A cat of unusual markings, the Sacred Cat of Burma tends to attach herself to one person and can be a bit territorial, but never aggressive.
Sacred Cat of Burma At a glance
Male: large: 12 lbs.
Female: large: 12 lbs.
Longevity Range: Long
Social/Attention Needs: Moderate
Tendency to Shed: High
Colors: Frost, Blue, Chocolate, Seal, Red, Lilac, Bluecream, Cream
Pattern: Bicolor, Points, Mitted
Less Allergenic: No
Overall Grooming Needs: Moderate, High
Cat Association Recognition:
CFA, ACFA , FIFe, TICA
The Sacred Cat of Burma looks like a pointed cat with four white feet and deep blue eyes.
The Sacred Cat of Burma is a long cat and can get to be quite large. Males are usually larger than females.
They are heavily boned cats and can appear somewhat stocky in every feature. The Sacred Cat of Burma has unusual markings. She looks like a pointed cat with four white feet and deep blue eyes. The head is actually triangular but she has such a broad skull that the face can appear almost rounded. The breed has a Roman nose and medium sized ears. The fur is medium long but is soft and silky. It tends not to mat and is easy to care for.
The Sacred Cat of Burma is private and she tends to attach herself to one person. Some of them can show a bit of jealousy if their parent does not pay attention to them. While they are territorial, they are not aggressive.
Being a larger cat and somewhat stocky to begin with, their nutrition should be watched to make sure she does not become overweight. Daily exercise should be provided to help keep her in good physical condition. In addition, the sacred cat should be groomed daily to prevent matting of the fine fur.
The Temple of Lao-Tsun was built in Asia for the worship of the goddess Tsun-Kyan-Kse. She was a golden goddess with sapphire blue eyes. One of the priests of the temple, Mun-Ha, would kneel before the goddess' statue with the white temple cat named Sinh sitting beside him. One night, raiders came into the temple as Mun-Ha was worshipping and killed him. As Mun-Ha was dying, Sinh put his feet on him and faced the goddess. As soon as Sinh did this, his body turned from white to gold and his eyes turned blue, just like those of the goddess. His legs turned brown, but where his feet touched his master they remained white as a symbol of purity. All the other cats in and around the temple changed this way as well. Sinh stayed with his master for the next seven days, when he too died and carried the soul of Mun-Ha to paradise. To this day, it is believed that whenever a sacred temple cat dies, the soul of a priest accompanies the cat's soul to paradise.
When the temple was raided again, Auguste Pavie and Major Gordon Russell helped the temple priests. As a gesture of thanks, in 1919 the priests gave these men a breeding pair of the Sacred Cat of Burma, which were the foundation of the breed in the west. Both men were then living in France. The Sacred Cats of Burma did well for a while but by the end of World War II, only one pair was left. Once again, breeders had to work hard to keep this breed alive.
In the 1960s, the first Sacred Cats of Burma were imported into Britain and kittens from these breeding programs were exported to other countries all over the world. In 1966, the breed was recognized in Britain and in 1967 it became a recognized breed in the United States. In the United States, the breed goes by its modern name of the Birman.