The Tonkinese cat Breed Information

This breed is the result of the crossing of the Siamese and Burmese, both deeply rooted in Southeast Asia. For this reason, some experts consider that its origin was alien to the intervention of man. What is known for sure is that these kitties show off an overwhelming and vital personality not suitable for all audiences.

Its appearance is reminiscent of the Siamese with the exception that its mantle is more orange, which is why in its beginnings, in 1930, it was called the “golden Siamese” to later become the nominative of Tonkinese. In the 1960s its acceptance became general and its current name of Tonkinese or Tonkinese was established.

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Physical characteristics of the Tonkinese cat

His complexion is slim, long, and muscular. The legs are long and the feet are oval. Their movements are graceful and stand out for their ease of climbing and jumping. Its height is about 28 cm from the shoulders and there are no notable differences in size between the sexes. His nose is chocolate or pink chocolate color.


  • Origin America (Canada)
  • Medium size
  • Weight from 3 to 5.5 kg males and 2.5 to 4 kg females
  • Short, dense, fine, and soft hair. The neck is usually light (almost white) and the rest of the body maintains the point pattern of the Siamese (legs, tail, face, and ears darker) in brown. However, gray, gold, beige, and white are also supported
  • Rounded and cuneiform head. It is longer than it is wide
  • Wide-based, oval-tipped ears
  • Almond-shaped and greenish-blue eyes
  • Fine, medium-length tail
  • Estimated longevity of 10 to 15 years
  • Difficulty taking care of it low


Character and behavior of the Tonkinese cat

These felines are extremely active, curious, and playful. They always choose their favorite human and go out of their way for him, following him around and enjoying his company. They will also be affectionate with the rest of the family. In fact, they are very sociable and do not shy away from strangers.

They get along perfectly with children and other animals. Not surprisingly, they tend to get along very well with dogs. They will not hesitate to play with their cocks. Precisely due to their enthusiastic nature, they are not a recommended breed for the elderly or if they must live with pets with a calmer temperament.

Like the Siamese, it stands out for its variety of vocal registers and for its fondness for climbing and jumping. They are very active kittens that demand open spaces and environmental enrichment with enough toys. They don’t do well spending time alone.

Care required by the Tonkinese cat

You should brush him at least once a week to keep his hair shiny and free of dead hair. Their eyes, teeth, and ears need to be cleaned once a week. In the case of the ears and eyes, you should use a sterile tissue moistened in physiological saline or a specific cleanser. Never use cotton buds.

Being such active felines you should not neglect their diet. This must be varied, of quality and balanced. Specialists advise alternating dry feed with wet or homemade food, always rationing the doses to two doses throughout the day. Being overweight is very harmful to your joints.

Likewise, having enough space, preferably outdoors, as well as toys and trees or scratching posts with different heights is essential for their well-being. Spending time playing with him is no less important.

Tonkinese cat health

In this section, it should be noted the predisposition of these cats to suffer from gingivitis and other conditions typical of the Siamese breed. We refer to amyloidosis, asthma or respiratory diseases, cardiomyopathies, feline or pica hyperesthesia syndrome, lymphoma, nystagmus, and strabismus.

Of all of them, amyloidosis, heart diseases, my esophagus, and lymphoma are the pathologies that usually have the worst prognosis, since they can trigger other secondary diseases. This breed shows a certain sensitivity to anesthesia, which in some situations makes it difficult to approach their conditions.

History of the breed and fun facts

The origin of this breed is attributed to Margaret Conroy, a Canadian feline breeder who in the 1930s wanted to achieve a cat with the morphology of the Siamese and the mantle of the Burmese. The latter is known in Southeast Asia as copper cats. Therefore, the result of the crossing of the Siamese and Burmese was a golden cat.

In the 60s, the characteristics of the breed were specified, its acceptance became general and the current name of Tonkinese was established. In 1971 it obtained the first recognition as a breed by being considered a competition cat. In 1974 the CFF recognized the breed, in 1979 the TICA and in 1984 the CFA.


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