Affectionate - Loving - Intelligent.
Birmans are renowned for their devilishly good looks with silky hair, bright blue eyes, and cute white tootsies. However, do you know the tale of how they came to be known as the "Sacred Cat of Burma", or which famous face left their fortune to a Birman cat called Choupette? ... No? Well after reading this blog you will, along with all their traits and characteristics to help you work out if you'd be the right hooman for one.
Birman Cat Origins
The "Sacred Cat of Burma"
Birmans are no ordinary kitties. In fact, in many countries around the world, they're known as the "Sacred Cat of Burma". Whilst there is some discourse around how this came to be, according to legend Birmans were tasked with protecting a Temple in Burma called Lao Tsun.
One night the temple was attacked and the head priest sadly killed. One kitty, named Sinh, was especially devoted to this priest and rushed to help him in his final moments. As he passed away, Sinh placed his paws onto the priest's body, causing the priest's soul to enter into the cat. As a result, Sinh's appearance changed. With his coat turning from pure white to a more golden tone, areas of his face, legs, and tail becoming the colour of the earth, his eyes turning sapphire blue, and his four paws remaining pure white as a symbol of purity. All his fellow temple cats took on the same colourings, and the Birman we know today was born. Now whether you believe it or not, you have to admit it's a good tale!
How they came to the UK
How the first Birman cat ended up arriving onto our turf is equally as mysterious. What we do know is that they were first noted around 1920 in France, with a male and female cat supposedly shipped over from Burma. Along the way sadly the male kitty died, but the female name Sita survived, miraculously pregnant. They were officially registered by the French Cat Registry in 1925. However, WW2 nearly wiped them out, with only 2 cats remaining in Europe when the war finally came to an end. These had to be outcrossed with long-hair breeds, and it took until the 1950's for pure Birmans to be bred again. This restored breed was officially registered in Britain in 1965. Quite some journey hey?
What does a Birman Cat look like?
We briefly noted some of Birman's recognisable traits earlier on, but their key physical traits are:
- A golden cream colour coat
- Bright Sapphire blue eyes
- White paws (called gloves)
- Markings on their faces, ears, parts of their body, and tail, with up to 20 different colours visible
- Relatively small ears
- Silky, semi-long hair
Here's one we made earlier...
Interestingly all Birman kittens are born pure white. The differentiating colours only start to develop around a week after birth, starting with the ears, nose, and tail. These will become fully developed by the age of two. Some colourings are also based purely on sex, for example, only female Birmans can be Tortie Point coloured.
Birman Cat Personality
One of Birman's defining features is their brilliant temperament, often likened to dogs due to some of their mannerisms. They form unbreakable bonds with their hoomans, love receiving affection, and even better love giving lots back too! This makes them ideal for families with children, or other pets too.
They're highly inquisitive, so require lots of stimulation via enrichment games and activities. Plus, like all kitties they're intelligent af, so don't even bother trying to outsmart them.
How long do Birman cats live?
The lifespan of a Birman cat is roughly 12-16 years. Which, if you're curious you can work out in human years here.
How much do Birman Cats cost?
According to the PDSA the average cost of a Birman is £450. However, during the pandemic the cost of most pets has surged in price, so today you could expect to pay anywhere between £350 up to over £1000.
Always look for a registered breeder, or visit your local rescue center. There's even a rescue centre specifically for Birman cats that you might like to check out.
Birman's don't have any specific dietary requirements to be aware of, so are easy to feed as long as you know what all kitties require.
Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they can't synthesise certain amino acids on their own, and must acquire them from animal meat. We often hear this phrase misinterpreted as meaning our kitties ONLY need meat in their diets. However, this is untrue, because as well as protein and fat, carbohydrates play an essential role in your cat’s health. For example, glucose (a carbohydrate) is physiologically essential for the brain, and many cells in your cat’s body are glucose-dependent. So for this reason, carbohydrates are still an important part of their diet.
We offer a range of gut-friendly and natural recipes for cats, packed with responsibly sourced animal meat, probiotics, and prebiotics. We've carefully tailored these to suit all your Birmans needs, designing them according to FEDIAF guidelines, with the approval of vets and nutritionists. Choose from our range of complete grain free wet cat food range, including Salmon, Turkey, Tuna, and Chicken. Or check out our complete dry food recipes, with one for Kittens and two Adult Versions in Chicken or Chicken and Salmon. We've even got tasty cat treats to tickle their tastebuds, including two new 100% meat treats exclusively available in Tesco. We gently bake, steam or freeze dry our cat treats in the UK, serve them in recyclable packaging and they of course come at the approval of the fussiest of kitties around.
Famous Celebs with a Birman Cat
It's no surprise that these beautiful kitties have attracted a fair few famous faces to become their hoomans. Here's one you'll hopefully recognise...
Karl Lagerfield and Choupette
Choupette is a celeb in her own right, having amassed a social following of over 99k. How Choupette came into Karl's home is a little unorthodox though. The story goes that Lagerfield was catsitting her, then when home-time came, he decided he enjoyed her company so much he wanted to keep her. And that's exactly what happened... Choupette broke the news in 2020, as after Karl passed away, it was revealed he had left a large part of his fortune to her. Where Choupette (and her fortune) is now is up for debate, but it's thought she's with Lagerfields former housekeeper. Who we can imagine is taking rather great care of her... :)