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Cat Breeds: The Birman

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Sweet-tempered and fluffy, the Birman cat is a wonderful choice for a family pet. Not to be confused with Himalayan or Persian cats, they are actually a low-maintenance pet. Even fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld has a pampered Birman named Choupette. 

Read on to learn more about Birman cats.


Also known as the Sacred Cat of Burma, it is believed that Birman cats were descended from temple cats in Burma. After British and French soldiers helped priests flee the country in 1919, they were reportedly given a pair of Birman cats. These cats set sail for France, but only the pregnant female survived the trip. The breed was first recognized in France in 1925, as the Sacre de Birmanie.

In 1959, Birmans arrived in the USA, and they were registered with the Cat Fanciers' Association in 1967. 


"Because of its exceptionally sweet nature, the Birman is easy to handle and makes an ideal pet," the Cat Fanciers' Association writes. They enjoy spending time with people and should not be left alone for long periods. Birmans particularly like to "help" their owners with any activity, whether loading the dishwasher or working on the computer. 

Unlike many cats, Birmans have sweet, gentle voices. They are exceptionally patient and tolerant animals.

If you are considering a Birman, we recommend having another pet in the home. Birmans will become extremely lonely if they do not have a constant companion. Another cat or even a dog will satisfy them.

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Physical Characteristics

Since they are colour point cats, Birman kitties are born completely white and develop coloration as they mature. Their coat colours are very similar to Siamese cats, except that their feet have pure white tips. Each cat has "points" (darker-coloured areas of fur) on the face, ears, legs, and tail. Birmans may have points that are tortoiseshell, red, cream, lilac, seal, blue, or chocolate. 

Although their coats are thick, they are only one layer thick. This means that they require minimal grooming.


Interestingly enough, many Birman breeders follow a French naming tradition. All kittens born within one calendar year have names beginning with the same letter of the alphabet. They rotate through all 26 letters of the alphabet (even Q!)

Let's Chat:

Do you own a Birman cat? What is your favourite characteristic of Birmans?

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