The Bewitching Cat
Burmillas are medium-sized with muscular bodies, round faces, short muzzles and tend to weigh between 8lb to 10lb, the female is usually lighter than the male. The eye colour is predominantly green, blue is accepted by some cat socities, and yellow is acceptable in kittens.
Black Burmilla cats have an eyeliner in black, other colours may have no lining or soft brown. The shape of their eyes are almond-shaped.
Coat length comes in three variants...
The standard coat is the short-hair. This is a short, close-lying coat similar in appearance to the Burmese but with a softer, silkier feel. There is a recessive longhair gene producing the Longhair Burmilla. These cats have a semi-longhair coat lying close to the skin, with a soft, silky feel and a large plumed tail. The Shorthair gene is dominant, and where a cat receives one of each, the appearance will be Shorthair. Two Longhair Burmillas mated together will always produce Longhair kittens, while Shorthair matings depend on whether the Longhair genes are carried by the Shorthair parents.
A third variant has been identified recently, that of the Plush. It is not professionally recognised as being separate from shorthair in judging. However, plush kittens have much denser fur which does not lie closely against the skin. How the plush coat variant is inherited is not yet known.
The Burmilla can have a variety of coat colours, including black, blue, brown, chocolate and lilac. Although red, cream and tortoishell (calico) varieties have been bred, these colours are not recognised by most judging bodies. In addition the undercoat is either Silver or Golden, depending on the colour in the Persian heritage. The Burmilla's shading comes in three major coat patterns which relate to the depth of colour. These are Tipped, Shaded and Smoke. Tipped Burmillas have at least three-quarters of their fur in the underlying colour (Silver or Golden) and the remainder is a light dusting of "colour" over the top. In the case of Silvers, these cats appear almost white. Shaded Burmillas have one-quarter top a half as their colour, and Smoke have almost all colour with only a faint pale base to each hair.
The cats nose leather is red to pink (smoke cats have solid colour corresponding to their coat). In addition their paw pads correspond to the coat colouring: Black cats have black paw pads, Chocolate have brown-black, Brown cats have brown, both Blue and Lilac have pink.
Theoretically, genetic Caramel Burmillas also exist, being black-based with the "caramelising" gene. Although cats have been bred that have a definite Caramel appearance distinct from Lilacs, Caramel is not generally recognised, and there is some argument as to whether the caramelising gene even genetically exists. Since the Burmilla inherits its colour ranges from two different breeds, there is also the possibility of the entire Burmese spectrum of colours (black/bombay, sable/brown, chocolate, champagne, cinnamon, taupe etc). However, since the Burmilla has a shaded coat pattern, it is far more difficult to identify the various subtle shades of Burmese colouring, that also appear to be recessive to the Persian colouring. For this reason only Chocolate (from the Burmese "sable" or "brown") is recognised by most bodies.
The Burmilla was originally created accidentally in the United Kingdom. Two cats, a Chinchilla Persian named Sanquist, and a lilac Burmese named Faberge, were both awaiting a partner of their own breed in different rooms. Accidentally, one night the cleaner left the door open and the rest is history. The results, four kittens born in 1981, were so adorable that a new breed was born. (Source: ASPCA: "Complete Guide to Cats." Chanticleer Press, 1999.
The Burmilla 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.
The Burmilla is considered part of the Asian cat breed. It is accepted in FIFe as the Burmilla. Some governing bodies have 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 Chincilla. 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 is also featured in the online text-based game Legend of the Green Dragon - Crazy Audrey's kittens are all Burmillas.
The Asians including the Burmilla have no specific health care problems, they can live well into their teens. An annual health check when the cat reaches eight to nine years old is a must.
The Burmilla loves attention and to be part of the family, they can be demanding and will follow their owners around the house crying for attention. If spoken to they often appear to understand and answer.
The Burmill is a very intelligent cat, they can work out problems such as how to open doors. The curiosity and friendliness of Asians like the Burmilla can often lead them to stray into visitor's "cars/delivery vans" and they may be best confined to the house or a secure garden. They usually settle to this arrangement, as above all they do love the home comforts.
They love to play with toys, scratching post should be provided, and quality time set aside for play with their humans.
They can be very sensitive to their owner's feelings and this makes them excellent companions. These cats are very bewitching as any owner will tell you. They are generally good with children and when they have had enough of the rough and tumble of play with human children, will stalk off until peace resumes.