The Birman is a cat of distinction as well as legend. With their exotic ancestry, luxurious pointed coats, “white gloved” paws and mesmerizing blue eyes, this is a breed with undeniable charisma.
The Birman’s sweet and gentle nature makes her an ideal companion and pet. Birmans are playful and love to be with people, and are also patient and social with children and other pets.
While Birmans tend to be fairly quiet, they will “talk” with soft, chirping voices. They enjoy attention, and want to be where their people are, helping with whatever activity is happening.
This healthy, long-lived breed has an outstanding, semi-long silky coat and a luxurious, long bottle-brush tail. Brilliant blue, almost-round eyes are prominent features of her sweet expression.
Birman coats can be seen in any pointed color: seal point, blue point, chocolate point, lilac point or tortie point.
Birmans are a moderate-shedding breed. Their coats have no undercoat and are not prone to matting, so they require only weekly grooming with a stainless steel comb to keep shedding under control.
Birmans are generally healthy cats, especially from a reputable breeder. Like many other cat breeds, they are at risk for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the most common type of heart disease in cats. Responsible breeders will screen for this genetic condition, but it may not develop in cats until later in life.
Birman kittens should eat a kitten food for their first year of life to aid in their growth and development.
The Birman legend begins in the temples of Burma (now Myanmar), where their ancestors were said to be the carriers of the souls of departed priests.
Around the beginning of the 20th century, a pair of Birman cats was transported from Burma to France. Sadly, the male cat died during the ocean voyage, but the female arrived pregnant with his offspring, bringing the Birman breed to Europe.
The breed almost became extinct after WWII, but breeders revived it. The Birman breed arrived in the United States in 1959 and was registered with The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) in 1967.