Burmilla – Cat Breeds

by catfood

The Burmilla’s appearance is that of an elegant cat of foreign type and medium size.


The disposition of the Burmilla combines the best of both parent breeds: the lively, mischievous, demanding Burmese is balanced by the calm, easy-going, friendly Chinchilla Persian. Some have praised the Burmilla’s distinct and compelling personality. Burmilla kittens are daring and adventurous, and they grow into sweet-natured, people-oriented adults.

Burmillas, while not as energetic as Burmese, are full of life and like a good game of catnip toy handling. Their favorite games, on the other hand, are those they play with their human counterparts. Whirling feathers, laser light toys, circular toys to fetch again and again—all of these excite the Burmilla. If you’re not present to share the fun, a ball of scrap paper will suffice.


They, like the Burmese, are extremely curious and intelligent; whatever you have concealed in that secluded chamber or closet will be thoroughly investigated by the inquisitive Burmilla. This persistent breed will find a way into that closed door or cupboard, especially if they realize you don’t want them to. Anything left out in the open is also fair game; don’t expect your keys, socks, glass cases, pens, or handbag contents to stay where you put them. Small moving objects quickly become toys. Keep an eye out for your Burmilla pounding out texts to their Burmilla mates.

Your devoted and affectionate Burmilla will want to cuddle into your lap or arms after a good romp, or curl up alongside you on the couch for some rubbing, purring, and catnapping. Burmillas are not particularly talkative, but they do have a booming, deep-throated purr that they activate the instant you slip your hand down their silky backs. Overall, the clever, affectionate, and captivating demeanor of the Burmilla is what draws the breed’s many followers.


The Burmilla cat breed was created by an unintentional cross between a silver Chinchilla male named Jemari Sanquist and a platinum European Burmese female named Bambino Lilac Fabergé in England in the early 1980s.

Miranda Bickford-Smith, an Englishwoman, had bought Sanquist as a pet for her husband. However, Sanquist had crossed with a Burmese female just before he was to be neutered. Soon after, it became evident that Chinchilla Sanquist would father a litter with Burmese Bambino. On September 11, 1981, Bambino gave birth to four Chinchilla/Burmese hybrids, all of whom were shorthaired shaded silver females.

Bickford-Smith named the kittens Galatea, Gemma, Gabriela, and Gisella, and after a few weeks, she was so taken with their charming foreign appearance and short dense coats that she asked a friend, Therese Clarke, for her thoughts on the cats. Clarke shared Bickford-enthusiasm Smith’s for the hybrids’ look and disposition, and the two collaborated to create them as the foundation of a new breed.

Clarke was very impressed with Galatea and Gemma from that first litter, so she kept Gemma to establish the Burmilla lines, while Bickford-Smith kept Galatea to do the same. Because one copy of the recessive gene for long hair must be inherited from each parent for long hair to manifest in a kitten’s physical appearance, a hybrid between the longhaired Chinchilla Persian and the shorthaired Burmese will always produce shorthaired offspring.

As a result, Gemma and Galatea had short hair, but they also had the recessive gene for long hair from their Chinchilla father and the recessive solid or’self’ gene from their Burmese mother. Both had interesting alien body and head characteristics, and Clarke and Bickford-Smith agreed that the new breed should resemble Gemma and Galatea while remaining distinct enough not to be confused with any current breed.


They then decided on a name for their new breed. They came up with the Burmilla (“Burm” for the Burmese, and “illa” for the Chinchilla) after some consideration, and believed it had a lovely ring to it. Miranda Bickford-Smith grew interested in the various variants developed throughout the breed’s evolution in 1983, while Clarke focused on the original shorthaired Burmilla pattern.

As a result, they resolved to expand their efforts and develop the breed in two ways: Bickford-Smith would focus on the Burmilla and its extra colors and hair lengths, while Clarke would concentrate on the Burmilla seen in the foundation cat Gemma. Bickford-Smith and Clarke founded the Burmilla Cat Club in 1984 to promote their new breeds.

The breed was introduced to North America in 1995 after crossing the Atlantic. The Burmilla Enthusiasts of America organization was founded to promote and enhance the breed. The breed, which is now recognized by five associations, is gaining popularity among Americans. The Burmilla is now available in both long and short hair lengths.

Physical Attributes


Size and length are both medium. Medium-width rounded chest. Straight back from shoulder to rump.


Top of the head is gently rounded, with a medium breadth between the ears; wide at the brow and jaw hinge, tapering to a short, blunt wedge. A modest dip may be seen in the profile. The tip of the nose and the chin should be in line. The chin is strong and has terrific depth.


Medium to huge, broad at the base with gently rounded tips; profiled with a slight forward slant. When viewed from the front, the outer line of the ear continues the line of the face.



Large; positioned well apart at an oblique angle; curved top line directed toward nose with fuller curved lower line Luminous and expressive, with a basic color outline. Color any shade of green; kittens and cats under two years old may have a yellow tinge.


Slender legs with strong bones. The feet are clean and round.


Medium to long in length, with a medium thickness at the base and a gently rounded tip.


Color is less essential than pattern. Chinchilla/shaded, hairs evenly pointed with suitable color; Chinchilla, tipping approximately 1/8 of total hair length; shaded, tipping approximately 1/3 of total hair length. Blue, chocolate, lavender (lilac), silver, sable, champagne, platinum, blue-cream, blue cream sepia, cream, shell, cameo, sepia, blue sepia, blue cream sepia, sepia cameo, shell sepia cameo, cream sepia cameo, cream shell sepia cameo, cream shell sepia cameo, cream shell sepia cameo, cream shell sepia came


Medium-length fine and silky coat with no woolly undercoat save above the shoulders. Ear tufts, furniture, and a complete tail plume


Short and silky in texture, with enough undercoat to offer a subtle lift.



While the qualities listed below are common for this breed, cats are individuals with unique personalities and appearances. For more information about a specific pet, please contact the adoption group.

Wondering about Calico? Check it out on our next post!

By catfoodsite.com

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