Burmilla Cat Breed Information And Pictures

Burmilla cat breed

The Burmilla is a beautiful breed in part because of its vast color and pattern variety, giving each kitten its unique look while still representing the general breed appearance. 

The silver coats of this flat faced breed of cat quickly became preferred by cat lovers due to its calm and affectionate personality. 

Burmilla Breed Overview
Height8-10 inches
Weight8-12 lbs
Lifespan7-12 years
ColorsBlack, brown, gray, beige, can be tortoiseshell or shaded
Suitable forFamilies, singles, elderly, households with other pets or children
TemperamentCalm, playful, affectionate
Breed Traits Overview
Lifespan4/5
Energy3/5
Sociability5/5
Health3/5

History Of The Burmilla Cat Breed

Originating in England back in the 1980s, the Burmilla was a completely accidental breed! The cat was the result of a silver Chinchilla Persian male crossing with a platinum European Burmese female.

The owner of the breeding pair, Miranda Bickford-Smith then acquired a litter of these Chinchilla Burmese hybrids that all came out as shorthaired shaded silver coat kittens. As Bickford-Smith spent more time around these kittens she was increasingly taken with their beautiful appearance and sweet personality. 

She then proceeded to call a close friend, Therese Clarke, and have her take a look at the kittens and weigh in on what she thought of them. Clarke was also quite taken with the breed, especially two of the original kitten’s Galatea and Gemma, so the two English women continued with breeding to create a foundation for the breed. 

The two women found out that when crossing the longhaired Chinchilla Persian with the shorthaired Burmese, the offspring will always be shorthaired due to the recessive gene of the parent breeds. Because Clarke was so taken by the looks of the original kittens, she continued breeding to copy the looks of Galatea and Gemma.

In 1983, Bickford-Smith became interested in the other hair textures, lengths, and colors that could be created with different crossings. She went on to expand the breeding plan to get a new variety of kittens, while Clarke continued with the original appearance they were after. 

It was not until 1995 that the mixed breed finally crossed the Atlantic and was brought to North America. The breed was quickly popularized and has since been recognized by five cat breed associations.

This flat faced breed is now increasingly popular in America and can be found in both short and long hair lengths. 

How Much Does The Burmilla Cost?

Due to their recent development and complicated breeding program, Burmilla kittens are still difficult to come by. Burmilla’s can cost upwards of between $800 and $1,200 from reputable breeders in the United States.

In the United Kingdom, the average price is between £500 and £650. However, since there are very few breeders, kittens can often cost more than $1,200. 

Personality Traits Of The Burmilla

With the good looks of a lilac Burmese crossed with a longhaired Chinchilla, and the best of each parent cat’s personality traits, they’re one of the most lovable breeds for their playfulness and mischief. When combined with the easy-going, slow-paced personality of the Chinchilla Persian, you get the well-tempered Burmilla. 

While they don’t have the hyperactivity of a Burmese, the Burmilla does love to play and will enjoy playing with their human family. It’s highly recommended to offer a variety of toys to your Burmilla. A great option for this breed is to buy toys you can stuff with catnip as it will encourage them to get more of their energy out chasing after the catnip.

You’ll find that this flat faced breed does take after its Burmese roots in their mischief and desire to get into rooms and boxes that they shouldn’t. Because of this, it might benefit you to buy a cat playpen to keep them contained. Since they do have the energy and agility to run, jump, and climb, mixed with their wit and curiosity if there are items you don’t want them to access you’ll need to try hard to keep them out of paw length. 

It’s also a great idea to have a few perches and cat trees for your Burmilla as they’re great climbers. This will keep them entertained when you aren’t around and you’ll also find that they sleep on these items quite a bit to have a higher vantage point in the home. 

They settle down very easily after a good play since their energy levels are average. Cats of this type make great lap cats and enjoy receiving affection. While they aren’t overly talkative, you’ll find that they have a deep purr when cuddled. 

It won’t be a problem to introduce the breed into a household that has other pets or children since the breed is affectionate, playful, and easy-going. Their play is gentle and they don’t seem to mind being picked up or touched a lot. Burmillas are adaptable to almost any environment, you can bring them anywhere. They get along well with both cats and dogs. 

How To Take Care Of A Burmilla

The Burmilla breed is very easy to care for and typically requires extremely low maintenance. 

Diet

They don’t require any specific nutritional supplementation or diet. Whatever high-quality cat food you would feed to other breeds will be suitable for the Burmilla. Since they’re still carnivores, be sure you consult your veterinarian about the best food choice that has high quality animal products as the first ingredient. 

You’ll want to change the food you’re giving your cat throughout the stages of its life as its dietary needs change with age. By making frequent visits to your vet for checkups you’ll be sure not to miss any potential need for changes in nutrition. 

As a naturally stocky breed that isn’t overly large, the Burmilla could tend to become overweight if you aren’t careful about how much food you’re offering. Set feeding times and give the appropriate quantity of food to decrease the chances that your cat suffers from any weight problems. 

Make sure to provide plenty of playtime and toys for your cat so they can get adequate exercise. If for some reason your cat isn’t getting enough exercise and is starting to gain weight despite the regulated food intake, talk to your veterinarian as it may be time to switch to a healthy weight diet or check your cat’s hormones to ensure their metabolism is functioning properly. 

Grooming

Although many members of this breed are shorthaired, they can quickly accumulate dead hairs which require brushing to avoid hairballs and shedding. It’s recommended to brush your cat once a day or once every other day to ensure you’re getting all of the dead hair off of them so that it stays out of your carpets and furniture. 

If your cat has long hair, this is even more important as it can be more prone to knotting or matting if not brushed often enough. If you’re finding that your cat is shedding too much dead hair, try giving them a nice scrub down in the bath to help them release some of that undercoat. By choosing a shampoo that’s made for your cat’s hair type and texture, you’ll optimize every single bath they take. 

Besides hair maintenance, it’s critical to start clipping your cat’s nails from a young age. This is especially important in a breed such as this one that likes to climb. If you don’t stay consistent in nail trimming, you’ll see the impacts on your furniture. 

If you allow your Burmilla to also be an outdoor cat part of the time, be sure you clean their ears frequently to avoid any build-up of dirt which can cause irritation and infections. For outdoor cats, it’s also important to frequently check for ear mites.

Remember that routine grooming like ear cleaning, nail trimming, and baths don’t have to be done at a groomer or a vet’s office. You can do all of these things at home to save time and money. By doing these things yourself, you’ll also induce less stress on your cat and get them used to these procedures so that they become desensitized. 

Training

Unlike most dogs and intelligent cat breeds, this flat faced breed does not enjoy training sessions. Because of this, it’s challenging to train a Burmilla. If given proper litter, you should have no problem getting them housebroken and using their litterbox; however, this is about as much as you should expect.

Although the Burmilla is intelligent, they’re not the type of breed that will be taught how to swim or fetch. Since they’re fairly independent cats, they’re uninterested in interactive thought-provoking exercises like training sessions.

Health

This is a healthy breed for the most part, with only a few health concerns to be aware of. As previously mentioned, they’re prone to obesity; but beyond that, they can be prone to Polycystic Kidney Disease which will lead to renal failure down the line. This disease causes the formation of cysts in the kidneys which impacts kidney function. 

While this isn’t something that will impact all members of the breed, it’s been found to be increasingly common as the mixed breed continues to be crossed. This is something to keep an eye out for by doing blood tests and annual checkups with your veterinarian to track the health of your cat’s kidneys. 

Other signs you can look out for that can indicate kidney failure include:

  • Weight loss
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Diarrhea (can be bloody)
  • Vomiting (can be bloody)
  • Lethargy
  • Weakness

If you see any of these symptoms of your cat acting out of the ordinary, bring them to an emergency clinic immediately to test their blood levels. 

Physical Attributes Of The Burmilla

  • Head: The head is generally wide at ear and eyebrow level which then tapers off into a blunt wedge. This gives them the flat faced breed appearance. 
  • Body: A medium-sized cat in height and length, the breed has a rounded chest and elegant body. Their body length is proportional to their head size with straight backs.
  • Ears: The breed has fairly large ears. The ear is rounded on top and has a fairly large base. When seen from the side, the ears tip forward slightly.
  • Eyes: With larger than proportional eyes that are set decently far apart, their eyes are very striking and one of the first features noticed about the breed. Color is typically green but can have a more yellow hue as kittens. The yellow tinge has also been reported in cats up to the age of two. 
  • Legs and Paws: Their paws are fairly rounded and their legs are very slender and strong. With proportional length to body size, the Burmilla’s legs give off a very athletic appearance. 
  • Tail: With above-average tail length and thickness, the tail of this cat breed tapers into a rounded tip.
  • Coat: Coat lengths can either be long or short. When long, the hair is quite silky and fine with a woolly undercoat around the shoulders. Longhaired Burmillas will also have ear tufts, fringe of fur around the legs, and a fluffy plumed tail. Shorthaired cats will still have a slight undercoat which gives them a fuller look; however, the hair is still short and smooth. 
  • Color: While color can vary immensely, the pattern of this breed is most important in identifying them. The pattern is usually consistent with a Chinchilla with shading. Color can range from lilac, blue, chocolate brown, silver, platinum, cream, sepia, and tortoiseshell. 

Conclusion On The Burmilla

This accidental flat faced mixed breed was a huge success that has continued to increase in popularity over time. 

While they still aren’t very widely accessible, the breed makes a great companion primarily due to their ability to fit into any home. With their mild temperament and average energy levels, the Burmilla is a great fit for almost any lifestyle. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Burmilla cats rare?

Because of the complicated and difficult generational breeding process, Burmailla Kittens are considered to be a rare cat breed.

How much does a Burmilla cat cost?

With their rareness and complicated breeding process, Burmilla kittens typically cost between $800–$1,200 in the United States. In the United Kingdom, the average price is between £500 and £650.

Can Burmilla cats go outside?

The Burmilla is an independent and sociable breed and is well suited to both indoor or outdoor living.