FAQ about Birman Cats - Shamandu Cattery - Sacred Cat of Burma
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Cachorro Sagrado de Birmania - Craidero Shamandu


Generally there are some common questions of great interest to future owners.


What type of temperament does the Birman have?
Obviously my answer will be a very partial one, as for almost a decade Birmans have enchanted my heart. The Birman is a beautiful, magnanimous, generous, indulgent, amicable, affectionate, human dependent, sweet, noble, loyal, irresistible, creative, playful, curious, interactive, intuitive, intelligent cat that is a big seducer who will wrap you around his pinkie and get what he wants. A Birman, if not on your lap, will always be in your proximity or even in the baby's crib. He will answer in a sweet voice if you talk to him and he will always greet you with a loving welcome.                                                        

What grooming care does the Birman coat require? Do Birmans shed a lot?
The Birman is quite a low maintenance cat. His coat has no undercoat which avoids it from getting knotted and doesn’t require a daily brushing (as some other longhaired breeds). However you have to consider that it is a longhaired cat so probably part of your furniture and clothes will have some fur on them. It is also likely that during shedding time the cat will have some hairballs expelled.


Does the Birman cat adapt to living indoors?
Not only does he adapt, we require it. The Birman is an unparalleled beautiful creature, very attractive, with a very tame and friendly character. A Birman that has free access to unprotected outdoors will probably not return home (theft, accidents, etc.). The Birman seeks human company and most of all does not require large spaces to be happy, just heaps of tender loving care.
However the Birman cat is still a very agile cat that will reach all the shelves as they love heights. Therefore it is very important to protect them from balconies and windows as to avoid accidental falls.


Do Birmans scratch the furniture?
A cat is a cat and his instincts will always be present, amongst them the necessity to sharpen the claws. The impact of this behaviour can be minimized with the acquisition of some cat trees and the regular trimming of the nails.  However indoor cats may cause minor furniture damage.

As said before, Birmans like to climb, reach shelves, tables, and will also sleep on your bed. If you adopt a small kitten you should bear in mind that the baby’s most destructive phase when he is teething at around 4-6th months.
Birmans are very smart cats and they will learn their limits very quickly, but he is also a stubborn cat so that means that he won’t accept rules too easily if it involves a conflict of his own interests. Just remember a cat needs to be convinced not to do something, not forced…


Do Birmans get along well with children?

Usually my Birmans are not aggressive at all and they get along beautifully with children, becoming their guardian angels. Nevertheless my major concern is always towards the small kitten, since they hardly ever scratch nor bite even if the children are overly enthusiastic while playing with him. If the children are very small, I recommend that parents teach them and supervise their interaction while the kitten is still small.


Do Birmans get along with other pets?
The Birman cat, due to his gentile and amicable character, tends to get along with all kind of pets. Yet it is very important to make gradual introductions under close supervision, always respecting the first resident’s rights and allowing time for the new cat to become confident. The interactive play is usually the best tool to achieve a friendly relationship.


How long do Birmans live?
Adopting a pet is a long-term commitment and responsibility. Birmans tend to be healthy, long-living cats easily reaching 15 years or older.


Does the Birman breed have any health issues?
Birman cats have a great inner strength and are usually very healthy. However it is important to protect their kidneys by feeding high quality food  and being careful with the dosing of some drugs. Also avoid subjecting the cat to dramatic temperature changes.


Do you take care of our cat when we leave on holidays?
Unfortunately, I cannot board cats during your holidays. Despite the fact that your kitten has been raised in my home, once he leaves the memories fade and bringing him here again means a lot of stress for him and my own cats. As to avoid any difficult situations, my highest recommendation is that you find someone that you trust to go and take care of your kitty at least once a day. Remember that cats get really attached to their home and routines.
Cat boarding facilities tend to be quite stressful for cats that are not used to being caged like your kitten, and often there may be disease carriers there.  With the stress, your baby will probably be much more vulnerable to catching an illness.  Recall that many feline infectious diseases are  airborne viruses and many cats can be healthy carriers.


What is the main difference between pet and show breeding kittens?
A pet kitten is a healthy and beautiful Birman, fully representative of his breed, though with a tiny detail of either genetic or aesthetic nature that makes him a valuable and precious kitten, but not suitable to carry on the future generations of the breed.
Every serious breeder not only wants to improve his own breeding cats but also watch over and improve the breed in the long term.  For this reason, he has to be very careful when evaluating cats as potential breeders.

A breeding-show cat will be valued at Shamandu not only for his aesthetic look according to the standard, but also for his lines and reproductive potential qualities. If possible, the kitten will be shown to a judge for a second opinion.

Since we have very high standards to achieve and breed only in small scale, Birman cats for breeding and show are not always available.  So please do not hesitate contacting us so we can add your name to our waiting list.


Why are Birmans so expensive?
The Birman is such a wonderful cat that his value is actually priceless. However the Birman breeding demands a lot of work, selection, and dedication if done seriously.  The Sacred Cat of Birma is considered one of the most difficult breeds to breed because of the huge number of requisites to fulfill. At home our babies are raised to be unique talismans destined to share love and joy with their new family. Our kittens are not bargains and we work hard to improve their quality, as well as our personalized service of excellence for you.  If you are looking for an inexpensive feline, perhaps you might look elsewhere where the cares, economic, and emotional commitment to all the cats are not as high.