by catfood

About Tonkinese

Weight: 6-12 lb

Physique: Dense and muscular

Lifespan: 12-18 years

Best Suited For: Families with children or singles with other pets

Temperament: Active, curious, lively, intelligent, playful, and interactive

Comparable Breeds: Ocicat, Sphynx

Height: 8-10 inches

The Tonkinese breed’s history

The Tonkinese were produced by fusing a Burmese with a Siamese. Cats with the Tonkinese appearance and traits have been documented since the 19th century. The line is believed to have started with a little, walnut-colored cat that Dr. Joseph C. Thompson brought to California in 1930. The name of the breed makes no reference to either the Tonkin Gulf in Vietnam or the Tonkin region of Indochina.

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific musical made reference to the island in the song Tonkanese, as the name was originally spelled. The spelling was altered to be consistent with the other Oriental breeds. Tonks are extremely popular as home pets because most people think they are the perfect synthesis of the most valued qualities of the Burmese and Siamese foundation breeds.

The Tonkinese cat has a reputation for being imaginative.

Qualities of breeding

The Tonkinese cat has a reputation for being imaginative. They develop several “projects” and activities involving their humans and their toys every day. In addition to fetch, they like other games like hide-and-seek and tag. Throughout its entire life, the Tonkinese keeps its sense of fun and mischief. Usually, the kittens exhibit behavior that is on the verge of manic.

The more mental stimulation you can provide these cats, the better. Climbing poles are a need. Your Tonk will greet you and any visitors at the entrance and will frequently offer to give them a fantastic tour. Since they can’t envision not being involved in everything that happens in the house, they joyfully interact with children and other animals. Being ignored or left alone is not something a Tonk likes to do very much. Two Tonks are the perfect companions if you don’t mind your home being ruled by a feline executive committee.

Single meows are rarely used to communicate by these cats. They speak in entire sentences, or even paragraphs, naturally! Be careful; these cats are way too trusting to be kept outside; they should only be kept indoors.

Detailed Description

The Tonkinese is a gorgeous, medium-sized cat with good muscle. The first time you pick one up, you’ll be surprised by how heavy it is because they are so small and dense. Their proportions are nicely balanced by their lovely, slim legs and feet, which are neither svelte nor cobby. A little bit longer legs are on the back. Tonkinese are sometimes mistaken for Siamese even though they typically have rounder, less angular features than Siamese. They have high arching, upright ears and stunning blue eyes that are expressive and trustworthy.



A total of 12 colors and patterns are acceptable for the breed. The main colors are platinum, champagne, natural, and blue. There are three types of coat patterns: pointed, mink, and solid.

Grooming requirements

The Tonkinese cat is easy to groom thanks to its short, lustrous coat. The rest is easily handled by giving yourself an occasional bath and using a rubber brush.


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