Fun Birman Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Jan 06, 2023 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Diya Patel
Discover interesting Birman facts here

The Birman cat is a domestic cat which is also called the 'Sacred Cat of Burma'. The unique name of this cat is due to the spectacular history of its origin.

According to some legends, there were Buddhist temples in Burma (now Myanmar) that worshipped the goddess of transmutation, Tsun-Kyan-Kse. White temple cats used to live there with other priests but after they were raided, these cats changed their color from white to golden.

This is a more fantastical account of history. Another origin story is that two Englishmen helped Buddhist priests and their cats to escape from the same temple during the raids.

The priests, as a gesture of thanks, gave them the 'Sacred Cat of Burma' which they brought back. Another history of these cats is that a man named Mr. Vanderbilt bought two Birman cats and returned with them to France.

However, the male cat died on the journey but the female cat soon bore kittens and this breed soon spread throughout Europe and further. Keep reading the article for more interesting facts about Birman cats!

If you liked this article about Birman cats, check out our other articles with amazing facts about Egyptian Mau and jaguarundi.

Birman Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Birman?

A Birman is a type of domestic cat.

What class of animal does a Birman belong to?

A Birman cat belongs to the Mammalia class of animal.

How many Birmans are there in the world?

Since Birmans are domestic, indoor cats who are mostly bred by professional breeders for the purpose of selling them, it has not been possible to record the exact population. However, their population is considered to be stable.

Where does a Birman live?

A Birman cat is mostly found in European countries, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. Since they are one of the breeds that are looked after by professional breeders, they can be found in other continents and countries depending on where their owners are from.

What is a Birman's habitat?

Birman cats are mostly indoor cats and they do not like to go outside. While some of them may step out of the house from time to time, most Birman cats prefer a domestic environment or a home in an urban, suburban, or rural area.

Who do Birmans live with?

Birmans are friendly pets and they have a calm personality that allows them to adapt well to any surroundings. They can live comfortably with dogs, with cats of their own kind, or of a different breed. They can also live with a single individual or a family.

How long does a Birman live?

The average lifespan of a Birman cat is 13 to 15 years.

How do they reproduce?

Birman cats reach sexual maturity around the time they are four to five months old. Their gestation period lasts for about 64 to 66 days.

Female cats show certain traits like nesting, sleeping more, and an increase in appetite that indicates that they are carrying kittens. Their abdomen also becomes distended and swollen. Their food habits have to be monitored during the gestation period to ensure a balanced diet.

What is their conservation status?

Birmans are one of the many domestic cat breeds found across the world. They are bred in captivity by professional breeders in large numbers. They are Not Listed under The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List so there seems to be no immediate risk to their population.

Birman Fun Facts

What do Birmans look like?

Birmans are medium-sized cats with a wide, circular face and a Roman nose. Their eyes are completely round in shape and are deep blue or sapphire blue in color.

Their breed is not completely black in color or coat but the most common cats in this breed do have black markings on their faces. Their fur is somewhat long and is quite silky. Their ears are symmetrical to the rest of their face and their ears are situated between the top and side of their heads.

The most interesting feature of this cat breed is the 'gloves' on their feet. They have a different color marking on their feet which makes it seem like the cats are wearing white gloves on their body.

While their body coat and face might be of a single color, mostly white, their paws are sometimes different colors such as black, brown, or blue. These contrasting 'gloves' are a unique feature along with their blue eyes.

Birmans also come in different point colors like chocolate, red, cream, or even lilac. Tabby and Tortie coat varieties of Birman cats can also be found. Birman kittens are born with a pure white coat on their body including on their paws, ears, and feet and they have blue eyes as well.

How cute are they?

Birman cats are extremely cute. With their round, inquisitive faces and clear blue eyes, these cats are very pretty. Their fur is quite soft and silky which makes them perfect for cuddling.

How do they communicate?

Unlike other Burmese cats, Birman cats are comparatively quiet in terms of their personality. They are not very vocal and will only use soft 'meow' sounds to communicate their needs to their owners.

Apart from that, they also use physical expressions and body language to interact with their owners or other animals.

Birmans can be quite inseparable from their owners at times, especially if they spend a lot of time with them or are completely dependent on them. In that case, this type of cat will stick very close to its owner.

How big is a Birman?

Birmans are usually 15-18 in (33-46 cm) long and their height lies between the range of 8-10 in (20-25 cm). A northern giraffe is almost 10 times the size of a Birman cat as it is around 157 in (398 cm) tall!

How fast can a Birman run?

As a Birman is a domestic cat who rarely steps outdoors, it cannot run extremely fast but it can jump quite high.

How much does a Birman weigh?

Birman cats are medium-sized domestic cats and male cats weigh more than female ones. The weight of these cats usually lies between 10-12 lb (4-5 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no unique scientific terms to distinguish between males and females. Therefore, male cats are called 'tomcat' (if they are not neutered) or 'gib' (if they have been neutered). Female cats are called 'queen', especially in the context of giving birth to kittens.

What would you call a baby Birman?

A baby Birman does not have a separate name so it is usually referred to as a 'kitten'.

What do they eat?

Birman cats mostly eat packaged and processed cat food as suggested by the veterinary doctor. They also have to be exercised regularly otherwise they run the risk of becoming overweight.

Are they slobbery?

Birmans are not very slobbery so if you keep them as a pet, you will not have to clean up after them too much. They also do not shed much because they have a silky undercoat.

Therefore, you just have to brush their outer fur and comb it twice a week. Regular grooming is very important when taking care of your Birman pet.

Would they make a good pet?

Birmans would make a lovely pet regardless of the kind of family they are being welcomed into. A typical  Birman cat temperament is very affectionate, loving, and friendly.

Birmans have an easy-going personality and they love to cuddle and be close to their owners at all times. They are also quite playful and love intelligent activities. They are very smart and enjoy playing with puzzle toys.

Birmans also like dogs and show no animosity towards other animals sharing the same living space as them.

Although they have a smart personality and can be left alone for a period of time, it is advisable to not leave them alone for too long as they may start feeling anxious due to being separated from their owner. These cats and kittens may not demand much attention but they still need to be properly cared for.

Did you know...

Famous fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld had a Birman cat named Choupette. After Lagerfeld's death, it was speculated that he left his sizeable assets and estate to Choupette!

Choupette is also a social media celebrity with her own accounts and a large fan following where details about her shiny coat, grooming, and method of care are laid out for all to see.

During World War II, Birmans had almost gone extinct except for a pair of Birmans called Xenia de Kaabaa and Orloff. After the war ended, these cats gave birth to several offspring from which the Birman breed was slowly rebuilt. These cats also had to be outcrossed with Persian and Siamese cats to preserve the breed.

Birman cats are responsible for creating Ragdoll cats, which is another type of cat breed.  

Characteristics and health issues

Cats of this breed have multiple health concerns that can become quite dangerous. They are quite susceptible to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy which is a heart disease commonly seen in cats.

This illness can have shocking consequences on their health including death or heart failure. Birman cats are also prone to kidney diseases. In addition to that, a type of epilepsy named Feline Audiogenic Reflex Seizures (FARS) is also seen to affect cats of this breed a lot.

Getting your own Birman

Before you decide to adopt your own Birman cat or adopt Birman kittens, you should be aware of certain characteristics of Birmans that may decide if you can keep them. Although Birman cats are not entirely hypoallergenic, they cause fewer allergy symptoms compared to other domestic cats.

Since they do not have an undercoat, they shed much less and in the process and do not shed many allergens either.

Adopting a Birman cat will cost you around $75 to $100. However, buying Birman kittens from lesser-known breeding farms will cost around $600 to $1000 while buying them from a well-known breeding farm will cost around $1200 to $3000.

Birman cats will be a wonderful addition to any household as a pet. Even if you have dogs in your household, you can still have a Birman as a pet because this cat's personality is very friendly. You just have to take care of them, look after grooming and their health!

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including Maine coon, or ocelot.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our birman coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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Fact-checked by Diya Patel

Bachelor of Science specializing in in Computer Science

Diya Patel picture

Diya PatelBachelor of Science specializing in in Computer Science

A member of Kidadl's fact-checking team, Diya is currently pursuing a degree in Computer Science from Ahmedabad University with an interest in exploring other fields. As part of her degree, she has taken classes in communications and writing to expand her knowledge and skills.

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