Article by Rhondda Watson
|The most striking exhibits on the Show Bench are the
tipped cats belonging to the Silver Group. These include the Chinchilla
Persians, the Shaded Chinchillas and the Smokes. These cats are classified
according to the amount of solid colour at the tips of the hairs which
fade into a sparkling silver group possess and inhibitor symbolised "I".
This is a dominant gene and its effect is to suppress the development of
pigment or colouring matter in the hair shaft.
|The Burmilla breed can be traced back to an accidental
mating which happened in London in 1981 of a chinchilla Persian (L/H) male
and a lilac Burmese (S/H) female belonging to Miranda Bichford-Smith (nee
von Kirchberg). The first generation offspring were shorthair Shaded Burmillas. However subsequent generations inevitably brought the recessive
longhair and sepia pointing genes to the surface. The Burmilla breed was
developed with the support of Burmese breeders who allowed their Burmese
to be used by backcrossing the early generations of Burmillas to Burmese
of excellent type.
|The GCCF in the UK have designated these
cats a special breed group called Asians. The following breeds and
colours have been developed for the Asian Group.
The Burmilla with shorthair coats and patterns that are shaded or tipped in the following colours Black, Sepia, Chocolate, Red, Blue and Lilac.
The Asian Ticked Tabby in all recognised colours.
The Asian Tabby in the following patterns and all recognised colours mackerel, Spotted and Classic.
The Asian Tortoiseshell in all recognised colours & the Asian Smoke.
The Tiffanie which is a long haired Burmilla in all recognised Burmilla patterns and colours.
The Bombay in black only which is a solid coated Burmese type cat. Any other colours are classified as Asians from the Bombay program.
|The NSW CFA Burmilla Breeding Program
The NSW CFA Burmilla Breeding Program differs from the GCCF program in the UK as Burmese of only four basic coat colours were permitted to be used. Chinchilla Persians were crossed with Burmese with either Brown, Blue, Chocolate or Lilac coats. Red and Cram coated Burmese were not permitted so there would be fewer diverse coat patterns and colours in subsequent generations.
As the UK program, Longhaired "Burmillas" are produced in the breeding program but only the shorthaired progeny are recognised as Burmilla.
The recessive L/H gene gives rise to the Longhaired "Burmillas". This can be seen if the genetic make up of the Chinchilla Persian and the Burmese are combined. Taking the original Burmilla mating as an example:
The Chilchilla is a L/H silver cat with a black tipped coat. The Chinchilla tipped coat pattern is dominant to the solid colour coat pattern of the Burmese. All cats with silver coat possess an inhibitor gene, symbolised by "I", (with its effect of suppressing the pigment or colouring matter in the hair shaft). It is a dominant gene.
A Burmese with a lilac coat possesses a dilute recessive gene for coat colours. As the Burmese is a S7H cat this gene for length is dominant.