Birman – Cat Breeds

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The Birman, a colorpointed cat with long silky hair and four pure white feet, is a cat of mystery and folklore. They are frequently muscular, elongated, and stocky, neither sleek nor stocky. Their unusual skull has powerful jaws, a firm chin, and a medium-length nose.



Birmans are friendly, kind, and reliable companions with a nobility that seems to invite family admiration. Birmans appear to have grown accustomed to adoration as former temple cats. They are clever and affectionate, and are frequently very people-oriented, according to some. Visitors are usually greeted with interest rather than dread. Birmans are easy to handle and care for due to their gentle temperaments, and they make perfect pets for those looking for peaceful companions who may offer love and attention.


According to a centuries-old tale, pure white cats lived in the Buddhist temples of Burma (now Myanmar) and were adored as the feline carriers of priests’ souls who had passed beyond the mortal plain. (This is referred to as transmutation, which means to shift from one form to another.) Tsim-Kyan-Kse, the Goddess of Transmutation, was adored in these temples, represented by a golden statue with blazing blue eyes. Mun-Ha, a priest and Tsim-Kyan-Kse worshiper, worked in the temple of Lao-Tsun. Mun-trusty Ha’s companion Sinh, one of the temple’s 100 sacred white-colored cats, joined Mun-Ha for his evening prayers in front of the golden statue every evening.

Marauders from Siam plundered the temple for its wealth one day and killed Mun-Ha. Sinh placed his paws on Mun-head Ha’s and faced the statue of Tsim-Kyan-Kse as he died. Sinh’s white fur suddenly turned a gorgeous golden color, his face, tail, and legs darkened to the color of the earth, and his eyes changed from yellow to a deep, sapphire blue. Sinh’s paws, on the other hand, stayed white as a symbol of Mun-purity Ha’s of spirit. The next morning, all of the temple cats had changed in the same way. Sinh denied all food for the following seven days and died, carrying Mun-spirit Ha’s into paradise.


The more scientific, and less romantic, history of this breed, sometimes known as the Sacred Cat of Burma, begins in 1919, with the arrival of a pair of Birman cats in France. This pair of cats is related with two different narratives, neither of which can be documented, as is the legend. The first claims that the temple of Tsim-Kyan-Kse was plundered again around the turn of the twentieth century. Auguste Pavie and Major Gordon Russell, two Westerners, assisted some of the priests and their sacred cats in fleeing to Tibet. When the two returned to France in 1919, the appreciative priests gave them two Birman cats.

In the second, less spectacular account, a man named Mr. Vanderbilt purchased the pair of Birmans from a disgruntled servant of the Lao-Tsun temple. Maldapour, the male cat, died on the ocean passage to France in both versions, but Sita, the female cat, arrived in France pregnant with Maldapour’s children and became the European foundation of the Birman breed.

The breed thrived, and the Birman was formally recognized in France in 1925. The breed was popular in that country until the upheaval of World War II, when it nearly went extinct. The Birman breed was once reduced to a single pair of cats. The Birman took many years to restore; the breeds utilized to resuscitate the breed were most likely Persians and Siamese (and possibly others, such as the Turkish Angora), but by 1955, the breed had regained its previous grandeur.

The first Birman cats arrived in the United States in 1959, and the Birman was formally recognised by the CFA in 1967. Since then, the Birman has thrived in North America, becoming a well-known and popular breed. The Birman is one of the most popular longhaired breeds nowadays.

Physical Attributes


Elongated and stocky, having a strong muscular presence.


Strong, broad, and rounded skull with a slight flat spot directly in front of each ear and a slight flat patch on the forehead in between the ears. The forehead is slightly convex and dips back. The nose is medium in length and width in proportion to the size of the head; it begins just below the eyes and has a Roman (slightly convex) form and profile; the nostrils are situated low on nose leather. Cheeks full, muzzle somewhat rounded; muzzle neither short and blunted nor pointed and narrow. Jaws are powerful. Chin is powerful and well-developed.



Medium length; almost as wide as tall at the base. Modified to a rounded point at the tip; positioned to the side as well as the top of the head.


With a beautiful look, he is almost round. Set far apart, with the outer corner slightly slanted upward. The color is blue.


Legs are medium in length and weight. Paws are huge, round, and firm, with five toes in front and four in back. Paw pads: pink, occasionally with dark spot(s) on paw pad(s) due to two colors in pattern.


Medium in length and in proportion to the body.


Medium to long length, silky texture, heavy ruff around neck, slightly curly on stomach. Fur does not tangle.


Seal point, blue point, chocolate point, and lilac point are all options. Body color is consistent; there is a considerable contrast between body color and points. Mask, ears, legs, and tail points are thick and sharply defined, all in the same hue. The mask covers the full face, including the whisker pads, and attaches to the ears by tracings. There is no ticking or white hair in the points.

White gloves terminate in an even line across the paw at or between the second and third joints on the front paws. The metacarpal (dew) pad is the upper limit of white. Back paw gloves cover all toes and may reach higher than front gloves. Laced gloves stretch up the back of the hock. Laces finish in a tip or inverted “V” and reach 12 to 34 inches up the hock. Front gloves should match, back gloves should match, and laces should match.


While the qualities listed below are common for this breed, cats are individuals with unique personalities and appearances. For more information about a specific pet, please contact the adoption group.

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