Birman cats are some of the most adorable felines you will ever see. Their long, fluffy, silky coat, combined with a sweet (although often very private) personality and unusual markings, make this breed a favorite in many households.
They're unmistakable in appearance, and they come in many different Birman cat colors. Indeed, if you're considering getting a Birman cat, there's a lot to love about this breed!
The question, though, for prospective owners is: is a Birman the best pet for you? The answer, as always, is that it depends on what you want in a cat. Here's what you need to know about the Birman to make that decision!
Birman Cat History
One of the fascinating aspects of the Birman cat is its unique history. Most people believe that this breed originated from Burma, where the Kittah priests considered this feline a sacred companion. There's even an old legend about how the Birman cat got its coloration, contending that these pets got their colorations from one of the priests killed in a fight.
What we do know, however, is that these pets started appearing in France around 1920. One story contends that someone shipped a pair of these cats to France in 1919, although the male cat did not survive. Allegedly, the female did, though, and she was pregnant.
The breed took off in France until World War II struck, nearly wiping out the Birman cat population. Only two known cats remained, which became the foundation for rebuilding this breed. By 1965, Britain recognized the restored breed.
All Birmans that you see today are the direct descendants of this long lineage of survival and mystique!
Birman cats are generally known as loving and affectionate pets. They have been with humans for many years, so this breed has ample exposure to living with people.
However, while they may be loving, they also tend to be relatively private. These cats are docile and quiet. They are intelligent, friendly, and curious, too.
If you're looking for a pet that goes up and wants to meet everyone immediately, the Birman is probably not for you. If, however, you want a pet that's likable and quiet, this cat is probably a fantastic fit!
Care and Feeding
There's no difference between the Birman cat and any other cat when it comes to food and nutrition.
You will need to feed your Birman high-quality cat food at all times. This point is especially true for Birman kittens, who, like all kittens, have very different nutritional needs than adult cats.
Even though Birmans have quite a bit of fur, the coat is not as challenging to brush as other breeds. Most people suggest grooming once a week with a comb and brush, but you can always feel free to groom more or less depending on the weather and how your cat's fur looks.
Please keep in mind that you should make a habit of grooming Birman cats as early on in their life as possible. If you make it a practice early on in their life, they'll appreciate the extra attention instead of fighting you!
Finally, as with any other cat, ensure that this breed has all vaccinations and annual health checks. Getting all the shots and checkups is the best way to catch illness and disease before becoming too late!
For the most part, the Birman cat breed is relatively healthy. However, with that said, some young cats show impaired kidney function. Some of these cats go on to develop kidney failure, which can seriously shorten the life of your pet.
Birmans are also susceptible to FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis). This disease is fatal and caused by a type of coronavirus, which some cats may carry. However, a series of mutations may reactivate it, and the virus will prey upon your feline's immune system.
There is no cure and no good screening option. If you're buying your pet from a breeder, ask about any history of FIP. If there is a history, you may wish to consider a different breeder.
Final Thoughts on the Birman Cat: Is It the Best Pet for You?
There's a lot to love about the Birman cat. From its mysterious history to its intelligent, loving personality, the Birman has long been a favorite for families all across America. If you like the look of the Birman and the personality sounds like it would be a good match, that's enough of a reason to get a Birman!
If you are considering getting one of these cats, please consider Birman cat adoption first instead of getting your pet through a breeder. While Birmans are not the most common breed that you'll find in a shelter, that's no guarantee that you won't be able to find one! You might get lucky and find your perfect cat waiting for you there!
By considering a Birman cat adoption, you're giving a deserving, loving cat a second chance at life. You're also getting a pet with much essential training - like using a litter box and socialize with people.
Indeed, if a Birman cat sounds like it would be a fit for your household, you won't regret adopting one of these adorable cats!