Birman cats regularly rank among the top 10 preferred cat breeds in the world, and it’s no wonder with their good looks and friendly personalities. They originated in Burma (now Myanmar) but came close to extinction before intense efforts saved the breed.
Birmans are colorpoint cats; they are born completely white and gradually change color until they’re about two years old. They have white paws but their coats come in a number of colors. Colors include seal, blue, lilac, chocolate, cream, red, cinnamon, fawn, frost and tortoiseshell. Birman cats bond strongly with their owners, and favor one particular person. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t make great family companions.
Birmans are a relatively rare cat breed, so you need to get your name on a waiting list with a registered and reputable breeder as soon as possible. Always research Birman breeders before you commit to getting a cat or kitten. You can also try your luck and approach a cat rescue organisation to see if any Birman cats or kittens have been surrendered or rescued in your area.
Birman Facts & Information
Life expectancy: 9 – 16 years
Size: Height: approx. 30 in. Weight: 8 – 18 lb.
Temperament: As a rule, Birmans have a sweet nature. They love affection and are sociable but can be demanding when it comes to getting attention. They’re also playful and like to play with their human companions, as well as other animals in the household. In fact, due to their social nature, they do better as part of multi-pet households than as single pets.
Exercise: Birman cats are large by nature and they are prone to gaining weight. You should ensure that your Birman gets enough exercise to keep off excess weight and stay fit and healthy. Energetic games are a good way to exercise your Birman and they like to learn some tricks – just make sure you taper their meals to accommodate the treats you use and be sure to use positive reinforcement reward-based clicker training.
General care: The silky coat doesn’t mat easily, so it’s easy to brush and groom and keep in good condition. If your Birman spends a lot of time outdoors, you might have to groom more regularly, like once a day. If your cat is mostly indoors, you can probably get away with grooming every second day. As Birmans enjoy grooming, however, you might want to make it a daily habit to strengthen your bond.
Health concerns: Unlike many other pedigree cats, Birmans aren’t prone to any breed-specific medical problems or hereditary diseases. In rare instances, a Birman may suffer from skin or nerve disorders, but they are the exception and not the rule. As heartening as it is to know that your Birman won’t suffer from breed-specific health problems, it’s still a good idea to get pet cat insurance so you’re covered for other illnesses, injuries, loss and death.
Birman cats get on well with children and other pets. They like to get involved in everything you do, so be prepared to have some ‘help’ with the laundry, a reading-buddy and someone to keep your laptop warm while you make a cup of tea. All in all, Birmans make excellent family cats.