A Birman is an extremely beautiful semi long haired cat.

Its colouring is very attractive, having pointing, i.e. intense colouring to the points, face, legs, ears and tail, and a pale toning body colour. The ideal Birman cat has wonderful blue eyes and four pure white feet. The front gloves covering only the feet, but the rear socks extending up behind the leg to a long pointed gauntlet.

The standard of points describes the body as being long and massive, with thick set medium length legs and short strong paws. The head is broad and rounded with well spaced medium size ears, the nose is medium in length with a slight dip in the profile, but without the stop seen in Persian cats. The Birman chin should be well developed, and the eyes not round but with a slightly flattened top.

Most Birmans are known as especially loving and affectionate, having been bred as companion cats for many generations. They love human company and take an intelligent interest in everything their human families do.

Birman cats come in twenty different colours, so there is bound to be at least one or two or even more, for you to fall in love with.

The original colour (and still a great favourite) is the Seal Point (13c1). When mature a Seal Point should have immense contrasts between its dark brown points and golden body colour. The tips of the hairs on the body can vary in colour, from a pale gold to a dark warm 'toasted' gold. Cats kept for breeding and those living in the colder parts of the country tend on average to become darker in the body than neutered adults.

The Blue Point (13c2) This is the dilute version of the Seal Point. The Blue Point Birman has bluish grey points and a colder body colour. It is a softer version of the Seal Point and a great favourite as will be seen by anyone studying show results - as the Blue Point classes are usually the largest in the Birman section.

The Chocolate Points (13c3) have warm milk chocolate colouring to their points and a very pale body colour, they are also noted for having exceptionally deep blue eyes.

The Lilac Points (13c4) are the dilute version of the Chocolate Point Birman, and have very delicate colouring, a good Lilac Point will have a soft pinkish grey colouring to its points and a cool almost pearl glow to the coat.

The Red Point Birman (13c5) These are a great contrast to the Lilac Point, a mature Red will have fiery orange-red points and a pale apricot tinge to its coat, any hair tipping on the cats back will be of red gold.

The Cream Point (13c7) Cream Points are a dilute version of the Red Point Birman, a Cream Point adult will have pale soft pinkish brown points and a very pale body colour. Like the Lilac Point the Cream Points give the impression of almost ethereal beauty.

Tortie Point: Only female cats can be Tortie Point, and they come as Seal Tortie (13c6) Blue Tortie (13c8), Chocolate Tortie (13c9) and Lilac Tortie (13c10). Their points colours will be seal, blue, chocolate or lilac, intermingled with shades of Red and Cream. Body colour will vary from shades of gold with Seal Tortie to pearly white with the Lilac Tortie.

Tabby Points: Have beautiful little Tiger faces, striped legs and ringed tails. They are very striking in appearance, and come in the six main Birman colours. Seal Tabby Point (13c11) Blue Tabby Point (13c12) Chocolate Tabby Point (13c13) Lilac Tabby Point (13c14) Red Tabby Point (13c15) and Cream Tabby Point (13c17). There are very few Red and Cream Tabby Point Birmans and they are rarely seen on the show bench.

Tortie Tabby Points: These colours are sex related and are all female. They carry both the Tabby Point and Tortie Point genes so can be very useful to anyone wishing to breed several different colour Birmans, but only wanting one or two queens, Unfortunately they are still very rare. They can be bred in the four Tortie colours - Seal Tortie Tabby Point (13c16) Blue Tortie Tabby Point (13c18) Chocolate Tortie Tabby Point (13c19) and Lilac Tortie Tabby Point (13c20)

Anne Madden
Publicity Officer BCC