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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 slight 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.

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 50
Coat length and texture 10
Coat colour 10
Gloves and gauntlets 20 40
Eye colour 5
Overall condition 5 10
Total 100

FAULTS / PENALTIES
REFER TO GENERAL LIST OF FAULTS 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 spearhead positioned just below the middle of the hock. Higher markings are acceptable, but should not extend beyond the heel.

PAW PADS: Are 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.

 

lilac pt Birman