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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Breeds > Birman


Origin: Myanmar

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Silky, medium long to long.
Birmans are pointed cats, which means that the hair on their legs, tail, face and ears (the points) is darker than it is on the body. There are four colors, which include seal, blue point, chocolate point and lilac point. All colors have a golden mist, a faint golden beige cast on the back and sides. The Birman's most famous characteristic is his white feet, called "gloves."
Special considerations: 
Strongly built with a long, stocky body; has a round face and deep blue eyes.

The origins of the Birman are shrouded in the kind of mystery and legend that delight most cat fanciers. It is believed that they trace their beginnings to the sacred temple cat of Burma (now known as Myanmar), where they were companions to the Kittah priests. While we may never know about their ancient history, we do know that the Birman was introduced into France in the early part of the 20th century. But exactly how the breed got to Europe is a bit of a mystery in itself. Some fanciers credit Major Gordon Russell, an officer of the British army serving in Burma, with bringing a pregnant cat named Sita to France in 1919. Her offspring started the Birman line in the West. The French cat registry recognized the Birman as a breed in 1925, naming it Sacre de Birmanie. The French are credited with preserving the Birman line during World War II, when its breeding numbers dwindled. Outcrossing with Persians and Himalayans helped ensure the breed's survival during that time. Birmans first arrived in the United States in 1959 and were recognized in 1967 by the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA).

Birmans are extremely sociable and trusting. Gentle, quiet, loving, companionable and loyal, they have a gracious demeanor and love being with people. Birmans are also described as mellow, friendly and moderately active. In fact, moderate is a word often used to describe Birmans - they're playful but not rambunctious; active but not mischievous; desirous of attention but not demanding; social but not the center of attention.
At home: 
Birmans like company, and they are not meant to be left alone for long periods. Although polite and undemanding, they still desire love and attention from their owners. They enjoy sharing their owner's bed at night and will snuggle up for a cozy nap during the day. They often like to chase things their owner throws and can even learn to fetch. Birmans are relatively quiet; when they do vocalize, their voices are fairly soft.
The Birman has a muscular body and needs a high-quality diet with a good source of protein to stay healthy.
The gentle Birman makes an excellent pet for all types of people, including seniors. They are even-tempered and extremely tolerant of children. They get along well with other animals and coexist well with dogs, other cats and even birds.
Birmans can live up to 15 years. They can be sensitive to anesthesia. There are no reported health problems in the breed.
Fun fact: 

The word Birman is derived from the French spelling of Burma, Birmanie, because it was the French who first introduced the Birman to the cat fancier.

Grooming blurb: 
Although the Birman's hair is medium to long in length, because of its texture, it does not mat, which makes grooming this breed a breeze. A weekly going-over with a wide-toothed metal comb will get rid of any dead hair.
This document has been published with the intent to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter within. While every reasonable precaution has been taken in preparation of this document, the author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any errors, omissions, or adverse effects arising from the use or application of the information contained herein. The techniques and suggestions are used at the reader's discretion.