Sunday, June 1, 2008

How to Identify A Burman Cat

The Burman or Birman cat is shrouded in mystery. Very little is known about their history, though they are considered a sacred animal among certain Buddhist priests. There are very vivid legends involving the monks of Burma and these cats, who were kept nearby as they were believed to be capable of carrying the souls of the dead to their next stage of existence. Another quirk is that Burman's will have a name beginning with a certain letter based on the year they were born. This continuously rotates and allows the owner to keep track of the cat's age. A pair of them were brought to France in 1919 and those two form the basis of the modern day Burman's which one could obtain from a pet store of breeder. This guide will explain how to recognize a Burman cat and what to look for in a pedigree showcat.

Recognizing a Burman Cat
Step 1:
Look at the build, a Burman should have a long body with a thick stocky head and middle with wide shoulders. Though considered a large breed, the Burman will typically be anywhere between six and fifteen pounds in weight. The males are usually above ten pounds and the females below.

Step 2:
Look at the cat's coat. This is a longhaired breed, but its coat is packed tightly with short insulating hairs with the longer hairs toward the extremities. Also look for a thick ruff on the front of the chest up to the throat and around the neck.

Step 3:
Check the cat's eyes. Pedigree Burman's often have dazzling blue eyes.

Step 4:
Look at the cat's head. A Burman will have a short neck and a wide, thick head. Their snouts are short and often underpronounced.

Step 5:
Study the cat's coloring. Burman's come in a few different colors, but it always follows a strict pattern. Their fur is often a pale cream or white and darkens to grey or tan as if runs down the tail and legs. The tips of their ears are often dark grey, tan, or black. The face is always an oval of dark fur surrounded by a light colored head to match the body. Though it is not required, perfect white paws that look like gloves are often looked for in show cats.

Step 6:
If the cat matches these criteria it's likely a Burman. Such cats are rare and usually only sold by breeders, if you happen across one it’s a very lucky find.

Tips & Warnings
Burmans are a very relaxed and easy going animal. They have no trouble being ignored but can just as easily be affectionate, they take their cues from their owners. Rarely climbers, they are particularly good housecats that adapt to their surroundings and interact easily with children and other pets.
Be careful with Burmans around aggressive dogs as they tend to fight back if they are threatened, though it takes a lot of abuse for them to feel threatened. This breed requires weekly combing as their thick undercoat constantly sheds.

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