Newest Review: ... they where beautiful, the breeder had 2 sets of kittens most of them where boyes with 2 little girls. The breeder advised me birmans are no... more
Adorable bundles of fur
Member Name: laramax
Advantages: Very loving and affectionate, beautiful and easy to care for
Disadvantages: They can be very addictive
Why would anyone ever want to buy a pedigree cat? That is the question I always used to ask myself when I was younger - we had a succession of lovely moggies from a variety of places and they were fine so I could never see the purpose in buying a pedigree cat. Then one day I saw a Birman and thought they were quite beautiful but I still didn't think I would pay good money for one!
What is a Birman?
A Birman is a gorgeous semi long haired cat with a cream body and coloured 'points' (like a Siamese has). They have four white paws (or should have) and the most stunning blue eyes. Their temperament is gentle and loving and they will happily follow you around. They are most 'dog like' of any of the cats I have owned which is probably what won me over more than anything and they generally love to be loved!
I used to breed Great Danes and when my last one died I was faced with an empty house, I hated that but, as I worked all day, it wasn't practical to have another dog. Mind you that didn't stop me scannning the 'Pets' column of the local paper and one day I saw an advert, by the Canine Defence League advertising for a home for a Birman cat. Remembering the photo I just had to give them a ring - Amy was a seal point Birman who had been living rough for about three months so was very nervous when we brought her home, she spent the first week hiding under the bed in the spare room and it took time and patience to persuade her we were OK. When she did come out and join in family life there were remnants of her varied past to contend with - she had a great appetite and always ate like she never knew where the next meal was coming from and if she felt nervous she would curl up and suck on the end of her tail. Apart from that she was a delight to own.
When she died I really never even debated whether I wanted another Birman - I did and without any concern for the fact that here I was now about to do the very thing I thought I never would do - I went out and bought a pedigree cat - another Birman. She was joined within a fortnight by her sister so I happily had two Birmans to love. One died at aged 14 and the second when she was 16 - so off I went again and now I have three Birmans to love and they love me - a really happy furry family!
What are they like?
I find them quite a low maintenance cat to keep - yes their coats do need attention but a good brush once a week followed by a comb through seems to be quite sufficient. My three adore being brushed so I only have to get the brush out and they form an orderly queue to wait their turn. In fact if I can't find them a shout of 'who wants brushing' will bring them running whatever they happen to be doing at the time!
I have three very different personalities in mine. Lara, a chocolate point girl, is dainty and very feminine, loves to be cuddled when she wants it but despite her delicate appearance and ladylike behaviour she rules the boys with a paw of iron! Max a lilac pointed boy is sweet and gentle, adores being cuddled anytime and spends most evenings glued to my side. Oscar, the youngest of the three is just .... well just Oscar. He is a chocolate tabby point with a huge personality, he adores people and 'works' at the weekends by visiting old people in a care home bringing a bit of joy into their lives. Although he is a bundle of fun, and a very big cat, he so very gentle with the old folk and they all adore him - he is an expert at playing to the crowd.
Birmans come in a whole rainbow of colours - Seal point and Blue point were the orginal colours of the breed but you can now get the paler Chocolate and Lilac points and Tabby pointed varieties of all of them. There is also a 'red series' with Red Points, Cream Points and even Tortie point. It is said that all of the colours have different characteristics but I don't know how true that is - I have heard that the reds have 'pepper in their veins' !
Would I recommend them?
Without a doubt. They are everything I ever wanted in a pet. They are loving and affectionate, relatively easy to care for and very responsive. They are addictive - people who have had one frequently get a second and mostly if you have had one you will get another at some stage. They settle well as indoor cats however I do let mine out into my secure garden which they love. However don't get a Birman if you plan to let them roam - they are such beautiful cats that quite apart from the dangers of the road and from dogs or wildlife they would be very tempting to many people. Also don't get a Birman if you plan to ignore them - they will repay affection many times over but to ignore them would be cruel as they are very sociable cats!
Price - the price of a Birman will vary depending on where you live in the country and whether or not it is show quality. The good thing if you are looking for a pet quality Birman is that the precision they look for in the show ring means that the white paws have to be very specifically marked - most kittens aren't perfectly marked so they go as pet kittens. In a pet home who cares if they have one paw that isn't white? Expect to pay about £200 - £300 for a pet quality kitten. If you don't know of a breeder locally then try looking in either Cat World or Your Cat both of which can be bought in large newsagents of from your local supermarket.
Summary: A beautiful bundle of fur that is hard to resist