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Is the Birman right for you?

The basics:
With an angelic face and the temperament to match, those looking for a close companion will not be disappointed with the Birman. With a strikingly beautiful coat, it’s often the Birman’s dignified look and soft, silky fur which catch people’s eye first. Their cream-colored body is contrasted with dark, dramatic points -except for the white “gloves” or “socks” that grace each fuzzy paw. As beautiful as they are, it is their sweet and affectionate disposition that makes people ultimately fall in love.

The Birman, also known as the “Sacred Cat of Burma”, has somewhat mysterious origins, but the most popular tale is that this breed originated in the temples of northern Burma, and served as faithful friends to the resident priests. Somehow, the first Birmans to leave their land of origin sailed aboard a ship to France. Regardless of their history, households the world over are grateful for this affectionate and gentle breed.

Tragically, the breed was almost wiped out during World War II. The few Birmans who remained were outcrossed with Persians and Siamese to maintain genetic diversity, but the Birman remains its own, distinct breed.

Appearance / health:
The Birman is a medium-sized cat with a somewhat sturdy build. This breed is slow to reach maturity, and may not be fully grown until their third year of age. They have a round face and ears that are as wide as they are long. Their striking, sapphire blue eyes are round and widely spaced. The Birman has medium-to-long hair, dense, but lacking an undercoat, making this a much easier cat to groom than many long-haired breeds. They have a noticeable “ruff” or mane about the neck and their tale is particularly fluffy.

The Birman is born white and their color develops as they mature. The point coloration is usually developed by 2 weeks, but may not have reached full development for 2 years. The body is usually a creamy off-white, or white, though some coats may show browns to various degrees. The Birman is always pointed, with dark ears, face, legs, and tail. Unlike other color points, however, the Birman’s feet remain pristine white. On the front paws, the white extends to the bend of the toes, and on the back it may extend up the back of the foot. The points may be solid or lynx-patterned, with colors of seal, blue, lilac, chocolate, red, cream, or tortoiseshell.

Behavior / temperament:
The Birman will make you their friend for life. This is a cat that loves to be with people and loves attention. They are tolerant and easy to handle which makes them a good cat for homes with young children, though children should be supervised so as not to take advantage of the cat’s sweet-nature. You’ll never be alone when you live with a Birman, and they’ll happily accompany you through your daily chores and evening relaxations. Though only moderately active, the Birman is both curious and playful, and enjoy chasing toys as much as they do cuddling on the couch – the important thing to the Birman is that you are doing it with them.

As a well-mannered, calm, and affectionate cat, the Birman fits well in most households, including those with other pets. However, a Birman who is left alone for too long may become depressed, so if you are looking for an independent cat, this is not the breed for you!


gorgeous coat, sweet tempered birmans, deep blue eyes, great loving personality


brush, regular grooming, feline leukemia, breed costs, urinary tract infections


unique personalities, silky middle hair, real character, double coats

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