Birman cat resting.

Birman Cat Breed

This cat is quiet and gentle but highly responsive to an owner’s attention, and it makes a loving companion.

With its distinctive color points, this exquisite cat has the appearance of a longhaired Siamese, but the two breeds are unlikely to be closely related. According to legend, Birmans inherited their coloring from a cat belonging to a priest in ancient Myanmar (Burma).

One day the priest was attacked by robbers; as the cat guarded the dying priest, he gained a gold-tinted coat and deep blue eyes like the goddess whom the priest served. In reality, the breed was probably created in France in the 1920s, although the foundation cats may have been acquired from Myanmar.

Long-bodied and sturdily built, the breed is notable for its “Roman” nose (having a slightly curved profile) and its white paws. The Birman has silky-textured hair that does not mat. Birmans are gentle, easygoing, sociable cats with soft voices. They love human company and usually get along well with children and other pets.

Designer’s Muse

German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld’s Birman cat Choupette enjoys the lifestyle of a supermodel. She travels by private jet and has two personal assistants to cater to her every need and to take care of her beauty routine.

Choupette has even featured in numerous magazine “interviews.” She is also the inspiration behind a collection of cat-themed Lagerfeld accessories that include knitted hats, scarves, gloves, and leather goods.

Origin: Myanmar (Burma)/France, c.1920

Breed registries: CFA, FIFe, GCCF, TICA

Weight range: 10–18lb (4.5–8kg)

Grooming: 2–3 times a week

Colors and patterns: All color points, with white feet.