Birman Cat

Birman cat breedHISTORY

The Birman is known as the “Sacred Cat of Burma” because it is claimed they were companions to temple priests in northern Burma on Mount of Lugh. Legend has it that the goddess Tsun-Kyan-Kse who had sapphire blue eyes was worshipped in the Temple of Lao-Tsun. One of the temple priests accompanied by a white temple cat named Sinh would kneel before the goddess in worship every day. One night he was killed, and as he lay dying, Sinh put his paws on Mun-Ha and faced the goddess. The priest’s body immediately turned from white to gold, and the cat’s eyes turned blue just like those of the goddess. The cat’s legs turned brown where they had touched the priest, but his paws turned white, a symbol of purity. All the other temple cats’ coloring changed as well. The cat, Sinh, stayed next to the priest for seven days when he too died. It is said that Sinh carried the soul of the priest, Mun-Ha to paradise. To this day, it is believed that whenever one of the temple cats dies, it carries the soul of a priest to heaven as well.

In 1919, as a gesture of thanks for helping preserve the temple, the priests gave Auguste Pavie and Major Gordon Russell a breeding pair of Burmese temple cats. These two cats became the foundation of the breed. The breed’s name is a derivation from Birmanie, the French word for Burma. First recognized in France as an official breed by the Cat Club of France in 1925, Birmans went on to be recognized by the  Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) in 1966, the Cat Fancier’s Association (CFA) in 1967 and the International Cat Association (TICA) in 1979.


WEIGHT RANGE               Males and females @ 12 pounds
EYE COLORBirman’s have blue eyes.
COAT Coats are long and silky and needs moderate grooming. Coats do not mat.
COAT COLORSFrost, Blue, Chocolate, Seal, Red, Cream, Cinnamon, Lilac, Fawn. Patterns are points and mitted.
OVERALL APPEARANCEBirmans are rather large with a cobby shaped body.  The face is round. Their body hair is most usually egg shell with points on the face, legs and tail. Their paws are always white and called gloves. 
PRICERecognized by the GCCF, CFA, and TICA. Birman kittens range between $ 600 to $1,000. ​ 




Birmans are considered a rare breed and usually only have a life span of 9 to 13 years. The most prevalent threat to Birmans’ health is feline hypertrophy cardiomyopathy (HCM). Birmans are also at high risk for feline kidney failure due to their having higher than normal levels of creatine in their blood. Breeders ritually name their Birmans in alphabetical order. For example, all Birmans born in 2017 would start with the letter ‘O’, 2018 with the letter ‘P’ and so on. 


Birman cat breed



Birman Rescue USA

Birman Rescue UK 

Birman Rescue Oklahoma


Want to know more about the cat in history, art and literature? The Revered and Reviled is the book for you. Now available on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback formats. 

Revered and Reviled: A Complete History of the Domestic Cat, cat history, cats






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