Burmilla History

A cat and a dog sitting next to each other.
The breed began from a chance meeting between a Chinchilla Persian and a Lilac European Burmese. (Examples of the cats involved)

How It Happened

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 (Astahazy Cattery) 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 shorthaired and black-shaded silver in color. 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 program.

Physical Description

Burmillas are a medium-sized cat with moderate features. They come in shorthair and longhair varieties and have super soft, silky coats.  The ideal longhair coat is non-matting. Their eyes are a luminescent green and can take up to two years to develop.

Color patterns are shaded silver, chinchilla silver, shaded golden and chinchilla golden. A shaded silver cat has a white base coat with color approximately a third of the way down from the ends of the hair shafts, which appears as more overall color. A chinchilla silver also has a white base coat with color at the very tips of the hairs and may even appear white, but color can be seen upon closer inspection. In goldens, the base coat color is beige to medium apricot.

The colors that occur in shaded or chinchilla silver (or golden) are:

  • Black

  • Chocolate (light brown)

  • Seal Sepia (brown)

  • Blue (dilute of black = grey)

  • Lilac (dilute of chocolate = soft, pale shade of pinkish purple)

  • Red

  • Cream (dilute red)

  • Tortoiseshell (black & red)

  • Blue Cream (dilute tortoiseshell = blue & cream)

Temperament and Personality

The Burmilla has features of both the European Burmese (EB) & the Chinchilla Persian. They have the playful nature of the EB without being overly active and the sweet, laid-back nature of the Persian. Burmillas love to play, are affectionate and enjoy being a part of the family. With proper introductions, Burmillas are suitable for multi-cat/dog households. Words used to describe the Burmilla include intelligent, playful, affectionate, gentle, and sweet-tempered.

Burmilla personality traits

  • Wonderful family cats because they tend to spend time with everyone. They don’t typically bond with just one family member.

  • Sweet and gentle lap cats.

  • Very playful and never lose their kitten-like behavior.

  • “Medium active”. They love to do the “zoomies” and then crash for a good nap.

  • Sometimes clumsy, which can be very entertaining.

  • Most, but not all, tend to prefer having an animal friend. This can be another kitty or a dog!  

  • Not hypoallergenic.

  • Shedding is average

  • Long Lived

The First 5 years of Burmillas in the USA

February 2014 - The CFA Board voted to advance Burmillas to Championship status. This took effect on ​May 1, 2014.
May 2014 - ​Kitzn's Arielle becomes the first CFA Grand Champion. She is a "One Show Grand"!
August 2014 - The TICA Board voted to advance Burmillas to Championship status. This took effect on May 1, 2015.
April 2015 - Kasanovakatz Heather is the first longhair CFA Grand Champion.
May 2015 - Keith Kimberlin of Kitzn Cattery compiles the list of Burmilla titles earned in the first year.
June 2015 - CFA Breed Winners, GC Kasanovakatz Heather and GC Kitzn Arielle photos are on CFA's website "Featured Breed" banner.
July 2015 - Kasanovakatz Heath is the first TICA Supreme Grand Champion.
April 2016 - Kasanovakatz Mykah earns her CFA Grand Championship and TICA Supreme Grand Championship. She is the first Longhair Burmilla to earn both titles.
​March 2017 - Kasanovakatz Reynah earned her CFA Grand Champion title in 2 shows.
May 2017 - Kasanovakatz Reynah earned her Supreme Grand Champion title in TICA.
​​April 2018 - GC, SGC, RW, NW Kasanovakatz Reynah is named 2018 CFA CAT of the YEAR (BEST CAT)!!  ​​​​
​February 2019 - CFA Board accepts Golden Burmillas into Championship status and new allowable outcrosses to include silver and golden Exotic Shorthairs.

A cat is sitting on top of the ground.
A green banner with the words " breeders association " and " burmilla ".