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Tonkin Cat: Description Of The Breed And Photos, How To Care For And Keep A Pet, Owner Reviews
Tonkin Cat: Description Of The Breed And Photos, How To Care For And Keep A Pet, Owner Reviews

Video: Tonkin Cat: Description Of The Breed And Photos, How To Care For And Keep A Pet, Owner Reviews

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Tonkin cat: exotic beauty with aquamarine eyes


Expressive eyes, graceful gait, cheerful disposition combined with aristocracy - all these characteristics are combined in the Tonkin cat. The breed, which appeared as a result of crossing the Burmese and Siamese cats, was considered unrecognized for a long time and only at the end of the last century gained popularity. The unpretentious animal in care has won the hearts of millions of people with its friendliness, kindness and outstanding intellectual abilities. Today, Tonkinesis are in the top 20 most demanded breeds in the world.


  • 1 History of the origin of the Tonkin cat
  • 2 External features of tonkinesis

    • 2.1 Table: breed description (TICA standard)
    • 2.2 Color

      2.2.1 Photo gallery: types of colors of tonkinesis

    • 2.3 Video: breed characteristics
  • 3 Character and behavior
  • 4 Tonkin cat health
  • 5 How to choose a tonkinesis kitten
  • 6 Features of care and maintenance

    • 6.1 Hygiene
    • 6.2 Toilet
    • 6.3 Feeding
    • 6.4 Video: features of the Tonkin cat
  • 7 Breeding the breed
  • 8 Castration and sterilization
  • 9 Owner reviews

The history of the origin of the Tonkin cat

Officially, the birthplace of Tonkin cats is Canada, but in reality this breed first appeared in England, although under a different name - "Chocolate Siamese". According to some historical sources, graceful animals with aquamarine eyes were in great demand in the early 19th century. They were very expensive, so ordinary people could not afford to have such exotic pets. The first ancestors of the Tonkinese lived mainly with aristocrats and high-ranking officials.

Tonkinesis appeared in the United States in 1930 thanks to Dr. Josef Thompson. It was he who brought from Myanmar a cat named Wong Mau, which became the first officially registered representative of the breed in the West. However, there were no people willing to engage in further breeding of Tonkin cats, so they were forgotten for a while.

After 30 years in Canada, the breeder of Burmese cats, Margaret Conroy, by chance, became the founder of the program for pedigree breeding of Tonkinzez. Her shy domestic cat refused to all the gentlemen of her breed, but in the end she was seduced by a handsome Siamese. At the same time, American breeder Jane Barletta from New Jersey deliberately mated a Burmese with a Siamese in order to obtain a more balanced breed that embodies the best qualities of both representatives. Both women, as a result of bold experiments, became the owners of adorable kittens with a golden tinted color and sea green eyes.

Soon, fate brought Margaret and Jane together. They decided to join forces and develop a program to breed a new breed. Difficulties began when it came to official recognition. The original name "golden Siamese cat" was clearly unfortunate, since it hinted that this is not a separate breed, but a kind of subspecies of Siamese cats. Then the breeders decided to opt for the name "Tonkinesis" (derived from the Vietnamese province of Tonkin). Despite the fact that Tonkin cats have never lived in Asian countries, such a name perfectly emphasizes their exoticism.

tonkin vietnam
tonkin vietnam

The name of the breed comes from the Vietnamese province of Tonkin

In 1971, the breed was officially recognized by the Canadian Cat Association (CCA), a year later - by the American Cat Fanciers Association (CFF). Since 1979, after approval by the International Cat Association (TICA), Tonkinesis have the right to participate in exhibitions.

External features of tonkinesis

Tonkinesis appeared as a result of crossing Burmese and Siamese cats, therefore he collected the best characteristics of representatives of these breeds. He has a rounder head and body than the Siamese, and has a larger build. At the same time, its dimensions are much smaller than that of the Burmese. Despite the outward slenderness and gracefulness, the Tonkin cat is unusually heavy in comparison with its size.

A distinctive feature of the representatives of this breed are large almond-shaped eyes of aqua color. Combined with a warm brown color with chocolate markings, they look even more expressive and even magical.


The hypnotic gaze of aquamarine eyes is the "calling card" of Tonkin cats

Only purebred representatives of the breed are allowed to participate in exhibitions. Disqualification is possible due to strabismus, tail defects. Yellow eyes are also unacceptable in mink cats.

Table: breed description (TICA standard)

Parameter Description
Weight Cat - 3-4 kg, cat - 4-6 kg
Height at withers 25-30 cm
Head Short, wedge-shaped with smooth, rounded contours, high and neat cheekbones. In full face, the ears and head form an isosceles triangle.
Ears Medium in size, broad at the base, with rounded tips. Tilted slightly forward.
Eyes Medium in size, almond-shaped, set wide apart. Color: light turquoise or brilliantly aquamarine (for mink color), blue (for point color), all shades from green to yellow-green (for solid color).
Limbs The tail is long, thick at the base and gradually tapering towards the tip. The legs are slender and long, the paws are oval. The hind legs are longer than the front. The front legs have 5 toes, the hind legs have 4.
Body Medium size, well-muscled and tucked up.
Wool Short, soft, silky, tight-fitting. There is no undercoat.


Tonkin cats have 4 basic coat colors:

  • natural: warm brown, cream color with black-brown points;
  • champagne: light beige (ivory) with pale brown markings;
  • platinum: pale gray, bluish gray, or pearl white with frosty gray markings
  • blue: color is blue-gray or blue, points are gray-blue or gray-blue.

In addition to the main four varieties, there are other interesting and unusual shades. For example, cream, cinnamon (cinnamon color), fawn, tabby (with a pattern), red, etc. However, animals with such colors are not allowed to participate in exhibitions, therefore they can delight only the owners with their exotic appearance.

Also Tonkinesis have special color patterns, which are of 3 varieties:

  • solid - differs in a weak contrast between the color of the coat on the points (ears, muzzle, limbs, tail) and on the body. Outwardly similar to sepia, like Burmese cats;
  • point - characterized by clear contrast and color, like Siamese cats;
  • mink (mink) - mixed, a cross between the first two species. Has medium blurred contrast.

The latter option is the most preferable and gives an opportunity to take part in exhibitions. It is these kittens that simultaneously inherit the gene of the Sim cat and the gene of the Burmese. In the case of solid or point color, the gene of one particular breed prevails. Usually in a litter, half of the kittens are mink (mink), a quarter are solid, another quarter are points.

Young cats under the age of 18 months have a lighter shade of coat regardless of color and pattern. With age, the colors become more saturated and contrasting, a characteristic gloss appears, the tones smoothly merge into one another. The inner side of the body in Tonkinesis is always lighter, and the body is darker.

Photo gallery: types of colors of tonkinesis


Color patterns of Tonkinesis are represented by 3 basic types: solid (left), mink (center), point (right)


Natural mink (left) and blue mink (right) are the most common colors

platinum mink
platinum mink

A cat with aqua eyes and platinum mink color looks stylish and original


Champagne mink color gives nobility and aristocracy


Blue eyes contrast perfectly with platinum point color


The cream cat with tortoiseshell pattern cannot participate in exhibitions


Brown interspersed with dark chocolate - the classic color of tonkinesis


Blue eyes are typical for point color


Ivory coat typical of champagne color

Video: breed characteristics

Character and behavior

Tonkinesis is an incredibly intelligent and sociable cat that loves to be in the spotlight and entertain the household. She is playful, active, happy to make contact with people. Unlike representatives of many other breeds (for example, Maine Coon), he does not choose one owner for himself, but is equally friendly to all household members. Gets along well with children and quickly finds a common language with other pets. She never shows aggression, even towards strangers and in extreme situations.


On the street tonkinesis must not be left unattended

The Tonkin cat is talkative, but not as loud as the Siamese. She loves affection and care, is kind to the owner. At the slightest opportunity, it jumps on its knees, rubs against its legs, purrs and fins. At the same time, she is unobtrusive, because she feels a person well and knows when the owner wants to be alone. Outstanding mental abilities can also be distinguished from the positive traits. Tonkinesis has excellent memory, quick wit, solves puzzles with ease, and learns the simplest rules of training well.

Among the disadvantages are:

  • excessive gullibility. The cat is so kind, sociable and naive, willingly makes contact with strangers that it can easily become the prey of strangers. Due to the lack of a developed defensive instinct and vigilance, it is not able to independently survive in its natural habitat. For this reason, the pet should never be left unattended on the street;
  • playfulness. A cheerful and mischievous disposition, energy makes the pet constantly look for entertainment. Being naturally curious and quick-witted, Tonkinesis can easily open a closet or refrigerator, enter a closed room, etc. It is not worth punishing a mischief for this - it is enough to give him enough attention and provide him with toys;
  • excessive sociability. Tonkinesis does not tolerate loneliness at all, needs constant communication, so leaving him in isolation is unacceptable. For this reason, it is undesirable to get a representative of this breed for busy people who spend most of their time at work or often go on business trips. In this case, the problem can be solved by an alternative method: to have another pet so that the blue-eyed handsome man has someone to have fun with;
  • stubbornness. Like all representatives of the feline family, Tonkinesis is quite capricious, sometimes showing remarkable stubbornness. However, this minor flaw is more than offset by a cheerful and friendly character.

In general, the Tonkin cat has many more advantages than disadvantages. Especially it is worth paying attention to friendly families leading an active lifestyle. Since tonkinesis is not attached to the environment, but to the person, loves new experiences, you can take it with you on trips, hikes and travel.

Tonkin cat health

The average lifespan of Tonkin cats is 12-16 years. Such a good indicator is due to the fact that the breed is a hybrid, and not bred as a result of long cross-breeding. The animals are distinguished by good health, but some genetic diseases were inherited from the Siamese, including:

  • strabismus;
  • gingivitis (inflammation of the gums);
  • megaesophagus (expansion of the esophagus);
  • amyloidosis (leading to kidney failure);

Sometimes there are neurological diseases such as nystagmus (involuntary and frequent eye movements) and hyperesthesia syndrome (when a cat nervously twitches its tail or constantly licks fur furiously). Fortunately, such deviations are quite rare, especially if the owner takes proper care of the pet and creates the most comfortable conditions for its existence. Getting vaccinated annually will help you avoid health problems.

How to choose a tonkinesis kitten

Tonkinesis kittens are best purchased at the age of 12-13 weeks. This is the optimal age of weaning from the mother, when the baby is already strong enough and can more easily adapt to the new living conditions. When choosing, you should pay attention to the behavior and appearance of the pet: the kitten must be active, energetic, and have a healthy appearance. Excessive thinness is one of the features of the constitution of tonkinesis babies. Even in good keeping conditions, kittens sometimes look very fragile, so this fact should not confuse the future owner. If, in general, tonkinesis is cheerful and playful, willingly makes contact, then there is no doubt about the choice.


The most active, cheerful and high-spirited baby should be chosen.

The situation with the color of the pet is more complicated. The fact is that all babies are born with blue eyes and a uniform off-white coat. Pattern formation begins at the age of 5 months and lasts up to 24 months. At the same time, the color of the eyes also changes. For this reason, even experienced breeders cannot say exactly how an adult cat will look. In this case, you should pay attention to the parents of the kitten: for example, with the natural color of the father and mother, the baby is unlikely to become platinum or blue.

The gender of the kitten does not matter when choosing a value, since all Tonkinesis are non-aggressive and friendly. This question is individual: some people prefer independent, but wayward cats, someone - affectionate, but cunning cats. Personally, I prefer cats, as they are more independent and at the same time energetic. They like to show character, often claim leadership, which makes the educational process more exciting.

If the future owner plans to engage in breeding, take part in exhibitions, then a kitten should be purchased, born from a pair of Tonkinesis. The offspring of Burmese and Siamese cats also belong to this breed, but they do not provide an opportunity to compete with purebred representatives and receive awards. Babies born from a thin cat and individuals of any other breed also cannot be considered Tonkinesis.

The price of promising purebred kittens varies between 35-50 thousand rubles. Pet-class babies (not intended for breeding) can be purchased for 20-25 thousand rubles. The cost is formed taking into account the costs of finding a mating partner, care and maintenance, since raising healthy offspring is not as easy as it seems at first glance. For example, a kid accustomed to a litter box will cost an order of magnitude more, but the future owner will have fewer difficulties with raising him.

I strongly recommend buying kittens, especially of such an exotic breed, in specialized nurseries. Only here the owner will have the opportunity to get acquainted with the pedigree of the pet, get expert advice from specialists, enlist the help and support of the breeder in the further education and maintenance of the animal. If you buy a kitten from your hands, there is a high risk of taking a sick baby or even a representative of a different breed. Usually, the cost for such animals is half the market value. To protect yourself from negative consequences, it is better to abandon a dubious purchase and give preference to a verified and officially registered breeder.

Features of care and maintenance

Tonkinesis are simple and unpretentious to care for, so even inexperienced cat lovers can start them. Unlike other cats, the pet does not need a separate sleeping place, because it prefers to rest with its owner. Before leaving the house, you should definitely close the windows, remove dangerous objects from the field of view, since the animal is extremely curious and loves to play pranks. Scratching posts will help to save interior items from the pet's claws. Since Tonkinesis love height, it is recommended to give preference to tall structures with loungers at the top.


Tonkin cats practically do not shed, but daily grooming is still necessary so that dead villi do not enter the stomach during licking. Since the representatives of this breed do not have an undercoat, their skin is more vulnerable and requires delicate care. For a hygiene procedure, it is advisable to purchase a rubber brush or massage glove. It is important to comb, not forcefully comb the coat. Such a massage will not only provide a neat appearance, but will also be pleasing to the pet.


Rubber brushing glove for a neat look

Also, tonkinesis care includes:

  • weekly cleaning of ears and teeth (in case of plaque formation, you should contact the veterinary clinic);
  • rubbing the eyes from the outer corner to the inner one with a cotton swab dipped in chamomile broth (you can use tea leaves);
  • clipping of claws 1-2 times a month;
  • bathing no more than 1 time in 3 months (you should not expose your pet to such a procedure unnecessarily, since tonkinesis do not like swimming very much).


Tonkinesis is a very quick-witted and well-mannered pet, so it is easy to get used to the tray. Due to the innate cleanliness, the cat will not go to the toilet near the place for eating, so it is better to put the tray in another isolated room. It is desirable that the place be impassable: the shy Tonkinesis in this matter do not like to relieve their natural need in front of people.

For a small one, you need to purchase a tray with low sides (to make it easier to climb), preferably not too large in size. For an adult, you can purchase a larger model so that the pet can freely fit and unfold in it. High sides will prevent the filler from spilling out of the tray.

There are also no special requirements for the filler: you can take silica gel, wood, etc. Since tonkinesis has short hair, both small and large fractions of the filler are suitable. The most important rule is to clean the toilet on time. A dirty litter box will force your pet to look for another place to relieve themselves.

From my own experience, I can say that the most budgetary and convenient option is a tray without a grid and the absence of any filler. My cat ignored the toilet all the time, and for a long time I could not understand the reason for such indecent behavior. Once I witnessed such a situation: the cat stands on the tray and begins to twitch its paws in the hope of shaking off the adhered granules, then moves aside. Then I poured out the filler, removed the grate - and the pet immediately returned and went to the toilet on the tray. Since then, there have never been any problems with dealing with the need in the wrong places, and I got rid of additional expenses.


Tonkinesians accept both specialized feed and natural food equally well, but the latter option is the priority. The basis of the diet should be meat (anything except pork). You can also feed tonkinesis:

  • chicken eggs;
  • dairy products;
  • vegetables;
  • fruit;
  • oatmeal.

Fish, sweets, salty and spicy foods should be excluded from the diet. It is recommended to combine natural food with dry food - so the nutrition will be more balanced.

Small kittens are fed in small portions 5-6 times a day, for adult cats it is enough to eat 2 times a day. Tonkinesis are not prone to overeating and obesity, they are able to independently control their food intake. If the animal feels full, it will not eat up every last crumb. For an adult cat, the daily intake is 80 kcal per 1 kg of body weight.

Video: features of the Tonkin cat

Breeding the breed

The best mating age for Tonkin cats is 1.5 years. At this age, the body is fully strengthened and formed, and therefore the offspring will turn out to be healthy. Mating is best done during the cat's third estrus (optimal time). It is not worth delaying for a long time and waiting for a more favorable moment, since late childbirth is often difficult.

Mating lasts 2-3 days. The cat is usually brought to the cat (since the male feels more confident in his territory), and during this time the animals are left together. Care should be taken to ensure that the animals have enough food and drink for several days. It is advisable to refuse the services of an instructor: representatives of this breed love solitude.

The first signs of pregnancy appear 3 weeks after mating. The cat becomes more lethargic and detached, moves a little, eats more. At this time, the diet should be based on foods high in calcium and protein. Pregnancy lasts an average of 9 weeks. 6 kittens are usually born.

Owners who plan to breed cats should take this issue seriously. Before mating, you need to make sure that the pet is completely healthy and vaccinated. You should also make sure that the partner does not suffer from any ailments (it is advisable to see the data on vaccinations in the veterinary passport), has good genetics. It is strongly recommended for beginners to consult a veterinarian or breeder during pregnancy with a cat or breeder regarding the conditions of housing and the characteristics of care.

Castration and sterilization

If the owner does not plan to engage in breeding tonkinesis, he needs to think in advance about castration or sterilization. The difference is that in the first case, the genitals are completely removed to the animal, and in the second, they are left, but without the opportunity to become pregnant (the seminal canals are tied up for cats, and the ovaries for cats, or the uterus is removed). After sterilization, the pet feels hormonal urges, experiences discomfort without a partner. Castration in this case is more effective, since it does not leave the animal inferior.

Veterinarians recommend performing operations:

  • cats - at the age of 8-12 months;
  • for cats - at the age of 10-24 months.

Cats recover much faster than cats. So that the seams of the fluffy beauty do not come apart, it is advisable to wear a special blanket for 3 days after the operation.

Owner reviews

The Tonkin cat has an ancient history of origin, but gained recognition only in the second half of the last century. Today, a fluffy beauty with an exotic appearance is a favorite of many families, her presence alone gives a lot of positive emotions. For her owners, she is a devoted friend and an excellent psychologist, enjoys going on long trips and easily finds a common language with other pets. Due to the lack of special care requirements, even inexperienced cat lovers can start tonkinesis. Despite the high cost, it is better to purchase an animal in a specialized nursery.

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