Temperament : affectionate and docile
Maintenance : medium
Lifespan : 13 years or more
Recommended for : families, couples, singles
The Birman is a most attractive cat, exceptional to look at and very photogenic. They are a semi-long haired cat breed; and their feet are pure white. The cats have darker coloration on the face, ears, legs and tail. These areas are known as points. Regardless of body or point colour, the cat should always have blue eyes and white feet. The white feet are known as their gloves and gauntlets, and for showing, should be as symmetrical as possible. On the front feet the gloves should end in an even line and go no higher than the ankle. On the back feet the gauntlets should cover the entire foot and taper high up the back of the legs to the hock. The coat should be long but nowhere near as long as a Persian. There should be an obvious ruff collar of hair around the neck, especially in the males. The tail is also bushy, and the body is stocky, with solid legs and a medium length tail.
Birman colours include, Seal, Blue, Lilac, Red, Cream, Chocolate, Tortoise-shell (female only), Torti Tabby and Tabby.
Birmans are known for a laid back but affectionate personality, they are docile and casual, and spend a lot of time lazing around the house. They form a bond with their owner and are reportedly good with other pets. They are not particularly vocal but will make their presence felt if they want attention.
The coat needs little care, with one or two brushes a week. A bath at the end of every season is enough to rid the coat of dead hair. It is also important to watch the type of kitty litter used. Some cheaper products will stain the light coloured body hair.
Health and Lifespan
Birmans are a robust breed with no real health problems, although like most long haired cats they are subject to hair balls. A little oil with their meal will help prevent problems. Alternatively there are a number of excellent foods available to help with this problem. Teeth need to be kept free of tartar and there have been a number of excellent preparations formulated to assist with this. Your veterinarian will help you with advice re these.
The Birman has proven to be suitable for anyone. They can be kept in apartments or houses, big or small. Birmans are not as active as some other breeds, which may make them more suitable for a busy household or one with multiple pets.