Birman Cat Breed Information

Learn all about Birman Cats, read about the Birman Breed information, find out about the Birman Breed Standard, Birman behavior and lots more about Birmans.

Birman Cat Breed Introduction

Birmans are distinctive for their striking sapphire-colored eyes and distinctly white paws. The modern breed originated in France in the 1920s and is assumed to have ancestry going back to the country of Burma.

Birman Behavior/Personality

Source: "The Sacred Cats of Burma" by Paula Boroff

Birmans tend to be neither particularly active nor particularly laid-back. They occasionally demand attention, but don't require constant attention. Many people say that Birmans are susceptible to loneliness and benefit from having another cat.

Birman Breed Standard/Physical Description

Here are some facts on the Birman breed based on the Cat Fanciers Association's breed standard.

  • Head: broad and round, flat skull
  • Muzzle: medium in length and width
  • Ears: medium in length, wide
  • Eyes: round, set well apart, blue in color
  • Body: strongly built, long
  • Legs: heavy, medium in length
  • Paws: large and round with five toes on the front paws and four toes on the rear paws
  • Tail: medium in length
  • Coat: medium-long with heavy ruff around the neck and slightly curly on the stomach

Birman History

Source: "The Sacred Cats of Burma" by Paula Boroff.

The Birman cat breed does not have a clear beginning. There is a lengthy and involved legend as to the origins of the Birman cat breed, that says that the breed originated when a Lama was defending his temple from attackers. The sapphire-goddess of the temple transformed the cat's fur into a golden color and turned his yellow eyes a sapphire color. According to the legend, each cat carries a priest's soul to the afterlife.

It is speculated that the Birman breed may actually have originated in Burma. According to one account, in 1919 some English people, living in France, received the cats as gifts from a temple they had guarded while in Burma. Another story is that an American millionaire got the cats while in Burma and then sent them to a friend n France.

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