The Birman is a calm, affectionate feline who enjoys spending time with his family – especially if you lavish lots of attention on this former temple idol. Birmans get along well with children and other pets. If you talk, your Birman will respond in a soft, pretty voice. Although Birmans are less active than some breeds, they have a serious playful side. It’s not unusual for them to fetch or chase a ball — when they’re not curled up in your lap!
If your thinking about getting a Birman Cat, here is 6 Interesting Facts about the Birman Cat Breed:
THE BIRMAN HAS A MYTHICAL ORIGIN STORY
NO ONE ACTUALLY KNOWS WHERE IT COMES FROM
In reality, no one quite knows where Birman comes from, or when it first arrived in Europe. Many people believe the cats were once sacred companions to temple priests in ancient Myanmar. By some accounts, the cats were later imported from Asia to France. Some say that in 1919, two Birman cats were shipped from Asia to France to thank two Englishmen living there for their help defending a temple against an invasion. Others claim that shipping and railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt purchased two Birman cats smuggled from a temple, and sent them to a woman living in France. However, one fact remains certain: The Birman breed was first recognized and shown in France in the 1920s.
Birman’s love the outdoors, especially Snowy he loved exploring!
THE BIRMAN NEARLY WENT EXTINCT—BUT IT LATER MADE A COMEBACK
According to the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA)—the world’s largest registry of pedigreed cats—the Birman nearly became extinct when cat fanciers stopped breeding it during World War II. At one point, they say, there was only one breeding pair of Birmans left in the country. To further the unique cat’s bloodline, owners had to outcross it with other breeds, presumably Persians. The fluffy cat prevailed, and it was later exported across Europe. The Birman didn’t reach America until the late 1950s. Cat lovers embraced the new breed, and in 1967 it was officially registered with the CFA. As of 2014, the silky kitty was ranked as America’s 15th most popular cat.
THE BIRMAN IS KNOWN FOR ITS COAT (AND PIERCING BLUE EYES)
The Birman has a medium build, a rounded face, and a distinct Roman nose. However, its most noted feature is its long, single-layer coat, which is soft and isn’t prone to matting. The tips of its fur are typically a light beige shade, and the cat’s dark color points can come in a variety of colors, including lilac, chocolate, blue, and seal. But did you know Birmans are born white, and develop their distinct colored coats as they mature.
In addition to its color points, the Birman also has white “gloves” on its paws; according to Gloria Stephens’s book Legacy of the Cat, this trait is caused by a piebald white spotting gene, and a pattern gene for the placement of the white on the cat’s feet.
Despite the length of the Birman’s coat, it has a silky texture that doesn’t mat easily. Comb it weekly with a Leave On Conditioner to remove dead hair and distribute skin oils. Birmans shed their winter coat in the spring, so you may want to comb more frequently with a Leave On Conditioner to assist to remove loose hair. A warm bath with a Long Hair Cat Shampoo can also help to loosen and remove the shedding coat. To accomplish a Birman bath, wetting the cat with a hand-held shower nozzle is often preferable to immersing him in a tub of water.
Life Span: 12 – 16 years
Weight: 6 – 12 pounds
AFFECTIONATE WITH FAMILY ★★★★★
AMOUNT OF SHEDDING ★★★
GENERAL HEALTH ★★
POTENTIAL FOR PLAYFULLNESS ★★★★
TENDENCY TO VOLCALIZE ★★★★
KID FRIENDLY ★★★★★
EASY TO GROOM ★★
PET FRIENDLY ★★★★★
This post is dedicated to our beloved Snowy, who sadly passed away in October, 2016. Snowy was an important member of the Simbae family, and he is greatly missed – he was the alpha of the household, but he truly had an endearing personality that was kind and compassionate towards his younger brothers and sisters who were all rescue cats. We miss you Snowy, from the Janssen’s family.