Birman Breed Standard for exhibitingleaf

The Birman is a medium to large strong-boned, muscular semi-longhaired cat. It is slightly longer in all its component parts than a Persian or Exotic Shorthair. It has medium-sized, flared ears, almost round eyes, roman nose and rounded muzzle. It has himalayan markings, but with white paws and gauntlets added; both strongly defined. Males are generally larger than females

HEAD - strongly-boned and broader than high. Forehead slopes well back, slightly convex in profile, with flatter appearance in front of and between the ears. Broad cheeks and slightly rounded in the muzzle.

EARS - medium in height, almost as wide at the base as tall. Modified to a rounded tip and set as much to the side as into the top of the head. Slightly flared.

EYES - almost round, set well apart, not bold. In repose, the upper lid should appear to be flatter, less rounded than the lower lid. The outer corner tilted very slightly upward.

NOSE - broad, medium length. Starting just below the eyes, a light dip is essential, but a definite stop is not acceptable. A downward change in angle below the dip makes the nose slightly roman in profile, setting the nose pad a little low.

CHEEKS - full and broad, helping create the broader than high head.

JAWS - strong and broad, with a somewhat rounded muzzle.

CHIN - firm, full and strong, in a vertical line with the tip of the nose.

NECK - strong and medium length, in proportion to the head and body.

BODY - medium length solid and muscular, with no appearance of fragility. Chest broad. Males more robust than females.

TAIL - sufficiently long to reach to just before the shoulders. Bushy, wider at base, tapering in boning to an oval tip.

LEGS - strong and heavily-boned. Medium length, so that although the body is long, the cat does not stand high on its legs. The hind legs are slightly longer than the front legs.

PAWS - large, round and firm.

TEMPERAMENT - should be placid, allowing easy handling at all times.

SCALE OF POINTS

Head (incl. size and shape of eyes) = 25

Body (incl. tail size, shape, length and bone) =  25 

Coat length and texture = 10

Coat colour = 10

Gloves and gauntlets =  20

Eye colour= 5

Overall condition =  5

Total = 100

FAULTS

REFER TO GENERAL LIST FOR ALL BREEDS, PLUS:-

PENALISE - small, rounded ears

- lack of width in head

- strongly almond eyes

- a second downward dip or slight bump near the end of the nose called a beesting is a fault.

- weak chin

- lack of length in tail

- fine boning

- hooding

- white whisker pads

- no contrast between point and body colouring

- tabby barring, though ghost markings acceptable on kittens.

- runners (streaks of white) up the legs.

WITHHOLD - Siamese or Persian type

- green eyes

- areas of white in point colour

- spots or patches of white (excluding gloves and gauntlets) anywhere on the body, particularly on chin, chest or stomach

- coloured spots on gloves or gauntlets

- coloured toe/s

- grossly uneven foot markings

- lack of white on the hock/s or one or both back legs

NOTE: A cat may have slightly imperfect gloves and/or gauntlets, small areas of white around the genitals and still be eligible for awards.

COAT AND COLOUR

COAT LENGTH AND TEXTURE

Semi-longhaired, silken in texture. The fur is short in appearance about the face, but to the extreme outer area of the cheek it is longer, with a full ruff around the neck. Slightly curled on stomach. It is of such texture that it will not mat.

COAT COLOUR AND PATTERN

The distinguishing colours of the Birman are those of the himalayan pattern, , but with white gloves and gauntlets added . Mask, ears, legs and tail are dense and clearly-defined, except in kittens. On reaching maturity, the mask is complete, covering the face to over the eyes (including whisker pads) and is connected to the ears by tracings, leaving an oval of body colour in front of the ears which is quite apparent. Chin is shaded to match the mask. Some allowance should be made in mature adults for darker body colour, especially in Seal Points. However, the body colour must never be so dark that contrast with point colour is lost.

LEGS

Leg point colour to go up just above the elbows on the front legs and to merge into the flanks at the rear. Leg colour is lighter on the inside of the legs.

PAWS

The white feet are characteristic of the Birman. It is preferable that the white is even on all four paws.

GLOVES AND GAUNTLETS

Front paws are pure white, gloved in an even line across the paws at the third joint. The upper limit of white should be the metacarpal (dew) pad, which is the highest up little paw pad located in the middle of the back of the front paw (above the third joint and just below the wrist bones).

Back paws have pure white gloves covering the entire paw and tapering evenly up the back of the leg (hock), preferably to a spear head positioned just below the middle of the hock. Higher markings are acceptable, but should not extend beyond the heel.

PAW PADS

Paw pads are either coloured (to harmonise with the colour of the points), pink or mottled. Individual paw pad colour is not listed, so reference should be made to this general description and to individual nose leather colour description.

SOLID POINTED GROUP

Recognized colours are Seal, Blue, Chocolate, Lilac, Red and Cream.

SEAL POINT

Body colour: cream, with a golden hue, shading, if any, to pale, warm fawn on the back. Kittens are paler.

Point colour: dense seal brown, with a warm rather than cold tone.

Eye colour: deep blue.

Nose leather: seal brown, to harmonise with shade of point colour.

BLUE POINT

Body colour: glacial white. Shading, if any, to tone with the points but of a lighter shade.

Point colour: cold-toned blue, with paler shades preferred.

Eye colour: bright blue.

Nose leather: blue, to harmonise with shade of point colour.

CHOCOLATE POINT

Body colour: ivory. Shading, if any, to tone with the points but of a lighter shade.

Point colour: warm milk chocolate, with paler shades preferred.

Eye colour: bright blue.

Nose leather: pinkish chocolate, to harmonise with shade of point colour.

LILAC POINT

Body colour: off-white (magnolia shade). Shading, if any, to tone with the points but of a lighter shade.

Point colour: soft pinkish grey, with paler shades preferred.

Eye colour: bright blue.

Nose leather: lavender pink, to harmonise with shade of point colour. Pink in kittens.

RED POINT

Body colour: milky white. Shading, if any, to tone with the points but of a lighter shade.

Point colour: rich apricot, with brighter shades preferred. While it is not desirable, allowance should be made for slight barring on the mask, legs and tail.

Eye colour: deep blue.

Nose leather: rose red, to harmonise with shade of point colour.

CREAM POINT

Body colour: warm white. Shading, if any, to tone with the points but of a lighter shade.

Point colour: rich cream, with paler shades preferred. While it is not desirable, allowance should be made for slight barring on the mask, legs and tail.

Eye colour: bright blue.

Nose leather: dusty rose, to harmonise with shade of point colour.

NOTE: Slight freckling on a mature cat should not be penalised, where it may occur on nose, lips, eyelids or ears.

FAULTS FOR SOLID COLOUR POINTED PATTERN

Contrasting hairs in the points.

TORTOISESHELL POINTED PATTERN

Colour is restricted to the points, as in all pointed patterned breeds. Distribution of colour on the points and of mottling on the nose and paw pads is random and immaterial, though ears are mottled and a blaze up the nose is desirable. Solid colour on any of ears, leg/legs or tail are all permissible. Dense colours show the named colour, plus varying shades of red and/or cream. Dilute colours have only the named colour plus shades of cream, with paler shades preferred. Each point should preferably display more than one colour. White hairs, ticking or barring not permitted.

Recognized Tortoiseshell Point colours are Seal, Blue, Chocolate and Lilac.

SEAL TORTOISESHELL POINT

Body colour: cream, with a golden hue, shading to pale, warm fawn on the back. Kittens are paler.

Point colour: bright, warm shades of dense seal brown, red and/or cream.

Eye colour: deep blue.

Nose leather: seal brown, rose red or dusty rose, plain or blotched, to harmonise with shade of point colour.


BLUE TORTOISESHELL POINT

Body colour: glacial white. Shading, if any, to tone with the points but of a lighter shade.

Point colour: cold-toned blue and cream. Coat may be intermingled or patched. Paler shades are preferred.

Eye colour: bright blue.

Nose leather: blue and/or dusty rose, plain or blotched, to harmonise with shade of point colour.

CHOCOLATE TORTOISESHELL POINT

Body colour: ivory. Shading, if any, to tone with the points but of a lighter shade.

Point colour: pale shades of warm, milk chocolate, red and/or cream.

Eye colour: bright blue.

Nose leather: pinkish chocolate, rose red or dusty rose, plain or blotched, to harmonise with shade of point colour.

LILAC TORTOISESHELL POINT

Body colour: off-white (magnolia shade). Shading, if any, to tone with the points but of a lighter shade.

Point colour: soft pinkish grey and cream. Paler shades are preferred.

Eye colour: bright blue.

Nose leather: lavender pink or dusty rose, plain or blotched, to harmonise with shade of point colour.

TABBY POINT GROUP

The ears have solid colour, without stripes. There is a clear but paler thumb print on the back of the ear, which is less apparent in dilute colours. Tortoiseshell Tabby Points have mottled ears, but may not show a thumb print. There should be a clearly-defined “M” on the forehead, light-coloured spectacle markings around the eyes, with distinct stripes on the cheeks and darkly-spotted whisker pads. The mask has clearly-defined stripes, especially around the eyes and nose. Eye rims are a pinkish tone or darker, to harmonise with the point colour. Nose leather is also either of a pinkish tone, coloured to harmonise with the point colour or pinkish and outlined in colour which harmonises with the point colour.

Coat colour on the body is pale, free from markings of any kind. Colouring is to conform to the recognized pointed colour standard.

Legs have varied-sized broken stripes, with solid colour on the back of the hind legs up the hocks. Points should all be the same colour, but in some colours paws may be lighter in colour. The tail preferably shows varied-sized clearly-defined rings, ending in a solid colour tip at the extreme end. However, a tail which is solid in colour on top and ringed on the underside is not a fault. Kittens should not be penalised for not showing their full markings.

Although not preferred, the colour of the hair tips is commonly a little darker and/or a little colder than in the non-tabby equivalents. Markings will be less obvious in dilute colours, where there is less potential for colour variation. Chocolate and dilute varieties may not gain full leg markings until up to eighteen months of age.

Recognized colours are Seal, Blue, Chocolate, Lilac, Red and Cream.

SEAL TABBY POINT

Body colour: cream, with a golden hue, shading to pale, warm fawn on the back. Kittens are paler.

Point colour: clearly-defined dense, warm seal brown markings.

Eye colour: deep blue.

Nose leather: seal brown, pink or pink edged in seal brown, to harmonise with shade of point colour.

BLUE TABBY POINT

Body colour: glacial white, free of markings. Shading, if any, to tone with the points but of a lighter shade.

Point colour: clearly-defined cold-toned blue markings. Paler shades are preferred.

Eye colour: bright blue.

Nose leather: blue, pink or pink edged in blue, to harmonise with shade of point colour.

CHOCOLATE TABBY POINT

Body colour: ivory, free of markings. Shading, if any, to tone with the points, but of a lighter shade.

Point colour: clearly-defined warm milk chocolate markings. Paler shades are preferred.

Eye colour: bright blue.

Nose leather: pinkish chocolate, pink or pink edged in pinkish chocolate, to harmonise with shade of point colour.

LILAC TABBY POINT

Body colour: off-white (magnolia), free of markings. Shading, if any, to tone with the points but of a lighter shade.

Point colour: clearly-defined soft pinkish grey markings. Paler shades are preferred.

Eye colour: bright blue.

Nose leather: pinkish grey, pink or pink edged in pinkish grey, to harmonise with shade of point colour.

RED TABBY POINT

Body colour: milky white, free from markings. Shading, if any, to tone with the points but of a lighter shade.

Point colour: clearly-defined rich apricot markings. Brighter shades are preferred.

Eye colour: deep blue.

Nose leather: rose red, to harmonise with shade of point colour.

CREAM TABBY POINT

Body colour: warm white, free from markings. Shading, if any, to tone with the points but of a lighter shade.

Point colour: clearly-defined rich cream markings. Paler shades are preferred.

Eye colour: bright blue.

Nose leather: dusty rose, to harmonise with shade of point colour.

NOTE:

Slight freckling on a mature cat should not be penalised, where it may occur on nose, lips, eyelids or ears.

TORTOISESHELL TABBY POINT GROUP

The tortoiseshell pattern is superimposed over the tabby pattern, in all recognised colours. Definition of colour is less likely to be seen on Tortoiseshell Tabby Points and generally much less than in solid colour cats, though it should still be aimed for. Ears are mottled.

SEAL TORTOISESHELL TABBY POINT

Body colour: cream, with a golden hue, shading to pale, warm fawn on the back. Kittens are paler.

Point colour: clearly-defined, bright warm shades of dense seal brown, red and/or cream markings.

Eye colour: deep blue.

Nose leather: plain, blotched or rimmed in seal brown, rose red and/or dusty rose, to harmonise with shade of point colour.

BLUE TORTOISESHELL TABBY POINT

Body colour: glacial white, free from markings. Shading, if any, to tone with points but of a lighter shade.

Point colour: clearly-defined cold-toned blue and cream markings. Paler shades are preferred.

Eye colour: bright blue.

Nose leather: plain, blotched or rimmed in blue and/or dusty rose, to harmonise with shade of point colour.

CHOCOLATE TORTOISESHELL TABBY POINT

Body colour: ivory, free from markings. Shading, if any, to tone with points but of a lighter shade.

Point colour: clearly-defined warm milk chocolate, paler shades preferred, red and/or cream markings.

Eye colour: bright blue.

Nose leather: plain, blotched or rimmed in pinkish chocolate, rose red and/or dusty rose, to harmonise with shade of point colour.

LILAC TORTOISESHELL TABBY POINT

Body colour: off-white (magnolia), free from markings. Shading, if any, to tone with points but of a lighter shade.

Point colour: clearly-defined soft pinkish grey and cream markings. Paler shades are preferred.

Eye colour: bright blue.

Nose leather: plain, blotched or rimmed in pinkish grey and/or dusty rose, to harmonise with shade of point colour.

TABBY POINT FAULTS: Lack of tabby pattern on points.

Lack of ground colour.

Lack of contrast between markings and ground colour.

Tabby markings on the body of adults. Light ghost striping on kittens is acceptable.


SILVER GROUP

SMOKE POINT (Non-agouti Silver)

Colour is restricted to the points as in all himalayan-patterned cats.

The Smoke Point has an undercoat as white as possible with the hair tips shading to defined colours. The points are solid in colour with a narrow band at the base of the hairs next to the skin that is as white as possible. This is seen only when the fur is parted

Definition of colour is less likely to be seen on Smoke Points than in solid colour pointed cats, though it should still be aimed for. Also, although not preferred, the colour of the hair tips is commonly a little darker and/or a little colder than in the non silver equivalents. Markings will be less obvious in dilute colours, where there is less potential for colour variation. Chocolate and dilute varieties may not gain full leg markings until up to eighteen months of age.

Smoke kittens undergo many coat changes. Often, pigmentation is lost as moulting approaches. At this time, darkening appears at the roots and sometimes before maturity there are three colours on the hair fibres, sometimes even reversing the desired pattern. Smoke kittens should also not be penalised for slight ghost tabby markings.

In all other respects, the Smoke point is the same as the non-silver pointed variety. For colour details, reference should be made to the appropriate non-silver individual colour standards.

The pattern is recognized in all the basic colours - Seal, Blue, Chocolate, Lilac, Red, Cream and the Tortoiseshell varieties.

SILVER TABBY POINT (Agouti Silver)

The Silver Tabby Point has an undercoat as white as possible with the hair tips shading to defined colours. The points are solid in colour with a narrow band at the base of the hairs next to the skin that is as white as possible. This is seen only when the fur is parted

Markings are the same in other respects to the non-silver Tabby Point. The ears have solid colour, without stripes. There is a clear but paler thumb print on the back of the ear, which is less apparent in dilute colours. Silver Tortoiseshell Tabby Points have mottled ears, but may not show a thumb print. There should be a clearly-defined “M” on the forehead, with distinct stripes on the cheeks and darkly-spotted whisker pads. The mask has clearly-defined stripes, especially around the eyes and nose. Eye rims are a pinkish tone or darker, to harmonise with the point colour. Nose leather is also either of a pinkish tone, coloured to harmonise with the point colour or pinkish and outlined in colour which harmonises with the point colour.

Coat colour on the body is pale, free from markings of any kind. Colouring is to conform to the recognized pointed colour standard.

Legs have varied-sized broken stripes, with solid colour on the back of the hind legs up the hocks. Points should all be the same colour, but in some colours paws may be lighter in colour. The tail preferably shows varied-sized clearly-defined rings, ending in a solid colour tip at the extreme end. However, a tail which is solid in colour on top and ringed on the underside is not a fault. Kittens should not be penalised for not showing their full markings.

Although not preferred, the colour of the hair tips is commonly a little darker and/or a little colder than in the non-tabby equivalents. Markings will be less obvious in dilute colours, where there is less potential for colour variation. Chocolate and dilute varieties may not gain full leg markings until up to eighteen months of age.

Recognized colours are Seal, Blue, Chocolate, Lilac, Red and Cream and the Tortoiseshell varieties.