THE BIRMAN JUDGING STANDARD
In order to assist our breeders and new breeders to our group, we have added a copy of our standard so that it may be used as a guide to what we conform to with our Birmans on the show bench today. Every Birman breeder in our group should have a copy of this document as a guide to our breed.
AUSTRALIAN CAT FEDERATION INC
Body: Medium weight, longish body. Short strong and well-proportioned legs, feet round.
Head: Strong rounded slightly rounded in the muzzle. Head broader than high. Forehead slopes well back, slightly convex in profile, with a flatter appearance in front of and between the ears.
Eyes: Almost round, not bold, and in repose the upper lid should appear to be flatter, less rounded than the lower. Colour deep blue for seals and bright blue for other colours.
Ears: Medium in length, almost as wide at the base as they are tall. Tips slightly rounded, set as much to the side as on top of the head.
Nose: Medium in length and width, in proportion to size of head; slight dip, not a stop, between the start of the nose and the convex forehead. Roman shape in profile with nostrils set low on the nose leather. Looking from above and behind the nose will not protrude greatly, but should form part of an imaginary semi-oval line from cheek to cheek. Full cheeks help to achieve this.
Profile: The forehead slopes back and is slightly convex. The medium length nose which starts just below the eyes, is Roman in shape (which is slightly convex) with the nostrils set low on the nose leather. The chin is full and well developed, slightly tapered but not receding.
Cheeks: Full with somewhat rounded muzzle. The fur is short in appearance about the face, but to the extreme outer area of the cheek the fur is longer.
Tail: Tail to be wider at the base tapering to a rounded tip. Medium in length fully plumed.
Coat: Medium in length, silken in texture. Full ruff around the neck, slightly curled on stomach. Fur of such texture that it will not mat.
Colour: The coat pattern of the Birman resembles that of the Siamese on face, ears, legs and tail (e.g. brown in seal point). Mask, ears, legs and tail are clearly defined (except in kittens). On reaching maturity, the mask covers the entire face, including whisker pads and is connected to the ears by tracings. The rest of the coat is a very pale egg-shell tint: a golden hue on the back may be present in all varieties, and the belly is off-white.
Gloves: The specific characteristics of the Birman are its four white paws (called gloves). They must be absolutely pure white and may stop at the base of the toes or go up as far as the joint between the foot and the leg, but not beyond this point. Some allowance may be made for gloves slightly longer on the back feet. The ideal is for an even distribution on all four feet. On the back feet, the white should taper off to a point under the hock.
The ideal white gauntlet should end between 1/2 and 2/3 of the distance from the paw pad and the joint (hock) of the hind leg; it is desirable that the point of the gauntlet does not reach the end of the joint and it should certainly not extend over this, being seen as the end of the glove on the hind leg. Of paramount importance in the gloves is uniformity and symmetry both between the front legs and the back legs.
Remarks: This standard, as for other breeds, describes the perfect cat. Faultless specimens are exceptional but faults are more apparent in the Birman due to the white markings where any defect is obvious at first sight. Cats having the greatest balance and regularity in the gloves should be selected but other general qualities should not be disregarded. It is the overall harmony which constitutes the beauty of the Birman and it is from this point of view that it should be judged. White patches in the coloured parts (points) are a disqualifying fault and cats with this defect should not be used for breeding. The same applies to dark spots in the white gloves. In general the head should not resemble that of a Persian, neither should it go to the other extreme of a Siamese-type head.
Scale of points:
- Body = 20 points
- Head & eyes - shape & colour = 20 points
- Body colour & points = 15 points
- Front gloves - symmetry = 5 points
- Back gloves - symmetry = 5 points
- Tapering of back gloves (to point) = 5 points
- Overall symmetry of four gloves = 5 points
- Tail = 10 points
- Coat length, texture and quality = 10 points
- Condition = 5 points
- Total = 100 points
The colours recognised in Birmans are:
Seal point, blue point, chocolate point, lilac point, red point, cream point, caramel point, apricot point. Tabby points, tortie point, silver tabby point, silver tortie tabby point, smoke points in the above colours.