Kitten History: Birman

Look deep into your Birman kittens blue eyes, and you can believe that he has a long and illustrious history. Legends and tales surround this sacred cat of Burma.

By Stacy Hackett

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Birman © Helmi FlickThis beautiful breed is thought to have been the loyal companion of Kittah priests in Burma centuries ago. According to legend, the once white cats acquired their bright blue eyes and pointed coats when the temple was attacked and the head priest was killed. The priests cat, Sinh, placed his feet on his dying master and looked into the blue eyes of the temple goddess, Tsun-Kyan-Kse. The cats fur became golden; his face, legs and tail became the color of the earth; and his eyes turned blue. Because the cats paws touched his fallen master, however, they retained their white purity.

The Birmans modern history is almost as romantic as the legends. Around 1919, a pair of Birmans was shipped from Burma to France. While the male did not survive, the pregnant female, Sita, arrived safely. Her litter was the foundation of the breed in Europe. Careful breeding after World War II reestablished the breed, and the Birman was accepted by the Cat Fanciers Association in 1967. 

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Kitten History: Birman

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Reader Comments

Helen    Indianapolis, IN

11/19/2014 1:35:06 PM

I am so glad you featured the Birman. I have two of them and they are so adorable. It is my favorite breed.

Michelle    Early, TX

10/14/2014 6:34:34 AM

I have a 13 year old Birman named Koko. He is the sweetest cat and friend. He has been with my kids and watched them grown up. He is the most precious cat I have ever had. I love him!

Bette    Waterville, WA

4/25/2014 4:11:50 PM

I'm on my third Birman beauty. My first one lived for 18 years. My second for 15 and my third is now 12. As long as I'm alive I'll always have to have a Birman. They are an amazing breed of cat and I just can't seem to connect to any other breed.

Courtney    Deer Park, WA

3/17/2014 6:30:05 PM

Everything about these cats is 100% true. I discovered the beauty of this breed quite by accident when I met my best friend (may he rest in piece), Peek-A-Boo (that was the only word my baby sister could say at the time), at an animal shelter. Peek-A-Boo was the first cat I picked out to play with. When I held him for the first time, the very first thing he did was lick my nose. It was love at first kiss! I spent 5 amazing years with this super friendly adorable cat and was devastated when he disappeared one day and never returned. It wasn't until much later that I discovered that my precious Peek-A-Boo was not some random stray, but in fact pretty close to a pure bred Birman. From that day forward I decided I would own another one someday. These cats are the BIGGEST lovebugs!

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