6 Burmese Cat Breed Facts and Personality Traits, Information 2022

6 Burmese Cat Breed Facts and Personality Traits, Information 2022

The Birman or “Sacred Birman”: a cat whose name is still confusing. Moreover, in English, it is called “Burma,” a cat breed, not to be confused with the Burmese! The Birman comes from a French breeding program dating from the 1920s. Learn more about this cat breed, halfway between the Persian and the Siamese!

Summary

  1. The appearance of the sacred of Burma
  2. Burmese cat character
  3. Breeding the Sacred Cat of Burma
  4. Health and care of the sacred of Burma
  5. Food of the Burmese
  6. How to Find the Right Birman Breeder

The appearance of the sacred of Burma

The Burmese cat owes its appearance to a cross between the Siamese and the Persians during the 1920s in France. It is, therefore, not surprising that he is an animal with character and 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 at the level of 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. This distinctive cat’s round, deep blue eyes will immediately catch your eye. The coat of the sacred Birman cat is semi-long and 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.

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The colors of the sacred of Burma are therefore designated after the base color as follows:

  • Seal-point: Seal-point Birmans have a black base color.
  • Blue-point:  the basic color is black, diluted in “blue.”
  • Chocolate-point: in chocolate-point Birman, the basic 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: designates 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 sacred Burmese 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’s standard, the piebald coat based on red, named “tortie,” is also authorized. There are also sacred lilac-tortie-tabby-point Burmese!

Today, the origin of the discoloration of the coat of Burmese cats is known. 

It is a mutation that leads to an impaired 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 gene Hardy-Zuckerman 4 feline sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KIT). From now on, you are unbeatable on the genetic particularities of the sacred cat of Burma!

6 Burmese Cat Breed Facts and Personality Traits, Information 2022

Burmese cat character

It is not uncommon for cat lovers to fall in love with the Sacred Burmese, both for their exquisite physique and their adorable character. These cats from the cross between the Persian and the Siamese are affectionate, docile, and like spending time with their master. 

Birmans are easily tamed, probably 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. Therefore, you must prepare your child for the arrival of your new cat by explaining 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 hugs and cuddles. 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!

Burmese Cat Breed Facts and Personality Traits, Information 2022

Many cat owners say these animals trust strangers and like to be hugged and petted. Burmese 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. 

Of the electronic microchip, cat flaps are also useful for managing 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 sacred cat of Burma also extends to other animals, especially its congeners. Like all other cats, Burmese 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 master.

Breeding the Sacred Cat of Burma

There are different views about the origin of the Burmese 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 Birman were Burmese temple cats.

In 1925, the Burmese were officially recognized as a breed in their own right. Since 1964, the breed has also been recognized by the FIFe.

Burmese Cat Breed Facts and Personality Traits, Information 2022

Breeding of the Birman 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 Burmese was slowed down.

 After the war, breeding was continued with a selective program, and in 1955 the number of Burmese 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 Burmese cats into the gene pool.

In the meantime, other newer color variants of Sacred Burmese have appeared. The red point and the cream point dilution are some examples. There are now also tabby and tortie Burmese cats. As with all Sacred Burmese, these colorations only appear at the body’s extremities.

Health and care of the sacred of Burma

The Burmese cat is generally robust and healthy. Her mid-length coat has a little undercoat and rarely tends to tangle: brush her Sacred Birman well once or twice a week. Accustom your animal from an early age to the brush and comb for the cat. It will make his toilet 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 frequently occurs in the Burmese. The animals concerned tend to be subject to acute tremors and attacks of spasticity due to a communication disorder between cells. 

This disease is often recognizable from the third week of the life of the kittens. Sick kittens have a spastic attitude, lack coordination, shake abnormally and develop a tumor. The symptoms are generally 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!

Food of the Burmese

A healthy diet is the best prevention against diseases and guarantees long, healthy life. Good quality wet food with a large portion of meat and a lot of 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 on the packaging label by quantity. It is therefore not surprising that meat comes first on the list of ingredients.

An ASpecific diet helps keep your cat healthy. But unfortunately, this does not protect him from hereditary diseases. Many breeders and owners of Birman’s report multiple eye inflammations and a tendency to strabismus. Added to this are dermoid cysts, especially in the ovaries and testicles, and the head.

How to Find the Right Birman Breeder

The appearance of various diseases among the Burmese shows how important the choice of breeding is. Breeders, to whom the wellbeing of animals is important, invest in genetic tests and do not hesitate to exclude sick animals from breeding. Therefore, you should only trust professional breeders who can present you with documents concerning the animal’s health or the results of genetic tests.

 These breeders not only think about the reproduction of their animals but also invest in preventive care measures, good quality food and allow good socialization of the kittens. They will never let a kitten integrate into a new home before its twelfth week of life! This period is essential for the physical and moral health of the cat. A good breeder also gives the mother time to rest after a tiring gestation and often does not have more than one litter per year.

This investment has an impact on the price. It is not the family tree that determines your purebred cat’s price. What matters most is the experience of the breeder and the care he gives to his animals.

Burmese Cat Breed Facts and Personality Traits, Information 2022

Do not trust advertisements such as “sacred Burmese without papers at a good price.” In most cases, they are not mass breeders motivated by profit.

Whether you can’t or don’t want to spend between 500 and 1000 euros for a cat is completely understandable. Shelters are a good alternative. Many animals of all ages and breeds await a good home there. You might find the cat of your dreams here!

A cat with a fairly complex and indecipherable personality, the Birman or Sacred Birman cat, perhaps to further confirm its unpredictable side, establishes a beautiful relationship with its master based on love and loyalty. Its refined and precious appearance and mysterious character, which has nothing “wild” about it, make it such a special cat that it deserves its name of Sacred Cat of Burma.

The origins of the Birman cat

Originally from Burma, this cat would have been a sacred animal that could not leave the temples; despite this rigid protective rule, around the 1920s, the American billionaire Vanderbilt managed to obtain, perhaps by corrupting one of the servants of the temple, a male and a female.

According to another tradition, this cat would come from a Siamese and a Persian. From the 1920s, the first Burmese, established in France, reproduced and prospered. Like so many other breeds, the Birman cat came close to extinction because of the Second World War: a couple survived from which the breed was reconstituted.

The ideal cat

The Birman cat belongs to the group of feline breeds that carry the Siamese gene: in fact, it has a light and dark color at the tips (muzzle, legs, ears, and tail), and its eyes are blue, in shades ranging from blue clear to purple.

The back of the Sacred Birman is golden beige and its belly white like its feet, called gloves, which are its main characteristic: the white must be pure and must never exceed the attachment of the fingers. The hair, which is mid-long on the sides and the body, is very abundant at the collar level, especially in the males, and it has a silky texture; with an undercoat.

The head is solid, broad, and rounded even if, seen in profile, it turns out to be slightly longer than broad. The nose, with a convex profile, has the nose facing downwards. The cheeks are high and well defined, the jaw is robust, and the chin strong.

The body is slightly elongated and massive; the heavy framework carries a solid musculature. Its size is medium and large; the legs are strong and short, and the feet are round and wide. The tail, of medium length, should be proportionate to the body.

hair color

The body hair of the Birman cat is always golden beige, with the belly and the “gloves” white, but the colors of the points can vary enormously: we distinguish the varieties cream point, red point, lilac point, blue point, seal point, and chocolate point. There is also the seal tortie point, the seal tortie tabby point, the blue tabby point, and the seal tabby point.

The character

The Burmese cat is a cat with a splendid character, a little shy and very sensitive; he is not clingy, annoying, or noisy, but if he does not get what he wants, he “sulks,” and he is capable of committing some mischief. He likes to play a lot, even when he gets old, and it is precisely through play that he socializes easily.

As he needs movement, especially when he is a kitten, playing with a ball is the ideal solution for his needs and, something quite rare, it is precise with the help of a ball that we can teach him to fetch, an activity that few cats are able – or want – to do.

Cuddle:

Very affectionate and gentle, he loves caressing sessions and will let you know with a deep purr. 

Playful:

This cat is lively and playful and will happily share a game session with his humans, whom he likes to follow everywhere. 

Burmese Cat Breed Facts and Personality Traits, Information 2022

Calm:

This phlegmatic feline spends more time lounging in a cozy place than doing bad things. 

Intelligent:

This feline is rather curious and will gladly learn how to do tricks during regular training sessions.  

Fearful/suspicious of strangers:

Although shy, this cat is curious and gets along with everyone. Everything will depend on his socialization during his first months of life.

Independent:

A bit clingy, he appreciates the company of humans and other animals and finds it difficult to tolerate loneliness. 

Behavior

Talkative:

He will brighten up the house with his soft voice to attract the attention of his humans. 

Greedy/gluttonous:

This tomcat is not greedy but rather selective. 

Need for exercise:

Like all cats, he needs a sufficiently stimulating mentally and physically environment to be well on his paws. 

Runaway:

Even if he’s not against a little outdoor stroll, his “glue pot” side will never take him very far from his home if he feels happy. 

Compatibility

The Birman and the Dogs:

With a good introduction, he will become the sidekick of the family dogs. 

The Birman and Other Cats:

Although most cats are solitary, this one enjoys the company of its peers. 

The Birman and Children:

The Sacred Birman is the ultimate companion cat and gets along very well with children as long as they have learned to interact respectfully with cats.

The Birman and the Elderly: 

His sweetness and calmness make him a very good companion for a quieter person, on whose lap he will love to bask and be pampered, provided he can also exert himself through play. Daily. 

Price 

On average, the purchase price of a Birman kitten in breeding is between 800€ and 1200€, the variation often being a function of the line, the breeding, the age, or even the sex. For the monthly budget, it takes an average of €30/month to meet his needs by offering him quality food and keeping him in good health.

Maintenance

Grooming: 

Maintaining its fur does not require any particular care, apart from weekly brushing. It is also recommended during this grooming to ensure the cleanliness of the eyes and ears of the Sacred Birman. 

Hair loss:

This cat can lose a lot of hair during molting, but regular maintenance will avoid hairball problems. 

feed

He’s a gourmet. He is quite selective when it comes to his food. It is, therefore, necessary to ensure that it is offered a quality diet, whether dry or wet. 

Cares

Grooming the Burmese cat is simple because its mid-long hair is very silky and does not tangle; in normal times, a good weekly brushing with a soft brush will suffice, while during molting, some additional care will be necessary to eliminate the little down that could form.

Health

Lifespan:

The Birman can live up to an average of 12 to 15 years. 

Resistant / robust:

Its mid-length fur allows it to resist both cold and heat. 

Tendency to gain weight:

This tomcat does not particularly tend to gain weight, but he needs to exert himself to maintain his healthy weight. A diet adapted to his age, and his activity will prevent him from overweight problems. 

Common diseases:

Like many feline breeds, the Sacred Birman is predisposed to developing certain hereditary diseases but detectable by blood test or mouth swab: 

Polycystic kidney disease: cysts gradually and slowly appear on the kidneys, hindering their proper functioning 

Hypertrophic heart disease: heart disease characterized by thickening of the myocardium 

Mucopolysaccharidosis type VI: genetic disease expressed by skeletal abnormalities 

He may one day develop the same pathologies as any other cat, such as oral pathologies. 

After seven years, it is advisable to carefully monitor his health by having an annual check-up with the veterinarian. 

Breeding: 

The kittens are born entirely white, marking only appearing after a few days. This will become darker until it reaches its optimum, around 2 or 3 years. 

The only authorized marriage is between two Burmese.

Good to know

The coat texture of the Birman is quite special. Indeed, the bristles do not tangle. The perfect cat for those who love cats with fluffy, silky fur but not daily brushing sessions!  

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