Monday, 16 June 2008

Burmilla Breeders

Burmilla cat
Burmilla cat - photo copyright perlmonger. Published under a creative commons license which allows for the cropping that has taken place. Thanks for license.

I've wouldn't be doing this mini-website justice without listing some selected Burmilla Breeders. Here are some websites that I like. I can only filter breeders from their websites. Thereafter it is a matter of visiting, which is pretty much a must do (note sometimes people remove web pages and websites so although these are live links as at the date of the post they may no remain that way):


GEMS's and Araboth Burmillas and Asians
This is a well established cattery (about 9 years or more it seems) based in Polegate . This is on the south coast of England, a nice part of the country.

Burmilla Cat Club
This is a UK cat club with a fine list of Burmilla breeders in the UK. The link takes you straight to the breeders page.

Miamber Burmilla and Burmese

Located in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. A well established small hobby cattery - probably the best kind of cattery as profit is not usually the prime concern.

Aaralyn Cattery
Located in Wollstonecraft, New South Wales, Australia.

Note: I had difficulty, as you might realize, in finding many Burmilla Breeders. This is a relatively rare cat - ranked 9 out of 10 on my analysis of the rare cat breeds. I could not find a USA breeder. And I looked on the internet for a good 30 mins. The breeders mentioned were the easiest to find and the UK is possibly the place for Burmillas judging by the number of breeders there. I am sure that there are US breeders but they don't jump out at you on a Google search - sorry.


Burmilla Breeders to Burmese cat

Monday, 14 April 2008

Burmilla Health

Burmilla Health - As mentioned in the post on the history and origins of this cat breed, the Burmilla's founding cats are the Burmese and Persian (Chinchilla coat). The Persian cat breed is known to suffer from a number of disorders including the genetic disorder PKD - Polycystic Kidney Disease (apparently about one third of all purebred Persians contract PKD).


PKD

This disease is nasty. Cysts form in the kidneys. It can lead to renal failure, which kills as you might expect.

Accordingly, the Burmilla may have inherited this disease. Good breeders will screen for it by DNA testing. This ensures as near as possible that the breeding program operated by the breeder is free of this disease. Enquire about this with the breeder. They should have medical documentation certifying that their cats are free of PKD.


Genetic Defect USA Burmese

As for the Burmese cat the other founding parent cat of the Burmilla, it might be useful to mention that the USA Burmese carries a genetic defect that occasionally rears its ugly head in the form of the birth of kittens with deformed heads - quite tragic really. These kittens are killed. I do not know how this gene is or isn't transmitted to the Burmilla. It is probably transmitted but is recessive so is rarely seen. I'd ask about and watch for this as well, though. This disorder does not affect UK Burmese cats apparently.

Burmilla Health to Home Page

Sunday, 30 March 2008

Burmilla

Burmilla Cat
Burmilla cat photograph copyright skoop reproduced under a creative commons license.

The Burmilla is a cat breed that I had not heard of until I built the pictures of cats website. It is a rare cat but then again so are a lot of the purebred cats.

I have covered the origins. What about the appearance of this cat? We know the founding cats are Burmese and Chinchilla. The Chinchilla is in fact a Persian cat with a particular coat type.

It is interesting to consider which genes the Burmilla inherited from each founding cat that are presented in the Burmilla's appearance.

The Chinchilla gave this cat its silver shaded coat by way of the dominant silver (I) gene. This cat also inherited the Agouti (A) gene from the Chinchilla. The Agouti gene produces the tabby pattern seen so commonly on a wide range of purebred and mixed breed cats and also wild cats. It provides good camouflage for wild cats. The Agouti gene gives the Burmilla its tipped coat but the tabby markings fade apparently.

The recessive longhair gene is carried by first generation Burmillas. This gene may make its presence manifest later on. This gene is not welcome and breeders try to breed it out of their lines. The cat in picture above presumably reflects the presence of this gene.

The Burmese contributes the dominant short hair gene and the recessive Burmese gene. Breeders strive for a situation in which both copies of the gene for short hair are present (homozygous) as this a short haired cat. Homozygous means having identical alleles for a single trait.

Burmilla cat
Burmilla cat. Photo copyright jtlondon reproduced under creative commons license

Here is a summary of the breed standard:

This cat is medium sized. She should have a good contrast between the silver base color and the shading/tipping. She is of "foreign type". Foreign type means a cat with modified wedge or wedge shaped head, large ears, oval or almond shaped eyes, long body with legs in proportion to body length, slim, fine boned, long and tapering tail. Elegant. Greater depth of flank than in Oriental type.

The Abyssinian and Russian Blue are examples of foreign type. Foreign type cats have wedge shaped heads, large ears, long bodies. They are elegant in appearance and fine boned.

The head is a short blunt wedge. The eyes are large and "expressive". Green or amber (in Reds, Creams and Torties) are accepted. The coat is short, silky and smooth. It is also dense with an undercoat. The tabby markings are faint on the forehead. These markings may also be on the legs and tail (shaded Burmilla).

Source: The Burmilla Cat Club

Friday, 28 March 2008

Burmilla Origin and History

Burmilla Origin and History -- I'll open up with a post on the origins and history of this cat in a style that I hope suits visitors. There is often a lot written on the Internet but for me in any event a lot of it is a little verbose. Here's the history in detail of the Burmilla:

1981 - Miranda Bickford-Smith buys a Chinchilla Persian for her husband. The cat's name is Jemari Sanquist.

Burmilla cat
Burmilla cat copyright jtlondon under CC

1981 (early) - Before Jerami is to be neutered he meets by accident a lilac Burmese female (not sure where this happened) called Bambino Lilac Fabergé. One website says that both the Chinchilla Persian and the Burmese female were waiting to be breed in the same building ("nearby rooms"). A cleaner inadvertently left the door (doors?) open and voila. Sounds a bit hazy that.

1981 - September 11th - Four black shaded silver females born to the above accidental mating. They quickly developed a foreign type and a short dense coat. Thérèse Clarke (who recounted the story in detail and from which in part this post is taken) says that she was impressed by two of the offspring, Galatea and Gemma. Three things struck Thérèse, their type (required appearance for a breed), temperament and "spectacular" look. These factors prompted Miranda and Thérèse to start a cat breed.

1981 - Jemari Sanquist (the original Chinchilla Persian) was then mated with another of Miranda's Burmese queens (breeding female cat).

Burmilla cat
Burmilla cat copyright jltondon

1981 - 27th March - A single male was the result of the mating. His name, Jacynth. He was to join Gemma later and together they founded the Kartush line (the breeding line founded by Thérèse).

{Note: the hybrid created by mating a Chinchilla and Burmese will result in silver cats with shorthair. These cats will carry recessive genes that may present their phenotype. These genes are the Burmese "self" gene and the Chinchilla longhair gene - "self" means a solid color -Burmilla Origin and History}.

1981 (2) - the name was sorted out. The two people who looked after Miranda's cats suggested the winning name, Burmilla. The first 4 letters fairly obviously represent the first four letter of the word Burmese. The last four letters represent the last four letters of the word Chinchilla.
That was quite easy really wasn't it! (it always does in retrospect).

1983 - It was agreed between the founding Burmilla cat breeders, Miranda and Thérèse that they would develop the breed in different ways. Thérèse focusing on the Burmilla as seen in Gemma and Jacynth (the founding cats) within the Cat Association of Britain (wound up 2004) and Miranda developing the "Burmilla and its related breeds" within the GCCF.

1983 - Burmilla Breed Standard drafted and accepted by GCCF

1984 - (Jan. 21st) Burmilla Cat Club founded (Thérèse co-founder)

1984 - Two Burmillas imported into Dennmark and the breed promoted in the continent by Birgit Behammer

1985 - Miranda founded The Asian Group Cat Society

1994 - FIFe recognize Burmilla and breed standard drafted (not sure when)

1995 - GCCF recognize the Burmilla

2003-8 - Burmilla Origin and History moved on and the Burmilla Breeders Association of Australia formed and the Burmilla breed is bred in Australia.

Sources: The Enchanting Story of the Burmilla By Thérèse Clarke and other websites

Burmilla Origin and History to Pictures of cats home page

Burmilla

A sub-domain website to the Pictures of Cats website, about the Burmilla Cat breed.