Cat Profile Tonkinese

Tonkinese Cat Breed Information

The Tonkinese is a cat lover’s dream: intelligent, soft, and social. The Tonkinese is a lovely pointing cat with lighter, diluted colors and a stunningly distinct appearance that is bred by mixing the Siamese and the Burmese.

The Tonkinese is unusual in that she lacks any drastic physical or psychological characteristics.



Tonkinese are lively and playful, but they don’t need additional stimuli to be content. She chatters and chirps sometimes, but she isn’t as loud as her Siamese mum. Her stature is also a natural match; the compact and stocky Burmese adds to her bulk, while the lanky Siamese adds height and stamina.

A tiny walnut-colored cat introduced to California by Dr. Joseph C. Thompson in 1930 is thought to be the line’s creator. The name of the breed has little to do with Indochina’s Tonkin field or Vietnam’s Tonkin Gulf. The name “Tonkanese” was originally spelled as a reference to the island in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “South Pacific.”

The best of all, it is the same female cat who founded the Burmese breed in the US, Wong Mau, contributed to the Tonkinese breed; some Tonkinese lines can be traced back to Wong Mau today.



The Tonkinese is a medium-sized cat with a beautiful, muscular physique. The heft of these cats will stun you the first time you pick one up, since they are dense and lightweight. Their legs and feet are slender and fine, and they have a well-balanced body that is neither svelte nor cobby. The hind legs are marginally longer than the front legs.

Tonkinese are similar to Siamese in appearance, but their faces are rounder and have less conspicuous eyes. They have beautiful blue eyes that are expressive and trustworthy, as well as high swept, upright ears.

Because of its smooth, short hair, the Tonkinese is a simple cat to groom. A rubber brush will quickly strip loose hair, and a wash every now and then will do the rest. The breed has 12 recognized colors and patterns. Platinum, Champagne, Natural, and Blue are the foundation colors or points. Pointed, Mink, and Solid coat patterns are available.

  • Weight: 3 to 6 kg
  • Coat length: Short
  • Amount of shedding: High
  • Color: Platinum, champagne, blue and natural
  • Pattern: Solid, mink and colorpoint


The Tonkinese cat has a reputation for being a trailblazer in the feline world. On a regular basis, they come up with a variety of activities and “projects” involving their toys and their humans. Not only can they gladly play fetch, but they will also love hide-and-seek and tag. The kittens are almost manic in their zeal, and the Tonkinese retains that sense of fun and mischief throughout its existence.

Climbing posts are a must for these cats, since they need as much intellectual stimulation as possible. Your Tonk will welcome you and any guests at the door and will frequently try to give you a tour. They can’t imagine not being a part of anything that happens in the home, and they enjoy interacting with children and other animals. A Tonk despises being neglected or left behind.

  • Lifespan: 12 to 16 years
  • Active: Medium
  • Intelligence: Medium
  • Vocalize: Medium

Health Treatment

Tonkinese is generally healthy but can be prone to some diseases such as:

  • Dental disease
  • Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD): discomfort or pain when urinating, common in overweight cats but often affect the breed
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): Causes gastrointestinal discomfort, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.
  • Genetic diseases (Excess protein deposits): The bloodstream lets out too much amyloid protein in an organ.
  • Obesity

To see interesting animal facts, you can click here.

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