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Burmilla Cat Facts

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white Burmilla cat lying on the floor playing with a gray toy mouse

Burmilla cats are a relatively rare cat breed, so there's a good chance you've never come across one. However, if you're lucky enough to meet one of these charming felines, don't be surprised if they win you over with their love in no time.


Compared to most other cat breeds, Burmilla cats are a fairly new breed—they first appeared in 1981. Originally from the United Kingdom, the creation of this breed was actually out of pure chance.

An accidental meet-up between a male Chinchilla Persian and a female Burmese cat who were supposed to be in separate rooms resulted in four kittens that looked and behaved like a Burmese but had similar coat markings to a Chinchilla Persian. Combining the names Burmese and Chinchilla, this new breed was given the name of Burmilla.

While breeding of these cats slowly increased in the UK, around the mid-1990s, they made their way to the United States. Although more people have taken an interest in this breed throughout the years, they are still rare.


The typical Burmilla cat personality is an easily likable one. These cats are sociable, friendly, and make for the perfect pet for all types of households. That said, because of the easy-going Burmilla cat temperament, they can be an excellent choice for homes with children or other pets.

These affectionate felines enjoy spending time with their family, and they can be counted on to curl up in your lap whenever you sit down to relax. Compared to other cats that tend to be fairly dependent, Burmilla cats have independent streaks and don't always mind being by themselves.

Before bringing your new pal into your home, you may want to pet-proof your house. Burmilla cats tend to be mischievous from time to time, and their kitten-like tendencies can last for many years.

Before adopting a Burmilla, most pet parents have questions concerning the breed that they first want to be answered. Common questions include:

Are Burmilla Cats Hypoallergenic

Though it may come as unfortunate news to cat-allergy sufferers, Burmilla cats are not a hypoallergenic cat breed.

How Long Do Burmilla Cats Live?

The expected lifespan for Burmilla cats is anywhere from 10-15 years. While this is the average life expectancy for this breed, each cat is unique and may live above or below this average—various factors can also affect this number.

How Big Do Burmilla Cats Get?

Burmilla cats are a medium-sized, muscular breed that typically weighs between 6-13 pounds. Though some cats may weigh outside this range, it's vital that you talk with your veterinarian about what a healthy weight looks like for your four-legged friend.

Overall, this is an adaptable breed who can make the perfect addition to all kinds of families. Just be prepared that once you have a Burmilla in your home, you'll always want one around.

Before bringing a cat into your home, it's important to cat-proof your house and to be aware of items your cat shouldn't be around. For example, cats should never be fed raw fish, onions, fat trimmings, milk, chocolate, or dog food. Learn more about why these foods can be harmful to your feline.

Grooming and Care

Burmilla cats can have either a long or short-hair coat, which comes in multiple colors: lilac, black, chocolate, and blue. In order to help keep their coat clean and healthy, it is best to brush them at least once a week. A weekly brushing will also help cut down on the amount of cat hair shed around your home.

Just like other cat breeds, the Burmilla requires a weekly toothbrushing. This can help keep their pearly whites clean, their breath smelling fresh, and it can reduce their chances of developing periodontal disease.

Near the monthly mark, you will also need to trim your cat's nails. It's not unusual for cat parents (especially first-timers) to be hesitant about the nail-trimming process. If you do not feel entirely comfortable cutting your cat's nails, check with a local groomer or veterinarian to see if they offer nail-trimming services.

Every few weeks, it is also necessary to check your four-legged friend's ears and clean them whenever necessary—be sure never to use cotton swabs. Signs of redness or a bad odor could be an indication that your cat has an ear infection. If you notice any of these symptoms, it's vital that you schedule a trip to your veterinarian as soon as possible.

As you may already know, not all cats are fans of having their nails trimmed, hair combed, or teeth brushed. Still, these grooming items are essential to keeping your cat clean and healthy.

To help your pal become better acclimated and overall more comfortable with their hygiene routine, it's crucial that you make each time a positive and relaxed experience. You may find that short grooming routines (i.e., trimming just a few nails a day instead of all paws) may work best, at least until your cat becomes more used to the process. It can also be beneficial to use verbal praise, a good ear scratch, or treats to show your pal that grooming doesn't need to be scary.

white Burmilla kitten with green eyes on playing with a green blanket while lying on the floor

Common Health Issues

Burmilla cats are a relatively healthy breed. That said, they can be prone to developing similar issues to that of the Burmese cat. While there is no guarantee that your cat will develop any or all of the following health issues, these are the most common health problems that could arise.

  • Diabetes Mellitus – Also known as cat diabetes, this is caused when a cat's blood sugar becomes imbalanced, and hormone insulin cannot properly regulate their levels.
  • Allergies* – Just like humans, cats can also experience allergic reactions to various environmental factors, including but not limited to grass, pollen, or food.
  • Polycystic Kidney Disease – This disease causes cysts to form in the kidneys. This is an inherited disease, so cats will already be born with the cysts, and they will enlarge over time.

To stay on top of your cat's health, it is essential that you take them for their yearly visits with their veterinarian. Even if your pal appears to be in perfect shape, you should never skip these annual check-ups, especially because health issues in cats can easily go unnoticed.

There are many benefits to taking your feline friend to the veterinarian, one of which being that you can catch problems early on. If you were to wait five years in between your pet's appointments or if you waited until they have extreme symptoms, then the problem could already by progressed too far. By diagnosing problems in their early stages, your pet's health will benefit, and it could mean that the issue will be cheaper to treat.

Another benefit of your cat visiting their veterinarian is that they can better avoid preventable diseases. Staying up-to-date on their vaccines and receiving necessary preventatives for fleas, ticks, and heartworm, are all items that can be discussed at their appointments.

Another added benefit of veterinary visits is that your veterinarian can keep an eye on and monitor your cat's weight. All cats can be susceptible to obesity, and once your cat gains a significant amount of weight, a list of other health issues can quickly follow. If you ever have questions concerning your cat's diet, exercise, or weight, talk with your veterinarian about recommendations and tips.

In order to keep your cat both mentally and physically healthy and ward off boredom, it's crucial to provide some environmental enrichment.

Fun Facts

Because many people have not heard about Burmilla cats, there is still much to learn about the breed.

  • Burmilla cats have green eyes, but the color can vary in shade.
  • The parents of the Burmilla breed, a Chinchilla Persian and Burmese, were named Sanquist and Faberge, respectfully.
  • Though these cats are most commonly found in a few principal colors and patterns, they can come in a wide variety of coat designs.
  • These felines are naturally skilled climbers and jumpers, so if a climbing tower isn't provided, they may climb on top of your cupboards or shelves.
  • In Australia, the Burmilla cat has been referred to as the Australian Tiffanie. However, this name is not used or accepted in any other region since the name "Tiffany" has been used to describe a handful of other cat breeds.

At least one thing is a guarantee with the Burmilla cat breed—life is never dull when they're around.

Name Suggestions

After you adopt your new four-legged friend, the next most important decision will be to select a name. Since this can be a stressful process, here's a short list of possible names to help you with your decision-making.

  • Alfie
  • Archie
  • Beatrice
  • Ives
  • Millie
  • Poppy
  • Tilly
  • Winston

Hopefully, one of the names on this UK-inspired list is the perfect fit for your feline. And if you now find yourself stuck between two names, maybe it's a sign that your Burmilla needs another Burmilla friend in the house.

The information presented in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute or substitute for the advice of your veterinarian.


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