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[Feline 101] The Birman

By — One of many Cat Breeds blogs on SmartLivingNetwork.com

Birman CatBirman Cat Stats

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Cat of the Week: The Birman

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Birman Cats

Birman Cat

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Fun Facts About Birman Cats

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Birman Kittens

Birman Kitten

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How to Spot a Birman Cat

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Gloved FeetGloved Feet. I must admit, cat lady that I am, even I would have trouble telling a color-pointed Ragdoll from a Birman cat IF it weren’t for those adorable mitted feet - and not simply mitted, “gloved” and “laced” as well. Seriously. I’m not making that up. It’s the official language used to describe the breed’s marking standards and curiously, it’s also a breed standard which for all my looking, seems to be reserved specifically for Birmans! Apparently, while mitted feet are simply white, the ideal “gloved” feet feature white back feet markings which Birman Kitten with Gloved Feetstretch up the foot slightly to make a sort of elongated tear drop formation. The top portion of the teardrop marking is, presumably, the “lacing.” (As shown right.) However, as with Siamese cats, Birmans are born white and only later develop the dark leg marking which define their gloves.

Long Color-Pointed Fur. Love long-haired cats, but dread the grooming and potential for mats?  The Birman may be the perfect cat for you! Breed standards call for a medium long to long coat of silken fur that ruffs around the neck and does not mat. As for color, while all Birmans have the primarily white “gold dusted” body, point colors do vary. TICA recognizes a large variety of color and patterns, pointed, tortie particolor, lynx particolor, and torbi particolor in seal, blue, chocolate, lilac, Roman Cat Nosecinnamon, fawn, red, and cream. The CFA however, recognizes just one pattern – pointed – and just four colors – seal, blue, chocolate, and lilac.

Round Blue Eyes, Roman Nose. If you’re looking at a golden or green eyed kitty, chances are, it’s not a Birman. While colors and patterns can vary from Birman to Birman, the eyes should only be one color – brilliant jewel blue – the deeper and more violet toned in appearance, the better according to breed standards. Another giveaway?  Their profile. While many people mistake the Birman for the Himalayan, Himalayans are flat faced cats. The Birman has a “Roman shaped” profile with a gently sloping nose.

Birman Cats

Birman Cat

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What to Expect from a  Birman Cat

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A Docile Cat. While some cats are totally independent-minded, accepting attention only on their terms, and squirming and evading attempts to hold them, Birman cats, like the Ragdolls that resemble them, are EXTREMELY docile. Combined with the fact that they’re very friendly and not especially energetic, if you want pick up a Birman, rub their tummy, or even make them do a little kitty dance, they probably won’t fight you.

A Quiet Cat. Unlike the most famous cat breed originating from Asia - the Siamese - the Birman tends to be a very quiet cat. When they do speak, the CFA describes their voices as “soft” and “chirp-like, ” but they’re more likely to use their body language and beautiful face to get what they want.

A People Cat. Yes, just as there are “cat people”, there are “people cats”, and the Birman definitely falls into this category! Whether you’re lying down with a good book or making dinner in the kitchen, these are cats that want to be with you. And their friendliness is not just for their family either. Unlike many breeds, Birmans greet strangers rather than hide from them and don’t particularly like being only pets. They’ll want a dog or another kitty friend to keep them company. Perhaps, originating as sacred temple cats they are just used to be adored, but whatever the reason, the Birman loves to be loved. And really, who could resist?

Birman Kittens

Birman Kittens

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More Birman Cats!!!

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Birman Kitten

Birman Cat

Birman Cat

Birman Kitten

SOURCES

VetStreet: Birman

Animal Planet: Cat Breed Directory: Birman

The Cat Fanciers’ Association: Birman Breed Profile

PHOTO CREDIT

St. Ifferini Birman

Janicskovskt@flickr

mwri@flickr

Gianluca Neri@flickr

taytomFFM@flickr

caludiabirmans@flickr

SacroBirmania.com@flickr

jjgod@flickr

Nik Morris (van Leiden)@flickr

scadwell@flickr

Michael Needs More Photo Time@flickr


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