Often described as the “sacred cat of Burma,” the Birman is a unique breed with an interesting, albeit perhaps fabled, history. The whole look of this breed, with its deep blue eyes and distinctive white paws, is enchanting.


Originating from Burma, it is said to have been the cat sacred to the Buddhist temples there. (The Burmese breed also lays claim to this!) The legend surrounding this ancient breed tells of a priest who lay dying in his temple.

The priest's faithful cat came and rested his paws on his master's chest to offer companionship in his last moments, and when the priest died, the cat's paws turned the purest white and her eyes turned to deep, brilliant blue. The Birman was first imported into France in 1919. It increased in popularity and was eventually recognized in Britain in the 1960s.


Elegant, with a long, solidly built body, rounded head and full cheeks, its coat is its most distinctive feature. Of medium length, with a “ruff” around the neck, it is pale, with darker himalayan points on the face, ears, tail and legs, but with white paws and beautiful blue eyes.

Origin: Burma

Grooming: 4/5

Activity: 4/5

GCCF Group: Semi-Longhairs


There are certainly things to consider before you adopt a semi-longhaired cat like a Birman. These are social cats, and although they are adaptable to your schedule, they don’t like to be left alone for long periods of time.

For this reason, Birmans are not necessarily well suited to be "only children", and often thrive best with people who work from home or who have other pets.

They do require a grooming commitment, and are a long-lived breed, surviving 12-16 years. In exchange, you are afforded the opportunity to share your life with a highly intelligent, soft-voiced cat whose companionship will be constant and loving.

If you have never owned a cat before, the Birman is an excellent breed with which to begin if you are willing to put in the time to keep its coat in good shape.

The great news on that front is that these animals have no undercoat. That allows you to enjoy the plushness of their silky fur without the potential headache of dealing with mats.

Sweet natured, relatively quiet-voiced, and not over-demanding, the Birman is a friendly and affectionate companion.

Suitability as a pet

This breed suits any family and relates well to other pets, but does not like being left alone if the family is out for most of the day. Also, regular grooming is needed.

Gallery of Birman