From The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA)
Mystical, magical, enchanting with soulful blue eyes, a gentle demeanor, and the best friend you ever had… this describes the Birman cat.
The Birman beginnings are shrouded in legend and mystery. There are numerous folk tales and legends describing how the Birman obtained its unique colorings and markings that offer explanations, while the real Birman history keeps everyone guessing. What we do know is the Birman arrived in the USA in 1959 and registered with CFA in 1967; most Birmans in our country can be traced to England, France, Australia, and Germany.
The countries that nourished the Birman cat have imparted their national traits to this mysterious breed: the French, their flair for drama; the Gallic, their loving and affectionate nature; the English, their dignity and reserve; the Germans, their patience and practicality; the Australians, their adventurous spirit; and the Americans, their ingenuity. Add a touch of Far Eastern inscrutability, stir them together, and what you get is a Birman.
Like all color point cats, Birman kittens are born all white and develop their color as they mature. They come in a rainbow of colors, including seal, blue, lilac, chocolate, red, cream, and tortie. All these colors can be either the traditional solid pattern or the dramatic lynx pattern. A special and unique feature of the Birman is their beautiful white paws.
Ideally, the Birman is a medium-sized cat, strongly built cat with striking eyes, round face, and a Roman-shaped nose which all result in a pleasing expression.
The Birman fur is a single-length (no undercoat) soft, silky, and lush coat; they have a longer ruff around the neck and a fluffy tail. Their coats do not mat, and they require a minimum amount of grooming.
The Birman is a hearty, healthy cat that does not reach full maturity until approximately 3 years of age. Because of its exceptionally sweet nature, the Birman is easy to handle and makes an ideal pet. The Birman is sociable, gentle, quiet, loving, and companionable. They love to be with people and are playful and desirous of attention. They are social with both people and other animals. Because the Birman is patient, even-tempered and tolerant, they make an excellent choice for families with children and/or other pets.
Birmans are relatively quiet cats; most are soft spoken and refined, with soft chirp-like voices.
Birmans are very helpful; they love helping you make beds, load the dishwasher, fold laundry, read the newspaper, and work on the computer. They are a willing participant in whatever you do. You will never be alone with a Birman in your home.
Choosing a new kitten is an important decision for the entire family. It will be a commitment for the life of the cat. Most Birman breeders have a waiting list for their kittens, so be prepared to wait to get the kitten of your dreams. Usually kittens will be ready for their permanent homes between the ages of 12 to 16 weeks. Birman babies are learning life experiences from their mother, their siblings, and their people during this early time in their life, which helps to produce welladjusted, loving kittens. During this time, they will mature physically and have the social stability needed for their new home and life. Keeping your kitten/cat indoors, neutering/ spaying, and providing a loving home and proper veterinary care are essential to keep your Birman happy and healthy.
The Birman is unconditional love in a fur coat and will bring pleasure and happiness to your home and family. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.
Information about other cat breeds:
- American Bobtail
- American Curl
- American Shorthair
- American Wirehair
- British Shorthair
- Colorpoint Shorthair
- Cornish Rex
- Devon Rex
- Egyptian Mau
- European Burmese
- Havana Brown
- Japanese Bobtail
- Maine Coon
- Norwegian Forest Cat
- Russian Blue
- Scottish Fold
- Selkirk Rex
- Turkish Angora
- Turkish Van