Birman cats ideal weight and nutrition
Birman cats weigh 12 pounds (5.5 kg) or more. The suggested caloric daily intake is 400kcal, meaning 90 - 100 grams of dry food per day, however note that this can change as per the cat's weight and lifestyle.
Birman cats tend to be relatively sensitive when it comes to their food. Because of this, you will have to experiment a lot. Most veterinarians recommend a high-protein, low-carbohydrate cat food formula that is easily digested by Birman cats. In order to maintain their silky fur and be protected against obesity, Birman cats should follow a well balanced nutrition.
In the market there are available cat meals that provide all essential vitamins and minerals to nourish their skin and coat and help promote the renewal of the hair shaft. Most of them also include a combination of different types of fibers that encourages intestinal transit and helps to facilitate the elimination of swallowed hair. In addition they fortify their immune system, while they boost their energy levels and protect them against obesity.
You could even try formulas specially designed for Persian cats. These formulas contain Omega 6 to meet the nutritional demands of maintaining a shiny and beautiful long coat and soluble and insoluble fibers that increase digestive activity to eliminate hairballs naturally.
Birman kittens care
When you introduce Birman kittens to your home let them find their own way out of the basket and allow them to explore one room at a time. Make sure that all doors and windows are shut, to prevent them from escaping.
Kittens are very often frightened by children or other pets that are new to them. Children should therefore be recommended to be quiet and wait for the Birman kitten to adopt to the new environment, while other animals should be introduced later, gradually and one at a time. Remember that adult cats might attack to the baby kittens because they confront it as a competitor and therefore as an enemy.
Talk to your kitten and encourage it to play with a toy but do not overwhelm it with extreme attention.
Birman kittens need warmth, since they miss their mother and litter mates. If there is not some form of heating in the room at all times, buy a heated bed from a pet shop.
Birman cats grooming
Although long haired cats require regular grooming, the silky texture of Birman cats coat makes grooming process relatively easier. Tangles are not such a big problem as the silky texture limits their formation. Therefore Birman cats should be brushed once or twice a week.
Use a brush with wire bristles on the one side to remove any tangles and with soft bristles on the other side to remove any remaining fuzz. Make sure that the brush has a satisfying grip; actually I prefer those with elastic grips. Work through the fur from head to tail to remove dead and loose hair. Be extra-gentle near her chest and belly to avoid injuring your Birman cat. Grooming will also improve the blood circulation and help avoid many unpleasant and long-lasting infections and allergies.
However, be aware that Birman cats coat sheds considerably during the seasonal change. Extra brushing is beneficial at this time to remove as much loose hair as possible before your cat swallows it and develops hairballs.
Tapeworms are parasites that live in the small intestine of cats. They will cause severe diarrhea, poor or extreme appetite, avitaminosis, lethargy, coughing and abdominal distention to your cat.
To find out more, check our tapeworm treatment guide.
When a cat grooms itself by licking its own fur, it will swallow some of its own hair. Most of the hair passes all the way through the digestive tract with no problems. But if some hair stays in the stomach, it can form a hair ball.
To find out more, check our hair ball treatment guide.
Even clean cats can pick up fleas, especially during the summer months. They get fleas through the contact with infested pets or through the contact with fleas in the environment (e.g. from an infected bedding).
To find out more, check our fleas treatment guide.
Birman cats care
You should clean your Birman cat's ears once a week to keep them clean and prevent infections. Consult your vet on choosing the proper cat ear cleaning solution and use it to remove the excess of wax, debris and dead tissues.
Teeth should be checked periodically and brushed with a special wipe to prevent teeth and gum diseases. In the market there are also a lot of cat toys, specially designed to remove food wastes and prevent teeth irritation.
A litter tray must be available at all times and kept in the same place. Solid matter and wet lumps should be removed from the tray frequently and the litter renewed when necessary. The tray should be washed and disinfected frequently. Rinse thoroughly after disinfecting and allow drying before use. Birman cats are very fussy and will not use a dirty tray.
Never give a cat any drugs that have not been prescribed for it; many human drugs are poisonous to cats. Seek veterinary advice immediately if you suspect any form of poisoning.
Make sure that toys or parts of them cannot be swallowed. Plastic bags and rubber bands can be extremely dangerous, since they do not show up on an X-ray.
Birman cats health and lifespan
Birman cats are generally healthy cats, with a lifespan of 13-15 years. They are not predisposed to hereditary diseases.
Birman cats history
The legend goes that the Birman cats were the pets of the Kittah priests of Myanmar (Burma) and guardians of the temple of Lao-Tsun. Their original colors were pretty different, actually they had yellow eyes and white fur.
On the other hand, the golden goddess of the temple had deep blue eyes.
The head priest of the temple had as companion a beautiful cat named Sinh. One day the temple was attacked and the head priest was killed. At the moment of his death, Sinh placed his feet on his master and faced the goddess. The cat's white fur took on a golden cast, his eyes turned as blue as the eyes of the goddess and his paws, legs and tail took the color of earth. However, his paws, where they touched the priest, remained white as a symbol of purity. All the other temple cats became similarly colored.
Seven days later, Sinh died, taking the soul of his master to paradise.
However, the first historical facts take as back to 1919, when two Birman cats were send to France as a gift to Major Gordon Russell. The Major, who happened to be in the Far East during some tribal uprisings, had helped the Buddhist priests escape from Tibet. They, in order to show him their gratitude, sent him the two Birman cats. Later on the two cats mated and that is how the breed started to expand in Europe.
In 1926 Birman cats breed was official registered in France, in 1966 in Great Britain and a year later in the States.
Birman cats personality
Birman cats are easy-going, affectionate and well-mannered cats with a tolerant, kind and loving nature. They are people-oriented and devoted to their preferred people. They will follow them around the house, cuddle in their lap and become a major part of their daily routine.
Even though Birman cats are not as active as some other breeds, they cannot be considered lap cats. They possess a cheerful and playful nature and will enjoy a good game of fetch with their favorite toy or a game of hide-and-seek with their favorite humans. Highly intelligent, Birman cats quickly learn to respond to the calling of their names, even though sometimes they will deliberately ignore it. Although they are not as talkative as the Siamese, they do enjoy a good conversation with their human family and will communicate their thoughts with their melodious and soft voices.
Birman cats get on well with other animals and can easily adopt to the apartment life, however they hate being left alone all day. They are also excellent trainers, especially when it comes to their human family. With a meaningful meow, a tilt of those dark ears and a direct blue-eyed stare, they will clearly communicate their wishes to their human servants. After all, for centuries they were worshiped as sacred cats.
Birman cats breed standards
According to the Fédération Internationale Féline, Birman cats possess a strong boned head with a slightly rounded forehead and full and rather rounded cheeks. Their nose is of medium length, without a stop, however with a slight indentation. They possess a firm chin and rather small with rounded tips ears. These are placed slightly tipped, but not to upright on the skull, with good width between.
Their eyes are not quite round, actually they are slightly oval. As for the eye color, this can be nothing but deep blue.
Birman cats possess a slightly long body, with the males being more massive than the females. Their legs are short and strong and their paws are rounded.
The special feature of Birman cats is their white feet, called “gloves”, on both front and hind feet. These gloves must be absolutely pure white. They should stop at the articulation or at the transition of toes to metacarpals, over which they should not extend. Slightly longer white gloves on the hind feet can be tolerated. On the back of the hind feet the white gloves end in points. The ideal "gauntlets" end in inverted "V's" and extend 1/2 to 3/4 of the way up the hock. Lower or higher gauntlets are acceptable but should not go beyond the hock.
It is important that the gloves are equally long and show a symmetry of white, on either the two front or two hind feet, or even better, on all four feet.
The breed’s coat varies from long to semi-long: short on the face, gradually growing longer on the cheeks to a full frill, long on the back and the flanks. It has a silky texture and bears very little undercoat.
Finally the recognized color varieties are the following:
· Seal/Blue/Chocolate/Lilac/Red/Cream pointed
· Seal/Blue/Chocolate/Lilac tortie pointed
· Seal/Blue/Chocolate/Lilac/Red/Cream tabby pointed
· Seal/Blue/Chocolate/Lilac tortie tabby pointed