Tonkinese Breed Summary
Sociable, Intelligent, Friendly, Mischievous
Sweet, social and playful, this kitty is a furriend to all, including other cats, dogs and (well-behaved) children. Renowned for their extremely affectionate nature, Tonks will often demand attention from their humans if they feel like they aren’t getting enough love from them. While this active kitty loves to play, they’re happy to settle into a lap once they’re ready to wind down.
Fun Fact: All Tonkinese kittens are born with blue eyes. Their eyes then begin to change colour at 6 weeks old and can continue changing for up to two years!
|12 - 16 years
|Height (at the withers)
|Males and Females: 20cm – 25cm
|Males and Females: 2.5kg – 5.5kg
|Short, soft and silky coat
|Base colours are platinum, champagne, blue and natural; patterns are solid, mink and point
|Yellow, green, blue, gold
|Common health issues
|Amyloidosis, asthma, congenital heart defects, crossed eyes, hyperesthesia syndrome, lymphoma, nystagmus, progressive retinal atrophy
Active and intelligent, the Tonkinese enjoys jumping up to high places, playing with puzzle toys and can be taught many tricks, such as walking on a lead.
Considering their heritage, it’ll come as no surprise to learn that Tonks are talkative! Although not as loud or raspy as a Siamese, these cats enjoy a chit-chat with their people and will happily sit on your lap to tell you all about their day.
The Tonkinese’s ancestors originated from Thailand and first arrived in England as breeds with solid brown coats. These cats would go on to become the chocolate point Siamese, Havana Browns, Burmese and Tonkinese breeds. The Siamese and solid coloured cats were exhibited throughout Europe during the late 19th and 20th centuries.
In the 1960s, Margaret Conroy, a Canadian breeder, crossed a sable coloured Burmese with a seal point Siamese. The kittens were described as golden and possessed traits from both breeds. As breeders of these cats began to achieve a consistent head and body style, they changed the breed name to Tonkinese.
In 1971, the Canadian Cat Association became the first cat registry to grant championship status to the Tonkinese. The Cat Fanciers’ Foundation recognised the breed in 1974 and the International Cat Association followed in 1979. By 1990, it gained recognition from all major cat fancy associations.