The Birman cat arrived from Asia in Europe in the early 1900s, before it then spread around the world. The semi-long-haired cat, with its attractive features, was introduced to Australia in 1967.
Birman colours include blue, lilac, cream, red, chocolate and various forms of tabby, with darker colourings on the face, ears, tail and legs. But regardless of its colour, the Birman always has pure white feet and striking blue eyes. Birmans have a collar of hair around the neck with a bushy tail, solid legs and a strong body.
Like other long-haired breeds Birmans suffer from hairballs, but apart from that this robust breed has no real health concerns. You can expect your Birman kitten to live to about the age of 14 and weigh up to seven kilos.
They make great pets because they can form a strong bond with their owners and they have relaxed, affectionate natures. You’ll find your Birman spends a lot of time lying around the house and they are relaxed with other pets. They are not as active as other breeds so make great house pets, but if they want attention Birmans will make their presence felt.
The downside to that relaxed nature is that Birmans are prone to obesity, so you’ll need to be careful about portion sizes. Their coats will also need to be brushed every couple of days – leave them ungroomed and they can end up with nasty knots. That coat also means your Birman will benefit from a bath a few times a year to get rid of old hair.