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The breed standard

About the standard

The Sacred Birman is a colour point cat with silky semi long hair and white feet. It is a strongly built cat of medium size with a relatively heavy bone structure, well muscled and harmonic outline. The legs are thick and medium length with strong paws. The tail is of medium length and well furnished. In top condition the coat presents a full ruff around the neck. The cat is lively and intelligent. The normal weight of a female is around 3,5 kilos and males weigh from 5 kilos on.

Because the head and the whit markings are very characteristic of the breed, here is some more information about these parts.

 HEAD

desired profile                       acceptable profile                              unacceptable profile

standaard-3standaard-1standaard-2The head is slightly wedge-shaped and has a rounded skull. The forehead is convex, a bit rounded above the eyes and rather flat on top. The cat has broad cheeks with powerful jaws and a full chin. Seen in profile the head presents a roman profile, a medium length bold nose with a slight dip, not a stop.
The ears are rather low set and wide, of moderate size, at the basis as broad as their height and are well furnished. The top of the ear is rounded.
The eyes are deep blue in colour (sapphire blue), almost round or somewhat oval. They have to be placed on a straight line, the outer corners a bit higher than the inner, creating the special “look” of the breed.

 MARKINGS

The markings of a show quality cat have to meet severe criteria. The only spots on the body where a white coat is allowed are the feet, white spots on all other parts of the body will lead to disqualification in shows. The markings have to respect a minimum and a maximum limit as indicated in the figures underneath.

 Minimum limits of markings for show cats

standaard-4

Maximum limits of markings for show cats

standaard-5The gloves of the front feet are symmetrical and do not exceed the joint of paws and feet. At the backside the white should not be higher than the sixth toe. The white socks of the hind feet cover the entire paw and taper up the back of the leg until about 2/3 of the hocks, the so called gauntlets.

 NOT ACCEPTABLE

  •  The lack of one ore two gauntlets on hind feet.
  • White spots in coloured parts or vice versa. White spot on genitals.
  • A coloured toe of coloured spots in white markings.
  • White on the side or the back of the front legs going up high (runners).
  • Grossly asymmetric markings of gloves and Socks.
  • Squint.
  • Node or fracture in tail.
  • Nose leather not pigmented.

 The breed standard describes the ideal cat. Although there are hardly any perfect cats the faults of the Sacred Birman compared to the breed standard can easily be seen, because of the white markings. In principle breeders should use cats presenting the best possible marking, but not without forgetting the total type of the cat. What makes a Birman such a special cat is the harmonic total: type of head and body, markings and character.