The Birman originates from...

Much speculation surrounds the early development of the Birman breed, a cat that is also popularly known as the ‘Sacred Cat of Burma’. It is widely believed that this cat was selectively bred by temple priests in Northern Burma’s Mount of Lugh. Like most other varieties, the Birman faced near extinction during WWII, but it was resurrected by the careful breeding efforts of Baudoin-Crevoisier, who bred from his two remaining Birman cats. It was thanks to these cats, Orloff and Xenia, that this breed was not lost. The Cat Fanciers Association recognised the breed in 1967, and the International Cat Association officially recognised it 12 years later.

The Birman is characterised by...

The original was of a medium size, with moderate length hair, relatively small ears, a pale coat, and blue eyes. White gloves are observed in the breed, with any other area of white being considered a fault. The breed standard stipulates that it should have a golden or eggshell coloured coat, with markings in a variety of colours. These include red, chocolate, seal, blue, lilac, and cream. Colour pointing appears on the ears, nose, and tail, and these come about at the age of one week (for Birmans of seal-point) and at 14 days (for Birmans of lilac-point). The Birman is only a moderate shedder, making it a suitable breed choice for the house-proud.

The average Birman...

The Birman is described as a gentle, affectionate, and docile breed with a genuine love of people — especially its owner and family. Highly sociable and inquisitive, they enjoy plenty of interaction and will communicate softly when they want attention. Compatible with children and other house pets when introduced to them gradually, this breed is well suited to indoor or outdoor living and benefits from plenty of mental enrichment throughout the day. Interactive toys, scratching posts, and lots of space for exercise and play is essential. On average, a healthy cat of this breed will weigh 6-12 pounds, with a typical life expectancy of 12-16 years.


Certain health complaints are identified. These range from mild and treatable to more serious. Potential problems include congenital hypotrichosis, a condition that causes hair loss; thymic aplasia, an immune deficiency; and corneal dermoid, a complaint that is characterised by hair and skin on the surface of the eye requiring surgical intervention. Spongiform degeneration is also documented in the breed although not with any great prevalence — this is a progressive disease that causes the nervous system to fail.

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Our Birman owners have uploaded 51 photos

Our Birman owners' thoughts

Added on 20/11/2014
Joined 20/11/2014
From Cheshire, United Kingdom

Tiggy is a Birman x British Blue long hair. He is a real character and could probably be a suitable stand-in for the fabulous cat on the 02 Be more dog advert! His glamorous looks disguise his alter-egos as a fiendish hunter and part time evening lap cat.

Added on 21/02/2017
Joined 21/02/2017
From Hampshire, United Kingdom

My cat Jerry is a Birman and is very intelligent almost dog like. He understands no and stay and he is all ways talking to me. He sleeps by my bed at night but makes sure I am awake by 7-15am every morning which is a bit of a pain on Sundays. He is a very majestic cat and I love him to bits.

Added on 30/09/2017
Joined 30/09/2017
From Essex, United Kingdom

Thornton our seal point Birman is the most affectionate cat I have ever had, he loves to come and snuggle under my chin anywhere between 2am and 5am ! He is also full of character and had a lot of dog like tendencies which include dragging his blanket about and chewing our slippers and flip-flops.

Added on 15/06/2018
Joined 29/10/2014
From Leicestershire, United Kingdom

Birman cats have it all. Stunning good looks and gentle, affectionate personalities. I am owned by 2 Birmans. Ollie now 8 years old and Mischa 5 years old. Ollie loves nothing more than head butting me and rubbing his head against mine. Mischa, a much more dainty girl, follows me everywhere I go. She knows where the treat jar is and will sit directly behind me when I go near it, touching my leg with her paw. Love them both to bits.

Added on 07/08/2019
Joined 07/08/2019
From Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom

Dudie is the most loyal loving affectionate cat in the whole wide world. He loves nothing but being picked up and cuddles, tummy kisses and sleeping with his Mama. He never ventures far from the house only into the back garden and is guaranteed to be back inside within 15 minutes so I never worry about him going outside. He likes being groomed outside in the sunshine but not so much indoors and he is rather vocal at times but I am now use to his quirky ways. I would recommend a Birman to anyone want the purrrrfect cat.