is the Birman cat life expectancy?

With good care, you can expect your Birman to live a long and very content life. The breed has been known to reach their late teens or early twenties. The average Birmans lifespan is 15 years.  

Feline History. Where does the Birman come from?

What was the Birman cat origin? Around 1919, a pair of Birman cats were secretly sailed to France from Burma. Unfortunately, the male cat didn't survive the long sea voyage. The stronger female, named Sita, arrived healthy and pregnant.

From this single source, the Birman was established in the western world. The French cat registry recognized the Birman as a separate breed in 1925.

By the end of WW II, only two Birmans were left alive in Europe. An outcrossing program was necessary to re-establish the breed. 

Most cat registries need at least five generations of pure breeding after outcrossing. This is required to accredit a cat for championship competition. 

The Birman was first imported into the United States in the 1960s. The breed was recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association in 1967. 

Birmans are now recognized and loved worldwide.

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