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Birman cat

One of the most ancient breeds. According to one of the legends, this cat originates from ancient Burma. Because of intelligence of these cats, they were called «eye of the sky» by Buddhist monks.

Energy level
Level of affection
Level of friendliness
Intelligence
Health
Independence
Popularity
Care
Weight
Weight:
female: 3—5 kg
male: 4—6 kg
Height
Height:
female: 26—28 cm
male: 30—32 cm
Hair
Hair:
long
Care
Care:
requires little time
Lives
Lives:
inside
outside
Gives birth to
Gives birth to:
3—5 kittens
Origin
Origin:
Myanmar
in 1800
Life span
Life span:
12—15 years

Personality

Birmese cats are affectionate and obedient pets. They like people and do not easily get through loneliness. Their favourite place for rest is knees or hands of a person. It is interesting for them to watch what their owner is doing. These pets will follow the person from one room to another, participating in all family activities. Meanwhile, Birmese cats remain unobtrusive. If they see that the owner is busy, they will not irritate that person.

Birmese cats are very smart and friendly pets. They can feel the mood of a person. If a conflict arises in the house, these pets will try to solve it. This breed gets on well with other animals. It is important to pay them enough attention, though. If these cats feel that they are spent not enough time on, conflicts might start. While playing with a kid, a Birmese cat will never bite or scratch the child. This breed is perfect for families and lonely people.

Appearance

Birmese cats are of medium size. Their appearance is similar to one of Siamese cats. Their body is long and strong, with well-developed muscles. 
Color
Color
Hair
Hair
Head
Head
Eyes
Eyes
Ears
Ears
Neck
Neck
Paws
Paws
Paws
Tail
Of medium length, feels silky. There is no undercoat. Feels soft and tender. It is the longest on neck and belly. 
All colorful variations of color-point, except light-beige (fawn) and cinnamon, are accepted. Breeders from France and New Zealand work on fixing these coat colors. A colorful mask is accepted on the muzzle. Birmese cats are born white. Darker coat appears 3–4 months later.
The skull is wide and rounded. The forehead is tilting back and is slightly convex. Size of the nose is proportional to one of the head. The chin is strong and well-developed.
Big and wide, lemon-shaped. The slit is almost rounded. Eyes are wide-set, with the outer angle slightly leaning upwards. Colors — all shades of blue.
Of medium length, slightly leaning forward.
Thick, of medium length.
Of medium length, heavy. No matter what the coat color is, legs are always white.
Bushy, of medium length, proportional to the body. 

Basic Care

Taking care of a Birmese cat does not require much time. Their long hair of silky structure does not get matted. You need to brush your pet once in two weeks to take away dead hairs. During the moulting time — in spring and fall — brush your cat once a week. Then walk over the body with wet hands to remove the remaining hairs.

Birmese cats are neat. You do not need to give them a bath, and these pets do not like water. Teeth of these cats need to be brushed once a week, so that periodontal disease does not develop. Trim cat`s claws once in two weeks. Wipe its eyes with a wet cloth if they are dirty. Each eye should be cleaned separately, so that infection does not spread. Ears need to be cleaned two times a month. 

Birmese cats are not peaky in what they eat. They know how not to cross the line to becoming obese. That is why they do not gain extra weight. These pets can be given either premium quality feed or natural food. However, they like the latter more. These cats like: not greasy meat — chicken, beef and rabbit meat; boiled fish; fat free dairy products — cottage cheese and sour cream. Small kittens need to be given ground beef and chicken. They help with keeping the coat color from the very young age. Adult cats should be fed two times a day, and kittens under the age of 1 year — four times a day. 

A Birmese cat needs warmth for comfortable living. They do not get easily through coldness, even though their hair is long and thick. They should be let outside only in rare occasions. Birmese cats have a weak vestibular apparatus. They do not land on legs well. That is why it is important to watch that your cat does not fall from a widow or a tree.

Health and Illnesses

Birmese cats can live up to 15 years if treated well. One cat of this breed appeared in the Guinness World Records for living 35 years. Health of these pets is strong. Hereditary health issues develop rarely, but they are present in this breed.

Congenital hypotrichosis leads to birth of hairless kittens. Thymic aplasia is, simply saying, immunodeficiency. Cats, born with this disease, have a weak immune system. That is why they are more likely to get affected by other diseases. 

Spongy degeneration is a disorder of the central nervous system. It causes weakness of hind limbs and badly coordinated movements. This disorder is rare.

Kidney dysfunction causes disorders in functioning of kidneys and leads to their failure. The disease can be diagnosed only by blood test. High concentrations of urea and creatinine are signals that the cat is sick.

The most serious health issue is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. A lot of breeds suffer from it. This disorder enlarges size of left ventricle of heart and disrupts its functioning. Symptoms include: dyspnea after playing and fatigue. The disease is dangerous because its symptoms appear too late.

For your pet to be healthy, take it to the vet and watch its diet regularly.

History of the Breed

Birmese cats are representatives of an ancient breed. Their origination is covered with legends. The most popular one suggests that the Saint cat of Burma got its appearance thanks to a blue-eyed goddess Cun Huanze. She awarded a priest`s cat with love and loyalty. Its legs turned into white, eyes became blue, and hair — golden. Since then, cats living in temples have been carrying signs of love of the goddess. That is why they started being called «saint».

How this breed really originated is still unknown. First Birmese cats were brought to Europe in 1919 by a French millionaire Vanderbilt. He paid much money for buying two kittens. However, one of them died on the way to Europe. The breed was officially registered in 1925. Birmese cats became popular among wealthy people. Not everybody could buy Saint cats. During WWII, the gene pool of the breed almost disappeared. Only a male and a female remained alive. To restore the breed, these pets were crossbred with Siamese and Persian cats. In 1959, first Birmese cats were imported to the USA. And in 1967, they were recognized by all international associations.