Burmilla cat
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Burmilla Cat Breed Profile

Est. read time: 8 min.

The Burmilla cat is an elegant and easygoing breed that presents many of the great qualities that come from their ancestors, Burmese and Persian cats. This breed is a happy accident—a pairing that wasn’t purposeful but resulted in an amazing kitty. While relatively new and rare, if you are to come across a Burmilla cat, you’ll be completely taken with them. 

These cats make for fabulous first-time pets, but they aren’t easy to come by. To learn more about the wonderful Burmilla cat and what it's like to live with one, continue reading.

Burmilla cat ...at a glance
Personality Easygoing, independent, friendly
Life expectancy 10-15 years
Weight 6-13 lbs
Coat & colors Short or medium; silver-white with tips or shading
Energy level Medium
Affection level Medium
Friendliness High
Shedding level Medium
Required grooming Low

Overview of the Burmilla cat

Burmilla cat

Burmilla cats are small to medium in size, with male cats typically being larger than females. They are stocky and muscular yet gentle and agile. When admiring a Burmilla cat, you will easily recognize their soft, plush coat and calm demeanor. This is definitely a cat made for snuggling. 


Male Burmilla cats tend to be more robust than females. Females may come across as dainty, but sturdy nonetheless. This breed typically weighs between 6 and 13 pounds, with males on the heavier side.

How active and playful your Burmilla is can also influence their weight. As a cross between the Burmese and Persian, Burmillas may either have a very active personality or a docile one.


Burmilla cats are small- to medium-sized and can truly vary in their appearance. Some Burmilla cats might be lengthier than others, especially because the females are known to be more elegant and elongated than males. Burmilla cats can be up to 20 inches long, with proportional bodies and tails. 


A Burmilla cat’s coat will be short to medium in length and incredibly soft. They will either be solid or colorpoint-patterned but can come in a range of colors, including silver-white, black, blue, chocolate, cream, lilac, apricot, beige, or tortoiseshell. 

Their coats are often more cream-colored at the base with tipped markings, giving them a very shimmery appearance. A Burmilla’s coat is one of their most remarkable features, as it encapsulates the coats of both the Burmese and Persian cats. 

Life expectancy

Burmilla cats are generally healthy. When properly cared for, they typically live 10 to 15 years.

To keep your Burmilla cat around and happy for as long as possible, be sure to encourage exercise, feed them nutritional meals, and visit the vet regularly. 

History of the Burmilla cat

Burmilla cat

The Burmilla cat has a rather recent history, only originating because of an accident that occurred in the 1980s. A baroness from the United Kingdom had one Persian cat and one Burmese cat as her pets. After an accidental mating, a litter of kittens with thick, shimmery coats and sweet personalities stole the baroness’s heart. 

The Persian cat had a very silvery coat, known as the color chinchilla, so combined with the Burmese, the name Burmilla came about. Since the baroness had become so enamored with these new kittens, work was done to preserve the breed and help it expand. 

While the Burmilla cat might be sought out for their demeanor and looks, they’re still a rarity to encounter.

Burmilla cat characteristics

Burmilla cats are a beautiful breed with striking features. While both elegant and powerful in appearance, this breed’s features can be quite the juxtaposition. They have a darkened eyeliner-like look that frames their eyes and contrasts greatly against their bright green eye color. Their eyes are usually large and almond-shaped, and it’s very apparent when they are looking at you. 

These cats have shiny, silver-tipped coats that give them a very shimmery appearance, no matter their color. Their coats range in color and are usually considered medium in length, but this varies from short to semi-long. 

Personality and behavior

Burmilla cat playing with blanket

Personality-wise, Burmilla cats are known for being a perfect mix of the Persian and Burmese breeds. Not only are they playful, outgoing, sociable, and friendly like their Burmese ancestors, but they can also be quiet, independent, tolerant, and laid-back like Persians. You usually get the best of both worlds—a cat that is loving and playful without being overly needy. 

Burmilla cats enjoy the company of other pets and their humans. They like to be involved in their family’s life but won’t need consistent entertainment. They are easygoing and won’t demand attention from you, but rather will engage with you when appropriate. Of course, they’re happy to ask for some love by curling up on your lap at the end of the day. 

Loving but independent

Your Burmilla is going to want your affection. They enjoy cuddles, nice pets, and gentle adoration.

On the other hand, they can be independent and like their space. Overwhelming them with affection could be stressful for your Burmilla cat. You will begin to pick up on the moments your cat does and doesn't want your affection as you get to know them and build a connection.

Caring for a Burmilla cat

Burmilla cat outside on leash

Burmilla cats are known for their low-maintenance lifestyle and general easygoing attitude. This makes them wonderful pets for people who have never adopted a cat before. They won’t require too much from you in order to be happy, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have specific needs to be met. 

Since Burmilla cats are more go-with-the-flow than many other cat breeds, you might need to engage them in activity to ensure they are living their healthiest lives. For instance, these cats might not tire themselves out with independent play, so you will have to get involved. Anyone can step up to the plate here, as Burmillas tend to get along with all—other cats, dogs, children, elderly people, and everyone in between.  

Attention and exercise

Burmilla cats can be clumsy, but that doesn’t stop them from climbing around the house and exploring new spaces. Offering tall cat trees and sturdy perches for your Burmilla will ensure they get the enrichment they need to be happy. They are likely to play with you if you engage with them, as they don’t like turning down an opportunity to be with their humans.

When trained properly, you can take your Burmilla cat out on a leash so they can safely explore the outdoor world. They are smart enough to learn how to play fetch and complete puzzles, all of which help to keep your Burmilla happy.

If your Burmilla becomes too bored with their daily life, they might react by acting out in destructive ways. You can avoid this behavior by having toys and games around for your Burmilla. 


Burmilla cats are relatively easy to maintain when it comes to grooming. You’ll want to brush their coats once a week to avoid knotting or matting within the fur. You can use a stainless steel comb to brush them and help keep their fur silky.

Burmilla cats can benefit from regular dental cleanings to avoid periodontal disease, a very common condition in cats. They will need their nails trimmed at least monthly, as well. You will want to ensure they are being fed a high-nutrition diet and exercised regularly, as these cats are more prone to becoming overweight.

Having proper toys for enrichment, nutritional food, and a self-cleaning litter box can help keep your cat very comfortable, clean, and well-behaved in your home. A consistently clean litter box helps decrease the chance of improper elimination (and litter tracked through the house). 

Health-related issues

Burmillas are relatively healthy cats that can live long, happy lives. They may be prone to experiencing allergies and kidney-related diseases, like polycystic kidney disease, as they age. With regularly scheduled veterinarian appointments, you can detect medical and health-related issues as your cat ages. 

As a cat parent, you will likely be able to recognize if there is something wrong with your Burmilla based on how their behavior changes.

Adopting a Burmilla 

As mentioned, this breed is rare to come across, let alone find in an animal shelter. If interested in adopting one of these lovely cats, you might have more luck with rare breed or breed-specific rescues. 

When you take in a Burmilla cat, you get a best friend for life. This kitty will comfort you when you need it and be very content as a companion in your home.