The Burmilla is a cat breed that came into existence in recent decades. It was created by crossing a couple of other cat breeds. One would be the Chinchilla Persian. The other would be the Burmese is a rather rare cat breed, so much so that it isn’t even recognized by the major registries in the United States.
1. Created in the United Kingdom
The Burmilla was created in the United Kingdom in 1981. As such, it makes sense that the cat breed has received the most recognition in said country. Burmilla standards were set down in 1984. Later, these cats gained championship status in the United Kingdom in the 1990s.
2. Created By Accident
Generally speaking, cat breeds were intentionally created. However, it is amusing to note that the Burmilla came into existence because of an accident. As the story goes, two cats were awaiting partners of the same breed in different rooms from one another. The cleaner left the door open one night, with the result that the two produced four kittens with one another. On seeing them, the breeder decided that the kittens had potential, thus convincing them to create the Burmilla.
3. One Cat Was a Chinchilla Persian
One of the two cats was a Chinchilla Persian. For those who are unfamiliar, Chinchilla Persians are a particular kind of Persian. Said animals have a number of physical characteristics that stand out. One example would be how they have white fur plus either green or blue-green eyes. Another example would be how they have a broad head with a short, open face plus small, wide-set ears.
4. Chinchilla Persians Are Supposed to Be More Extroverted
Generally speaking, Persians have a reputation for being quiet, good-natured cats. However, Chinchilla Persians are a bit unusual in that they are said to be more extroverted than their counterparts. Still, these cats tend to be affectionate and good-tempered, both of which tend to be very useful characteristics for companion animals.
5. Chinchilla Persians Can Inherit Various Medical Issues
Unfortunately, the enormous interest in Chinchilla Persians and other Persians has produced some issues. To name an example, the flattening of the face has increased these cats’ chances of getting a number of serious medical problems. One potential problem would be jaw deformities, which can make it more difficult for them to eat and drink while also increasing their chances of getting dental diseases. Another potential problem would be breathing issues because of their small nostrils and soft palate. On top of this, a flattened face means an increased chance of rashes and sores because the tears aren’t following their intended path but will instead wet the face. Besides these, Persians have been known to carry the gene for autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease as well, so it is a good idea for people to check for the presence of said gene in their Burmilla’s lineage because said condition can cause kidney failure through kidney cysts.
6. The Other Cat Was a Burmese
Meanwhile, the other cat used to create the Burmilla was the Burmese. Based on the name, people should have no problem guessing that said cat breed can trace its roots to Myanmar, which was once called Burma. However, the Burmese was further developed in the United States and the United Kingdom. In fact, it should be mentioned that the cat breed took divergent paths in the two countries, with the result that there are now not one but two kinds of Burmese that are sometimes considered two varieties of the same cat breed and sometimes considered two separate cat breeds.
7. Burmese Have Been Compared to Puppies
Cats and dogs are seen as two very different kinds of animals. However, there are some cats that have been compared to dogs, just as how there are some dogs that have been compared to cats. Burmese are an excellent example of cat breeds that have been compared to puppies. This is because they form strong bonds with their owners, retain a sense of playfulness into adulthood, and have been known to play fetch with their owners.
8. Inbreeding Is a Serious Issue for American Burmese
In 2008, UC Davis researchers conducted a study on the genetic diversity of different cat breeds. Out of those that were studied, the American Burmese was the second least genetically diverse, beaten out in this regard by just the Singapura. This had a noticeable effect on these cats, making for smaller animals with weaker constitutions as well as weaker immune systems. Something that explains the encouragement of outcrossing with certain other cat breeds for the purpose of broadening their gene pool.
9. Burmillas Can Come in Numerous Colors
Chinchilla Persians might be very consistent when it comes to their coat colors. However, Burmillas are much more varied in this regard. The initial kittens had black fur. However, people can now find Burmillas coming in everything from black and brown to red and calico. For that matter, it should be mentioned that Burmillas are often either tipped or shaded. Tipped means that they have a dusting of color over either a golden or a silver undercoat, which makes for some very interesting looks. Meanwhile, shaded means that they have about a quarter to a half as their color, thus resulting in what has been described as a mantle of color over their back as well as other parts of their body.
10. Affectionate But Independent
Personality-wise, Burmillas have been described as being affectionate but independent. Essentially, they are good-natured cats that can get along very well with their owner, particularly when they receive regular attention from said individual. However, Burmillas aren’t as clingy as some of the other cats that can be found out there. Something that can cause real problems with those cats if people have to leave them alone from time to time for whatever reason.