Holy birman breed portrait

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Origin and history of the breed

The Sacred Burmese or Birman cat was developed in France in the first half of the 20th century. It is supposed to be the golden mean of the two classic pedigree cats, the short-haired Siamese and the long-haired Persian. Today, it could also be the smaller sister of the Ragdoll cat, which is also medium-long haired.

The Sacred Burmese, which is the official name of this domestic cat breed, is a partial albino like the Ragdoll, whose coat has the distinctive colors with the points: On a bright base color, which may appear in a wide variety of shades, lie dark spots, the so-called points, especially in the head area.

Typical for the Birman cat are the white paws, called gloves. The Burmese cat must not be confused with the Burmese cat, because the Burmese cat is a different, short-haired cat breed. Since Burma and Burma are both old names of the state in Southeast Asia now called Myanmar, it is easy to get confused here. The Sacred Burmese was officially recognized by the Fédération Internationale Féline in 1949.


The Burmese cat is a small to medium sized cat with medium length hair. It is easily recognized by its fluffy coat with the typical point colors. The face always wears a dark mask. Their coat is semi-long to occasionally long and has a silky texture. On the head, the coat should be rather short, then form a collar of longer hair on the neck, which continues on the flanks. The Birman cat has little undercoat.

Distinctive and typical is the deep blue color of their eyes. Their tail should be of medium length and form a feather bush. The Sacred Birman belongs to the Point cats. With her all Point colors are permitted. These special color characteristics of all Point cats are produced by a mutation, a partial albinism, called acromelanism. The body fur is lightened due to the consequences of this genetic defect, while on the cooler regions of the body like face, ears, legs and tail the so called points are produced, which are darker to completely dark brown in color.

The kittens are born white and darken only later. The legs of the Birman cat are short and strong. The standard prescribes for the Birman cat mandatory so-called gloves. With gloves the pure white paws are called. A Birman tomcat weighs between 4 and 6 kilograms, the Birman cat should be lighter and weigh only up to 4 kilograms.

Character and nature

The Birman cat has a very people-oriented, friendly and gentle nature. She is simply sweet and seeks the closeness of people with whom she can develop a close bond. She is a real family cat. The Holy Birman has alert senses and good reflexes and likes to play extensively. For this purpose, the trade offers a lot of suitable cat toys such as a play fishing rod or a spring rod. With it they can play extensively. And they do this until old age. Birman cats also like to move once in nature, but their urge to do so is not particularly developed compared to normal house cats.


The Birman cat is an ideal house cat for the apartment. Apart from the fur care it is undemanding in its keeping conditions, but needs the intimate relationship with its two-legged friends. She loves the shared experience with humans or animal partners in her family and does not have to be an outdoor cat to feel completely at home. In fact, she is not really suited to be a free-rover for one very simple reason: she is too people-friendly! She would approach any biped in a friendly way and let herself be cuddled.

In view of her extremely attractive appearance, the temptation can then be too great for a stranger to abduct her without further ado. The Holy Burmese does not like to be left alone for a long time. She likes to have a suitable second cat at her side. Birmans are sociable and get along with other animal companions without any problems. However, both, cat and for example a dog, should have been accustomed to each other with patience.


The Birman cat can be educated well. If she comes from a reputable breeder who has well cared for and socialized parents and puppies, she will fit into the rules and habits of her family by herself. With a little guidance, she will be housebroken quickly and easily.

Care and health

Coat care

The dense coat of the Birman cat should be brushed regularly, several times a week. However, it is relatively easy to care for, as it has little tendency to mat due to the lack of undercoat. The fur brushing can be made with some feeling and skill to a ritual of social bonding, which is emotionally very good for cat and humans.

Diseases typical for the breed

Some breedings of the Birman cat suffer from strong inbreeding, which can lead to immune deficiencies, sickliness and shortened life expectancy. In Birman cats there are a number of hereditary diseases that are common in breeding, such as anemia, heart disease, or some eye diseases that are a result of their acromelanism. Among others, PRA is widespread, which leads to blindness. However, not all cats must be affected by these diseases.

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