The Shaded, or Burmilla, is the original Asian variety. In 1981, an accidental mating between a male Chinchilla (Jemari Sanquist), and a female lilac European Burmese (Bambino Lilac Faberge), resulted in the birth of 4 black Shaded Silver shorthaired kittens of good Burmese type. The breeder, Miranda von Kirchberg, already well known for her Astahazy Russian Blues, had the foresight and knowledge to understand that these kittens could be the foundation for a new and exciting breed group which would fill a gap in the Cat Fancy - Silver and Tabby equivalents of the Burmese. With Astahazy Galatea, one of the first litter, she embarked on an experimental breeding programme with the advice and support of many leading Burmese breeders, geneticists and GCCF advisors. At the time of her death in 1997 her inspiration was about to become reality- the Burmilla was on the verge of competing for the first time at Championship status in GCCF, almost 16 years after the birth of the first kittens.
The Burmilla may either be silver (above) or non-silver (right); the silver having a pure white undercoat, and the non silver (also known as standard), an undercoat of ivory or beige. Any degree of shading is permissible except for very light tipping, which may give the impression of an almost white cat. All Burmillas have an underlying tabby pattern, and if this is classic, spotted, or mackerel, ghost markings may appear on the body especially in kittens. The ideal Shaded cat, however, has even colour distribution with no tabby markings on the body, although a few vestigial markings may still be apparent on legs, head and tail.