The Burmilla: Silky, Silver and Smart


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You’re quite lucky if you’ve met a Burmilla cat in real life. Burmillas are kind of new-ish. Like many of us, they’ve only been about for the past four decades, which is not so long… They’re still a rare cat in Australia and were only recognised as a breed by the Cat Fanciers Association in 2011.

This silver coloured kitty with its dark ‘makeup’ lines around the eyes and nose are known for their intelligent, mischievous nature and independent personality. Let’s go over everything you need to know about the Burmilla breed and why we love them so much.

A Burmilla starring into the camera. This rare cat is very beautiful

Breed origins

The Burmilla originated in the UK in 1981 due to an accidental breeding between a Chinchilla Persian and a Burmese cat. The two cats were awaiting breeding partners in separate rooms when a cleaner left the door open and the Burmese female was able to escape!

Her courtship with the male Chinchilla resulted in four kittens with short hair and silver fur. They were so attractive that their breeder, Baroness Miranda Von Kirchberg, decided to embark on a breeding programme. Their name is a combination of Burmese and Chinchilla, the Burmilla.


Due to the Burmese side of the family, the Burmilla is rather muscular. However, they’re even larger than their Burmese ancestors. The female Burmilla is much smaller than the male, making it easy to tell genders apart.

They have two types of coat lengths – semi longhair and shorthair. Their fur is silky with a striking contrast between its coloured shading and silver undercoat. There are three styles to their shading:

  • Tipped – At least three-quarters of their coat is silver or golden and the remainder is a light “dusting” of colour over the top
  • Shaded – A quarter to half the coat is colour
  • Smoke – The coat is almost all colour with only a faint pale base to each hair

The Burmilla comes in blue, lilac, chocolate, brown, and black. You’ll also find this rare cat in calico, red and cream, however these aren’t yet officially recognised by the Co-ordinating Cat Council of Australia

A Burmilla playing. This rare cat is very beautiful

Are Burmilla cats hypoallergenic?

For those allergic to cats, are you wondering if this is the one for you? Unfortunately the Burmilla is not hypoallergenic, however there is some positive news. These cats don’t shed often, which means you won’t have to worry about fur tickling your nose when you go to bed at night and removing pet fur from clothes and furniture won’t take up too much time.

Read our article on cat allergies and what to do for more information.


The Burmilla got the best of both sides of their heritage. They’re less boisterous than their Burmese ancestors and more active than a Chinchilla. They love attention and being involved so they’ll often follow people around, sometimes begging to be noticed. 

Burmillas are very intelligent cats. They can be taught tricks, can solve problems and are curious by nature. When spoken to, these rare cats will appear to understand and vocalise back. No more one-sided conversations with a Burmilla as a pet!

Intelligence brings curiosity, which may lead them to wander. Burmillas have been known to venture into visitor’s cars or delivery vans. Because of this it’s suggested that they be confined to the house or a secure garden. 

Although they enjoy company and affection, Burmillas are pretty independent. Compared to some of the needier breeds they’re less likely to suffer from separation anxiety in pets. So if you’re not working from home then the Burmilla is a good choice. That being said, read our article on leaving your cat home alone to find out how long is too long for any cat if you’re heading out for a while.

This YouTube video will give you a good idea of their nature:

Want to become a cat expert? Read more about breeds and other interesting kitty facts here: 😺

For a landing as soft as Burmilla fur – insurance

If you’re new to pet insurance, here’s a big tip: If you start when your kitten is young, they’ll be covered for conditions they get early on. If they develop a covered condition after you buy your policy, it helps pay a wide range of bills. On the other paw, if you start after your furbaby has developed a condition it doesn’t cover ‘pre-existing conditions’.

PD Insurance offers award-winning, value-rich cat insurance plans to make sure your kitty is covered in case of an accident or emergency. It’s a soft landing for when you need it most. Sign up now and you’ll get at least one month or more free

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