Tonkinese cats are a hybrid breed created by crossing Siamese and Burmese cats. Naturally, they have many of the same features as both of their parent types. This one-of-a-kind feline has a captivating presence thanks to its pointed coat and glittering eyes in jewel-toned hues.
The Tonkinese Cat, sometimes referred to as a Tonks, was explicitly developed as a companion house pet. These felines take great delight in interacting socially with their human companions, and, at the day’s end, they look forward to settling down in a warm lap. They are an excellent, loving addition to many homes and families and offer their owners a great deal of affection in return.
Discover more about what it’s like to share your home with a charming and active Tonkinese. Here are fifteen exciting and vital facts about the Tonkinese Cat that you should know!
Table of Contents
- 1. Tonkinese Cat History
- 2. Tonkinese Cat Price
- 3. Tonkinese Cat Lifespan
- 4. Tonkinese Cat Traits
- 5. Tonkinese Cat Colors
- 6. Tonkinese Cat Personality
- 7. Tonkinese Cat Potential Health Issues
- 8. Tonkinese Cat: Are they hypoallergenic?
- 9. Tonkinese Cat: What are they known for?
- 10. Tonkinese Cat: How rare are they?
- 11. Tonkinese Cat: Do they shed a lot?
- 12. Tonkinese Cat: Can they be left alone?
- 13. Tonkinese Cat: Do they like water?
- 14. Tonkinese Cat: Are they high maintenance?
- 15. Tonkinese Cat: Do they need another cat?
- Final Thoughts on the Tonkinese Cat
1. Tonkinese Cat History
The Tonkinese breed was once called a “Chocolate Siamese” during a cat show in 1880s Britain, owing to the breed’s dark brown chocolate point coat and similarity to the Siamese. The breed’s popularity did not take off in the United Kingdom, and the breed vanished after a short time.
The cats, however, continued to appear in Thailand and the area previously called Burma (now Myanmar), most likely due to random matings between Siamese and Burmese cats.
In the 1930s, one of these naturally bred cats was introduced to the United States. Wong Mau was the cat’s name, and she was the mother of the contemporary Burmese and Tonkinese breeds. A breeder named Milan Greer performed the first human-initiated mating between Siamese and Burmese in the 1950s.
Despite Greer’s decision to cease his breeding effort, other breeders, most notably Jane Barletta of New Jersey and Margaret Conroy of Ontario, grew interested in mixing the Burmese and Siamese. These breeders created the Tonkinese, named after the Tonkin area of northern Vietnam.
2. Tonkinese Cat Price
Purebred Tonkinese kittens range in price from $600 to $1,200. However, kittens from litters of recognized champions might be significantly more expensive.
The most convenient approach to adopting a Tonkinese Cat is through a Tonkinese rescue. However, remember that because Tonkinese Cats are so uncommon and sought-after, it may take a long time to get one for yourself.
An excellent place to explore is through a breed search on Adopt-a-Pet.com. The search will return all of the Tonkinese Cats in your region.
3. Tonkinese Cat Lifespan
Tonkinese Cats have a life expectancy of 10 to 15 years, with some living up to 18 years. Tonks may live for over two decades, which is not unexpected given that cats outlive dogs.
Tonkinese, like other cats, requires a year to mature. These kittens will be weaned from the litter at eight weeks, giving them enough time to obtain enough nutrients from their mother. However, a Tonk is regarded as wholly developed in terms of behavior and body only after four human years. Even yet, some Tonks can reach sexual maturity at four months.
Because Tonkinese cats are extroverted and friendly, they are prone to ‘Terrible Twos.’ Tonks is most active between the ages of one and two months. Tonks will be exceedingly interested, playful, and attention-seeking at the same age as a toddler.
When your baby Tonkinese reaches the age of 6 months, it will begin to challenge the limitations of the family. They will start to climb on worktops and other tall surfaces. Remember that a Tonkinese’s lifetime habits and personality emerge between 2 and 6 months. You must socialize, train, and expose your kitten to various stimuli at this age.
4. Tonkinese Cat Traits
Tonkinese is a captivating breed noted for its mystery and elegant look. Tonk’s allure is enhanced by his pointed coat, lithe limbs, and brilliant eyes.
Tonkinese Cat is a medium-sized breed with solid bodies that are surprisingly substantial. This breed typically weighs between 6 and 12 pounds. Their ears are medium-sized, their eyes are almond-shaped, and their legs and feet are thin.
The torso of a Tonkinese cat is medium in length, with well-developed muscular strength but no coarseness. Tonkinese body types are a happy medium between long, slender body types and cobby, compact body types. Size isn’t as crucial as balance and proportion. The abdomen should be solid, taut, and well-muscled.
Their heads are slightly rounded wedges that are somewhat longer than they are wide, with high, softly planed cheekbones. The muzzle is as long as it is broad and blunt. A gently curved whisker break follows the lines of the wedge—a brief halt at eye level. The point of the chin lines up with the nose tip in the same vertical plane in the profile. From the nose tip to the stop, there is a gentle rise. The shape is mild from the nose stop to the forehead, slightly increasing. The forehead has a little convex curvature.
Tonkinese Cat ears are medium in size and alert. The tips are round, and the base is broad. The ears are positioned on the sides of the head and the top. The hair on the ears is relatively short and near to the skin.
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5. Tonkinese Cat Colors
Tonkinese coats are classified into four color groups, according to the Tonkinese Breed Association: platinum, champagne, natural, and blue.
Their coats are further classified into three pattern types: high-contrast point patterns, medium-contrast or “mink” patterns, and low-contrast or plain patterns. The development of full body color might take up to 16 months, with faint hues. Cats do darken as they become older.
Tonk’s eye color is tied to the color and pattern of his coat. Mink Tonkinese cats have aqua-colored eyes, point Tonkinese cats have blue eyes, and solid Tonkinese cats have green eyes.
6. Tonkinese Cat Personality
Tonkinese cats have a companionable demeanor. These beautiful kittens like their duty as lap cats and are always willing to share their attention with their family. The Tonkinese inherits their Siamese ancestors’ curiosity and intelligence, as well as their Burmese relatives’ warm energy.
They are unquestionably amiable and social cats. They’re such people cats and shouldn’t be left alone for long periods.
Tonkinese Cats are active, intelligent, and social pets who like spending time with their pet parents and watching over their daily lives. This breed is exceptionally chatty and expects you to listen—and respond! Some may consider this commanding breed to be a touch bossy, but your Tonk’s heart is typically in the right place.
These unique felines are curious and creative. Like their Siamese forebears, Tonkinese wants to learn interactive toys and attempt new feats. Tonk cats are playful, goofy cats known for leaping high and clowning about to delight their family.
7. Tonkinese Cat Potential Health Issues
Tonkinese cats commonly have gum disease, gastrointestinal problems, and respiratory infections. Tonkinese cats may be genetically predisposed to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, according to experts.
Another potential health concern is dental disease, which can be treated with regular dental care. Then there is feline lower urinary tract disease, which causes pain when urinating and can be fatal. The Tonkinese is also susceptible to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which causes gastrointestinal discomfort, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. And finally, they can also have Amyloidosis, the abnormal accumulation of protein deposits in organs, most commonly the kidneys or liver.
Responsible breeders may screen kittens for health concerns, but you must have frequent vet checkups and follow your cat’s veterinarian’s instructions. Diseases and other health issues might arise later in life and should be checked regularly.
8. Tonkinese Cat: Are they hypoallergenic?
Their coats contain short, silky smooth hair that sheds very little. Although their fur does not fly, the Tonkinese breed is not considered hypoallergenic.
According to experts, no cat is fully hypoallergenic because the protein allergen Fel D1 is present in their saliva, skin, and urine. Even though the Tonkinese cat is a low-shedding breed, it can still cause allergy responses in persons who are sensitive to cats. They are not advised for persons with severe cat allergies, but they may be a choice for those with mild cat allergies.
9. Tonkinese Cat: What are they known for?
These cats are renowned for being social butterflies with great patience with people. They love being lavished with attention. Tonkinese is an attractive choice for families with little ones because of their even tempers.
While choosing a cat that is patient and tolerant of children is essential, it is also super important to teach children how to play and interact correctly with their pets. Always oversee interactions between your children and your pet. Teach your children how to be nice to the cat. Pulling on the cat’s tail or ear, approaching the cat when feeding, and laying over the animal are all excellent places to start.
10. Tonkinese Cat: How rare are they?
Despite rising popularity, the Tonkinese is still an uncommon breed in the United States.
Breeders may be found on the Cat Fanciers Association breeder directory, the International Cat Association website, and the national breed club website. Because of their scarcity, they are difficult to find in rescues.
However, there are cases where some breeders may have cats in need of homes.
11. Tonkinese Cat: Do they shed a lot?
Tonkinese cats do shed. However, they surprisingly do not shed as much as other cat breeds, whose fur may be found on every item owned by their human parents.
Brushing your cat once a week is typically a good idea to help keep this quantity of hair low and maintain their coat clean and healthy.
12. Tonkinese Cat: Can they be left alone?
These cats typically enjoy spending time with people. Thus, they do not tolerate being left alone for long periods. These cats thrive in environments where their human pals are frequently present or when there is another cat or cat-friendly canine to keep them company.
Cats may get uneasy when removed from a person or animal with whom the cat is beloved or socially bonded. It is critical to be mindful of your cat’s emotions since they can materialize physically and make them unwell in the worst-case scenario.
As far as possible, avoid leaving your Tonkinese Cat alone, especially for extended periods.
13. Tonkinese Cat: Do they like water?
The majority of Tonkinese enjoy the water. They are more interested in water than other breeds. Tonkinese cats enjoy bathing and use the water to cool down or play.
Necessary actions must be taken to keep your cat as safe and comfortable as possible while it is near water.
14. Tonkinese Cat: Are they high maintenance?
Tonkinese cats require a lot of care. The Tonk is for you if you want a constant friend who will accompany you when you walk from room to room, cuddle up on your shoulder, and join you in your daily activities.
The Tonkinese is an intelligent and gregarious breed that thrives on connection. They are more than willing to be the welcome wagon for each visitor who comes by, and they genuinely immerse themselves as family members. A Tonkinese Cat can live in any environment, but because they are chatty, you should think hard before taking one home to an apartment with shared walls.
These cats may be mischievous when bored. Keep your kitty engaged and away from trouble by providing scratching posts and a choice of cat toys. Tonkinese cats are jumpers and climbers. Therefore they require big cat trees to mount, cat shelves to leap upon, and a window hammock to rest and talk to birds.
They are incredibly active and clever cats. They’re not going to laze around as couch potatoes all day. They require activities and relationships with other people.
Like many cats nowadays, Tonkinese cats are prone to obesity and should be fed a well-balanced diet in moderation. When choosing the correct meal for your Tonkinese, you should also consider various Tonkinese-specific health hazards. Several meals, for example, are made to balance urine pH to aid in the prevention of bladder stones. Consult a medical professional for advice on the best food for your cat.
15. Tonkinese Cat: Do they need another cat?
Tonkinese Cats despise being left alone throughout the day because they require so much attention and care. Indeed, experts advise obtaining a pair of Tonkinese, so they always have a buddy.
Tonkinese gets along well with youngsters, other cats, and cat-friendly dogs. Introduce them to people and dogs as early as possible to help them feel at ease in social circumstances.
Final Thoughts on the Tonkinese Cat
Tonkinese cats are brilliant, full of life, and have well-developed muscles. Tonkinese cats are known for their outgoing personalities and unwavering loyalty to their human companions.
They are kind and compassionate cats who make excellent companions for people of all ages, including children and other animals. If you’ll be working long hours and want a Tonkinese, it’s best to get them a cat or dog friend to play with while you’re gone. However, even though they could be more challenging to find than other varieties, looking for them is definitely worth the effort!