The Cat Care

Birman

Birman 2

Birman

About Birman

Also known as the “Sacred Cat of Burma,” this graceful feline is a long-haired breed and is prevalent for its alluring sapphire blue eyes. Apart from their mesmerizing eyes, these cats are also known for their symmetrical white paws, which look like their in-built gloves. 

Birman cats are relatively large due to their heavy bones and structure. These cats are versatile and are available in various colors such as seal, chocolate, lilac, blue, cream, etc. These adorable felines are known for being gentle, sweet, and soft-spoken. They enjoy quality attention from their owners and like being involved with them.

Characteristics

  • The large-sized cats are well-built and have strong muscles. Their bone structure makes them look hefty, broad-chested, and an overall muscular feel. 
  • Their body appears stocky and elongated. Their skull is broad, strong, and rounded. They possess flat spots on their forehead between the ears.
  • Their forehead is slightly convex and slopes backward. Birman has a medium-length nose that is in proportion to the head and is slightly convex or roman in profile and shape.  
  • Their cheeks have rounded muzzles that are neither blunted and short nor narrow and pointed, but just apt. 
  • The ‘sacred cat of Burma’ has heavy jaws and a well-developed and strong chin. 
  • Moreover, these cats have medium-long to long coats along with heavy ruff near their neck. Their coats are slightly curly on the stomach. The texture is silky, but their fur does not tangle. 
  • They have a nice proportionate tail that is medium in length and aligned with the body. They have heavy legs which are medium in size. Birman’s paws are also large, firm, and round, along with four toes in the back and five toes in front.
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History

There is no reliable data on the origin of the sacred cats of Burma, but it is said that in 1919, a pair was transferred to France. This is how the breed gained popularity in the Western world. 

Tragically, the Birman breed was nearly wiped out during World War II. They were heavily crossbred with long-hair felines to preserve the species, especially the Persian cats and Siamese. 

Fortunately, by the 1950s, pure Birman cat litters were found again, and hence, the “sacred cat of Burma” breed was restored again. The Birman breed was officially recognized in the United Kingdom in 1965.

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Personality​

  • They are highly affectionate and are known for their loving nature. Because of their gentle aura, Birmans have been bred as companion cats for several generations. 
  • These adorable felines are soft-spoken and docile in nature. You will often find them pleasant, friendly, and people-oriented. They are also known for their smartness. 
  • The Birman Cats love human companionship and are very friendly. They also love cuddling. They would rather cuddle than prowl in the house. 
  • Some Birman cats can get jealous if their parents ignore them. 
  • Birmans are private and soft-spoken. 
  • The “Sacred cat of Burma” is territorial but never aggressive.

Common Health Problems

Being a large breed cat, Birmans tend to get obese if not taken proper care of their feeding. While providing them with the appropriate nutrition is essential, what’s even more imperative is to ensure feeding them accurately.

Some young Birman cats can further show symptoms of impaired kidney function. While the symptoms are not easy to catch, but if left unchecked, they can develop into kidney failure and result as life-threatening.

However, the minor Illness that surrounds them sometimes primarily arises due to genetic disorders. Some of such common diseases inherited by these cats are:

  • Hip dysplasia is a hereditary issue of the hip socket.
  • Retinal dysplasia
  • Glycogen storage disease type IV 
  • Polycystic kidney disease
  • Obesity
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM)

Diet

Every cat has a unique diet requirement based on its likes and dislikes. However, because of its carnivore nature, every cat must obtain 41 different and essential nutrients from its diet.

While the proportion might vary based on health, lifestyle, and age, keeping the calories in check is mandatory. Doing otherwise can lead to your feline friend getting obese and developing other diseases. 

Since these cats do not reach an age of maturity until they’re five years old, they will need very nutritious meals. You can cook healthy food for them and then switch to adult cat food later.

Exercise

It is advisable to play with your feline friend for at least 15 minutes a day and help them shed those extra calories through playful exercises. Birman cats tend to attract obesity, so training is essential to ensure they are healthy and safe.

Coat Color and Grooming

While their coats might seem similar to Persian cats, they are not as hard to maintain. Birman cats have silky and soft coats which vary in different colors. These cats have medium-long to long coats. 

To keep them silky and soft, you need to groom them regularly. Moreover, as we mentioned before how Birman cats enjoy quality time with their parents. Hence, they enjoy the grooming time because of the extra attention they receive.

Grooming them usually involves the standard list of chores such as trimming their nails weekly, checking their ears. Wipe the ears with a cotton ball once in a while. Use an ear cleanser if you have to. 

It is vital to brush their teeth; otherwise, it can attract some potential diseases. Start all these grooming from an early age to make them acquainted with the routine. Like other cats, Birman cats require regular parasite control, vaccination, and routine health checkups.