About The Birman Cat

about the birman cat

If you want to find out about the Birman cat you’ve come to the right place. I cover many cat breeds in my posts and enjoy sharing this information with like minded cat lovers.

The Birman cat is very unique and has been around for thousands of years. The origin of this breed isn’t completely known, but it’s thought to be trced back to France. There’s definitely a Persian and Siamese mix in the breed but you’ll find out more about this later.

Popular myths and a history of the breed

Known as the sacred cat there are many myths and legends surrounding this stunning feline. A popular legend has it that centuries ago in Burma, a temple was created for worshiping the gods. This temple was named Leo-Tsun, and had the most beautiful golden statues.

The story goes that during a raid by bandits, the high priest Mun-Ha suffered a heart attack, and as he lay dying his faithful white cat Sinh hissed at the thieves. Seeing the cat’s amazing and brave response, the other priests managed to chase the intruders out of the temple.

As Sinh put his paws on his masters body, the cat’s coat turned to pale gold, reflecting the statue of Tsu-Kyan, and it’s eyes became a deep sapphire blue. The natural colour of earth was reflected in the cat’s legs, head, and tail. Only it’s feet resting on his master remained white, symbolising purity.

Seven days later Sinh died carrying the high priest’s perfect soul to heaven. Amazingly, 100 other temple cats had also transformed to the same colouring as Sinh. As touching as the legend is, true origins of the Breed aren’t really known.

However, it’s believed a pair of Birmans were taken to France in 1919 for breeding, though the second World war saw a decrease in numbers. The breed became diluted with increasing numbers of Birmans being cross bred with long hair cats such as Persians. In addition they were also cross bred with Siamese, giving their distinctive point colours.

It wasn’t until the 1950s that Birman kittens were once again being produced, and in 1965 the breed was recognised in the UK. By the late 1960s Birman cats had been introduced into the USA and by this time had started to become hugely popular.

What you need to know about the Birman cat appearance

birman cat in cat basket

You may find it easy to confuse Birman cats with Burmese, but the breeds are completely different. Whereas Burmese cats have short coats and are of medium size, Birmans are large semi-long haired cats. The breed resembles a mix of both oriental and Persian felines.

Colour points can be found on the ears, face, tail and legs, while the body is a lighter colour. White feet give the appearance of socks and can look really cute. The front paws have socks only covering the feet, but the hind legs have socks that extend further up the leg. One of the Birman’s outstanding features are its sapphire blue eyes.

It can take up to two years for colour points to fully develop, and all kittens are born white. In addition, although the Birman closely resembles Persian cats, there is no undercoat. This means far less chance of matting.

This is good news if you hate cutting out matts from hairy kitties! It can be a real chore if your grooming schedule lapses! I speak from experience:)

If you want to know how many colourpoints Birmans can have, you’ll be pleased to know you have about 20 to choose from. Although it takes two years for a cat to fully mature you can start to see markings within 7-14 days.

Though I’m sure if you decide to adopt one of these beautiful kitties, you won’t be too fussed about point colours! Colours include lilac, chocolate, red, seal point, and cream. In addition, tortoiseshell and tabby have been introduced, as well as cinnamon, and silver.

About the Birman cat grooming needs

Although the Birman’s coat isn’t prone to matting, they still need weekly grooming sessions. The best brush is one for long haired cats, and you may want to invest in a flea comb as well. Grooming your cat helps strengthen the bond and should be part of any cat parent’s routine.

Finding a breeder

Where can you find a breeder and ho much should you expect to pay for a kitten are common questions asked by those looking for a specific breed. If you live in the UK you can expect to pay around £500 for a Birman kitten, whereas in the USA you may need to part with $700-$1,000 for your Birman kitty!

It’s always worth asking local shelters as it’s not always moggies that end up there. Ask your local vet as well. There’s always a chance she or he may know someone who’s Birman cat just produced kittens!

If you decide to look for a breeder, take your time and do your research. The Birman cat club is a good place to start, and you’ll probably find plenty of advice on adoption and caring for your cat.

Personality

Birman kitten

If you’re looking for a cat that’s affectionate but not too demanding, the Birman is your ideal companion. Though similar to Siamese kitties in looks, they couldn’t be more different vocally. While Siamese can be noisy and very chatty, the Birman is quietly spoken. Like most cats, you’ll be reminded when it’s dinner time if you should forget, and I’m sure you’ll fall in love with her soft purrs!

Your feline companion is highly intelligent and will want to get involved with what you’re doing. Expect a cat who’ll follow you round the house and love cuddles on your lap.

The Birman’s docile nature makes this the perfect breed if you have children. They love human company and hate being left alone all day. If you are thinking about getting one of these cats, it may be a good idea to get two. This way if you are out at work during the day, they’ll have each other for company.

Any other dogs and other cats in the household should be fine as they’re known for getting on with other pets. In fact you may find your kitty joining in a game of fetch with your dog!

Their smart, intelligent nature makes it easy to to teach them how to fetch. Once your kitty understands and gets rewarded you’ll find she’ll start bringing small objects back to you. Actually, you can train most cats to fetch with a bit of patience, it’s just that some breeds are quicker to learn!

Health

You’ll be pleased to hear Birmans are generally a healthy breed with few major problems. However, there are one or two possible health problems to be aware of. These include obesity which could become a major health risk if allowed to develop.

Excessive weight gain is something to watch for in a Birman. Their large size and heavy weight makes them prone to putting on extra pounds. In the same way as you need regular exercise and limited amounts of food, so does your cat.

Getting your cat to exercise is important not only for her health, but wellbeing as well. Another problem to be aware of is kidney disease. Though mostly associated with older cats it’s more common in Persian breeds or those descended from them.

Always ask your breeder about parentage and don’t be afraid to ask questions. You should know your kitten’s heritage before handing over any money.

Is the Birman cat the right breed for you?

Now you know about the Birman cat is this the right breed for you? As you’ve discovered, Birman kittens can be quite expensive to buy, and you’ll need to find a reputable local breeder. If you’re out at work every day and live alone, unless you get two kittens, you may find loneliness a problem.

However, if you have kids and other pets already, you may find the Birman a perfect match. Either way, if you want a loving, quiet natured pet, the Birman is certainly the right breed for you.

If you’ve enjoyed this post please share. In addition, if you have any questions or would like to share your experiences, please leave your comment below

Wishing you a purrfect day:)
Kathy

14 comments

  1. OOOhhhhh….how adorable….I’ve always loved cats since I was a little boy and grew up taking care of them. I’m not that familiar with cat breeds but I will be sure to check out a Birman breed when I pick up my next feline.

  2. Hi Kathy!I love this feline!!! Having grown up with cats of all kinds over the years, I’ve learned to respect and appreciate their differences. But I like some of the features you spoke of as being comment traits with Birman cats. Being cuddly and friendly, but not too chatty or demanding. The cat I have right now is a short hair blonde and his personality is similar to what you’ve explained regarding Birmans. As I type, he is under my desk on a little bed I bought from the pet store just for these moments in the office, because, like you said of Birmans, my little fella follows me around constantly. But he keeps his distance until that moment he needs a little affection. And speed? This is the most sure-footed cat I’ve ever seen. Sometimes I wonder if he is a squirrel or some other extremely quick small animal. I can’t even do justice in explaining his speed! It’s off the charts. And that’s while scaling brick columns in the house like gravity attracts him to them, and crawling along surfaces that I’ve not seen cats scale on this level. And I digress. This is about Birman cats and I love their blue eyes. Perhaps I can find a rescue Birman and offer a good home. Treble, my kitten-almost-cat, would love a companion. BTW, Treble has already earned the title T-Rebel. But he really is a good kitten.

    Birman cats are amazingly beautiful and I hope to find one soon.

    Thanks for the info and for letting me share.
    Darrin

    1. Thank you Darrin:) So glad you enjoyed my post. Your little cat sounds really sweet, and just like mine. I also get followed everywhere and often nearly trip over him! It’s amazing how fast cats can run, and yours sounds like like a true athlete ha ha! Thanks for sharing:)

  3. I am a cat lover, but I never knew that the Birman cat has a great history story. Reading that story I can really see where it’s coming from. I can definitely fall in love with those blue eyes.
    That’s great to know that Birman cats are great with dogs and love attention.

    1. Thank you Nataliya:) Yes, the legend and history of the breed are intriguing, and those blue eyes are captivating:) Glad you enjoyed this post:)

  4. What a beautiful breed of cat. I was mesmerised by the big blue eyes of the cat in the first photo! Health and personality are 2 key factors for me when considering a pet, and it sounds as if the birman cat is an ideal fit for me. Although I’ll have to assess the bank balance first. Is there much grooming involved compared to other breeds?

    1. Thank you Sharon:) Yes, such wonderful blue eyes and glad to hear the Birman is a good fit for you:) As far as I know, Birmans don’t need as much grooming as many other long hair breeds. This is because they only have a single coat. Others like Persians have a double coat which can cause matting.

  5. Wow, I didn’t know about this type of cat. What beautiful cats they are, their eyes are amazing!

    I’ve always been a cat lover (as you maybe guessed!) I’m thinking of getting a new cat soon as I lost my old pet last year.

    I like the fact that you mentioned that these sort of cats can get lonely. I’m very tempted with this breed but I will get two if I do decide to go ahead.

    The fact that they gain weight isn’t really an issue. My cat loved his food a bit too much too, and I always used a diet food from the vet.

    Thanks again for telling me all about these amazing cats .

    1. Thank you Judy:) So glad you enjoyed my post. Yes, Birmans have such beautiful eyes, and glad you’d get two if you decide to adopt. Some cats just seem to love their food a bit too much, and a diet food is a great idea. I may have to try that with my kitty!:)

  6. What a nice post you wrote ! I really enjoyed reading it and could not be silent about your post so I decided to leave my comment here and say Thank You for sharing this quality post. Actually I was looking for information about the Birman Cat and when I landed on your website and read this post, it answered all my questions in details and it was exactly what I wanted to know.

    I’m happy that you’ve decided to write about this topic and share it with others. It’s very useful post in my opinion and can definitely be used as a great source for everyone who is interested to know about this topic.

    I will definitely come back to your site again to read more posts. Keep up quality articles! 🙂

    Best,
    Ali

    1. Thank you Ali:) I’m glad you enjoyed this post, especially since you’re thinking about getting a Birman cat:) It’s nice to know I answered some of your questions about the breed and glad you’ll return here in the future:)

  7. Thank you for this informative article on the Birman. We’re listed for one from a local breeder and can’t wait to introduce her to our dachsie, Mitzi and our tabby girl, Lucy. Love the fact that Birmans adapt to living with other animals and are affectionate.

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