The Birman is also known as the Sacred Cat of Birma. They are a statuesque, regal cat with a beautiful, flowing, silky coat and an equally beautiful and docile temperament to match it. For those looking for a cat that adapts easily to circumstances and is ideal for families with children and other pets, the Birman can be a perfect choice.
The Birman is a medium-large breed, weighing 6 – 12 lbs. They are a pointed cat, which means that they have a light base coat that darkens at the points (legs, tail, face, ears). One of the things that separates them from other medium to longhaired, pointed breeds is their gloves and laces. All Birmans have four white feet (the gloves). On the rear legs, the white extends up the hock, ending in a V shape (the laces). Ideally, the white on the feet is evenly distributed and ends in neat lines just past the toes but the truly important thing is that the white feet and laces up the hocks be present.
The head is rounded but slightly longer than wide with a notable roman nose. The ears are approximately as wide at the base as they are tall and of medium size overall. The eyes are a deep blue. The Birman has a substantial body with medium to heavy bone. They are sturdily built animals with good musculature.
The coat tends to attract much attention with its silky, flowing softness. It is a single coat with no undercoat. As a result, it tends to lie relatively flat and is not prone to matting or tangling. Shedding is moderate and a weekly combing will reduce it substantially. This is a breed that does shed more heavily on a seasonal basis. During that time, you may need to brush more frequently to keep up with the hair.
Most Birmans are extremely docile and enjoy any type of interaction with you. Done with care, brushing and combing can be a peaceful activity enjoyed by both cat and owner.
The degree to which they are talkative tends to depend on the owner. If the owner encourages talking and converses with them, they will carry on a conversation. If the owner would rather share some silence, they are equally amenable to that. Their voice tends to be chirping rather than yowling.
The Birman bonds closely with his family and will stay in the room with them, getting up and following them if they move to another room. They can be somewhat underfoot in their quest to be close by in case you should feel the need to stroke their coat in loving adoration. They are eager to greet visitors and will meet them at the door. What they don’t enjoy is being left alone for extended periods of time. For this reason, they are best suited to homes where someone is frequently home or they share the home with other pets they can play with in your absence.
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