An intelligent, medium-sized breed, the gentle Burmilla is a beautiful feline that is good with children and makes a wonderful family pet.
A fairly new cat breed, which began quite by accident in the United Kingdom in 1981, the Burmilla is considered part of the Asian breed group among cat registries. Miranda Bickford-Smith, who was well known for her Russian Blues, brought home a male pet Chinchilla for her husband as a gift. Before the Chinchilla could be neutered, he mated with her female Burmese “Bambino”, producing a litter of kittens. The resulting litter contained four black shaded females, born on September 11th. The kittens were beautiful with a wonderfully gentle temperament, prompting Miranda to begin a controlled breeding program to establish a new breed. The new breed, originally known as the Silver Burmese, was eventually named “Burmilla” which came from combining “Burm” (from Burmese) and “milla” (from the Chinchilla). Once the breed standards were established in 1984, the Burmilla was eventually granted championship status in Great Britain in the 1990s.
The Burmilla is a compact breed with a broad chest and solid build that sports longer hind legs than the front that are strong and slender. The tail is fairly long and thick, tapering towards the tip. The broad face of the this breed includes rounded cheeks, a broad face with a short muzzle and ears tilted forward and alert. Burmillas have expressive, almond shaped eyes which are generally green, although occasionally they are blue, and kittens may have yellow eyes. Males are usually bigger than females, with an average body weight between 8.5 to 15 pounds.
The double-coat fur of a Burmilla varies in length; although the most common variety is a thick, short-haired coat which is soft and silky. There is also a soft and silky longer-haired variety with a large plumed tail. Burmillas come in various colors, including black, brown, lilac, chocolate or blue. There are also Burmillas in red, cream or tortoise (calico); however, these colors are not recognized for show cats. The colors of the Burmilla fall into three patterns (referring to the depth of color): Tipped, Shaded and Smoke. Most Burmilla have red or pink noses and the pads on their paws match their coat colors.
The gentle, intelligent and kitten-like nature of the Burmilla make it a joyful companion that does well with children and gets along easily with other household pets. Despite its independent nature, Burmillas love their owners and thrive on attention. This breed is very sociable and affectionate; however, they will be somewhat timid around strangers. A confident, curious and vocal cat, you will enjoy the Burmilla’s energy and playful spirit. Easily adaptable to indoor living, this breed does love to explore, so be prepared for them to examine their surroundings thoroughly. If possible, an outdoor area for exploration is a great treat for Burmillas, provided it is completely escape proof, as their curiosity will take them far from home if given the opportunity.
GROOMING AND HEALTH
A low maintenance breed, the Burmilla requires brushing once a week to keep its coat clean and healthy. Generally free of health problems, this breed is prone to kidney disease and allergies. A Burmilla cat which fed a well-balanced diet and provided plenty of fresh water, along with annual visits to the veterinarian, has a life expectancy of 15 years.
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