The Birman cat, also called the Sacred Cat of Burma, is distinguished by its silky long hair, deep blue eyes and pure white feet. Legend claims that a white long-haired temple cat called Sinh came to the aid of a Buddhist priest who was being killed by robbers. When the cat jumped onto the priest’s body to guard him, the priest’s soul passed into the cat. As this happened, Sinh’s white coat was shaded with gold reflected from the temple statue and the feet remained white where they touched the priest’s body. The cat’s face, ears, legs and tail took on the color of the earth and its amber eyes turned deep blue. The modern history of the Birman is almost as shrouded in mystery as the legend. What is known is that about 1919, two Birman cats were shipped to France by temple priests. The male died during the journey but the pregnant female survived and the Birman breed was established in Europe. The French recognized the Birman as a separate breed in 1925 but by the end of World War II the breed was almost extinct. Careful breeding and out-crossings re-established the breed and the Birman was recognized in Britain in 1966.
What They Are Like to Live With
A Birman likes to communicate with people, but does so in a soft tone. This is a gentle cat who plays gracefully and enjoys learning some tricks in a dignified style.
Because this breed enjoys the company of other pets and people, it is best suited in a multi-pet household rather than being a home-alone cat.
Don’t worry about your valuables displayed on high shelves. This breed prefers to hang out at ground level rather than climb curtains or hang out on high perches.
Its coat needs minimal care – just run a comb through once or twice a week to maintain its silky feel.
Things You Should Know
The Birman lacks an undercoat.
This breed can be prone to becoming overweight, so measure out daily food portions.
All kittens are born completely white. The colored points and markings gradually appear within the first two years.
The Temperament Of Birman Cat
Birmans can be quiet and unobtrusive when you are busy but active and playful when you are ready to play. Birmans are intelligent and bond strongly with their people. They can be curious and can get underfoot at times but are generally docile lap cats who love human companionship. This cat is very quiet and gentle and not aggressive. Birmans are not very talkative and talk in a quiet voice when they remind you that it is dinner time. This is not an outdoor cat.
Birman cats are healthy. Unspayed females mature as early as 7 months and need to be watched as they are eager to breed. They love to be stroked and groomed. Their long silky coat is easy to groom as there is no undercoat and a once per week light combing with a steel comb will suffice.