Also known as the "Sacred Cat of Burma", the Birman is truly a cat of mystery whose origins remain uncertain. Some say that it truly originated in south-east Asia, and there are wonderful stories of the temple cats - others believe that it is a concoction of French breeders.
The Birman is a stocky cat with a long body, bushy tail and thick legs. The head is broad with a Roman nose and low-set nostrils. The wide set, soulful, sapphire blue eyes are almost round.
The Birman has a pale-coloured body, dark points (mask, ears, tail and legs) and a long silky coat that does not matt. One of the features that sets it firmly apart from the Siamese or Himalayan are the white "gloves" on its paws, possibly due to a recessive white spotting gene.
Originally, Birmans were only recognized in seal and blue points but most associations now recognize the chocolate and lilac points also. Some forward thinking associations, like the Canadian Cat Association, recognize Birmans in a wide sweep of colours, including red, cream, tortie and lynx points.
The Birman has a pleasant, chirpy voice but when annoyed they make a sound like a combination huff/bark/cough - known as the Birman Huff. According to owners, it is the Birman equivalent of a frown.
The Birman is a restful breed, mostly relaxed and easy going. They are however, very playful even into adulthood, enjoying a game of chase the ping-pong ball, or see what a brown paper bag hides and if given the opportunity, the age old favorite - unrolling paper towels or toilet tissue. In the last few years, Birmans have developed a widespread and increasing circle of admirers.
Breed Secretary: Linda Birkmann email