Photo by Sony 70-200

Birman - breed profile:

Origin: Thought to be Burma
Colors: blue-point, chocolate-point, lilac-point, seal tortie-point, cream-point, blue cream point, chocolate tortie point, lilac tortie point. Same go for tabby variety.
Size: Medium to large
Coat Type(s): Longhair
Grooming: Twice a week
Talkativeness: Quiet
Activity Level: Low
Attention Requirement: Average
Overall: Easy to handle

Breed Video: Birman

Longhair Birman cats have a fascinating appearance and are also known as "Sacred Cat of Burma". It is said that Birmans were sacred companions of the Kitteh priests in Burma. Birmans are often confused with Burmese cats. However, these breeds are different.

Physical characteristics

Birmans are medium-sized with a semi-long body. They are not very cobby and have relatively small ears. Adult males can be quite large reaching 5 to 6 kilos (10 to 12 lb) while females are smaller and more delicate and weigh 3,5 to 4 kilos (7 to 8 lb). A remarkable feature is their clear sapphire-blue eyes, which remain as clear throughout their life.

Temperament

Being people-oriented cats, Birmans are intelligent and smart, with quite a gentle charm. They have a less nervous temperament than the Siamese but more active than the Persian. Birmans are adaptable, playful (even in their old age), trainable, very sociable, and inquisitive. They are very tolerant with children and usually get on well with other animals. These cats are very affectionate towards their owners but when it comes to strangers, they become more distant. They will always want to be a part of your family forming a great affinity with the owners.
Rather undemanding, they like roaming the house and do not like being confined. They may gladly venture to go outside but staying out for long is not their choice. Moreover, it is not recommended to leave them outside loose and unwatched as there are many dangers such as feral cats, dogs, cars, etc. They tend to be interested in everything taking place around. Generally, a Birman requires plenty of attention. These cats have lovely soft voices sometimes described as "bell-like". Some Birmans will gladly hold conversations with you. Nearly all of these cats have a wonderful purr-machinery. If you pick up your Birman or pat it on the head, the cat will very likely start the purr running. Some Birmans will love sitting beside you and purring softly for hours. They want you to agree that they are "the most beautiful cats in the whole world". Birmans can live happily as a sole pet but if you spend out most of your time, it would be better to have two cats.
Photo by Phil & Jen. White "gloves" of Birmans make these cats very speciall

Coat and grooming

Birmans come in many colour variations but always with colour points. Acceptable points are blue-point, chocolate-point, lilac-point, seal tortie point, cream-point, blue cream point, chocolate tortie point, lilac tortie point. Same go for tabby version (lynx): seal tabby point, blue tabby point, chocolate tabby point, lilac tabby point, red tabby, cream tabby point, tortie tabby point, lynx or red factor colors on the legs, tail and face. Birmans differ from usual colour-point cats by the white "glove" on each paw.
Birmans' coat is medium-length and thinner than that of a Persian. It feels silky, has no undercoat and neither knots nor tangles. It makes the coat easy to take care of: Birmans require little grooming. Regular weekly brushing will be okay for most of the year, although your cat is likely to enjoy it very much if you decide to groom more regularly. In shedding periods, more brushing would be desirable. A Birman can be bathed occasionally if necessary.

Health

Birmans are generally robust and healthy, with no known breed-related genetic diseases.

Other interesting facts

As well as the Siamese and other colourpoint kittens, all Birmans are born white. They start developing their markings at the age of either one or two weeks depending on the colour of the markings - dark ones appear earlier. Ears, nose and tail develop the colour first. At two years old and after a wintry season, the real colour becomes complete.