Burmilla Cat Breed Profile

At a glance    About   History   Appearance   Temperament    Health

At a glance:

  • Origin: 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: Requires weekly grooming
Image courtesy roger smith, Flickr


The Burmilla is a beautiful shaded or tipped cat with luminous green eyes. The breed came about by an accidental mating between a Chinchilla cat and a Burmese and the Burmilla has the best characteristics of both breeds being playful but calm.

This breed is 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 was agreed and the breed received official recognition in 1997.

Appearance of the Burmilla:

Burmilla cat

Image courtesy cawnenrose, Flickr

The Burmilla is a medium sized cat, with a physique similar to that of a Burmese. It has a short, dense and silky coat. A stunning feature of the Burmilla is the dark pencilling around its beautiful green eyes which makes it look as though it’s wearing eyeliner.

Due to having Chinchilla in their lines, Burmillas can carry the longhaired gene. This means that it is possible for longhaired kittens to be born to short-haired parents. Longhaired Burmillas are their own breed.

Burmilla Cat Temperament:


Image courtesy Chris, Flickr

The Burmilla has the best features of both the Burmese and the Chinchilla. They have the playful nature of the Burmese without being overly active, and the quiet laid back nature of 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.

Burmilla colours: 

Image courtesy cawnenrose, Flickr

The Burmilla comes in 5 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.

Special requirements:

The Burmilla has no special requirements. A weekly groom will help remove dead hairs from the coat.

Dental care is important for all teeth and they should be regularly brushed with a pet-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste (never use human toothpaste), as well as feeding raw chicken necks or cubes of beef two to three times a week.

Annual veterinary exams are a must and regular parasite control.

Suitable for:

With their medium energy level and laid back nature Burmillas are ideal for singles, families and the elderly.

Related breeds:

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