The Mystical Origin
of the Sacred
Birman Cat Breed
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Burma's Sacred Feline: the Birman
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The Birman is known as the Sacred Cat of Burma and is a
domestic cat breed. The Birman and Burmese are separate
breeds that are totally dissimilar. The Birman has long,
pale colored fur with dark points and blue eyes. They are a
recognized breed by the Cat Fancier's Association and the
Canadian Cat Association.
The Birman is an ancient breed of cat that originated in
Burma. A legend of their origin claims that long ago, when a
Burmese temple was raided by enemies, one of the cats placed
its paws on its human companion as he died and the cat's
paws immediately turned white.
The mystical origin of this breed aside, the rest of the
recent history of the cat breed is also shrouded in mystery.
What is known for sure is that the breed became known in
1920 after two cats had been shipped the previous year from
Burma to France. Unhappily the male hadn't survived, but the
female cat, named Sita, had, and she had been pregnant.
The cat breed became known as "Sacre de Birmanie" and was
entered into the French Cat Registry in 1925. The breed as a
whole was nearly wiped out during WWII. Only two cats
survived to the end of the war in Europe. The foundation of
the breed today was this pair.
This pair and their offspring were out crossed with many
other longhaired breeds in order to rebuild the breed. By
the 1950's the breed had been restored and was recognized in
Britain in 1965 and by the Cat Fanciers Association in 1966.
One of the foundational characteristics of the Birman breed
is that the paws must be white and the legs should not
intermingle or blend colors. These cats are semi-cobby with
silk, semi-long hair and small ears compared to other cat
Breed standards require that the Birman's body be eggshell
or golden in color, depending upon on the intensity of the
markings. The markings or points can be blue, chocolate,
cream, lilac, pure seal or red. Tabby markings are also
allowed. Cats that are Tortie can be blue, chocolate, lilac
or seal. All Birmans must have sapphire colored eyes.
The Birman breed was especially bred for the cat's
temperament. They are companion cats, and they form a deep
bond with their owner and family. They are very intelligent
and take interest in their surroundings and people. Birman
cats are affectionate, inquisitive and playful especially
Picture Birman Cat
Taking care of your Birman Cat
By: Jane Bicks, D.V.M.
The Birman, a large, pensive, silky haired cat
with white gloved paws loves company. To look
and feel it's best when socializing it should
be kept in proper condition.
Essential fatty acids are a must, along with
sufficient vitamin E in the diet to utilize them.
If you're not providing a high protein, high fat
alternative premium cat food, supplement meals with 1/4
teaspoon bacon grease or, preferably a balanced
fatty acid supplement with zinc or my Daily Nutritional
My Choice for a Fantastic, Dining Cuisine for
a Birman Cat Online
I'd also recommend adding bee pollen. The bee pollen
will supply the additional micronutrients these gentle giants need.
A premium cat food diet that promotes steady, firm growth from
kitten hood will keep your Birman cat muscular, instead
of fat, and sleek for life.
Don't forget hairball medicine!
Hairball Management Solutions for Birman Cats