A Guide to the Birman Cat Breed

Photo of Karen Dell

Karen Dell

Senior Editor • Backyard Cat Enclosures

20 February 2018

  • Size: Medium
  • Activity: Medium
  • Noise: Medium
  • Allergies: Medium
  • Independence: Low
  • Grooming: Medium


Mystery and legend shroud the origins of the Birman cat breed. They are thought to have originated in northern Burmese temples where the cats were kept as sacred animals by the Mon Khmer priests. How they got to the western world is debated. One story claims that a servant of an American aristocrat brought two of the sacred cats to his master as a gift. Another tells the tale of a pregnant Birman cat being shipped to France, but unfortunately their subsequent breeding history and almost all existing Birman cats were lost to World War II.


The Birman cat breed is a medium sized cat with a broad face and a soft, silky long hair coat. Unlike Persian or Himalayan fur babies, Birman fur has no undercoat, so it’s less likely to matt and tangle, reducing your grooming work with such a fluffy cat. The Birman kitty’s coat is pointed with splashes of of colour on their wide set ears, face and legs.


Just like their sacred ancestors, the Birman cat is totally zen. These quiet, docile and friendly puddas make excellent pets for the whole family. Happy to tag along on family adventures or watch on calmly as you do your daily chores. However, don't let their penchant for peace deceive you. Birman cats are smart and curious and will explore their territory to the full extent so be sure to keep that divine Birman safe and happy with an outdoor cat enclosure.


Considering the fluffy coat of the Birman cat breed, care and maintenance of their fur is surprisingly easy. A good groom once a week will keep their coat in praise-worthy condition. Check their dental health daily, give them the occasional bath, and keep on top of your annual vet visit and your Birman baby will be purr-fectly happy.


This Birman cat breed is long haired, but does not produce as many allergens as cats with a thick undercoat. However, if just the word ‘allergens’ had you sniffling, we recommend looking at another breed.

Suggested names

These sacred and cherubic kitties are calm and wise so a Birman cat’s name should reflect their hallowed position within the fur-mily. Here are our name suggestions for your divine fur baby:

  • Achara
  • Budi
  • Daiji
  • Kulap
  • Soo

Learn more about the revered Birman cat breed with our 5 reasons to love them here. Looking for someone new? Fall in love with another cat breed with our Ultimate Guide to Cat Breeds here.


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