Cat Profiles The Shaded and Tipped Burmilla

Tessie af Misapotanien DK

Lilac  Tipped Silver

It is very difficult to do justice to Tessie’s colouring with a photograph as lilac is a delicate fawn which does not show up very well, especially as she is ‘Tipped’, where the colour is confined to the extreme tip of the hair over the mantle with the belly almost pure white.  The spine and tail show the most colour and the diamond is clearly shown.  The paw pads are bluish pink which is consistent with lilacs, as is the nose leather  This is the palest of all the Burmilla colours with perhaps the exception of the cream.

Katchadream Dakota (Missie)

Chocolate  Shaded Silver

This photograph shows the delicate chocolate colouring at the last third tip of the hair, shading to almost pure white on the belly.  With slightly heavier  colour down the spine and on the ears.  The paw pads are a rich warm chocolate and the nose leather is a pale terracotta.  You can just make out the diamond markings on the forehead.

Beautiful shaded and tipped kittens sometimes available

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The Burmilla

The Burmilla is a medium size, short haired cat, of foreign type with a spectacular silver coat.

The original Burmilla kittens from both litters bred by Miranda von Kirshberg, were all  black shaded silver.  In time however because the Burmese females carried several colours all the usual cat colours including a non silver golden shaded appeared.  Eventually the tipped silver  also appeared (Persian Chinchillas from which the first hybrids were bred are all silver tipped.)

The Persian Chinchilla is call an agouti cat.  This mean they have the gene for agouti, which is a dominant gene.  The Chinchilla has this gene as a double version.  The agouti is a very ancient gene that is commonly found in wild species of many animals.  The hair shaft is banded with four or five bands of black and yellow with black at the tip.  This colouring gives a blurred outline to allow the animal to blend in to its surroundings (the wild rabbit is a good example of this).  In domestic cats it is found with stripes (tabby patterns) and without stripes as in ticked tabbies.

When we describe the colours of the Burmilla we sometimes use the term ‘full expression’ and ‘Burmese expression’.  This is because the colour of Burmese cats is modified by a gene which is generally not found in other cat breeds.  This is most easily seen in what would be a black Burmese, which because of the modified gene they  appear to be brown (the Siamese  has a more extreme version of this gene, then the colour is called Seal).  The cats who do not have the modified gene have full expression colour.  Therefore Burmillas come both full expression and Burmese expression in the following colours, black, ”brown”, blue,  chocolate, lilac, red, cream and all the tortie colours in shaded or tipped silver and golden

From the early litters various other coat patterns were produce,  myself and some other Burmilla breeders did not include these in our breed program, preferring to concentrate on the silver shaded and tipped.  Other breeders chose to develop these, (many of which were very beautiful), calling them collectively ‘Asian’.  The Tiffanie which is a semi-long haired version in all the patterns and colours is also included in the Asian group.

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