Photo by © roger smith

Burmilla - Breed Profile:

Origin: United Kingdom
Colors: Black, blue, brown, chocolate and lilac with silver or golden undercoat
Size: Medium to large
Coat Type(s): Shorthair and longhair
Grooming: Occasional (shorthair); weekly (longhair)
Talkativeness: Average
Activity Level: Average
Attention Requirement: Average
Overall: Moderately obedient

Breed video: Burmilla

The Burmilla breed is rather young. It was originated in the United Kingdom in 1981 by crossing between the Chinchilla Persian and the Burmese. A Chinchilla Persian and a Lilac Burmese were unintentionally mated when owners forgot to close a door. Burmillas are also known as the shaded variety of the Asian cat.

Physical characteristics

Burmillas are medium-sized cats with a muscular body, round face, and short muzzle. Their weight ranges from 8 to 10 lb. Burmillas' eyes are almond-shaped and usually green. Some cat clubs recognize blue eyes, too. Kittens may have yellow eyes, which is accepted for the breed as well. Some Burmillas have a black or soft brown line around eyes.


Burmillas are playful and affectionate. They like to be with people and get along well with children and other animals, especially dogs. Burmillas are a little bit less talkative than Burmese cats. Some breeders say that if you decide to get a Burmilla, you need to get another pet as a must because Burmillas are very sociable and they need a companion. However, there is also an opinion that Burmillas are quite independent cats. Burmillas adore their owner and show many kitten-like characteristics even when adults.

Coat and grooming

Burmillas can be both shorthair (which is most popular and standard) and longhair. Shorthair Burmillas have close lying coat similar to the Burmese in appearance, but with a softer and silkier feel.
Burmilla kittens, photo by Marjolein van Elteren
Longhair Burmillas have semi-longhair coat that lies close to the skin and has a soft, silky feel and a large plumed tail. The Shorthair gene is dominant, so if a cat receives each, the coat will be shorthair. Two longhair Burmillas will always produce Longhair kittens. There is also another type of Burmillas' coat identified recenty: the plush. Although professionals do not consider it to be separate from the shorthair type, plush kittens have much denser fur which does not lie against the skin so closely as it supposed to be for a shorthair Burmilla.
The coloration of this breed is very various. Burmillas' top coat can be black, blue, brown, chocolate and lilac. There are also red, cream and tortoishell (calico) varieties but they are not recognized by most judges. The undercoat of a Burmilla is either Silver or Golden depending on the colour in the Persian heritage. The Burmilla's shading has three major coat patterns: Tipped, Shaded and Smoke. If at least 3/4 of fur is in the underlying colour (Silver or Golden) and the remainder is a light dusting of the top colour, this is a typical Tipped Burmilla. If the underlying colour is Silver, Tipped cats look nearly white. Shaded Burmillas have 1/4 - 1/2 of fur in the top colour. Smoke Burmillas have top colour over almost the whole body with only a faint pale base to each hair. It is worth mentioning that Burmillas' paw pads correspond to the coat colour: Black cats have black paw pads, Chocolate have brown-black, Brown cats have brown, both Blue and Lilac have pink.
Burmillas' top coat can be black, blue, brown, chocolate and lilac. Photo by © roger smith

Longhair Burmillas need more grooming and brushing that shorthair ones.


Burmillas have no specific health problems. However, since this breed has the Persian heritage, it may have inherited Polycystic Kidney Disease that Persians suffer from.
Well-cared Burmillas live up to 20 years.