Last Updated on March 22, 2021 by Julia Wilson
Burmilla cat at a glance
- Origin: the United Kingdom, 1981
- Lifespan: 12-14 years
- Energy: Low to medium
- Temperament: Playful, laid back, intelligent, calm
- Weight: Males 5-6 kg (11 – 13.2 lbs), females 4.5 – 5 kg (9.9 – 11 lbs)
- Colours: Black, Blue, Brown, Chocolate and Lilac.
- Eyes: Hazel, green
- Coat: Short
- Grooming: Brush once a week
The Burmilla is a domestic breed of cat which originated in the United Kingdom. It is a cross between a Chinchilla cat and a Burmese.
Burmillas are a great allrounder and can fit in well with families, seniors or singles.
The Burmilla came about as the result of an accidental mating between a Lilac Burmese female (Bambino Lilac Faberge) and a Silver Chinchilla male (Jemari Sanquist). In 1981 Miranda Bickford-Smith of Astahazy Cattery had purchased a Silver Chinchilla (Sanquist) as a pet for her husband. Faberge came into season and was isolated but a cleaner accidentally left Faberge’s door open and she was able to escape and pay a visit to Sanquist. The result of this mating produced 4 female kittens, all short-haired and Black Shaded Silver in colour.
These stunning kittens had a spectacular temperament and there was much interest in the cat world in them. It was decided to begin a controlled breeding programme.
In 1984 a Burmilla standard and gained championship status in the United Kingdom in the 1990s. The Cat Fanciers Association recognised Burmillas in 2011.
The Burmilla is a medium-sized cat with a similar body type to the Burmese. The outstanding feature of the Burmilla is its ticked coat and beautiful green eyes with dark pencilling around the rims, as though the cat is wearing eyeliner.
The athletic body feels surprisingly heavy when picked up, and is well-muscled but elegant. The head is rounded at the top, with a medium to broad muzzle and well-developed chin.
The coat is short, dense and silky in texture with a pale background that contrasts starkly with dark tips. Due to having Chinchilla in their lines, Burmillas can carry the longhaired gene. This means that longhaired kittens can be born to short-haired parents.
The Burmilla has the best features of both the Burmese and the Chinchilla. Burmillas love to play and access to toys and scratching posts are important, as is daily attention from their owners as they are an affectionate cat and enjoy being a part of the family.
Words used to describe the Burmilla include intelligent, playful, affectionate, gentle, sweet-tempered.
The Burmilla occurs in five colours of either shaded or tipped: Black, Blue, Brown, Chocolate, and Lilac.
The Burmilla is a healthy breed, however, due to its Chinchilla (Persian) background, polycystic kidney disease can occur. Breeders should DNA test all breeding stock to ensure their cats aren’t carriers.
Burmillas have no special requirements. A weekly groom will help remove loose hairs from the coat.
Dental care is important for all cats, brush the teeth with a pet-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste (never use human toothpaste), and feed raw chicken necks or cubes of beef two to three times a week.
Annual veterinary exams are a must and regular parasite control.
With their medium energy level and laid back nature Burmillas are ideal for singles, families and the elderly.
Frequently asked questions
Are Burmilla cats rare?
Burmilla cats aren’t rare, but they are less common than many of the other cat breeds.
Are Burmilla cats hypoallergenic?
There is no evidence to suggest the Burmilla cat is hypoallergenic.
How big do Burmilla cats get?
The Burmilla is a medium-sized cat, adults will reach between 4 – 5 kg (9.9 to 11 pounds)
Can Burmilla cats go outside?
Ideally, all cats should stay indoors or have access to a safe cat enclosure. Due to their unique appearance, the Burmilla may be a target for theft. In addition to that, outdoor cats are at risk from parasites, cars and dog attacks.
Are Burmilla cats talkative?
The Burmilla is not an especially talkative breed.