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Also known as the "Sacred Cat of Burma", the Birman has a number of fanciful legends associated with its origin. The breed first appeared in France in 1919 with a pregnant female imported from Burma (the male died en route). The breed was first recognized for championship status by a French cat registry. The breed's French name, Sacre de Birmanie, is the origin of the breed name Birman. Birmans first appeared in the United States in 1959 and in Great Britain five years later. It was accepted for championship status in GCCF in 1966 andin 1967 by CFA.

It is a semi-longhaired cat, accepted only in the pointed pattern. It is distinguished from other pointed cats not only by its moderately stocky body type, but also by its four white feet. The pattern of the "gloves and laces" on the Birman is very precise on show cats.

Birmans are docile, quiet cats with a strong "people" orientation. Although longhaired, they do not need daily grooming.

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