Sunday, October 4, 2015

What's In a Name: Birman

The Birman is also called the "Sacred Cat of Burma". The Birman is a long-haired, colorpointed cat distinguished by a silky coat, deep blue eyes and contrasting white "gloves" or "socks" on each paw.

The breed name is derived from Birmanie, the French form of Burma. There is no clear record of the breed's origin. They are most often claimed to have originated as the companions of temple priests in Northern Burma.

Interestingly, Birmans were almost wiped out as a breed during World War II. Only two cats were alive in Europe at the end of the war, a pair named Orloff and Xenia de Kaabaa, both belonging to Baudoin-Crevoisier. They had to be heavily outcrossed with long-hair breeds such as Persian and Siamese to rebuild the Birman breed. By the early 1950s, pure Birman litters were once again being produced.
Birmans have also been used in the development of new breeds, notably including the Ragdoll.

1 comment:

  1. Is this the new grumpy cat specie? Looks like that certainly.

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