Despite the fact that the Tonkinese cat bred has the “look” of a cat that might have roamed this planet for centuries, the fact is, as a breed, the Tonkinese has really only been around for a few decades.
Unlike many other “native” cat breed species, the Tonkinese was actually specifically developed by both American and Canadian cat breeders right around the mid 1950’s and early 1960’s. Their goal was to try and combine the best characteristics of the Siamese and Burmese cat breed.
And at the…
Risk of spoiling the ending of the story, what we can tell you is that she was quite successful in her endeavor which is why we now have the Tonkinese cat breed to enjoy.
But just because…
We happen to like the Tonkinese cat breed doesn’t mean that this will be the right cat breed for you. This is why in this article we wanted to take a moment and discuss what it might be like to own one of these awesome little cats so that you’ll be better prepared to know if getting one would be a good “fit’ for you.
So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Tonkinese Cat Breed Fast Facts
Country of Origin: United States and Canada
Weight: 7 to 9 pounds
Eyes: Almond shaped (gold, green, or light blue)
Shape of Head: Wedge-shaped
Lifespan: 15 to 18 years
Origin of the Tonkinese cat breed
The Tonkinese cat is the result of several different cat breeders all having the same idea right around the same time. Which began in the early 1950’s when Milan Greer first began cross breeding the Siamese cat with the Burmese cat breed.
Over time, Milan began to grow tired of experimenting with these two breeds, his early work inspired other cat breeders including Jane Barletta an American Breeder and Margaret Conroy a Canadian cat breeder to pick up where he left off.
These two ladies discovered what one another were doing and eventually started working together. It was then that the Tonkinese finally came to be.
That said however…
There are those that believe that this “breed” may have actually been in existence since the 19th century, which is evident by the famous cat called Wong Mau, however because the “breed” wasn’t officially recognized back then, credit for the breed generally isn’t given to those who owned Wong Mau back then.
The Tonkinese cat wasn’t even “officially” recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) until 1984 nearly 20 years after they were created.
Physical attributes of the Tonkinese cat breed
The Tonkinese cat is a medium-sized cat and will generally only weigh about 7 to 9 pounds. Which will feel very light to you when you first pick up one of these guys.
Even though these guys weigh less than 10 pounds, their muscular body will give them the appearance that they weigh more. This is probably because most of their weight is in their torso because their legs are pretty slim.
And speaking of their…
Legs, if you get a chance to see one of these guys in person, be sure to check out their paws, which have a very distinctive oval shape.
Now as far as…
Their head goes, Tonkinese cats have a wedge-shaped head and have large, tall ears that are slightly rounded at the tips. This combined with their almond-shaped eyes that can be either aqua, blue, green, or yellow-green eyes definitely create an attractive look.
And while you may be thinking that…
Because the Tonkinese is actually a mixture of a Siamese and a Burmese cat, that your color options may be limited, but the truth is, these guys come in a wide variety of colors including:
- And fawn.
They can also come in different patterns as well.
Temperament of the Tonkinese cat breed
The Tonkinese are active felines. They love to play fetch, hide and seek, and tag. Or you can catch them doing some spy moves because they’re smart, and they’ll remember where you keep the treats.
You’ll also probably…
Catch them trying to sneak into the highest cabinet to get what they want. Considering they love to climb, we should also point out that they have a wicked sense of humor. They’ll knock down glass and vases or anything fragile just because they can.
For this reason….
If you get a Tonkinese, rid of anything fragile that you have in high places.
They’re also very…
Assertive and affectionate. So, when you pair these two traits together, what you get is a cat that is going to want to make their way to your lap or shoulder whenever they please for as long as they want.
Did we mention that they’re incredibly smart?
If not, we probably should. Which means that these little guys will love to play with toys that will challenge them and make them think. They also love learning tricks because they’re such show-offs.
Which makes them…
Perfect pets for families with kids. Because kids will probably be the only ones with enough energy to keep up with these little guys!
Common health issues
All in all, the Tonkinese cat breed is a pretty healthy cat breed. That said however, over the life of your cat, it’s important to understand that he or she may develop illnesses or injuries that could require the care of a veterinarian.
And just ask…
Any experienced pet owner and the will tell you that vet bills can be expensive particularly if your loved one develops a serious medical condition.
This is why…
We here at IndulgeYourPet always advise any new pet owner to take a moment and see what it might cost to purchase a pet insurance policy on their new loved one. This way if they ever do become sick or injured in the future, you won’t be on the “hook” for 100% of the cost of treatment.
For more information on who we “feel” currently offers some of the “best” pet insurance policies on the market right now, be sure to check out our Best Pet Insurance Companies article.