ABCS History

The Asians in England by Naomi Johnson ( this page - -A compilation of two articles by Ms. Johnson -scanned in  -  -ed )
History of the Burmillas in Australia  By Valerie Stewart 28/08/2005 (  this page - - scanned in - ed)
email was received "walters re    - - Aus breeding programs ( this page ed )
The Canadian Program by I Battye Horizons cattery ( this page   - -Your Ed to date - ed)
The Cranreuch Silver Burmese breeding Program In N Z ( this is a direct  off site link - ed)

The Asians in England by Naomi Johnson

The breed was originally developed entirely in the UK, via two different routes, both of which involved unintentional matings of Burmese to other breeds, beginning as long ago as the 1960s. Firstly, Burmese mated to black and tabby non-pedigree cats resulted in the development of solid black cats of Burmese type, similar to the Bombay breed already established in the USA. Secondly, an accidental mating in 1981 between a lilac Burmese and a Chinchilla Persian. The Chinchilla mating led to the birth of 4 black silver shaded female kittens of reasonable European Burmese type. The owner of the accidental litter, Miranda Von Kirchberg, initially regarded them as very pretty pets never to be repeated but after a few weeks began to wonder about the possibility of a new breed in the making. The kittens were very healthy and strong and had the sweetest natures imaginable. Miranda wondered why should there not be a "Silver Burmese" when there were already Silver Orientals, Persians and British Shorthairs? She sought help and advice from many people including GCCF officers, geneticists and cat club representatives and eventually formulated a breeding programme to develop "Silver Shaded Shorthairs of Burmese type" which she named Burmillas. Over the course of the next few years, more breeders joined the program and it became clear that the new breed had huge potential, because in addition to the Shaded Silvers, other patterns and colours were appearing   produced four shorthaired shaded silver kittens, one of which became the foundation for the breeding program to develop the Burmilla, Smoke, Tabbies and semi-longhairs to be known as Tiffanies, although Self (solid coloured) cats are also produced from this background.

During the same time period, independently of Miranda's efforts, another group in the west of England was working to develop a Black Shorthair of Burmese type, modeled on the already-existing Bombay breed in the US. This program arose from mismatings of Burmese with tabby and black non-pedigree cats mentioned above. In the late 1980s the two breeding programs were combined as part of the "Asian Group, although the breeders of Bombays and other Selfs still followed a slightly different route.

In 1990 GCCF gave Preliminary recognition to the cats of the Asian Group meaning that they could be shown in Assessment classes. In 1994, the Asian Smokes, Burmillas and Asian Tabbies progressed to the next stage of Provisional Recognition and these 3 varieties gained Championship status in 1997. The Asian Selfs were added in 2000 and Tiffanies were added in 2003, into Championship status. Since gaining Championship status the Burmillas, Smokes, Tabbies, Selfs and Tiffanies have been successful way beyond all expectation, winning many Best in Show awards even at the most prestigious GCCF Shows which, considering that they have to compete against the other Foreign breeds (Rex, Abyssinian, Russian, Korat) is quite outstanding.

The Asian breed includes five varieties, all of which are identical in type and conformation to European Burmese, the only difference being that they are found in many colours and patterns not currently recognized in European Burmese; there is also a Semi-Longhair variety. These five varieties are: Burmilla (Asian Shaded), Asian Smoke, Asian Tabby (in Ticked, Spotted, Mackerel and Classic patterns), Asian Self (including the Bombay), and Tiffanie (Semi-Longhair).

The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy in the UK now classifies all five varieties within the "Asian Group". All 5 varieties have Championship status with GCCF, having been granted initial preliminary recognition in 1991. Occasionally, Burmese lookalike kittens appear in Asian litters - these are registered on GCCF's reference register as Asian variants and cannot be shown, but can be used in Asian breeding programs (never in Burmese programs). In practice they are most often sold as pets.

Asians were 12th on GCCF's list of breeds registered in 2004, with just under 700 kittens registered, making them more numerous than breeds such as Devon Rex, Cornish Rex, Tonkinese, Abyssinian and Russian Blue. Many European Burmese breeders also breed Asians, which is hardly surprising given that they are the same type and can be interbred (and again, never in Burmese programs). Overall, the Asian breed is becoming increasingly popular in the UK, partly due to many outstanding successes on the show bench, but not least as the result of an affectionate, intelligent nature inherited from the Burmese, making the Asian an ideal family pet.

History of the Burmillas in Australia
By Valerie Stewart 28/08/2005

Our Burmilla breeding program began in 1994.A few dedicated people got together and decided to breed this fascinating new breed, the Burmilla. This new venture began after Helge and Robin Moller (Hindmarsh) had paid a visit to Europe and had fallen in love with the Burmilla.

Guidelines were set down, using the same principal as the Burmilla Club of UK….
Chinchilla Persian and Burmese to be used as foundation breeds. Only Tipped and Shaded Silver Burmillas were used into the Program in further generations. In some instances, Burmillas were put back to Burmese to improve type, especially coat. Some Organizations allow Smokes and Ticked Tabbies from these matings to be used, also.

As a breeder since 1999, I have seen a great demand for these cats from other breeders and the public. To me, Burmillas are a great success!!

Our Governing Bodies have made the requirements that only experienced breeders be given Experimental Approval to breed these cats. Existing breeders are not allowed to place entire cats/kittens with a person who does not have an approved program. All kittens are to be desexed before going to a pet home.

The Burmilla Longhair is approved and is being bred. They are accepted by both ACF and CCCA...Just recently Asians in Black, Blue, Chocolate and Lilac have been approved by CCCA. This will help our genepoole greatly.

Show results are showing that Burmillas are consistently being placed in Top 10 in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. It is pleasing to see that Judges are now seeing more of this breed, making it easier for their assessments.

In my opinion...the Asian Group...including the Burmilla will go from strength to strength. This breed is just so popular with everyone....I can't see anything but "success".

Val Stewart Shezarda Burmillas Australia

update -  the following   email (part)was received
From: "walters" <>
Date: Sun, 2 Mar 2003 20:54:21 +1100
Our Australian Tiffanie differs in the breeding program quite markedly to your's in that we allow going back to Chinchillas in later than foundation generation ... and we also allow outcrossing to Silver Longhair Exotic.  We only accept silvers - and so far we're producing lovely kittens ... but not yet uniform type.  We're up to Gen 3.  ... my latest two litters - both litters being sired by a Beechbrae Scottish Longhair Exotic.  The kittens are really valuable to us since we've been able to access completely new Chinchilla lines to those available in Australia.
Colleen Walters
Kurranulla Cattery - PKD tested negative
ed note: It is our understanding that an "Exotic" is  a shorthair Chinchilla i.e. same breed lines, and that the longhair version is fundamentally identical to the Chinchilla by way of breed pool genetics. The Exotic question (of allowable out cross) did come up in our early discussions with CCA. We did not go with it. That decision was not so much to exclude but rather to remain less complicated. The ultimate test with these "variants" would be who's version is acceptable to whom(association to association).

The Canadian Burmilla

The Foreign Burmese was introduced to the Canadian Cat Show World in 1986, by Jean Morphee-Barnard of STRATHKIRK Cattery. She began her lines by breeding cats with British backgrounds to traditional Canadian Burmese. Jean subsequently imported additional British cats in order to specialize in the Red and Cream colours. The first Cream Burmese to achieve Championship status in Canada was Strathkirk's Sam The Man in the Summer of 1993.

By the Fall of 1993, STRATHKIRK and Horizon's Cattery, (Ann Kidd and Ivan Battye), began working together to pursue the Foreign Burmese Breeding Program and to bring the Burmilla to Canada. In December 1995 we were fortunate to import a male and female "Tiffanie", (long haired Burmilla), from England

They were Moonspinners Mercury and Meerani, who were then shown Experimental Status in the Canadian Cat Association. They were bred subsequently to a variety of Foreign and Traditional Burmese . Some 80 of their offspring, (short haired Burmillas carrying the long haired gene), followed. Twenty of these Burmillas were kept for further breeding.  All Burmillas were granted New Breed Staus in November 1997.  Burmillas began showing in the Spring of 1998 and  gained Championship Status by 1999. These kittens are proving to be very popular.

In order to simplify acceptance of this breed in Canada and to facilitate the subsequent registration and judging processes, these cats are identified as Short or Long Haired Burmillas and are further described by their pattern (ie. self, smoke, shaded, Tipped, Tabby, etc). This simplification also avoids confusion with the commonly use discriptor "Asian" (ie the cat is of asian type)and  the American breed of Chantily / Tiffany already recognised by some associations. Thus all Canadian cats from this breed pool are Burmilla(s), the term Asian is not used.

In December 1996,  a Chinchilla Persian , Chico's Christian was imported from England. He was selected for his natural head shape and carriage of the golden gene. Christian was subsequently bred to selected Foreign and Traditional Burmese Queens to produce F1 Burmillas. This was done to produce a completely different line of Burmillas, thus increasing the gene pool.  

The process of producing a full Burmilla (or Asian using the English terminology) from a foundation breeding is complex, not for the faint hearted, and is as follows.

Step 1: Burmese x Chinchilla This gives 1st generation, (F1), Burmillas. This results in Shaded or Tipped varieties or occasionally Ticked Tabbies if the Chinchilla carries Golden.

Step 2: F1 Burmilla back again to Burmese This gives 2nd generation, (F2), Burmillas. At this stage you can expect to get Tabbies, Selfs and Smokes as well as Shaded or Tipped varieties.

Step 3: F2 Burmilla to an unrelated Burmilla (any variety) This gives 3rd generation, (F3), Burmillas. Again any variety is possible, including longhaired Burmillas, (Tiffanies), if the F2 cats both carry the longhair gene.

Step 4: F3 Burmilla should be mated back to Burmese This gives the 4th generation, (F4), or full Burmillas.

As a protocol, in Horizons tracking nomonclature, we hold a cat at F3 status until it has gone back to a Burmese. We find that it is sometimes useful to repeat breedings F3 to F3 to hold a recessive ie long hair. We also note in the pedigrees that not many English Breeders have held to this complete program.
After F4 is accomplished, matings should mainly be Burmilla to Burmilla but can at any time, go back to the Burmese, which is an allowable out-cross to the full Burmilla.
In simple terms the objective of the Burmilla breeding program is to import the Long hair, Black colour, and Silver undercoat genetics, from the Chinchilla Persian while keeping the sleek, no undercoat, fur and the outgoing interactive personality of the Burmese.

Note the Foreign Burmese is a Canadian Cat Association (CCA) designation and considerably predates the CFA's "European Burmese". Foreign Burmese are cats of European type (the GCCF standard was used) and may have Traditional North American Burmese in their ancestory. Horizons have gradually transfered the cattery to European Burmese but do retain some Foreign cats. All Burmillas meet the 2000 date as the limit for breeding with Traditional Burmese but 1 who is being tracked.  All xcanadian cats are of Chinchilla/Burmese only ancestory.

The breeding history of the Canadian Burmilla Program can be followed pictorially.