birman cat breed

The Birman cat is often referred to as the sacred cat of Burma, where priests kept these beautiful felines as companions.

You will not find a more affectionate and loving cat. Yes, they can be a bit clingy but some people like that about the Birman. Just be careful because they tend to be underfoot sometimes.

If you’re looking for a friendly, loyal, and low-maintenance kitty, you will not find a better choice than the simply amazing Birman!

birman cat facts

Birman Cat Facts

  • The Birman cat origin story is shrouded in mystery. Some say they came from Burma (Myanmar today) where priests kept them as loyal companions. Other say they were smuggled from Asia to France. One fact remains true. The Birman breed was first shown in France during the 1920s.
  • Because Birman breeding was halted during World War II, they nearly became extinct. It’s been said there was only one breeding pair left and they had to outcross the Birman, supposedly with Persians, which is why the fluffy tail prevailed.
  • Like the Siamese, some Birmans have a strange compulsion to suck, chew, and even swallow non-food items.
  • Birmans, unfortunately, have a tendency towards obesity so you would be wise to make sure they get plenty of exercise and follow a strict nutritional diet.
  • These cats only have one layer of fur and no undercoat. This makes grooming very easy and also helps with those who are allergic to cats as they produce less of the Fel d 1 protein, which is what actually causes allergic reactions in humans (not the cat hair itself).
  • Choupette is a cream colored Birman who was left nearly 170 million dollars by her owner, German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, after his death in 2018. She also has over 85,000 Instagram followers.
birman features

Physical Features

  • Lifespan: 9 to 15+ years in the ideal environment.
  • Weight: 8-10 lbs. for females and 10-12 lbs. for males.
  • Body Type: Medium to large frame with a long, stocky build.
  • Eye Color: Hypnotic, deep blue eyes.
  • Coat Color: Comes in a variety of colors and pointed patterns.
  • Shedding: Having only a single layer of fur, shedding is minimal.
birman personality

Personality Traits

  • Activity Level: Generally a calmer breed however, the Birman does have a very playful side as well. 
  • Breed Intellect: These cats are quite curious. They tend to explore and investigate everything. Interactive toys stimulate their ability to quickly solve problems.
  • Temperament: Being the laid back kitty, they are typically not aggressive, although the Birman can be somewhat territorial.
  • Attention Needs: Known as the Velcro kitty, they will follow their owner around and can become jealous if they are a bit neglected.
  • Caring Nature: You won’t find a more loving and affectionate cat. Birmans love being held and won’t miss the chance for a warm lap.
  • Vocal Tendency: Such a soft and gentle meow. This breed also enjoys a good conversation with their humans.
  • Kids Compatible: Absolutely! Just keep an eye on younger children who don’t yet know kitty etiquette.
  • Tolerates Pets: Birmans get along great with other cats and cat-friendly dogs who aren’t overly aggressive or too playful.
  • Stranger-Friendly: Bring on the friends and family members. The Birman cat welcomes attention and affection from everyone.

Health and Well-Being

Ideal Living Situation

Single people, active families, and senior citizens are all the perfect human companions for the Birman cat. They will adapt to any size home or apartment.

Possible Health Problems

Birmans are normally considered very healthy cats. Because they are prone to obesity, you’ll need to make sure they get plenty of exercise and you should talk to a veterinarian about the proper diet for them.

Annual Vaccinations

There are four core vaccines and one non-core option available for all cats.

The first essential vaccine would be Rabies which is a fatal disease if exposed to it.

The second inoculation (FVRCP) is a combination of the remaining three core vaccines in one. This covers Feline Herpesvirus 1 or FHV-1 which is an upper respiratory infection, Feline Calicivirus or FCV which attacks the upper respiratory tract, and the final is Feline Panleukopenia Virus or FPV (also known as Feline Distemper) which is life threatening and extremely dangerous for young cats and kittens.

You can get the optional non-core vaccine Feline Leukemia Virus or FeLV. This is considered a core vaccine for every kitten. Make an appointment with your local vet to discuss and schedule all these vaccinations.

Grooming Routine

When caring for cats, there are four specific areas which need regular attention.

Weekly brushing is the minimum required to keep their fur healthy and shiny. This also helps distribute natural body oils, remove dead hair, and eliminate matted fur.

When the nails are getting a little too sharp and ripping furniture or carpet, it’s time to trim them. Be sure not to trim off too much of each nail as this can cause pain.

Cats are prone to periodontal disease and gingivitus so brushing their teeth with veterinarian-approved toothpaste once or twice a week should suffice. You can also give them dental treats to clean their teeth in between brushing.

Finally, you’ll want to address the ears. While cats have a built-in mechanism for cleansing their inner ear canals, the visible portion of their ears should occasionally be very gently swabbed to remove foreign matter.

Please consult a veterinarian for the proper procedures when grooming your cat.

Feeding Advice

Cats are known as obligate carnivores or strict meat eaters. Their diets should primarily consist of high protein and a few fats.

While carbohydrates are not usually a part of feline nutrition, scientists have concluded they are able to be used for energy in small amounts. On the other hand, if a cat is continuously fed too many carbs, diabetes can actually develop later in their life.

When choosing a wet or dry food, you need to read the caloric information labels to ensure your cat is being fed the appropriate nutrient levels.

Normally, wet foods should contain around 70% to 80% moisture as cats from past feral generations obtained most of their liquids from the animals they killed and ate.

Proteins are ideal when they’re between 10% and 20% in grain-free wet food. Seafood varieties are typically the highest in protein.

Two of the best dry food formulas on the market would be Natural Balance Limited Ingredients Diet with High Protein and Orijen Biologically Appropriate Cat Food. These specially made dry food products include healthy amounts of prepared raw meats, some needed fats, and minimal carbohydrates.

Exercise Tips

You should plan to play with your cat at least 15 minutes everyday, although, more is encouraged with certain active breeds.

Feather toys and laser pointers are a great choice to keep them moving. This helps relieve their boredom and reduces the chance for depression as well.

For a really cheap play session, simply buy a ball of string. Cut off a ten foot section at a time and drag it around the house behind you. Your kitties will love attacking the end of the string! Big fun for a small price.

Catnip is another way to offer an edible distraction in their lives. Don’t worry, the effects typically wear off in about 15 minutes or so.

One of the best items you can acquire for exercise would be a cat tree or cat condo. This is basically a jungle gym for cats which provides a place for climbing, relaxing, and sharpening their claws instead of using your furniture.

There are a couple other alternatives including an exercise wheel, which can be somewhat expensive, and a simple body harness with a leash for outdoor walks. Your cat may or may not like this option but, you can give it a try.

birman cat price

Birman Cat Price

The Birman cat price can range as low as $500 to as much as $2600.

Purebred Birmans with minor flaws in appearance average between $500 and $1500.

Those having excellent markings and champion pedigree in their bloodlines will ordinarily be on the upper end of the financial scale.

You may also be able to adopt a Birman cat for fees around $30 to $175 however, they will likely be a mixed breed. 

birman breeders

Registered Birman Breeders

Birman Kittens Cattery – Arkansas

Kyatwo Birmans – California

Myingyan Gems Birmans – Florida

Whitesox Birmans – Florida

Golden Seal Birmans – Georgia

Marali Birmans – Maryland

Bikhata Birmans – Minnesota

Kats Kits – Minnesota

Luvs2Purr Birmans – New York

Silkencats Birmans – North Carolina

Caleita Birmans – Ohio

Whitesox Cattery – Ohio

BirKist Birmans – Pennsylvania

Catabella & Khetmeo Birmans – Pennsylvania

D’Elo Birmans – Pennsylvania

Deambarino Birmans – South Carolina

Barbara Birmans – Texas

SinhSoul Birmans – Texas

SurMichael’s Birmans – Virginia

Purr-Cussion Birmans – Wisconsin

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