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
Small fluffy tanks
Member Name: Pobble
Date: 24/06/00, updated on 24/06/00 (384 review reads)
Advantages: Beautiful, friendly little fellows.
Disadvantages: You'll never have a fluff-free piece of clothing again.
In my 24 years, I've been owner or co-owner of nine cats, all but one pedigrees. Every one of them has been wonderful, and I couldn't choose a favourite cat or breed from them. However, undoubtedly the most beautiful cat I've ever owned, was Tibs, my Birman.
Rather than talk about the specific cat (which I could do for pages and pages), I'll explain a little about the breed, its characteristics and reasons for getting a Birman.
Most people know what a Siamese looks like. Picture a cat with a more compact, feline body shape, a very sweet face, long hair and the same pattern as a Siamese, but with little white socks. (Visit www.birman.org for some pictures.)
The Birman's fur is exceptionally soft. However, unlike most longhaired cats, it only needs brushing about once a week, and the fur doesn't get tangled. It does, however, get absolutely everywhere, and since the body hair is white and the hair on the points darker, it'll show up on *everything* you own.
These cats are utterly beautiful. Along with the fluffy, delicately patterned coat, they also have enormous blue eyes, a real plume of a tail and great big soft white paws. I defy even the most hard hearted of dog-lovers to not fall head over heels in love with a Birman.
The points, or darker parts of the coat, come in a variety of colours, ranging from the most common seal point (a dark brown) to cream point (a dilute red.) Expect to pay more for a cat of a rarer colour.
Birmans are renowned for being a particularly intelligent species. Experience with Tibs leads me to doubt this (this was a cat who would regularly fall into the toilet and full bath, and who used to singe his whiskers on candles), but friends who breed assure me that they're generally extremely bright; some can be taught to retrieve things like toy mice. They have a very sweet temperament, and are generally lap cats. They make a fantastic family pet;
they're friendly, cuddly and forebearing. They're not prone to any breed-specific diseases, but should, of course, be innoculated annually, microchipped and given regular check-ups at the vet, like any cat.
For a pet kitten, you'll be looking to pay around #120. (Try http://www.birmancatclub.co.uk/Breeders.htm for a list of breeders in the UK.) If you get one of these little fellows beware; he'll have your heart in his fluffy white paws forever.
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