The Birman cat is a large, impressive, blue-eyed cat with a single-length plush and silky coat. The fur is of medium length with no undercoat and has less tendency to matt than double coats like those of Persians and Himalayans.
The head is round with broad ears and the nose is only slightly shortened, not compressed like the Himalayan cat which it resembles.
Distinctive white paws will also set the Birman cat apart from similar breeds. Images of large and well-furred, white footed cats appear for centuries in the literature of Burma.
Birman cats were carefully developed by the High Priests of the land with emphasis on companionship and attractiveness.
They are known as the "Sacred Cats of Burma", and perfect examples of the breed are highly prized in their native land, the country now also known as Myanmar.
Coat, color and personality are most important in the breed standard, and the cat should have a regal, and lovely presence.
The modern breed can be traced back to a pair given to a French soldier as a gift from a Burmese priest.
Birman cats are big, gentle, beautiful and exceptionally domesticated cats that get along nicely with dogs, kids, and other pets.
They have a calm, docile and friendly disposition that makes them an excellent choice for almost any household situation.
The centuries of domestication and refinement as a true companion and "house cat" are evident, and this gorgeous breed excels as a perfect modern day pet.
Birman cats are an excellent choice for folks living in apartments.
They are quiet, gentle, and patient, particularly with elderly people or infirmed individuals.
Unless you are looking for a high-energy, buddy type cat, the breed is hard to beat.
The Birman cat is recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA), the world's largest cat organization. and is one of the most popular pure-bred or "pedigreed" domestic cat breeds.
The breed can be traced to ancient Burmese temples where high priests created the exotic and luxurious look.
The Birman must be a "color point" meaning a pale white to tan background with legs, tail and muzzle of a darker shade, anywhere from blue to red to black.
The coat is plush and soft and of a single length that requires less grooming than some other long-coated breeds, but regular grooming is still required.
These are sturdy, large sized cats that have few breed-related health issues.
Because it is quiet, laid-back and enjoys gentle interaction the Birman cat is a nice family cat that does very well with considerate children, and makes a lovely "lap-cat." -Birman Cat Facts
Birman kittens tend to be quieter and calmer than other breeds. They may be more inclined to cuddle than explore, and are usually less likely to try out their new claws during play.
Kitten-proofing is definitely recommended for anyone considering adopting or purchasing any kitten, however.
High furniture should be off limits, and caution should be taken when holding youngsters, particularly when carrying them across hard wood or tile floors.
With Birman kittens in particular, spaces under counters and doors should be blocked off as they have a tendency to wander off to a quiet place for a nap.
Birman kittens are born white and develop their coloring over a few days to weeks.
Other than that, the Birman kitten looks basically like a miniature adult, although they may be a bit clumsy, and their fur lacks the silkiness of the adult coat.
They tend to grow at an average rate and reach mature height at about 6 months, filling out and maturing to full size and weight at about one year old.
Because this is a fairly popular cat, breeders of pedigree Birman kittens can be found relatively easily, and the price is usually fairly affordable for a pure-bred kitten.
Head Shape: The head should be broad, large, and rounded, slightly flatter between the ears. The muzzle is broad and well-formed with a slightly roman nose, never compressed, or broken. Full, round cheeks and a firm chin. Ears should be broad at the base, medium in size with rounded tips. Eyes are large, round, and bright blue in color.
Body and Tail: The body should be full but firm, longer than tall, with medium length legs of good bone and substance. The paws should be noticeably full, large, and rounded.
Coat: The coat should be full and flowing, of medium length with a silky texture. A full ruff around the face and neck is desirable.
Pattern: Pointed pattern with a cream, buff or tan base, and seal, chocolate, blue, lilac, tortie or red points, much like the Siamese cat. All four paws must have solid white mittens. The fronts should ideally stop in a straight line at the ankle, or right as the foot joins the leg. In the rear, the white may rise higher, in what are called "laces". Symmetry of these markings is very desirable. White going passed the dew claws in front or the hocks in back is not desireable.
Overall Appearance: This should be a full-bodied, full-coated large size cat with a regal presence. Well-pointed color and four white paws with blue eyes all required. A sweet-natured, gorgeous example of a perfect domestic house cat.