The Shaded, or Burmilla, is the original Asian variety and originated in Britain in 1981, from an accidental mating of a female Lilac European Burmese (Bambino Lilac Faberge), and a male Chinchilla Silver Persian (Jemari Sanquist). Early in 1981, breeder Miranda Bickford-Smith well known for her Astahazy Russian Blues bought home a Chinchilla male as pet for her husband. Shortly before he was due to be neutered, Jemari Sanquist met Bambino Lilac Fabergé, a Lilac Burmese female and it soon became evident that kittens were on the way.
Four females, all Black Shaded Silver, were born on the 11th of September. The combined quality of their type, their spectacular look, and their superb temperament prompted a controlled breeding program to establish a new breed. Standards emerged in 1984 and the breed was granted championship status in Britain in 1990's.
The Burmilla is a beautiful medium sized shorthaired cat of foreign type, showing a striking contrast between a coloured Shading/Tipping and a pure silver base. The Burmilla body is muscular with a good bone structure, yet gives an impression of great elegance. A rounded chest and a straight back add to the overall harmony. Females tend to be slightly smaller than males.
The eyes are the most beautiful feature of the Burmilla. Large, expressive emerald eyes are set well apart on a slightly oblique angle.
The Burmilla coat is short and dense, silky in texture and smooth lying but with enough undercoat to give it a slight lift. The ground colour is pure silver white. All Burmillas have an underlying tabby pattern where spotted, or mackerel, ghost markings may appear on the body especially in kittens. As for most shorthaired cats, general grooming of the coat is minimal.
The Burmilla is a gentle, intelligent and extremely affectionate cat with an exceptional temperament. The demanding and mischievous character of the Burmese mixed with the easy-going, relaxed nature of the Chinchilla, gives the Burmilla its unique personality. Burmillas are very extroverted, social cats that love their humans, both adults and children. They also have a very confident, playful and inquisitive nature. The Burmilla will delight humans with their antics and games and most learn to fetch quite easily. They also adjust well to other pet animals. This breed is a wonderful companion with irresistible qualities.
Possible Burmilla colours are Black, Blue, Champagne, Platinum, Chocolate, Lilac, Red and Cream. The Tortie varieties can include Black, Blue, Chocolate, Brown and Lilac torties. Colours are found in both Shaded and Tipped patterns. The ideal Shaded cat has even colour distribution with no tabby markings on the body, although a few vestigial markings may still be apparent on legs, head and tail.
Eyes are clear and luminous found in any shade of green. Amber eyes in the Burmilla are accepted in Reds, Creams and Torties.
IBBA Internation Burmilla Breeders Association.
Asian Group Cat Society GCCF-affiliated UK club for the Asian breed group.
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