The Birman or “Sacred Birman”: a cat whose name is still confusing. Moreover, in English, it is called "Burma", a breed of the cat not to be confused with the Burmese! The Birman comes from a French breeding program dating from the 1920s. Learn more about Birman cat personality halfway between the Persian and the Siamese!
Birman Cat Personality
It is not uncommon for cat lovers to fall in love with the Birman, both for their majestic physique and their adorable Birman cat personality. These cats from the cross between the Persian and the Siamese are affectionate, docile, and like to spend time alongside their master. Birmans are easily tamed, probably the reason why they are considered perfect cats to live in families with children. Cats and children make a great team when everyone respects a few basic rules. You must therefore prepare your child for the arrival of your new cat by explaining to him that the latter is not a stuffed animal, but a living being to be respected and treated correctly. Sometimes you have to leave him alone and let him have his space, he will know how to come back to you for cuddles and cuddles. You can provide for your Birman cat to retreat in a cat house for such situation. It will thus become your child's best companion. Although this may seem strange, consider that the same is true for animals of different species. They too need to acclimate to each other. With a little patience, they will become the best friends in the world!
Many cat owners say that these animals trust strangers and that they like to be hugged and petted. This is a really interesting Birman cat personality trait. Birman cats are allowed to roam outdoors and even get into the car of people who are strangers to them. So be sure to equip your cat with a microchip and register it in a pet registry, so that you can find it quickly, in case this misfortune happens. Electronic microchip cat flaps are also useful to manage your cat's entrances and exits. The veterinarian of your choice can implant a microchip quickly and painlessly in the shoulder area. This procedure poses no risk to his health.
The sociability of the Birman also extends to other animals and especially to its congeners. Like all other cats, Birman cats should ideally live in pairs, especially if you have little time to spend with your little felines.
Being a particularly gentle cat with an average need for exercise, the Birman is also suitable for indoor living, provided it is sufficiently stimulated. A cat tree and tunnels in which to hide are essential, as well as regular playtime between the cat and its owner. They also need cat scratchers to trim their nails since this is a strong instinct for cats. There is a tip for you! One of the most important things that should not be ignored for the welfare of indoor cats is to have a sufficient number of cat scratchers.
How to Find the Right Birman Breeder
The Birman cat owes its appearance to a cross between the Siamese and the Persians during the 1920s in France. It is therefore not surprising that Birman cat personality is particularly exceptional!
Its mid-length coat is mostly white and dark in color at the ends, namely the muzzle, legs, tail, and ears. These color spots are called “dots”. According to the sacred breed standard of Burma, the basic color of the cat is found in the cold areas of the body, at the level of the points. On the rest of the body, however, white dominates.
This coloration is one of the peculiarities of the breed. However, point-colored cats with white paws and a mid-length coat are not sacred Burmese! The body of the Burmese cat must be slender while being muscular. The legs are short and stubby, the tail is bushy. His head is powerful and his chin is marked. The round, deep blue eyes of this distinctive cat will immediately catch your eye. The fur of the Sacred Cat of Burma is semi-long, silky, and unlike the Persian cat, the Burmese have a little undercoat.
According to breed standards, all point coat colors are accepted. Black and red are the most frequent colors, with the "blue" and "cream" dilutions as well as the "chocolate" and "cinnamon" colors and their "lilac" and "fawn" dilutions.
The colors of the Birman cats are therefore designated after the base color as follows:
Seal-point: Seal-point Burmese have a black base color.
Blue-point: the basic color is black, diluted in “blue”.
Chocolate-point: in chocolate-point Birman, the base color is brown.
Cinnamon point: the base color is red, visible only at the points.
Fawn-point: the base color “cinnamon” is diluted in “fawn”.
Lilac-point: indicates the dilution of the brown, it is visible only at the level of the points.
Red-point: red is the basic color of the Burmese red-point.
Cream-point: Creme-point Burmese have cream-colored points.
In addition, the ends of the Birman can even have scratches! This color style is called "tabby". Burmese seal-tortie-point, blue-tortie-point, or chocolate-tortie-point are some examples. According to the breed standard, the piebald coat based on red, called "tortie", is also authorized. There are also sacred lilac-tortie-tabby-point Burmese!
Today, the origin of the discoloration of the coat of Birman cats is known. This is a mutation that leads to a deficient function of the enzyme tyrosinase and thus causes a disorder in the production of melanin, the basis of pigmentation. This phenomenon is called “partial albinism”. The Sacred Birman can also present completely white legs, called "spores". This particularity is explained by the mutation of the v-Kit Hardy-Zuckerman 4 gene feline sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KIT). From now on, you are unbeatable on the genetic particularities of the sacred cat of Burma!
Health and care of the Birman
The Birman cat is generally robust and healthy. Her mid-length coat has a little undercoat and rarely tends to tangle: just brush her sacred Birman well, once or twice a week. Get your pet used to the cat brush and comb from an early age. This will make them so much comfortable when they use litter box easier for later!
Hypomyelination is a disease that can only be combated by excluding sick animals from breeding since it is hereditary. This genetic defect occurs frequently in the Burmese. The animals concerned tend to be prone to acute tremors and spastic attacks, due to a communication disorder between cells. This disease is often recognizable from the third week of the kitten’s life. Sick kittens have a spastic attitude, lack coordination, shake abnormally and develop a tumor. In general, the symptoms are accompanied by loss of hearing or a short life expectancy. These problems can stabilize in exceptional cases during growth and are therefore not often taken seriously... A fatal mistake!
Breeding the Birman
There are different views about the origin of the Birman cat. One thing is certain: the ancestors of the breed officially called "Sacred Burma" are the Siamese and the Persian. The reasons for their mating are still uncertain.
Some sources mention the story of an industrialist who brought back a pair of Siamese from the Orient around 1919. The male did not survive the crossing and the descendants of the female must therefore have come from a cross with a Persian. Other stories relate that the ancestors of the sacred of Burma were cats of the temples of Burma.
In 1925, the Birman was officially recognized as a breed in its own right. Since 1964, the breed has also been recognized by the FIFe.
The breeding of the Birman creek then spread to Germany. The first sacred Birman officially recognized in Germany was the male “Timour de Madalapour”. During the Second World War, the breeding of Birman was slowed down. After the war, breeding continued, with a selective program, and in 1955 the number of Birman caught up. In Europe and the USA, cats of the classic seal-point and blue-point color were bred above all at the time. In England, breeders explored new possibilities and introduced chocolate-point and lilac-point Birman cats into the gene pool.
In the meantime, other newer color variants of Birman have appeared. The red point and the cream point dilution are some examples. There are now also tabby and tortie Birman cats. As with all Birman, these colorations appear at the extremities of the body only.
Best Products for Birman Cat
Healthy Diet for the Birman
A healthy diet is the best prevention against diseases and the best guarantee for a long healthy life. Good quality wet food with a large portion of meat and high in animal protein is the basis of a balanced diet. Scientific studies have confirmed that cats prefer food that is similar in composition to mice. Cat prey typically consists of 50-60% protein, 20-30% fat, and 3-8% carbohydrates from the animal's gastrointestinal tract.
According to the legal provisions in force, the ingredients are classified as the label of the packaging by quantity. No wonder then that meat comes first on the list of ingredients.
A specific diet helps keep your cat healthy. But unfortunately, this does not protect him from hereditary diseases... Many breeders and owners of Birmans report multiple eye inflammations and a tendency to strabismus. Added to this are dermoid cysts, especially in the ovaries and testicles, but also in the head.
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