Tonkinese Cat Guide

Loving, social, active, playful yet content to be a lap cat. Tonkinese (like most cats!) are firmly convinced that humans were put on Earth to love them. Intelligent and generous with their affection, a Tonkinese will supervise all activities with a wondrous curiosity. The Facts Temperament: Social and playful Social/Attention Needs: High/Average Life Span: 15-18… Read more »

Loving, social, active, playful yet content to be a lap cat. Tonkinese (like most cats!) are firmly convinced that humans were put on Earth to love them. Intelligent and generous with their affection, a Tonkinese will supervise all activities with a wondrous curiosity.

The Facts

  • Temperament: Social and playful
  • Social/Attention Needs: High/Average
  • Life Span: 15-18 years
  • Coat length: Short
  • Grooming required: Low maintenance but we encourage grooming to build on bonding

The Look

Like Siamese, Tonkinese cats are extremely elegant looking cats with almond-shaped eyes which may be blue, green, amber or turquoise. They have large ears, a short but soft and shiny coat and a mid-length, muscular body with slim legs. Bred in a range of colours from the original brown, blue, chocolate, red, cream, lilac and apricot, and can also come in tortie and tabby variations.

 

History

The Tonkinese has been developed from the Siamese and the Burmese breeds. The first official Tonkinese can be traced back to around 1930 in Burma, when a cat call Wong Mau – who was described as a ‘brown hybrid with darker points on her face, legs, feet and tail’ – was imported to the USA. She was mated with a Siamese and became the mother of the modern Burmese, but testing showed that Wong Mau was actually the first natural Tonkinese.
 By the 1960s Tonkinese cats were well established in the UK but it took until 1991 until they was recognised by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF).

Health

All have varying incidences of health problems that may be genetic. Problems that may affect the Tontines include the following:

  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Feline Asthma

Fun Fact

It takes up to two years for Tonkinese coat colour to fully develop!