Appearance and features:
Tonkinese are a solid muscular cat that is an intermediate type between the slender, long-bodied modern Siamese and British Burmese and the more “cobby”, or substantially-built American Burmese. They feel much heavier than expected when picked up. Their sparkling eyes, are an almond shape with a gently rounded, slightly wedge-shaped head and blunted muzzle. Their medium-sized ears are pricked slightly forward on their head. The tail and legs are slim but proportionate to the body, with distinctive oval paws.
This is a medium-size cat weighing 6 to 12 pounds.
Tonkinese are a domestic cat breed produced by crossbreeding between the Siamese
. They share many of their parents’ distinctively lively, playful personality traits and are similarly distinguished by a pointed coat pattern in a variety of colors. In addition to the modified coat colors of the “mink” pattern, which is a dilution of the point color, the breed is now being shown in the foundation-like Siamese
colors: pointed with white and solid overall.
Tonkinese are currently officially recognized in four colors. Blue, Fawn, Silver and Cream.
The Tonkinese cats have existed in the West since at least the early 19th century. The founder of the American Burmese type, was a Tonkin cat named Wong Mau, who imported from Rangoon to the United States in the thirties of the 20th century. Some of today’s Tonkinese can still be tracked by pedigree back to Wong Mau.
The modern Tonkinese cats are the result of the crossbreeding programs crossing the Siamese
Like both parent breeds, Tonkinese are intelligent, active, vocal and generally people-oriented cats, playful and interested in everything going on around them; however, this also means they are easily susceptible to becoming lonesome or bored. Their voice is similar in tone to the Burmese, persistent but softer and sweeter than the Siamese, similar to the gentle quacking of a duck. Like Burmese, Tonkinese are reputed to sometimes engage in such dog-like behaviors as fetching, and to enjoy jumping to great heights.
Tonkinese can be prone to
- may be sensitive to anesthesia.
- Amyloidosis, a disease that occurs when a type of protein called amyloid is deposited in body organs, primarily the liver in members of the Siamese family
- Asthma/bronchial disease
- Congenital heart defects such as aortic stenosis
- Crossed eyes
- Gastrointestinal conditions such as megaesophagus
- Hyperesthesia syndrome, a neurological problem that can cause cats to excessively groom themselves, leading to hair loss, and to act frantically, especially when they are touched or petted
- Nystagmus, a neurological disorder that causes involuntary rapid eye movement
- Progressive retinal atrophy, for which a genetic test is available