This unusually beautiful breed actually came about by accident! According the history of the Burmilla breeding , we can thank two cats and the cleaner for this creation. As the story goes, in 1981 one night in England, while two cats were in their respective rooms, an unaware cleaner left the door open. Taking advantage of the opportunity, a Chinchilla Persian named Sanquist, and a lilac Burmese named Faberge bred that night, producing four kittens . The breeders were so taken with the adorable kittens that a new breed was created.
The Burmilla breed is medium-sized weighing between 3-6 kg. The Persian contributed its elegant body lines, while the Burmese contributed its muscular build, giving this cat elegant strength.
Poto by:© © Jenny Bonner - istockphoto.com
The ears, medium to large with a rounded tip, are broad at the base and set moderately apart and show a slight tilt forward. Their outer line continues that of the face.
The face of the Burmilla also displays its unique heritage. The Burmilla cat have distinctive “make up” lining the nose, lips and eyes. This breed have large and expressive eyes, which many consider their best feature: set well apart on a slightly oblique angle. Interestingly , the upper lid forms a distinct line towards the nose, while the lower lid is fuller and rounder. Once again, owing to the contributions of Sandquist and Faberge, the Burmilla’s eyes are green and yet yellow. In kittens there is often an outer yellow rim, while in adults green eyes pervade. But of course, there are exceptions, as in the case of Reds, Creams and Torties. These specific Burmillas can have amber in their eyes, as a result of the Orange gene (O), which expresses itself in yellow in the eye color.
Another feature of the Burmilla cat breed is their beautiful silver coat, which can be short or semi-long. Semi long hair Burmilla are known as Tiffanie in GCCF. (The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF).
Most Burmilla will have a short coat, owing to its Burmese parentage. Many owners love to run their fingers through this type of coat, as its silky feel matches the beautiful sheen. The coat even has a bit of a padded feel to it, as it also has a thick undercoat. Not to be outdone, the Chinchilla can also contribute its recessive long hair gene, which creates the Long Hair Burmilla. This beautiful, silky coat outlines the body’s shape, culminating in a plumed tail.
For a quick genetics lesson on the Burmilla’s coat, consider these possibilities. Short Hair Burmillas result from each parent contributing a dominant short hair gene. When two Long Hair Burmillas mate, the cat will have long hair. For more information about the coat length genetics please visit Longhaired Cats By Sarah Hartwell.
The Burmilla comes in a variety of colors, including black, blue, brown, chocolate and lilac. As breeding of this type of cat continues, now it can also be found with red, cream and tortoisehell (calico) varieties. Some cat organizations recognize these varieties, but others, such as CCCA in Australia, still do not recognize them. For more information about the colors and color genetics please click here.
If your Burmilla is short haired, its coat requires no extra grooming besides that of normal, weekly grooming. However, this cat loves the attention and would happily let you groom it all day long. If your Burmilla is long haired, it requires daily grooming like all other long haired cat breeds.
The Burmilla’s nose color matches that of its coat, and outlined in the matching coat shading color. Even their paw pads match their coat color! For instance, a black will have black or very dark brown paw pads and brown will have dark brown. And chocolate actually have pinkish brown pads, blues have blue-grey and lilacs have gray with a touch of pink.
The Burmilla is a cat possessed with a wonderful temperament. Sandquist’s descendants enjoy the impish and playful character of the Burmese, while Faberge contributed the quieter, easy going nature of the Chinchilla. If you’re looking for a cat that loves to be in the center of your world, the Burmilla will do fine. Their sociable nature allows them to live with children and other animals with ease.
Burmillas are adorable kittens, who even retain much of their mischievousness into adulthood. As they’re highly intelligent, you will enjoy watching them play with anything and everything around them. They’ve been known to open door handles and like many cats, cupboard doors are easily opened. Their playfulness will keep you entertained, and your Burmilla will often play at an intense pace, only to suddenly stop and find a warm, cozy place (preferably you) for a nap. Sounds just like a kitten! But this cat will keep its playfulness well into adulthood.
To keep your Burmilla in top shape, it should be fed the best food possible. It will enjoy raw meat (but like all cats, never feed it cooked bones), dry and canned food. And as with all cats, keep plenty of fresh water around.