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The Tonkinese Cat Breed


The Tonkinese cat breed originated from a cross between the Burmese and the Siamese. A cat by the name of Wong Mau was the first Tonkinese and arrived in the US in 1930.

The Burmese cat breed was well established by the 1960’s but was a completely different cat breed to the Siamese. Jane Barletta wanted to recreate the Tonkinese from ancient times and set about developing the breed.

Tonkinese cat breed Platinum Mink Tonkinese

Around the same time, Margaret Conroy in Canada bred a Burmese to a Siamese. The kittens from this breeding had tan coats and aqua eyes and Margaret decided to further develop this color.

Jane and Margaret started to work together and developed the Tonkinese breed as we know it today.


Tonkinese cat breed

The Tonkinese is a medium sized cat breed that is neither svelte nor cobby where the body type is concerned. Mature males weigh between 8-12 pounds and mature females weigh between 6-8 pounds. The head is a modified wedge shape with a blunt muzzle and medium sized ears.

The eyes are almond shaped and most Tonkinese cats have stunning aqua colored eyes, although this is not the only eye color of the Tonkinese cat breed. The pointed Tonkinese has the brilliant blue eye color of the Siamese whilst the solid pattern cats have the charteuse eye color of the Burmese.

Tonkinese cats come in a variety of colors – chocolate, cinnamon, seal, blue, lilac, fawn and red with tortoiseshell counterparts. Patterns range from Mink (medium contrast most associated with this cat breed), Solid (low contrast and closest to the sepia Burmese) and Pointed (high contrast and closer to the Siamese pattern.)

The coat is short and lies close to the body. It has a luxurious silky feel and is easy to groom. A weekly brushing is sufficient to remove loose hair and to keep the coat in its glorious condition.

Personality & Temperament

Tonkinese cat breed

The Tonkinese cat breed loves to be close to you, whether it is perched on your shoulder or cuddled on your lap. This cat tends to be in the middle of everything that you do and will talk to you and expect you to respond. They are however not quite as vocal as the Siamese.

A game of fetch is a firm favorite and running through your house at full speed is another pastime. Tonkinese cats get along well with children, other cats and even dogs and will engage all of them in a game of chase.

This intelligent cat breed will greet you and any visitor at the door and will act as entertainment for any guests.

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