A Guide to Birman Cats – Breed Information and Advice

Birmans are a cross between Persian and Siamese cats and have distinctive bright blue eyes and white-gloved feet. They’re usually affectionate and gentle and tend to make great family companions. It's worth bearing in mind they're probably not the best choice for owners who are out all day as most Birmans need company to thrive.

Birman Cats

Before looking on Gumtree for Birman cats for sale, it’s important to do plenty of research on the breed. The Pet Advertising Advisory Group can provide lots of important information about cat ownership and how to buy a cat responsibly. It’s also a great idea to consider rescuing a cat from a local shelter before thinking of buying from a breeder.

Care

Birmans are medium-sized cats that are usually moderately active and weigh around 5 kg. Generally speaking, they need two or three meals over the day to keep them at a good weight. A breeder or vet will be able to suggest a high-quality, balanced cat food to suit their needs.

Although Birman cats tend to be quite docile, they can also be intelligent and curious and will likely love some cat toys to play with. As a general rule, Birmans are best kept indoors. If you’re going to allow them outside, the space needs to be secure and enclosed so they can explore safely. They don’t have a high prey drive like many breeds, so you probably won’t find any unwanted gifts on your doorstep. Like most cats, Birmans love cleanliness, so they’ll appreciate it if you clean their litter box regularly.

Grooming

This breed has a semi long-haired, colour-pointed coat, which is unlikely to get matted, so grooming around twice a week is usually sufficient to get rid of dead hair and keep it in top condition. Birmans shed their winter coat in spring, so it’s a good idea to groom them more at this time to avoid excess fur around the house. Although they don’t shed as much as other long-haired breeds, Birman cats aren’t classed as hypoallergenic because they still produce the dander and saliva that cause allergies in humans.

Temperament

Birmans were originally bred as companion cats, so they’re often extremely sociable and people-oriented – they’ve even been known to follow their owners around ‘helping’ with household tasks. They’ll appreciate an owner who can keep them company most of the time so they don’t get bored or lonely. This breed tends to be laid back and easy-going, meaning they often get along with other pets and children. Although they’re typically not as active as other breeds, their intelligence means they need mental and physical stimulation – and they’ve even been known to enjoy a game of fetch!

Health concerns

Birman cats are generally healthy and can live for over 15 years. They can suffer from common health issues that affect other cats, such as obesity, hyperthyroidism and dental problems, but some specific health concerns to look out for in Birmans include:

  • kidney disease – this tends to be the main issue for Birmans. Symptoms can include increased thirst and urination, and vomiting
  • hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) – this is the most common heart disease in cats and can be inherited in Birmans. It occurs when the heart muscle becomes thick and can lead to heart failure

As with all cats, it’s important to get Birmans vaccinated and arrange regular veterinary checks to help them live long and healthy lives. It’s also a good idea to seek a reputable breeder and ask about the medical history of the cat’s parents.