Let's talk Sacred Birmans

It’s hard to look away when faced with the stunning Sacred Birman. The breed is instantly spotted for their markings: A soft black mask encircling their features, sparkling blue eyes, a fluffed white coat, and all-white paws. The mix is a captivating one, any cat lover would agree, and they have the personality to match. The Sacred Birman is incredibly affable, a lap cat extraordinaire, and emits almost a chirping sound instead of a meow. The Sacred Birman craves attention and returns it in kind to all those in their midst.

Official name: Sacred Birman

Other names: Birman, Sacred Cat of Burma

Origins: Burma

 Shedding level:  Medium  Warm weather?  
 Energy level (high, low, medium) *:  Low  Family pet? *  Very high
 Compatibility with other pets:  Very high    

* We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behaviour. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed’s specifics should be taken as an indication.

For a happy, healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socialising your pet as well as covering their basic welfare, social and behavioural needs.

Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.

All domestic pets are sociable and prefer company. However, they can be taught to cope with solitude from an early age. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or trainer to help you do this.

38 - 46 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
4 - 9 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight
38 - 46 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
3 - 5 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight


 Baby age:  Birth to 4 months  
 Puppy age:  4 to 12 months
 Adult age: 1 to 7 years
 Mature age:  7 to 12 years
 Senior age:  From 12 years


Origins of the breed

For many enthusiasts, the Labrador Retriever remains one of the most popular all-round dogs worldwide. It’s thought that Labrador Retrievers originated from the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, where fishermen used dogs of this appearance to retrieve fish. The breed as we know it today, however, was established by the British in the early 1800’s.

The Labrador Retriever Club was founded in 1916 and the first standard followed soon after, predominantly tailored to working Labrador Retrievers who found early fame, having been originally introduced to the U.K. in the late 1800’s by Col Peter Hawker and the Earl of Malmesbury.


2 facts about Sacred Birmans

1. Odd cat out

The Sacred Birman sports four snow-white paws and a pattern up their back legs known as “gloves and laces.” It’s characteristic of the breed, and makes for a smart ensemble with their black mask and tipped ears. Traditionally cream and black, the cat comes in a variety of colours, but those white paws will always remain.

2. Faithful companions—literally

The Sacred Birman is certainly a treasured object but why so sacred? The breed is said to have originated in Burma centuries ago and was considered a sacred companion of the Kittah priests who lived there. The ancient breed is so revered there that it’s believed the priests are returned in the form of the Sacred Birman cats after their death.


History of the breed

The origins of the Sacred Birman breed are mysterious, a thing of legend—until more modern times and the rise of specialty breeds, that is. The breed is said to be a cross of Siamese, Angora, and Persians, with their proliferation taking place either in southeast Asia or France. Burma is their ancestral home, where the cat was thought to be a sacred companion of the Kittah priests there, with priests in turn believing they are returned in the form of the Sacred Birman cats after their death.

Their landing on the European continent enters the picture when two Europeans, August Pavie and Major Gordon Russell, were given a pair of Sacred Birmans in 1919 and imported them to France where the breed quickly gained ground.

Sacred Birmans first came to the U.S. in 1959 and were soon thereafter recognised by the Cat Fanciers Association, in 1967. They are recognised by the American Cat Fanciers Association, the Cat Fanciers Federation, and The International Cat Association.


From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Sacred Birmans

1. Head

Rounded head, medium in size, with full cheeks.

2. Ears

Ears sit widely apart, narrowing to a rounded tip.

3. Eyes

Wide, round eyes. The colour should match the coat.

4. Legs

Muscular back legs, with round-shaped feet and a rounded rear-end.

5. Tail

Tail-length has four variations: rumpy, rumpy-riser, stumpy and longie.


Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Sacred Birman


Caring for your Sacred Birman

Grooming, training and exercise tips

Grooming the Sacred Birman’s fluffy coat is another excuse for together time. Their fur is composed of divine silky long locks that don’t easily mat. Brushing them often – a few times a week at least – is sufficient to help them look their best. Keep your Sacred Birman’s nails trim, and make sure to clean their ears and eyes regularly. And then there’s teeth brushing: Try for as often as possible, though most cats don’t particularly enjoy the process. Excess tartar can easily lead to periodontal disease and undue inflammation. Exercise for the Sacred Birman is key as this is a very docile cat who enjoys cocooning. Having enough toys around for the Sacred Birman to play with will help their muscular body stay in great shape. Training the Sacred Birman is an equal pleasure as this is a cat who likes to please. They want most to be near their humans so following commands will be agreeable to them, most of the time.


All about Sacred Birmans

Although their names may sound similar, the Sacred Birman and the Burmese are two totally different cats. The Burmese doesn’t have the profuse coat of the Sacred Birman, and has huge, more oval-shaped eyes. While the Sacred Birman might be playful, the Burmese is super outgoing. Both descend from Burma but the Burmese has more of their roots in San Francisco, U.S.A.

Fanciers of the Sacred Birman appreciate the cat’s ravishing pointed coat, the points of which can evolve into an array of colourations, including lilac, chocolate, slate blue, and seal, the latter ranging from a pale fawn to a cream colour.


1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Cat Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book