The legend

The legend of the Sacred Birman Cat

The Birman has a lovely legend. The cats were kept by the Kittah monks in Burma in their temples. As the legend tells, there was a golden-eye white cat standing guard at her dying master. As the beloved master passed away the master’s golden goddess turned the cat’s fur into golden-tuned cream and her legs and tail into dark brown. The master’s soul moved into the cat and the cat’s paws became snow white where touching the master’s body, thus signing the purity of his soul. As the cat glanced at the goddess statue, her golden eyes turned into the colour of the goddess’ stunning sapphire blue eyes.

The legend has many versions, this is one of them.

 The Birman was first shown in France in the 1920’s. As a breed it was introduced in England in 1966.

The Sacred Birman has been among the top ten most favourite breeds since then.

English name: Sacred Birman 

German name: Heilige Birma
French name: Sacré de Birmanie

 

Traits, standards

General appearance

The Birman is an exquisitely beautiful cat. The fluffy, silky fur and the bewitching sapphire blue eyes of the legendary Sacred Birman immediately make you fall for them. The colour of the soft fur is light, with snow white gloves and laces on the four legs (ideally symmetric) in contrast with the basic point colour. The build is medium though the males may grow huge. The body is sturdy. Their short, strong and muscular legs ensure the proper state for permanent playing. The head is round, eyes set well apart.

Average weight: 4,5 – 8 kg.

Expected lifetime: 15-20 + years in adequate life circumstances.

 The following standard is published by TICA:

(http://www.tica.org/public/breeds/bi/intro.php)

 

The Birman is a medium to medium-large longhaired pointed cat with distinctive white gloves and laces. All four feet have white gloves and the back feet have laces extending about halfway up the back leg.

The Birman has a long, soft, almost silky single coat. The thickness will vary with seasonal conditions. This coat is of such that it has a tendency not to mat. With good grooming habits on the part of the owner, stray hairs can be combed out weekly. The combing action can be good together time for cat and owner.

Birmans have a distinctive roman nose that, when viewed in profile, starts at the change of direction at the forehead and rises in a hill-shape that goes down at the end with the nose leather low. The chin has good depth and should not be bulbous or receding. The ears are almost as wide at the base as they are tall. They have good width between them. The eyes are medium to large and moderately round, with good width between. The tail is neither long or short, but in balance with the body. This is checked by gently holding the tail along the back so that it reaches the shoulder blades. The body is long and sturdy. The legs should be well muscled and in good proportion to the body.

Birmans come in all pointed colours. There is a colour to match anyone's desire. They are all beautiful.....they are all BIRMAN.

 

The Birman personality

In one word: wonderful! Birmans are especially docile, playful, basically peaceful, friendly and silent cats. They will never try their masters’ nerves with loud and aggressive meows. They are ideal pets, particularly with young children. They won’t become depressed as a single cat if you can spend enough time with them but they are also great in getting on with other cats.  If you spend most of your day away from home, please buy a cat friend because they do not like being on their own. They stick to their masters especially strongly; they will follow you by or between your legs. Take care not to tread on the little white paws! Although this cat is principally quiet, when they want the master’s company, they will call you in a soft deep voice, which you cannot resist because it is never aggressive or pushy. If you give response to this bar-singer-voice call, your cat will be talkative and you can indulge in long chats with your little darling, however, if you prefer the soft purr only, then do not reply and they will stop initiating conversations. They love being cuddled, as opposed to many other breeds they may become our cuddly babies. A lot of cats do not tolerate massage except when they do want it. It is my experience, neither my 10-year-old tabby nor my Maine Coons bear it. You can hug and cuddle your Birman whenever you wish, they are patient, they will not jump down, run away or snap at your hand. They can expressly ask you for cuddling. I quite often carry my cats in my zip sweater from where they vividly watch my activities. I even considered getting a body baby carrier. With lots and lots of love, quality food and regular medical check-up your Birman will become the greatest family member, buddy, friend, as the purrfect pet.

 

Feeding

All cats are carnivorous and as such they can get the necessary amino acids from animal-origin protein sources. And this meat! It is indispensable to feed our cat with raw meat. As we cannot serve them fresh mice (but this is not forbidden, adventurous masters J), we mainly feed them with muscle meat. This in itself is not enough, a balanced diet is essential to preserve our cat’s health. We may think that among the hundreds of different types of dry food we can find the most proper for our Birman and thus we meet this requirement.  It’s convenient, it doesn’t go off. This is only partly OK. The dry food needs to be supplemented with meat at least once a week. Chicken is the richest in protein but it shouldn’t be served raw because of the salmonella hazard. Boil chicken breast, drums, necks, wings or liver with a little linseed oil and a pinch of mixed bio vegetable powder, pick off the meat from the bones and serve it. It is very important not to give hollow, splintering bones to the cat, these may pierce into the palate and then we can only pray to be quick enough to get to the vet.  No raw pork is to be given to the cat because it is full of worm larvae, which is dangerous for animal and human alike. It is evidently not enough to avoid these getting into the actual diet but we should be alert not to let our cat browse the dustbin in search of the source of those irresistible smells! Wet food is also OK if you are too busy but do not let it be the only and regular food of your cat. As opposed to us humans, cats need to get acids because of the mentioned carnivorous feature of theirs. This can be easily achieved by putting 20 drops of apple vinegar into the fresh drinking water (2-3 dl). If your cat is reluctant to drink it, try to raise the dose with 5 drops every day.  

In summary, the most important is to keep a balanced diet, which is by no means the leftover from the table or the scrap of cooking intended to be poured into the dustbin.

 

Grooming

There are lots and lots of websites dealing with this topic some of them even showing you videos so I’m not going into details here. Just a few general facts:

The fluffy, silky fur of the Birman needs no extraordinary care. It is enough to brush the fur with a little baby powder weekly but of course you may do it on a daily basis if you wish. The fur does not get tangled so you will not need a pet cosmetician. During the spring shedding period you may wish to bathe your cat to help remove dead hair and thus eliminate vomiting hairballs. If you decide to do so, I advise a gentle shower instead of immersing your cat into a bath or basin filled with water.

It is important to regularly check our cat with special attention paid to the teeth. They tend to be covered with tartar or sometimes the gum may be inflamed, which, if not cured, may lead to serious problems. To check your cat’s teeth first of all put on a thick overall, protective gloves and a welding mask. This is what I would advise if it is not the Birman. Birmans are tolerant and peaceful even if you open their little muzzle and peep into their mouth.

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