The ears of this cat breed are very wide. Almost as wide as they are tall, actually. The eyes are round and fairly large. They should also be a bright blue, giving the Birman a wide-eyed majesty. The body should be long and sturdy and the tail should balance this body nicely. The legs must be well-muscled and in proportion to the body. Extremely long or short legs are cause for disqualification in the show ring and cats displaying this problem will not be used in breeding programs.
The coat of the Birman cat is not prone to matting, but it needs frequent care just the same. If you own a Birman, you should brush out the coat two or three times a week to prevent matting and other problems. The ears should also be cleaned and excess hair removed from the canal.
If you're looking for a laid back cat who is good with children, you might be looking for a Birman. These cats also get along with other animals most of the time and can peacefully coexist with dogs given a little time to adjust, and can even grow used to farm animals such as horses and sheep. They can also happily be the only pet in the household. They're not picky. Birman cats tend to spend much of their day sleeping and tend to stay out of the way.
They are, however, affectionate cats. Birmans like to know their family loves them. Like the Siamese, the Birman is talkative, but they like a response. If you ignore them, they'll likely stop talking, so engage your feline friend as often as possible.
This is not a breed you can leave at home for days while you're off socializing. Birman cats need stimulation, activity, and time for play. They like toys, but they like people more. They will become bored with nothing to do, and a bored cat is a destructive cat. When not playing or sleeping, the Birman likes to cuddle, so they make a good lap cat.
As a breed, the Birman tends to be fairly healthy with few genetic disorders. There will occasionally be health problems in specific breeding lines, but your breeder should be aware of these and will be able to explain them to you. Most responsible breeders won't breed lines with significant problems, so true health problems in Birman cats are rare.
As a breed, the Birman is sweet and loving. They make great companions for people of all ages and are a wonderful addition to most families.