The Birman is a large, long stocky cat. It has long silky hair that doesn't mat. The color of its coat is light with "points" on the face, legs and tail that are darker in the colors of grey, lilac, blue, brown, red or cream. The almost round eyes are blue, set in a strong face. The Birman's white feet or "gloves" are the most distinctive feature of this cat.
The Birman personality is gentle, active, playful, but quiet and calm if you are busy with other things.
The Birman cat is believed to have originated in Burma, where it was considered sacred, the companion cat of the Kittah priests.
Around 1919, a pair of Birman cats were secretly shipped from Burma to France. The male cat did not survive the long voyage, but the female, Sita, did survive, and was pregnant. From this one cat the Birman was established in the western world. By the end of WWII, only two Birmans were left alive in Europe, and a program of outcrossing was necessary to reestablish the breed.