Colour: The agouti coat, which appears in both standard and silver versions, may either be tipped or shaded, in the following colours: Black; Blue; Chocolate; Lilac; Red; Caramel; Apricot; Cream; Black Tortie; Blue Tortie; Chocolate Tortie; Lilac Tortie; Caramel
Terms used to describe this breed include: Playful, outgoing, sociable, friendly, affectionate, sweet-tempered and gentle.
Domestic Breed: A recent British breed resulting from an accidental mating between a male Silver Chinchilla and a female Lilac Burmese.
Appearance: In appearance, this cat is essentially a silver Burmese. The combination of the Burmese body-type with a soft, dense, delicately tipped-silver, shorthaired coat, gives it a special appeal. In addition it has dark pencilling around the eyes, as though wearing mascara make-up.
History: The Burmilla was accidentally created by the Baroness Miranda von Kirchberg in 1981. A male Silver Chinchilla called Sanquist and a female Burmese called Faberge were awaiting mates of their own respective breeds, but began to demonstrate an unusual degree of interest in one another. When Faberge came into season she was immediately isolated in preparation for a journey to a Burmese stud male. Before this could happen, however, Sanquist was accidentally given brief access to her by a cleaner who did not realize the consequence of her actions. In the Baroness's own words: 'A kind lady, passing the door and seeing the dejected Sanquist, took pity on him and let him into Faberge's room, just to say a last farewell.' Faberge was then sent away for her official mating with another pedigree Burmese. When she returned, her litter was not Burmese as expected, but from their appearance had clearly been fathered by Sanquist, who now took a strong paternal interest in them, grooming them and protecting them.
The litter consisted of four female kittens and they were named Galatea, Gemma, Gabriella and Gisella. They were so attractive that, instead of neutering them and disposing of them as pets, as usually happens with 'accidents', the Baroness decided to keep them and develop them as the foundation stock of a new breed. They were back-crossed to Burmese and it was found that their appealing characteristics were maintained in the next generation. Further breeding helped to fix the Burmilla as a distinct new type of pedigree cat and the Baroness was soon to form the Burmilla Association, with a view to promoting the breed.
Another breeder, Therese Clarke, who acquired Gemma from the original litter, launched the Burmilla Cat Club in 1984, with a regular publication called the 'BCC Mews'. Within four years the club had fifty active members and more recently this figure has risen to seventy.
With the two groups of breeders both actively developing the Burmilla, it was soon safely established as an important new breed. The first (Kirchberg) group made special efforts to improve the body shape, while the second (Clarke) group concentrated more on improving the tipped coat.
The Burmilla was granted preliminary championship status in Britain in 1990.
Personality: Terms used to describe this breed include: Playful, outgoing, sociable, friendly, affectionate, sweet-tempered and gentle.
GCCF: The agouti coat, which appears in both standard and silver versions, may either be tipped or shaded, in the following colours: Black; Blue; Chocolate; Lilac; Red; Caramel; Apricot; Cream; Black Tortie; Blue Tortie; Chocolate Tortie; Lilac Tortie; Caramel Tortie.
Burmilla-Asian Association. Address: 1 Thistlecroft Road, Hersham, Surrey, KT12 5QT, England.
Burmilla Cat Club. Address: Mill House, Letcombe Regis, Oxon, OX12 9JD, England.
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