Birman Cat History
According to the most accepted origin myth, the beautiful coloration of the Birman cat breed was the result of an act of loyalty on the part of a cat that was the companion of a priest in the Temple of LaoTsun in Northern Burma on Mount Lugh.
When raiders fatally wounded the priest, the faithful cat placed his paws on the body of his dying master. As the cat gazed at a statue of the goddess Tsun-Kyan-Kse, the ani- mal’s fur took on a golden hue and his yellow eyes turned as blue as glittering sap- phires.
The cat’s legs turned brown, but where the paws rested on the head of the priest, the feet remained pure white. By morning, all of the cats in the temple had the same golden fur and white feet.
The priest’s cat still had more work to do in service of his master, however. Seven days later, the animal died in order to carry the priest’s soul to paradise. Now, when one of the sacred cats of the Temple of Lao-Tsun passes, it is believed that the soul of a priest goes with it into the afterlife.
Departing from legend and back into recorded history, the temple, located in northern Burma, was left unmolested until early in the 20th century. Two westerners, August Pavie and Major Gordon Russell supposedly helped the priests during some upset during this period and were rewarded with a pair of the sacred cats in 1919 as a gesture of gratitude.
The Birman cats were sent to the men in France, but the male died in passage. The fe- male was pregnant and successfully delivered a litter of kittens in her new home. The Cat Club de France recognized Birmans in France as a distinct breed in 1925.
During World War II, the breed was reduced to a single pair named Or l off and Xenia deKaabaa. Their kittens (Manou, Lon saito, Sjaipour, Sita 1 and Sita 2) formed the foundation for the breed’s comeback after the war.
It was necessary to out cross to other longhaired breeds including Persians and Siamese, but the result was that pure Birmans were once again being produced by the early 1950s.
In the early 1960s, a fancier, Mrs. Elsie Fisher of the Praha cattery, brought some of these Birmans to the UK. The breed was introduced in the United States at roughly the same time.
The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy in the UK recognized Birmans as a distinct breed in 1966, with the U.S. Cat Fancier’s Association following suit in 1967. Birmans gained recognition from the Canadian Cat Association and The International Cat Association in 1979.
Birman Physical Characteristics
The Birman cat is a medium to large cat with a strong build. Males are slightly larger than females, with the breed overall averaging 8 – 12 lbs. / 3.63 – 5.44 kg. They have striking blue eyes that are round and quite large set above a distinctly Roman nose.
Their expression is open and sweet, at an almost amusing variance with their walk, which is tiger-like and predatory. Birmans should have broad faces and their ears are ideally as wide at the base as they are tall. The lifespan for the breed is 12-16 years.
Elongated and stocky, with a good muscular feel.
- Birman cat Skull strong, wide, and circled; a small flat spot just in the front of each its ear, and also a little flat spot on forehead between Birman ears.
- Forehead slopes back and forth it is slightly convex. Nose is moderate in length and width, in proportion to size of Birman cat head; nose begins only beneath eyes and also is Roman (marginally convex) fit and profile; nostrils are put low on nose leather.
- Cheeks filled with somewhat curved muzzle; muzzle neither short and blunted nor pointed and narrow. Jaws heavy. Chin powerful and well-developed.
- They are moderate in length; almost as broad at the base as its tall.
- Ears are Modified to a rounded point at ear top; set as much to the side as to the head top.
- Nearly around with nice expression. Place well apart, with all the outside corner tilted very slightly upwards.
- Blue in color, the more profound and more bright blue the better.
5.Legs and paws
- Legs medium in length and heavy. Paws large, round, and firm; five toes in front, four behind.
- Paw pads: pink preferred but dark spot(s) on paw pad(s) acceptable because of two colors in pattern.
Moderate in its length
7.Birman cat Coat
- Moderate in long
- silken in texture
- with thick ruff around the neck; little curly on abdomen
- The coat does not mat.
- Seal point, blue point, chocolate point, and lilac point. Body color even; strong contrast between body color and points. Points of mask, ears, legs, and tail dense and clearly defined, all the same shade.
- Mask covers entire face including whisker pads and connects to ears by tracings. No ticking or white hair in points.
- Front paws have white gloves ending in even line across paw at, or between, second or third joints. Upper limit of white is metacarpal (dew) pad. Glove on back paws covers all toes; may extend higher than front gloves.
- Gloves extend up back of hock, called laces. Laces end in point or inverted “V” and extend ¼ to ¾ of the way up hock. Lower or higher laces acceptable, but must not extend beyond hock. Ideally, front gloves match, back gloves match, and laces match.
9.Confusion with Other Breeds
- Birmans are often confused with six other types of cat. These include:
- The Siamese, which is a shorthaired cat with color points. Siamese cats are long and slender and their heads form a pronounced wedge.
- The Burmese, which is also a shorthaired cat. This breed is solid colored, without pointing and has gold eyes.
- The Balinese, which has a body much like that of the Siamese, but with long, silky fur.
- The Himalayan, a longhaired cat with color points, but a thick cobby body and flat face like its Persian relatives.
- The Ragdoll, a color-pointed cat with long hair, but many varying patterns of white. (Birmans were used in the development of this breed.)
- The Snowshoe, a color-pointed cat with short hair and many varying patterns of white.
10.Gloves and Laces
- The white marking on a Birman’s feet is called the “glove.” It should go across the front feet in a very even line and be perfectly symmetrical on each foot.
- In the back, the glove also covers the foot, but it extends up the back of the hock and ends in a distinct point. This marking is known as the laces or gauntlets.
- A Birman’s gloving is the critical decision in whether an individual is show or pet qual- ity. Too much or too little white on the feet can make all the difference to the critical eye.
- The first Birmans were bred as seal points, with blue points introduced in 1959 through breeding programs incorporating blue Persians.
- All point colors are acceptable for the breed, but seal and blue are most common. Other point types include chocolate, red, lilac, and cream. Tabby and tortie points are seen in seal, lilac, blue, and chocolate.
12.Temple Cat Shorthair Birman
- Since 2008, Birman cat breeders in New Zealand, have worked to develop a shorthair version of the breed they call the Temple cat Shorthair Birman.
- The short coat was initially achieved by mating a Birman with a cinnamon spotted Oriental. The breeding program has now achieved shorthaired versions in seal, blue, chocolate, lilac, cinnamon, and fawn by using full registered Birmans.
- These cats are as warm-natured and friendly as their longhaired cousins, with docile dispositions. Their coats have a slightly springy feel, but are silky to the touch and easily maintained.
- Sometimes simply referred to as the Temple cat, these shorthaired Birmans are still quite rare and the breed is considered to still be in its developmental stages.
The Personality of the Birman
The Birman cat is a genuinely sweet cat with a superb disposition. They have a reputation for being incredibly easy to handle. Their quick intelligence makes them fast learners and among the most adaptable of all breeds.
They are perfectly agreeable to tailoring their daily schedule to your comings and go- ings, and are quiet cats with small voices. Your Birman cat will get lonely, however, if you’re away from home a lot, and will definitely be waiting at the door when you come back.
Every Birman cat I’ve ever known has an almost uncanny ability to recognize and associate the slightest sounds. Don’t expect to sneak into the house or pretend to be asleep when these cats want breakfast first thing in the day.
While you’re home, you’ll have a curious and social companion by your side. This is definitely a “people” breed. While a Birman cat fondness for being a lap cat varies by individual, you can count on these cats to be with you and interested in whatever you’re doing.
Overall, this is an active and playful companion breed with a gentle way of interacting and a quiet, unobtrusive manner when they’re simply spending time with their people.
1.Male or Female?
The “male or female” question is fairly standard, but with most breeds, including the Birman cat, I’ve found that it really doesn’t matter all that much. Both are equally person- able and easy going. I’ve seen little difference in personality based on gender.
In general, I’m much more prone to take cats on an individual basis and to consider the factor of environment in the development of temperament. Many Birman cat breeders, however, say they find the females to be a little less likely to cuddle, whereas neutered male Birmans have a reputation for being complete attention hogs.
For the most part, I’ve always had male cats irrespective of breed because they tend to be larger and I like big cats. I do agree with the statement that neutered males turn into lovable lugs as soon as the excess testosterone is out of their system.
Some people shy away from owning male cats due to the potential for urine spraying, but I don’t see this as a problem. I have never had a tom that sprayed in the house. The behavior is extremely rare with neutered males and has been, in my opinion, blown out of proportion.
2.More than One?
Even though Birmans don’t suffer from the kind of loud and mournful separation anx- iety seen in breeds like the Siamese, they will get lonely. If you spend long periods of time out of the house, or worse yet, out of town, you will definitely want more than one cat.
I am personally a big advocate of adopting littermates. Obviously with a pedigreed breed like the Birman cat, this can be expensive, but the long-term benefits are consid- erable. The special bond that siblings enjoy seems to keep the animals more kittenish and playful as they age.
I’ve lived with two Russian Blue males, brothers, for a number of years and they wrestle just as vigorously at ten years of age as they did when they were gawky adolescents. They’re wonderful company for one another when I’m away and definitely double trou- ble when it comes to thinking up creative things to get into.
Although Birmans have a propensity to be the alpha cat with other breeds, they get on with a proper egalitarian air with one another.
3.With other Pets
Although adaptable as a breed, Birmans do get lonely for their humans if you are gone from the home for a long period of time. For this reason, they get on quite well with other animals, including dogs.
Ideally, you will be able to have two cats at one time. Bear in mind, however, that Bir- mans have very “alpha” dispositions. If you have one Birman cat and a cat of any other breed, the Birman cat will be the boss and will expect to be the center of all attention and affection.
This doesn’t translate as aggression, however. It’s almost as if the Birman cat presents the other cat with a memo stating, “I’m in charge. You’re good with that. Done deal.”
Birmans do extremely well with children even though these cats do not like to be picked up or to be held tightly. If a Birman cat doesn’t like how the interaction with children is progressing, he simply walks away rather than displaying aggression toward the child.
Unlike many breeds, the Birman cat is very patient. Like all cats, they can “disappear” com- pletely when they don’t approve of things, reappearing as if by magic when circum- stances are more to their liking.
Do not, however, rely completely on the cat’s patience to govern its relationship with a child. Teach children to interact gently and kindly with animals of all types.
Any pet experiencing pain or fear is capable of responding in an adverse fashion regard- less of how gentle the animal may be. While certainly you do not want your child to be endangered, I often ask parents to think about who is really at fault in the exchange.
Explain to your child that Birmans don’t like to be picked up because they’re big cats who feel better when they have all four feet on the ground. Often children just want the animal to stay near them, which the Birman cat is quite happy to do as long as he’s not being carted around or physically restrained. If your child understands these things, their relationship with the cat should be quite good.
5.Inside or Out?
Obviously a pedigreed cat like a Birman cat is an expensive investment. Also, longhaired cats do not make good outside cats because exposure to the elements and vegetation greatly complicates caring for their coats.
Beyond those considerations, however, I do not believe any cat, including the very hardy Domestic Shorthair, often referred to as an “alley cat,” should be allowed outside.
My cats have been exclusively indoor pets for the more than 40 years that I have had fe- line companions. I do not believe they have suffered any deprivation, and, in fact, have benefited enormously. Many of my pets have lived well in excess of 15 years regardless of breed.
Our modern world is a dangerous place for our beloved animal companions. Whether that danger arises from automobiles, aggressive dogs, wildlife, or bad humans, the risk is not worth it in my opinion. I would never dream of allowing my cats access to the outside world.
There are many cat owners who achieve a compromise position by designing some kind of secure enclosed structure that allows their cats to be contained while enjoying sun- light and fresh air and the sounds of the outside world.
I have done this with my pets, and so long as you can securely bring your cat in and out of the structure, I think this is an excellent idea. There are no set designs for these kinds of enclosures, but you can easily find many good ideas online through your favorite search engine.
Pros and Cons
Assembling a set of “pros” and “cons” associated with any type of animal is not as simple as some people think. These things are very much a matter of personal perception. I was raised around dogs and am very fond of them, but I have no desire to keep a dog as a pet because I don’t want to have to walk one. Other people think the walks are absolutely the best part of dog ownership.
In terms of their affectionate and docile personalities, Birmans are fantastic cats. They do exhibit some minor separation anxiety that manifests mainly as loneliness, so I really don’t recommend them as “only children” for busy, on-the-good owners.
While your Birman cat won’t be underfoot, he will be close by and very interested in what- ever you’re doing. Since I’m someone who actively talks to my cats, I love this trait of the breed. If you want a more ornamental cat that will position itself attractively on the sofa and look on aloofly, you might do better with a Persian.
Frankly, the biggest argument against having any longhaired cat is the need for a consistent grooming schedule. Fortunately, this does not mean daily combing and brushing with a Birman cat.
Because the Birman cat has no undercoat, their silky fur is not bad to tangle, and mats are less of an issue. Certainly grooming is involved with this breed, but not to the intense degree seen with the Persian. All in all, the Birman cat is an excellent companion animal. They are physically stunning ani- mals with their classic beauty and regal posture, and truly lovely friends with sweet and mild dispositions.
Daily Care Birman
1.Dietary and Nutritional Information
Your emphasis in selecting foods for your Birman cat should always be on quality. Based on the advice you initially receive from your breeder, and then from your veterinarian, buy the best food you can afford.
The following information and guidelines will help you to further refine the choices you make to optimize your cat’s nutritional intake.
Wet or Dry?
This is the initial question most pet owners’ face. The tendency is all too often to go with dry due to the convenience both in serving the food, and in the belief that using dry food will make litter box maintenance easier.
This is a mistake. Cats are carnivores. Wet food provides them with a vital source of hydration, and cats that are fed canned food are less prone to gain weight than those that receive dry food only. The best choice for your Birman cat is to feed a healthy mixture of wet and dry food that provides not only the correct mixture of nutrients, but also the tastes and textures your pet will enjoy.
A Note on Weight
- Before we discuss actually choosing foods, let me give you a quick tip on how to judge the shape of your cat’s figure.
- If you stand over your cat and look down at his body while he is also standing, you should be able to see a slight indentation just behind the rib cage.
- This is an excellent sign that your cat’s weight is being maintained at a healthy level. If you can’t see any “hips,” Fluffy is probably getting a little too heavy.
- Don’t ever let your cats get started on human food. Many of the things we eat simply aren’t good for our feline friends (more on that in just a minute), but giving a cat human food is an invitation to health problems.
- Once a cat starts to become overweight, it’s just a small step to conditions like dia- betes, heart problems and joint diseases. Cats are skilled beggars. Use your will power! Don’t fall down that slippery slope.
Dangerous Human Foods
There are many things that we eat every day that a cat should never touch due to their toxicity in the feline system. These items include, but are not limited to:
- alcoholic beverages
- grapes / raisins
- yeast dough
- caffeine in any form
- When you read the label of a food you are considering for your pet, never lose sight of the fact that cats are meat eaters. If the first item on the label is not meat, look at an- other food.
- As a general rule, the cheaper foods contain much more plant material as filler, while the more expensive or premium foods have a greater amount of meat.
- There are so many kinds of cat food on the market it’s best to go with breeder and veterinarian recommendations and your own budget in making a specific selection.
Food and Water Bowls
For the most part you will be able to use plain bowls for both food and water, but you do need to be aware of a potential sensitivity called “whisker stress”. Some cats do not like the feeling of their whiskers dragging against the side of a bowl. You can tell that this is happening if your pet routinely picks up food and drops it on the floor to eat it.
- Try switching to a receptacle that is more like a tray to cut down on the irritating sensa- tion for your pet. There are products made specifically for cats for this purpose. Normal food and water bowls will each cost $5 – $10 / £3.25 – £6.50. Try to use either stainless steel or crockery as plastic has a tendency to cause a breaking out on cat’s chins that is commonly referred to as feline acne.
- If you do opt for a bowl designed to reduce whisker stress, you will spend about $25 / £16.25. These trays typically come with legs or a stand to make them more stable and are thus slightly more expensive.
- Be sure that your cat has a constant supply of clean drinking water. Some cats far prefer to drink running water, and I am a big fan of feline water fountains. These units sell for $30 / £19.50.
The Raw Diet Considered
Many pet owners over the past few years have been attracted to the idea of giving their pets, both dogs and cats the “raw” diet. The idea is to provide the animals with the kind of nutritional intake they would receive if they were hunting on their own.
Please understand that I mention this here not to advocate the diet or to instruct you in the proper administration of this dietary program. If you are interested in “feeding raw,” you must research this topic thoroughly and discuss it with your veterinarian. Be pre- pared to hear serious reservations.
The majority of veterinarians and many cat experts do not believe that the raw concept is a good one since it includes bones. Even ground, bone shards can severely lacerate a cat’s throat and intestines.
This, and the risk of salmonella poisoning, makes raw feeding for cats a questionable proposition. Certainly there is much more to this process than simply putting raw meat in your cat’s bowl.
If you are interested in raw feeding, you have to learn how to do it, and you have to have the correct equipment. Strict standards of sanitation must be met, and only raw beef and chicken can be used.
All uneaten food, even if it has been refrigerated, must be discarded after 2-3 days and none of the food can ever be microwaved. Just because your cat is a carnivore by nature, do not feel that a raw diet is necessary and do not proceed with such a feeding program without expert advice and adequate research.
2.Managing the Litter Box
- In the beginning use the type of box to which the kitten has become accustomed at the breeder’s. Also use the same kind of litter.
- Any time you decide to try a different box or litter type, always leave the original arrange- ment in place until you know your cat will use the new option. If your cat does go outside the box, you must clean the area with special enzymatic cleaners like those produced by Nature’s Miracle $5 – $10 / £3.25 – £6.50.
- Cats interpret the world as a complex mix of smells. Any time your cat has urinated or defecated on a spot, and can still detect the scents he has left there, he may well con- sider that place acceptable to do his “business”.
3.The Birman at Play
Birmans are not as relentlessly active as some breeds. A Bengal, for instance, will fairly wear you out! Birmans can be seriously playful, but they like to intersperse their active phases with some nice napping and lap time, which makes for an excellent mix for their humans.
Birmans are one of the cat breeds that will engage in games of “fetch,” and they are especially fond of batting around balls and even crumpled up paper wads. Small toys seem to work very well for this breed – anything that can be tossed up in the air and bat- ted about.
Unlike some of their Oriental cousins, Birmans are not vigorous or destructive scratch- ers, so a simple carpeted scratching pole retailing for $30 / £19.50 will do nicely for this breed.
However, pretty much any cat will love it if you sell out $100 – $300 / £65 – £195 for an elaborate cat tree outfitted with platforms, tunnels, perches, and ramps. Arrangements like that seem to bring out the “jungle beast” in almost any cat.
If your Birman cat does show an unhealthy interest in your furniture, you can discourage this behavior with pennyroyal or orange essence sprays at $12 – $15 / £7.80 – £9.75 or double-side adhesive strips at $8 – $10 / £5.20 – £6.50.
- Tangles and mats are one of the biggest concerns in maintaining a longhaired cat’s coat, but the lack of an undercoat in the Birman cat mitigates this issue.
- Unlike a longhaired Persian, you will not need to brush your Birman cat daily. A weekly combing to remove loose hairs is typically sufficient.
- Shedding combs have a combination of long and short wire teeth in alternating rows and work extremely well with this breed. The combs retail for $10 / £6.50 or less.
Claw clipping generally can be done safely at home, and is always the first step in a pro- fessional grooming session. To complete this chore safely:
- Place your Burmese cat on your lap.
- Pick up one front paw.
- Apply gentle pressure with your thumb behind the toes.
- With the claws extended, examine the nail.
- The claw is translucent.
- The vascular “quick” is pink.
- Snip off only the clear tips.
- Do not forget the dewclaw on the side of the foot.
Be extremely careful not to nip the “quick” as this will not only cause your pet pain, but result in profuse bleeding.
Try not to hold your cat down. “Less restraint” is better because no cat likes to feel trapped. With practice, you can safely and quickly trim your pet’s nails before the cat even realizes what is happening but I’ve found Birmans to be fairly compliant with claw clipping.
Buy clippers specifically designed for pets. Those with plier grips are easy to use and offer superior control. They are priced at approximately $10 / £6.50. If you are in any way nervous about doing this, it would be a wise precaution to ask your vet to show you how to trim your cats nails on the first occasion.
Testing your cat’s tolerance
- For many people the idea of giving a cat a bath sounds like a recipe for disaster. Frankly, it can be, but thankfully it is extremely rare for a Burmese cat to ever need to be bathed.
- Of course, accidents do happen and clearly show cats will need to be accustomed to a complete grooming regimen. With any cat you are attempting to bathe, you may want to try the “tail test.” This is the process of letting your cat’s tail drag in the bath water to see if the cat will go ballistic.
- The same method of tolerance testing will work with the blow dryer. Turn the unit on once and you’ll know in about 2 seconds how your Burmese cat is going to feel about the “monster.”
- If you are bathing your cat at home on your own, a blow dryer isn’t an absolute necessity. You can towel dry the cat, so long as you don’t scrub at the fur, which can cause tangling even in a shorthaired breed like the Burmese.
- Dry in the condition the fur lies. Hold the cat wrapped in a towel to prevent it from getting cold. As the fur dries, you can use a comb to further mitigate the chance of snarls forming.
The Actual Bath
- If your Burmese cat is agreeable and you go ahead with the bath, assemble all of your supplies and have them close by. The last thing you want to do is turn loose of a wet cat! Keep the bath water lukewarm, but no hotter.
- Don’t let water get in your pet’s ears, eyes, or nose. Although not all cats will stand for it, soft cotton balls tucked just inside the ear are a good precaution.
- Do not ever pour water over the cat’s face. Instead, clean this area with a warm washcloth. Do not use soap around your pet’s eyes.
Clipping and Trimming Fur
It is not a good idea to trim or clip your Birman cat fur at home. The risk of seriously hurt- ing your pet is too great. In warmer regions, many longhaired cats receive a “lion cut.” The body is shaved, with a “mane” at the neck and “cuffs” at the ankles left in place. This approach can give your cat relief from summer heat.
- Always use a hypoallergenic, natural shampoo on your cat. These products sell in a price range of $10 – $15 / £6.50 – £9.75 for 16 ounces / 454 grams. Be very gentle when applying the shampoo.
- Don’t scrub, as this action will cause tangling. Rinse repeatedly so as to leave no residue in the coat. When the shampoo is out of the coat, drain the sink or tub.
- Run your hands through the cat’s fur in a straight, downward motion to get as much excess water out of the fur as possible.
- Wrap your pet in a soft, dry towel and use the same kind of even strokes to continue drying the hair. Again, avoid any “scrubbing” action.
Although tearing is not as common with Birmans as with other breeds like the Persian, any cat can be plagued with this problem and with the attendant facial staining. In order to clean your cat’s face, use a foam cosmetic disc dipped in warm water. Gently wipe at the corner of the cat’s eyes with a soft, downward motion. You can use the same method for any nasal drainage present. Since both tearing and nasal drainage can be a sign of seasonal allergies or a respiratory infection, consult your veterinarian if this problem lasts more than a day or so.
- Ear care really should be left to a professional groomer or to your veterinarian. If you see black, tarry debris on the ear or just inside the ear, you can softly clean the area with a cotton ball dipped in warm water.
- Do not ever insert a cotton swab in the ear canal. Excessive thick, tarry debris and a yeasty smell indicates the presence of ear mites, ne- cessitating a visit to the veterinarian.
Birman Cat Health
1.The Basics of Preventive Health Care
While interacting with your cat on a daily basis, be aware of all the following signs of potential illness and follow up with a vet should any of the symptoms or behavioral changes appear in your Burmese cat.
(A) Changes in weight.
This can mean either a gain or a loss. Cats with a healthy weight have a pad of fat over the ribs, but the bones can still be felt through this layer. Looking down at the cat, you should be able to see an indentation behind the rib cage where the “hips” start.
(B) Physical changes in gait
- Including a reluctance to perform certain motions like running or jumping.
- Essentially when a cat displays these kinds of “favoring” behaviors, there is a strong chance the ani- mal is experiencing joint or muscle pain, or that a growth is inhibiting normal movement.
(C) Differences in the level of moisture on the nose.
- This can extend to either a dry nose or an actual runny nose indicating the presence of a cold or an infection.
- A cat’s nose under normal circumstances should be clean and dry, but not cracked.
- There should be no discharge from the nostrils, either clear or discolored.
(D) Presence of discharge from the eyes.
- All cats occasionally get an accumulation of “matter” in the eyes, but you should consult your vet if it is excessive and/or persistent.
- Always make sure the pupils of the eyes are equal and centered and that the whites are not discolored and have only minimal visible blood vessels.
(E) Ear sensitivity and visible debris.
- All cats have a tendency to develop ear infections and to occasionally have problems with ear mites and similar irritating parasites.
- A foul odor emanating from the ear is always a key warning sign.
- The inner surface of the ear should be clean and smooth in appearance with no visible redness.
- If the area is inflamed, hot to the touch, and/or black debris is present, the cat’s ears should be examined by the vet.
(F) Pale gums and yellow discoloration on the teeth.
- A cat’s gums should be pink, and the teeth should be clean and white.
- Any dark or yellow build-up on the teeth is an indication that plaque is present.
- Regular dental exams are also critical in detecting any lesions that might indicate the presence of an oral cancer. If found early, such growths can be managed with some success.
- Dental care is an extremely important aspect of feline husbandry, with many cat owners actually brushing their cat’s teeth using feline toothpaste and brushes available at the veterinary clinic.
- Never use human products for this purpose on a cat. While such a regimen may sound absolutely impossible, if started early in a cat’s life, the animals are often quite amiable about the whole business.
- Since it’s much more a matter of just getting the paste in the cat’s mouth, some owners use their index finger as a “brush”. A dental care kit from a vet typically costs about $7 – $10 / £4.55 – £6.50. It’s never too late to start looking after your cat’s teeth, and it’s certainly worth a try to see how your cat will respond to the process.
- Don’t worry. You won’t lose a finger. If your cat doesn’t want any part of dental care, he’ll let you know fast enough!
(G) What else to look out for.
There are other factors to consider in monitoring your cat’s health on a daily basis.
- Have any growths, masses, or bumps evaluated.
- Watch your cat’s respiration. It should be from the chest, not the abdomen.
- If the cat goes outside the litter box, immediately have your pet evaluated for kidney and/ or bladder infections.
2.Routine Elements of Health Care
No element of routine health care for your cat is more important than forging a positive relationship with a qualified veterinarian.
While it is true that any “small animal” vet can treat your Burmese cat, I am an advocate of feline- specific practices when they are available.
Offices that are “cats only” tend to be much quieter and have fewer disturbing and threatening scents, which is soothing for patients with a nervous disposition. The Burmese cat is not typically a skittish or nervous cat, but no pet likes to go to the doctor — any more than we do!
Any time you are considering using a veterinarian, it’s a good idea to make an appointment just to interview the doctor. Explain why you are coming in and that you are perfectly willing to pay the usual fee.
Prepare any questions you have in advance. Be on time. Get the information you need, ask for a brief tour of the clinic, and do not overstay your welcome. Vets are busy medical professionals.
You want to get a sense of the vet’s personality and the demeanor of the staff as well as the environment and condition of the clinic itself. Only if you are satisfied with what you see and hear should you make a second appointment to take your cat in.
Even at this point in time, however, don’t consider the relationship a “done deal”. Observe how the vet and the staff interact with your cat, and how your pet reacts to them. This is not just a matter of you getting along with the vet, bu
t of your cat being as comfortable as possible under the circumstances.
3.Spaying and Neutering
- When you adopt a pet quality Burmese cat from a breeder you will be required to agree to have your pet spayed or neutered before six months of age.
- If you do not already have a veterinarian, this will be your first opportunity to get your pet established with a health care professional, so you will want to make careful decision in regard to these procedures.
- Prices for spaying and neutering vary by clinic, and there are low cost options available for as little as $50 / £32.50, but this may not be the time to think about economy. Take the time to find a vet with whom you plan to work over the course of your cat’s life.
- It is a tremendous benefit to your cat’s long-term well-being for all of its records to be in one place, and for one health care professional to have followed the cat’s development through life. If you need a recommendation for a qualified vet, ask your breeder.
The recommended course of inoculations includes the following vaccines:
- Distemper Combo
- Feline Leukemia
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