Silkencats Birmans


Show Markings


What is the Birman Standard?


The Birman Standard is a detailed description of what a show quality purebred Birman should look like.  Every breed has its own standard.  When you see the judges at a cat show handling and looking over the cats, what they are doing is making a determination as to how well the cat meets the standard for its particular breed.  At CFA shows, the standard is based on a system of 100 points--a cat who scores 100 points meets its standard perfectly.  Each breed council decides which characteristics of its breed are most important to the uniqueness of the breed, and assigns the most points to those features.


For the Birman, the HEAD, BODY TYPE and COAT are assigned 65 points, with the following breakdown:

 

HEAD~

including boning, nose, jaw, chin, profile, ear & eye shape & set....30

BODY and TYPE~

including boning, stockiness, elongation, legs, tail............................25

COAT~

including length, texture, ruff.............................................................10


COLOR is assigned the remaining 35 points.  This section also includes the markings of the gloves, a feature which is considered a "trademark" of this breed.


COLOR EXCEPT GLOVES~

including body color, point color, eye color.......................................15

GLOVES~

including front & rear gloves, laces & symmetry..............................20




        

 

What is a pet quality Birman?


Basically, a pet quality Birman is one that does not meet the Birman Breed Standard.  For the most part, this is a subjective decision made by the breeder.  The overall proportions of the cat as well as the individual parts need to be considered.  One of the least subjective areas involves the white gloving on the Birman's feet.  The standard is very precise about what is acceptable on a show quality cat.  "Controlling" the gloving is a difficult task for Birman breeders, mainly because you really can't "control" Mother Nature!  Many Birmans are considered to be pet quality simply because the white gloving and/or laces on their feet does not meet the description in the show standard--there might be too little white on the feet, or too much white, or a lack of symmetry of the gloves on either the front feet or the back feet, or a "missing" lace or glove, etc.

 

Sometimes even a Birman with perfectly marked gloving can still be considered as pet quality, due to the breeder's opinion that there is some other aspect to the cat's type, coat, coloring, etc. that would make success in the show ring difficult.  Despite the fact that these cats may not be considered show cats, they will still be wonderful, beautiful companions for their owners at home!



This picture shows ideal Birman gloves and laces.

It is rare for a cat to have perfect markings on all four feet.


Birman gloving





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