Birman cat colors and how to feed and care for him

The Sacred Birman, or Burmese, is a breed of cat originating in France.
This medium-sized cat is characterized by its semi-long coat, which has the same colorpoint pattern as the Siamese but its feet are pure white, as if it had gloves, an element that characterizes the breed. The Burmese's eyes are deep blue.

This French breed has been able to develop successfully throughout the world.
It was introduced in the United States between 1950 and 1960 and in England from 1965, for many years it has occupied the top ten of the most popular breeds.
In his country of origin, his popularity continues to grow and he is the second most represented breed.
Topmodel Baptiste Giabiconi and fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld who named his “Choupette” have sacred Birmans, contributing to the popularity of this breed.

Halfway between the Siamese, whose markings and colors it has, and the Persian, whose fur it partially inherited, the Sacred Birman must be considered as a breed quite apart because it must meet very specific requirements. particular at the level of the distribution of the color which must be colorpoint with white gloving, the quality of the coat, as well as the morphology.

This cat is medium sized. It has a massive, moderately long body and a heavy boning.
A frame that is too thin leads to penalties.
Its back is straight and regular, its legs are of medium size, well muscled and their bone structure, like the rest of the body, is strong.
However, they must remain proportional to the body.
At the tip, the feet are large and round.
The tail is medium in size and in proportion to the body6.

The face is neither flattened like that of the Persian, nor pointed like that of the Siamese.
If a Burmese has a head characteristic of one of these two breeds, this is considered a defect.
The head is medium sized, broad and rounded.
You can see in profile that it is slightly longer than it is wide.

She features full cheeks and a slightly rounded forehead. The muzzle is broad with a strong chin.
The Burmese has a Roman profile, that is to say a short, hooked and straight nose.
The eyes are large, not quite round and set well apart.
They are always blue. The most intense blue (almost indigo color) is the most sought after color.
Kittens have darker blue eyes.

Around the age of sixteen weeks the color of the eyes is stabilized.
The ears are medium to large in size and they are almost as wide as they are high.
The tip is rounded and the inside of the ear flap is well furnished with hair.
They should not be too far apart.

Coat and fur:
Its fur is medium-long, very silky and the hair does not tangle because the undercoat is light.
We can notice different lengths of hair all over the body: short on the face, it lengthens from the cheeks to an important collarette, especially in males.
It becomes even longer on the back and sides. Under the belly, the hair can frizz.

The only authorized dress is colourpoint with white leg gloves.
This is one of the particular characteristics of the breed but also one of the main difficulties in breeding.
Hind leg gloves in particular should end in a point on the underside of the legs.
During feline competitions, the absence of gloves even constitutes grounds for the disqualification of the cat.

Gloves that are too short, or, on the contrary, too long are faults, as are white spots on the chin, throat or belly (unlike the mitted ragdoll with which it is regularly confused).
On the other hand, any colored spot on the glove is a serious and disqualifying fault for the feline judges.
The white-tipped tail is a criterion for disqualification.

The front legs have white gloves ending in a straight line at the junction between the foot and the paw.
The hind legs have white gloves going up in a straight line on the back of the leg and ending in a point from half to three-quarters of the heel (spurs).
A regularity between the height of the front and rear gloves is desirable.
The pads are pink in color and/or a color corresponding to the base color of the cat6.

Most associations only recognize four varieties.
However, new varieties are beginning to be recognized.
But the creation of varieties arouses controversy among breeders because it involves crossing with other breeds.
Some breeders think that there is then a risk of modifying the morphological type and the type of coat, to the detriment of the quality of the glove.

Originally the sacred cat of Burma is of the color seal colorpoint, which is the black gene.
All the other colors as well as the tabby, tortie, torbie, smoke and silver patterns were imported from other breeds and this following a strict protocol to keep the criteria of the Burmese breed8.
The basic colors are:

- The seal point: the points are dark brown, the body is pale cream, the nose is dark brown while the pads are pink and dark brown.

- The chocolate point:
the points are milk chocolate, the body is ivory, the nose is pink cinnamon while the pads are pink and light chocolate.

- The blue point:
the points are blue-grey, the body is bluish white, the nose is slate blue while the pads are pink and blue-grey.

- The lilac point:
the points are pinkish steel gray, the body is icy white, the nose is mauve while the pads are pink and lavender-pink.

- The red point:
the points are red (red), the body is almost white cream, the nose is pink while the pads are pink.

- The cream point:
this color is produced by the dilution of the roux gene (red).
This produces a color that is a little paler and less vibrant than the roux.
It should be noted that cats carrying the lilac color gene have a paler body color.

This breed is fixed. No out-of-race marriages are permitted.
Interbreeding for the introduction of a new color is done within a strict framework, after acceptance of a detailed program subject to the prior acceptance of the competent register of origins.

The sacred cat of Burma is often described as an affectionate and gentle cat.
Some breeders describe the Birman as a playful cat.
It is said that despite its resemblance to the Siamese, it would not have the character since it would be calm and soft-spoken.
Sociable, he would adapt well to family life.

However, these character traits remain perfectly individual and depend on the history of each cat.
The sacred cat of Burma does not like to live alone, he is bored, and prefers the company of other cats of the same breed.

As with all colorpoint breeds, Burmese kittens are born entirely white.
For the color seal around the 3rd day the nose begins to color; for the blue color around the 5th day; for the chocolate color around the 7th day; for the lilac color on the 10th day.
In order to see the glove properly, you have to wait between one month for the seal color and three months for the lilac color.

The red color being a dense gene appears like the seal, the cream color (dilution of the red gene) appears like the lilac.
The coat color remains paler when the cat carries the lilac gene.
For tabbies, the contour of the nose determines the color.
The optimum in the contrast and the quality of the dots is not obtained until around two to three years of age9.

The points of the sacred cat of Burma are the effect of the same gene which acts in the Siamese.
This one was named Cs. However the origin of the gloves remains controversial.
The most plausible hypothesis is that these white variegations come from the cumulative action of several genes with weak individual effects.

This would explain the difficulty of fixing the size of the gloves.
It is important to handpick male and female breeders who do not have a gloved hand.