The Fluffy Birman

The Fluffy Birman

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Also known as the “Sacred Cat of Burma,” the Birman shouldn’t be confused with the Burmese, a completely different type and breed of cat. Birmanie is the French spelling of Burma, which means – you guessed it – the breed was cultivated in France.

How the Birman made it from Burma to France is unclear. There are several adventurous stories about the Birman – that two of them were a reward for defending a temple, that they were smuggled out of the country by a member of the Vanderbilt family, or that a couple of stolen kittens (or a pregnant female) were imported to France.

Almost wiped out during WWII, the Birman breed was rejuvenated in postwar France. The breed was recognized in 1965 in Britain and in 1966 in America and today, the Birman is one of the most popular cat breeds in America.

Cat Facts
Here are some fun facts about the Birman:

  • One legend about the Birman suggests that it descended from Burmese temple cats who were cared for by priests; another has it that the Birman was created by a Burmese goddess.
  • Birmans should have four white feet, making their paws look like little white gloves
  • Weight: 6-12 pounds
  • Lifespan: 13-15+ years

What are they like?
The Birman is a big mellow fellow! He loves to be around people, is adaptable to any type of living environment, and is only active when he feels like it. He gets along well with kids, other pets, and actually tends to prefer the companyof other animals instead of being an only child to a doting pet parent.

When it comes to playing, the Birman loves puzzle toys and games. It’s good to keep him occupied, but he’s not a high-maintenance cat, happy to get a head scratch here and a back scratch there. The Birman is fluffy, but believe it or not, those long coats don’t require much more than an occasional brush, making them very low maintenance when it comes to grooming.

The Birman is a very healthy breed of cat and is only prone to one breed-specific medical condition: hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a form of heart disease.

Right for you?
Does a big, fluffy, yawning Birman sound like your kind of cat? Before you welcome one into your home as with all pets, there are a few things you should consider

  • The Birman can develop periodontal disease, so regular dental cleanings at the vet are a good idea.
  • He may not need a lot of grooming, but because of his long coat, the Birman is especially prone to hairballs. Keep an eye out for changes in appetite. It could mean that ingested fur is bothering the cat.
  • They’re not demanding or standoffish, but they’re also not as affectionate or as playful as other breeds. If you’re looking for an exotic adventurer, there are better choices.

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian – they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.

Reviewed on:

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

7 Silky Facts About Birman Cats

With its silky, light fur and dark-tipped face, ears, and tail, a Birman cat looks kind of like the Siamese’s fluffy cousin (even though the two probably aren’t closely related). Here are seven facts about the exotic-looking breed.


Like many cat breeds, the Birman has a romantic origin story. According to legend, the feline is descended from a temple cat that belonged to a priest in ancient Burma (known today as Myanmar). Thieves attacked the priest, and as he lay dying, the loyal kitty kept him company. Then, a mystical transformation occurred: The cat’s fur gained a golden tint, and its eyes became a deep blue, just like the goddess the priest worshipped.


In reality, no one quite knows where Birman comes from, or when it first arrived in Europe. Many people believe the cats were once sacred companions to temple priests in ancient Myanmar. By some accounts, the cats were later imported from Asia to France.

Some say that in 1919, two Birman cats were shipped from Asia to France to thank two Englishmen living there for their help defending a temple against an invasion. Others claim that shipping and railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt purchased two Birman cats smuggled from a temple, and sent them to a woman living in France. However, one fact remains certain: The Birman breed was first recognized and shown in France in the 1920s.


According to the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA)—the world's largest registry of pedigreed cats—the Birman nearly became extinct when cat fanciers stopped breeding it during World War II. At one point, they say, there was only one breeding pair of Birmans left in the country. To further the unique cat's bloodline, owners had to outcross it with other breeds, presumably Persians. The fluffy cat prevailed, and it was later exported across Europe.

The Birman didn't reach America until the late 1950s. Cat lovers embraced the new breed, and in 1967 it was officially registered with the CFA. As of 2014, the silky kitty was ranked as America’s 15 th most popular cat.


The Birman has a medium build, a rounded face, and a distinct Roman nose. However, its most noted feature is its long, single-layer coat, which is soft but isn’t prone to matting. The tips of its fur are typically a light beige shade, and the cat’s dark color points can come in a variety of colors, including lilac, chocolate, blue, and seal [PDF]. (Just like Siamese cats, Birmans are born white, and develop their distinct colored coats as they mature.)

In addition to its color points, the Birman also has white “gloves” on its paws according to Gloria Stephens’s book Legacy of the Cat, this trait is caused by a piebald white spotting gene, and a pattern gene for the placement of the white on the cat’s feet.

The cat’s crowning characteristic? Its blue eyes.


Birmans look a lot like another cat breed, the Himalayan, which is a color-pointed variant of the Persian. Since both kitties have a long, dark-tipped coat and some Himalayans have blue eyes, it’s sometimes hard to tell the two apart. If you look closely, however, you’ll spot a few subtle differences. For one thing, the Himalayan has a flat face, and a Birman has a more pointed nose. Also, the Himalayan’s fur is much like a Persian’s—it’s long, fine, and mats easily—whereas the Birman’s single-layer coat typically gets fewer snarls.


German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld owns a Birman cat named Choupette. The pampered feline travels the world with Lagerfeld aboard a private jet, and two personal assistants tend to her every whim. Choupette even inspired Lagerfeld to design a collection of cat-themed accessories, including totes, shoes, leather goods, and T-shirts. However, the cat is slowly becoming a star in her own right: In 2014, Choupette made millions of dollars after she starred in two advertisements for a Vauxhall Corsa car calendar and Japanese cosmetics brand Shu Uemura.


Humans aren’t the only ones who engage in compulsive tics and behaviors. Some cats are prone toward sucking, chewing, or swallowing items that aren’t food, like wool and plastic. The trait is particularly common among Siamese and Birman cats. Scientists, who studied 204 cats of those two breeds for a study published in the Journal of Veterinary Medicine, don’t know for sure why the kitties do it—but they did notice that risk factors for Birmans who develop this type of compulsion include early weaning and small litter size.

About the Birman

Mystical, magical, enchanting with soulful blue eyes, a gentle demeanor, and the best friend you ever had… this describes the Birman cat.

The Birman beginnings are shrouded in legend and mystery. There are numerous folk tales and legends describing how the Birman obtained its unique colorings and markings that offer explanations, while the real Birman history keeps everyone guessing. What we do know is the Birman arrived in the USA in 1959 and registered with CFA in 1967 most Birmans in our country can be traced to England, France, Australia, and Germany.

The countries that nourished the Birman cat have imparted their national traits to this mysterious breed: the French, their flair for drama the Gallic, their loving and affectionate nature the English, their dignity and reserve the Germans, their patience and practicality the Australians, their adventurous spirit and the Americans, their ingenuity. Add a touch of Far Eastern inscrutability, stir them together, and what you get is a Birman.

Like all color point cats, Birman kittens are born all white and develop their color as they mature. They come in a rainbow of colors, including seal, blue, lilac, chocolate, red, cream, and tortie. All these colors can be either the traditional solid pattern or the dramatic lynx pattern. A special and unique feature of the Birman is their beautiful white paws.

Ideally, the Birman is a medium-sized cat, strongly built cat with striking eyes, round face, and a Roman-shaped nose which all result in a pleasing expression.

The Birman fur is a single-length (no undercoat) soft, silky, and lush coat they have a longer ruff around the neck and a fluffy tail. Their coats do not mat, and they require a minimum amount of grooming.

The Birman is a hearty, healthy cat that does not reach full maturity until approximately 3 years of age. Because of its exceptionally sweet nature, the Birman is easy to handle and makes an ideal pet. The Birman is sociable, gentle, quiet, loving, and companionable. They love to be with people and are playful and desirous of attention. They are social with both people and other animals. Because the Birman is patient, even-tempered and tolerant, they make an excellent choice for families with children and/or other pets.

Birmans are relatively quiet cats most are soft spoken and refined, with soft chirp-like voices.

Birmans are very helpful they love helping you make beds, load the dishwasher, fold laundry, read the newspaper, and work on the computer. They are a willing participant in whatever you do. You will never be alone with a Birman in your home.

Choosing a new kitten is an important decision for the entire family. It will be a commitment for the life of the cat. Most Birman breeders have a waiting list for their kittens, so be prepared to wait to get the kitten of your dreams. Usually kittens will be ready for their permanent homes between the ages of 12 to 16 weeks. Birman babies are learning life experiences from their mother, their siblings, and their people during this early time in their life, which helps to produce welladjusted, loving kittens. During this time, they will mature physically and have the social stability needed for their new home and life. Keeping your kitten/cat indoors, neutering/ spaying, and providing a loving home and proper veterinary care are essential to keep your Birman happy and healthy.

The Birman is unconditional love in a fur coat and will bring pleasure and happiness to your home and family. For more information, please contact the Breed Council Secretary for this breed.

Cats With Fluffy Tails Are Amazing

Everyone loves a very fluffy cat, and seeing those fluffy tails wag brings lots of joy and entertainment. If you're looking for cats with fluffy tails, look no further than the five breeds mentioned above. While the fluffiest tail goes to the Somali cat, the fluffiest cat overall is probably the Persian.

The Maine Coon is the biggest cat, and the other two are alternatives to Persians (without quite the same level of hair). If you're looking for hypoallergenic cats or cats that don't shed much, be sure to check our guide.

Owning a cat has so many benefits. No matter which breed you pick, you can have confidence that you'll have a fluffy companion that will be a joy to love and hold!

What breed of cat has the softest fur?

There isn't one particular breed that quantitatively has the softest fur. That is, there isn't a "softest fur" metric, so it's all subjective. Most people believe that Himalayans or Persians possess the softest fur. However, others believe that Siamese and other breeds have that title. One thing is for sure: all the cats on this list have very soft fur!

What breed of cat has the longest tail?

The honor of the most extended tail goes to the Maine Coon cat. Measuring up to 18 inches long (and with soft, fluffy fur), the Maine Coon is the cat species with the most significant structure!

Why do cats fluff their tails?

The technical term for cats fluffing their tails is "piloerection." The human equivalent of this phenomenon is getting goosebumps. Why do humans get goosebumps? Usually, they're excited, or they're very nervous. The same is true for your cat. When your feline fluffs its tail, it's generally feeling playful or trying to make itself seem more significant than it is to scare off a predator.

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Heart disease

Heart disease in cats refers to when the heart’s structures aren’t working as they should be. There are two categories of heart disease: congenital (meaning the cat is born with it) and acquired (meaning the disease develops later in life). Congenital heart diseases include defects in the wall of the heart, abnormal valves and blood vessels. Birmans are prone to a disease called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which can lead to heart failure. Whilst this condition is not curable, it can be treated with lifelong medication.

We paid ВЈ2,389 to treat Pixie the cat for heart disorders in 2016

Watch the video: Cute birman cat goes crazy for her red ball