For me this purebreed is the most beautiful, and i have a strong preference for the old type Birman. You don't see them very often on show, most of the cats are mixed with a Persian, so a pretty and fuller coated cat the result. This is very beautiful, but it does require more maintenance. Our cat Fiona is from the old type, and when we look for a stud our choice is always Great International Champion Belgarion Donkersnoet, as long he is available. He has a very full coat,and the combination always gives very good looking kittens. The only problem is the distance since we have to dirve to central Holland. Our Fiona is seal-point and Belgarion blue-tabby point. Although Fiona is not herselve a tabby seal-point, she has a lot of blue-tabby kittens in each litter.
The history of this cat is very mysterious. In most of the books you read different stories about the origin of the breed. One story is more likely than the other, but we won't discuss it here. It is certain that the first Saint Birman was shown in Paris in 1926, although there is still a discussion as whether the cat was from Burma or was breeded in France. The original colour was seal-point but since then all sorts of variety have been allowed, i.e. blue, cream, chocolate, lilac and red-point. All are available in tabby, tortie or tortie tabby.
The illustration alongside is the first litter of Fiona with Belgarion as stud.
If you look hard, you can find five kittens looking for a nipple. The litter is 3 days old here on the picture. It is surprissing to see that they are complete white when they are born, however after a few weeks (+/-3) the colour starts to appear.
Below you can see the same litter a few weeks later.
You can see the change of colour first becomes first visible at the ears and than the tail. Even the tabby outline is visuable (white line round the ear). You can imagine that it's easy to make mistakes, certainly with the lighter toned cats. It is very diffecult. After 18 months, the colours of the Saint Birman are completed.
Now we'll explain how the markings must be, as in the books. The foreleg must have equal white stockings, not to small, not to big and without any other colours. On the hind legs, the stocking must end in a upside down V at the back. The ears must bow a little bit to the front.At the base of the fur the color must be almost white. The tail must be full, bushy, and evenly coloured. Eyes should be oveal, surrounded with the point colour. The mask covers the whole face, and also the chin and the wiskers.
Last update: 21/04/02
Created and Maintained by: Marc Thys
Graphics copyright Thys Marc, 2000-2001
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