Burmilla Cat Breed
The Burmilla cat breed is a breed of domestic cat which originated in the United Kingdom in 1981. It is a cross between the Chinchilla Persian and Burmese breeds. Standards were produced in 1984, and the breed gained championship status in the United Kingdom in the 1990s
The Burmilla cat was originally created accidentally in the United Kingdom. Two cats, a Chinchilla Persian named Sanquist, and Piputah Pweedledee which was a Brown tortie burmese were both awaiting a partner of their own breed in different rooms. One night the cleaner left the door open. The two cats bred, producing four kittens born in 1981 that were so adorable that a new breed was born. The breeder realized how attractive such a breed could be and went on to develop what became known as the Burmilla.
In GCCF (Governing Council of the Cat Fancy), the Burmilla is considered part of the Asian cat breed. It is accepted in FIFe as the Burmilla. Only the Shaded and Tipped Silver varieties have been recognised in FIFe, CCCA, ACF and CFA as the Burmilla. As of late 2011 the Golden Shaded and Tipped Burmilla is also recognised within FIFe. One governing body in Australia has used the name Australian Tiffanie, however, there is not international acceptance and standardisation for this breed – Tiffany has been used to describe many different breeds having the appearance from Ragdoll to Birman and may contain any of these breeds and more. Many Australian Tiffanies in Australia contain more than three-quarters Persian Chinchilla and retain the appearance and temperament of the Old Fashioned Chinchilla. The name’s use is declining in favour due to the lax standards for the breed name, the lack of unique identity and varied genetic makeup.
The Burmilla cat is recognized by Britain’s Governing Council of the Cat Fancy and Europe’s Federation Internationale Feline. The breed entered the Cat Fanciers Association Miscellaneous Class in February 2011.
The Burmilla cat brings together aspects of the Burmese and the Persian into one sweet, friendly package. He is quietly affectionate and gentle but more extroverted than the typical Persian. He is adventurous but a bit of a klutz, so put away breakables when he is around.
Burmilla cats remain playful into adulthood. They love their people, but they aren’t excessively demanding of attention. When a lap is available, though, the Burmilla cat is there.
The Burmilla cat is quite an irreverent and independent cat who adores its owner and displays many kitten-like characteristics even into adulthood. In temperament they are sociable, playful, and affectionate, and get along well with children and other animals. Burmilla cats should be fed a balanced diet of raw meat, canned food, or dry food. Weekly brushing of the coat is recommended.
The Burmilla’s short, smooth coat is simple to groom with weekly brushing or combing to remove dead hairs. A bath is rarely necessary. Brush or comb a longhaired Burmilla cat two or three times a week.
Brush the teeth to prevent periodontal disease. Daily dental hygiene is best, but weekly brushing is better than nothing. Trim the nails weekly. Wipe the corners of the eyes with a soft, damp cloth to remove any discharge. Use a separate area of the cloth for each eye so you don’t run the risk of spreading any infection.
Check the ears weekly. If they look dirty, wipe them out with a cotton ball or soft damp cloth moistened with a 50-50 mixture of cider vinegar and warm water. Avoid using cotton swabs, which can damage the interior of the ear.
Keep the litter box spotlessly clean. Cats are very particular about bathroom hygiene.
It’s a good idea to keep a Burmilla as an indoor-only cat to protect him from diseases spread by other cats, attacks by dogs or coyotes, and the other dangers that face cats who go outdoors, such as being hit by a car. Burmilla cats who go outdoors also run the risk of being stolen by someone who would like to have such a beautiful cat without paying for it.
Coat, Color and Grooming
Besides their sweet personalities, Burmilla cats stand out for their coats, which have a silver-white background color that is tipped or shaded with a contrasting color. In Burmilla cats with a tipped pattern, the color tips about 1/8 of the entire hair length and is evenly distributed, giving the coat a sparkling appearance. Burmilla cats with tipped coats generally look lighter than Burmillas with shaded coats. In the shaded pattern, about 1/3 of the hair shaft is shaded, which is why the shaded cats look darker. Colors in both tipped and shaded patterns include black, brown, lilac, blue, chocolate, cream, red and tortoiseshell.
The silky coat can be shorthaired or longhaired. Longhairs may have ear tufts and a fully plumed tail.
In all other respects, they look much like the European Burmese with a gently rounded head that tapers to a short, blunt wedge; medium-size to large ears with slightly rounded tips that tilt forward a bit; large eyes that can be any shade of green; and a medium-size body with slender legs, neat oval paws, and a tail that tapers to a rounded tip.
Burmilla with Children and other pets
The gentle and playful Burmilla cat is well suited to life with families with children and cat-friendly dogs. He can learn tricks, enjoys interactive toys, and loves the attention he receives from children who treat him politely and with respect. Supervise young children and show them how to pet the cat nicely. Instead of holding or carrying the cat, have them sit on the floor and pet him. Always introduce any pets, even other cats, slowly and in a controlled setting.
The Burmilla is medium sized cat with a muscular yet elegant body. The head is sculptured in appearance, where the rounded top head, nose profile, medium broad muzzle and well-developed chin set the balance. The eyes can be any shade of green and are often greenish gold to yellowish in youth, with the green coming in as they mature. The overall look should be somewhat like a Burmese, but with a sweeter, more open expression. Their distinguishing feature is their sparkling silver coat, and distinctive “make up” lining the nose, lips and eyes. The Burmilla cat comes in two coat lengths, semi longhair and shorthair.
The Burmilla cat is an irreverent and independent cat that adores its owner and displays many kitten-like characteristics even into adulthood. The temperament of the Burmilla cat is quite exceptional. The demanding and mischievous nature of the Burmese, mixed with the easy going and laid back personality of the Chinchilla Persian, makes the Burmilla sociable, playful, and affectionate. Fun loving, yet quiet and gentle, this sweet natured cat gets along well with children and other animals. In all, an intelligent inquisitive nature and a most affectionate seductive personality are some irresistible qualities of the Burmilla cat.
The Burmilla Longhair is a true semi-longhair, with a fine silky coat, feathering to the underside, britches, plume and bib. These cats should not require intensive grooming and should not look like a pet quality Chinchilla, i.e. big full coat, short legs and cobby body, extreme short face and little ears. They should be a Burmilla in fancy dress.
Burmillas are still quite a rare breed in the United States. Look for kittens available from reputable breeders around sixteen weeks of age, after they have been well socialized and have had their inoculations. Keeping such a rare treasure inside; neutering or spaying and providing acceptable surfaces scratching posts (CFA disapproves of declawing) are essential elements for maintaining a healthy, long and joyful life.