Monday, November 7, 2016

Cat Breeds: Burmilla

While the Burmilla is one of the newer breeds to be recognized by most associations, its origins actually go back over thirty years. And its origins were entirely an accident. A chinchillla Persian male cat was purchased by Baroness Miranda Von Kirchberg for her husband in early 1981. She was going to have him neutered, but before she could do so, he met a sweet little lilac Burmese female.

As often happens, nature took its course and on September 11, 1981 a little of four kittens were born to the Burmese female. All four kittens had short hair and were black shaded silver in color with piercing gold eyes that would later deepen to green.  These kittens were so attractive and so sweet that a breeding program was immediately established and the Burmilla was born.

The Appearance of the Burmilla

Muscular and solid, the Burmilla is a medium sized cat with a sculpted appearance from head to tail. The head should be rounded and the muzzle broad. Eyes are green, but they can start off as good or yellow when the kitten is born. A fully mature cat of at least three years should always have green eyes, but this green can take a while to appear, so don't expect your kitten to have green eyes.

The coat of all Burmillas is a sparkling silver that draws every eye. The distinctive markings on the face, which should extend directly up the nose, are often referred to as makeup. This makeup should mark the nose and line the eyes and mouth, giving the cat a sweet and open expression.

Though most people don't realize it, there are actually two coat lengths for the Burmilla. Most cats have the traditional short hair of their Burmese ancestors, but some actually have a semi-long coat. It's not as long as a Persia, but it's certainly longer than the short haired variety. Both coat lengths are acceptable in competition.

The Personality of the Burmilla

Independent and just a little irreverent, the Burmilla adores his owner but doesn't always want to show it, especially around strangers. His kitten-like attitude persists well into adulthood, but he's never annoying. Instead he is fun and gentle and always willing to nap beside you.

The temperament of the Burmilla is really quite extraordinary. He can very demanding and cuddly one moment, mischievous and playful the next. He is easy going and relaxed, like a Persian, but also social and affectionate, like the Burmese. He talks, but he's usually quiet. He is sweet natured, but tends toward inquisitive and even snoopy. A mass of contrasts describes the Burmilla best, but that's what tends to attract people to this intelligent little guy.

The Burmilla is still rare in the United States, and not exactly bountiful in Europe. If you want one, you'll have to be prepared to wait and you may have to pay a hefty price. But the exuberant and loving Burmilla is worth it, especially if you're looking for a stunning cat with a unique personality.

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