Sometimes called the “Sacred Cat of Burma,” the Birman is a domestic cat which should not be confused with the Burmese breed. There are many myths about how the Birman came to France, but the true origins of the cat remain unknown. The breed was first recognized in France in the 1920s, though by the end of WWII only two cats remained, from which the foundation of the breed was built. Though first recognized in France in the 1920s, the breed was not recognized in the United States until the 1960s. but quickly became and remains one of the most popular cat breeds.
The Birman is a peaceful, adaptable, and gentle breed. They can live happily in homes with a single human, several humans, and other cats. Though playful, they will also be very happy lap cats. Birmans are generally quiet cats, though can become rather talkative if their meows and purrs are encouraged.
Birmans are long, muscular and heavy-boned. Tails are neither long nor short, but in proportion to the rest of the body. Their faces are distinguished by roman noses and their chins are deep and should not recede. The Birman’s eyes are medium to large and very round, while their ears are almost the same width from bottom to top. The Birman has a medium-long, soft coat. Though it does not mat, it will need regular combing to keep it tangle free. This can provide valuable bonding time for cat and owner.
The Birman is a colorpoint cat, with a pale body and darker points. Birmans also have four white gloves on their paws. Though the first Birmans were seal-point, Birmans now come in all pointed colors.