Known as the cat of mystery and legend, the Birman breed originated in Burma, believed to be the companion of the Kittah priests. Legend has it that this sacred cat of Burma inherited their unique colour pattern at the Temple of LaoTsun, located in Burma. Meanwhile, the breed got its current name from its French name, Sacre de Birmanie. The fist pair of Birman cats was brought into France from Burma in 1919. While the French recognized the breed in 1925, the starting point in the UK originated from imports in 1965 by Mrs. Elsie Fisher "Praha" and Mrs Margaret Richards "Mei Hua". Interestingly, most of the Birman breeders name their cats according to the year. This tradition is French in origin and is quite widely followed. The Birman became recognised in England as a separate breed in 1966 and by The Cat Fanciers' Association in 1967.
Gentle and polite, the Birman cats make for an adorable pet. These loving creatures bond very well with their owners and make loyal companions. Highly people-oriented, your Birman pet will follow you around the house and provide constant company. These affectionate creatures appreciate your attention and purr in happiness on being patted or cuddled. The Birmans are an energetic breed, with most of them retaining their playfulness well into their adulthood. These curious creatures will love to explore anything new in the house and will be inquisitive about all of your activities. Their sweet and tolerant temperament makes them the right companion for children, even wanting to go to bed with them. Because the Birmans have a very outgoing nature they respond very well to new situations, people and other pets.
The Birmans are an extremely healthy breed of cats, highly resistant to disease. However, some isolated cases of conditions like Cardiomyopathy and the (Feline) Lower Urinary Tract Disease and kidney disorders have been found in the breed. It is desirable to take these cats for an annual check-up to the veterinarian, to ensure proper health. Some Birmans might be susceptible to skin allergies due to their rare skin. Nerve disorders, though very rare, can also occur.
The splendid beauty and docile behaviour of the Birman cats makes them an ideal domestic cat. These cats are best suited for indoor living. Being highly sociable, the Birman cats should not be left alone for longer hours and ideally should have other feline company, when left alone. Since these cats have an easy care angora coat, they are a low maintenance breed, with fairly minimal grooming requirements. The fur is long and silky, but has no undercoats, thus not forming any knots or tangles. The Birman cat is also desirable for households wanting to own a longhaired cat, without the hassle of continuous grooming. However, owners should remember that the coat tends to change during the hot months and daily grooming is required to remove the surplus dead hair. As a part of the grooming procedure, make sure you provide enough scratching carpet and covered posts to keep the nails short.