The Burmilla: A Shimmering Beauty with a Gentle Soul

The Burmilla: A Shimmering Beauty with a Gentle Soul


Imagine the grace and charm of a Burmese cat combined with the silvery sheen of a Chinchilla Persian. This enchanting blend is exactly what you get with the Burmilla, a relatively new breed that has quickly captured the hearts of cat lovers around the world with its stunning appearance and sweet temperament.

The Burmilla's story began in 1981 in the United Kingdom, as a result of an accidental mating between a Chinchilla Persian male and a Lilac Burmese female. The resulting kittens were so captivating that a breeding program was established to develop this new breed. Recognized by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) in the UK in 1989, the Burmilla has since gained recognition from various cat registries worldwide.

What sets the Burmilla apart is its distinctive coat, which features a pale undercoat with darker tipping, giving the cat a shimmering appearance. This, combined with their large, expressive green eyes, creates a truly mesmerizing look. But it's not just about looks – the Burmilla also inherits the best personality traits from its parent breeds, resulting in a gentle, affectionate, and playful companion.

Whether you're a long-time cat enthusiast or considering your first feline friend, the Burmilla offers a fascinating blend of beauty and personality. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore all aspects of this captivating breed, from its shimmering coat to its endearing nature, helping you decide if a Burmilla might be the perfect addition to your family.

Defining Characteristics

The Burmilla is distinguished by several key features:

  • Coat: Short to medium length, dense and silky with a distinctive silver sheen.
  • Color: Silver undercoat with tipping in various colors, including black, blue, chocolate, and lilac.
  • Body: Medium-sized with a muscular build, similar to the Burmese.
  • Head: Gently rounded with a short, blunt wedge shape.
  • Eyes: Large and expressive, typically green or gold-green.
  • Ears: Medium-sized, wide at the base with slightly rounded tips.

This combination creates a cat of striking beauty, with an elegant yet sturdy appearance.

Pros of Ownership

Welcoming a Burmilla into your home comes with numerous benefits:

  1. Gentle and affectionate nature: They form strong bonds with their families.
  2. Good with children and other pets: Their patient temperament makes them excellent family cats.
  3. Moderate activity level: Playful without being overly demanding.
  4. Adaptable to various living situations: They do well in apartments or houses.
  5. Low-maintenance coat: Their short to medium-length coat is relatively easy to care for.

Cons of Ownership

Consider these potential challenges:

  1. Potential for separation anxiety: They enjoy company and may not like being left alone for long periods.
  2. Moderate shedding: Especially during seasonal changes.
  3. Need for mental stimulation: They are intelligent and require engagement to prevent boredom.
  4. Rarity: They can be difficult to find and may have higher purchase costs.
  5. Potential for inherited health issues: Like many purebreds, they can have breed-specific health concerns.

Cost to Purchase

The price of a Burmilla can vary:

  • Pet-quality kittens typically range from $800 to $1,500.
  • Show-quality cats may cost $1,500 or more.
  • Adoption from rescues, while rare, might cost between $100 to $300.

Remember to budget for ongoing costs like food, litter, toys, and veterinary care.

Recommended Food

A balanced diet is crucial for maintaining the health and vitality of your Burmilla:

  • High-quality, protein-rich cat food
  • A mix of wet and dry food for balanced nutrition
  • Age-appropriate formulas (kitten, adult, senior)
  • Foods that support coat health
  • Always provide fresh, clean water

Consult with your veterinarian to create a diet plan tailored to your cat's specific needs.

Exercise Recommendations

Burmillas enjoy moderate activity levels:

  • Daily interactive play sessions with wand toys or laser pointers
  • Puzzle feeders to stimulate their minds
  • Cat trees or perches for climbing and observing
  • Gentle games that don't overly excite them
  • Rotating toys to keep them interested

Regular play helps maintain their physical health and provides necessary mental stimulation.

Known Health Issues

While generally healthy, Burmillas may be prone to certain conditions:

  • Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)
  • Allergies
  • Respiratory issues (inherited from their Persian ancestry)

Regular veterinary check-ups and genetic testing can help prevent or manage these potential issues.


The Burmilla is known for its gentle and affectionate nature:

  • Sweet and gentle disposition
  • Affectionate without being overly demanding
  • Intelligent and moderately playful
  • Generally good with children and other pets
  • Adaptable to various living situations
  • Quiet but can be vocal when they want attention

Their balanced temperament makes them excellent companions for a wide range of households.


If you're drawn to the Burmilla but aren't sure it's the right fit, consider:

  • Burmese: Similar personality but without the silver coat
  • British Shorthair: Calm temperament with a variety of coat colors
  • Asian: Related breed with a wider variety of coat colors and patterns
  • Russian Blue: Another silver-coated breed with a gentle nature
  • Exotic Shorthair: Similar sweet temperament with a distinctive "push-face" look

Each of these breeds offers its own unique blend of characteristics, so explore further to find your ideal feline companion.

The Burmilla, with its shimmering coat and gentle nature, offers a unique combination of beauty and temperament. Whether you're attracted to their striking appearance or their sweet, affectionate personality, these cats can make wonderful companions for the right homes. As with any pet, ensure you're prepared for the long-term commitment of cat ownership before bringing a Burmilla into your life. With proper care, love, and attention, a Burmilla can be a loving and enchanting presence in your family for many years to come.


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