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The Burmilla Shorthair is the result of an unplanned mating between a Chinchilla Persian and a Burmese. They are a relatively new breed, originating in the UK in the 1980s and are still an uncommon sight in Britain and worldwide.
Breeders were impressed with how beautiful the first Burmilla Shorthair was, with their soft coat, silver-tipping and striking eyes. What’s more, they discovered they inherited the best qualities of the Persian and Burmese cats, so they naturally decided to develop the breed.
Meet the Burmilla Shorthair
Burmilla Shorthairs are medium-sized cats that reach a weight of 6 to 13 pounds and grow to be 10 to 12 inches tall. They have muscular bodies, a sturdy structure and slender legs. Shorthairs have a short double-layer coat that feels soft and silky to the touch. Their fur can come in various colours, but the silver-tipped shading is the most common by far. Other possible colours and patterns include black, blue, brown, cream, lilac, red, or tortoiseshell.
They have regular-sized ears with a slight forward tilt, but their most distinctive facial feature is undoubtedly their eyes. Burmilla Shorthairs have amazing black rimming around their eyes (and also their nose), which makes these glamorous felines look like they are wearing thick eyeliner. In addition, most Burmillas have striking green eyes, which, combined with the black rimming, make them stand out from afar.
As Burmillas are a cross between a long hair and a short hair breed, some will have semi-long coats, known as Burmilla Longhairs. However, as the shorthair gene is most dominant, most Burmillas have silky, short hair. This fur rarely sheds, and most Burmilla Shorthairs keep their coats in top condition themselves, but you can help by brushing them once a week.
The temperament of a Burmilla Shorthair
Burmilla Shorthairs are loyal and loving and display a friendly and social nature without being needy. The mix of the Burmese’s demanding nature and the Persian’s placid temperament results in a very laid back and easy-going Burmilla Shorthair. They have the perfect balance of affection and independence; they are devoted to their owners, yet they enjoy some alone time too.
Burmillas are super playful and are natural adventurers. They love to explore the house, but they can be a bit clumsy, so you may want to keep any breakable items of value out of the way! They maintain their playful nature well into adulthood and thrive with an owner who schedules short play sessions twice a day. However, thanks to their independent personality, they will happily play on their own with their toys, too.
When they are not running around and chasing toy mice, your Burmilla Shorthair will be showing you affection. They sincerely appreciate spending quality time with their owners and will curl up on your lap when they are sleepy. Compared to most other breeds, they can be pretty vocal (a trait from their Burmese parent), but they will not meow endlessly.
10 reasons to add a Burmilla Shorthair to your family
- They are easy-going - Though they crave human interaction, a Burmilla will not demand your time all day long. As long as they get to play and cuddle regularly, they will happily do their own thing for the rest of the day.
- They are adventurers - If a cat that lazes around all day is not your cup of tea, you’ll surely enjoy watching a Burmilla seek out daily adventures. They also love to climb and will challenge themselves to reach great heights and fit into small spaces.
- They are (relatively) hypoallergenic - Burmilla Shorthairs hardly shed and produce minimal dander. Thus, they are known to be a hypoallergenic breed and are suitable for those with minor allergies.
- They get along with everyone - Burmilla Shorthairs are not just friendly with their owners. They have no problem being around other cats, dogs, or small children, too.
- They require little to no grooming - When it comes to taking care of their coat, Burmillas are excellent at grooming themselves. So, if anything, you can brush them now and again.
- They have stunning eyes - Burmilla cats have one of the prettiest faces with incredibly striking eyes, thanks to the combination of the green shade and black eyeliner effect.
- Their eyes change every day, too - Another awesome thing about a Burmilla is that their eye colour can take up to 2 years to develop fully. As your Burmilla grows, you’ll notice subtle differences in the shade and hue every day.
- They have glittery coats - Silver-tipped Burmilla Shorthairs are so popular because of the sparkling appearance this colouring gives.
- They are smart - Burmilla cats will alter how they interact with you based on your feelings. They can pick up on changes in their owner’s emotions and changes to their environment and will adjust accordingly.
- They are rare - Although this breed started in the UK, there are still not many of them around and finding a Burmilla kitten can be quite a challenge.
Best homes for a Burmilla Shorthair
A Burmilla Shorthair’s dream home is a peaceful, predictable environment with regular attention and playtime. They like a home where there isn’t continuous activity going on, so they can have some quiet, alone time when they feel like it. Thus, they make ideal companions for people who live on their own or elderly couples.
Burmillas will peacefully coexist with other cats and calm dogs, though they don’t particularly need a furry friend. They are gentle and tolerant towards young children too but may get annoyed if they pick them up. Therefore, if you have children, encourage them to pet and play with the kitty instead of carrying it around.