Named after the original name for Vietnam, Tonkin, the Tonkinese are full of mischief and fun. The breed blends characteristics of both the Burmese and the Siamese. Also known as Chocolate Siamese, these are clever and curious cats (that's the Siamese showing) who are vocal and outgoing (that's the Burmese). A Tonkinese will definitely keep you on your toes!
This breed can grow to between 6-12 pounds and lives an average of 15-20 years. Fun fact: a Tonkinese once gave birth to 19 kittens at one go, the largest litter of any cat.
Did someone say “toy?” Yes, please!
I looooove being with you
You can SEE me thinking
I mostly groom myself
I'm a cat and proud of it
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS THE TONKINESE'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
If your family is looking for a feline playmate, look no further. Tonkinese are often wonderful with children and dogs. These are brilliant, affectionate, fun-loving cats. They have great senses of humor, good temperaments, and will be happy to talk the ear off of anyone who will listen. They crave company, so if you're out of the house a lot, consider getting your Tonkinese a furry friend to keep her from pining for you (and from making mischief in your absence).
WHAT IS TONKINESE BEHAVIOR LIKE?
This is a very chatty and personable, though not especially cuddly, breed. Slim and muscular, this medium-sized kitty is more solid than she might look. Think about having a Tonkinese in your home like you would about having a toddler running around—they're smart and curious, and they want to get into absolutely everything.
You'll need to thoroughly cat-proof your house before this breed comes home with you. Tonkinese are very active.
HOW CAN I KEEP MY TONKINESE ENTERTAINED?
Tonkinese are very playful. Yours will appreciate surfaces to scratch up, toys to bat around, and a safe environment to explore. She'll also enjoy outsmarting puzzle toys and learning to impress you with tricks.
CARE & HEALTH
WHAT DO TONKINESE LOOK LIKE AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
This breed comes in variations of mink, including champagne, platinum, natural, and blue, and their color depends on the climate. Apparently colder weather means a darker Tonkinese.
This cat's eyes are aqua. Your Tonkinese's short, silky-soft coat won't need much grooming. Plan to brush her weekly.
Your cat's coat and skin can tell you a lot about her health and wellbeing. Healthy cats have coats that are smooth and shiny; they should have supple, clear skin. Nutrition and wellness factor heavily into the texture and luster of your kitty's coat, but you can help keep her looking and feeling her best with regular skin care and grooming.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO TONKINESE HAVE?
As a breed, the Tonkinese is generally healthy. Keep an eye on their teeth and gums, however; this cat is prone to gingivitis.
Remember that cats often hide disease symptoms! It's important to bring your furry friend in for veterinary checkups at least once a year.
ARE TONKINESE GOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES?
Tonkinese aren't among the breeds generally recommended for allergy sufferers, though they are infrequent shedders. But shedding less doesn't make these breeds hypoallergenic. Dander found in urine, dead skin, and saliva (not pet hair) is what sets off allergy sufferers. Lighter-shedding cats will distribute fewer allergens around your home, though.
Remember that no breed is 100% hypoallergenic, and any breed can aggravate allergies.
WHAT IS MY TONKINESE'S BEST DAY?
This cat wants to tell you about every single thought that comes into her head, to ride around on your shoulders, and to play with you. Fancy a game of hide-and-seek?
SHOULD I ADOPT A TONKINESE?
Tonkinese are not for everyone. A bored Tonk will go looking for trouble, and they can be a bit…insistent…in their affections. The upside is that you'll never have to worry whether this cat is happy. She'll give you an earful if she's not! If you can provide a loving home and a willing ear, the Tonkinese might just be your dream come true.
Have you decided that a Tonkinese is the purr-fect cat for you? Why not be your new best friend's hero and adopt a rescue! Be sure to check out our article on what to expect when you're adopting a dog or cat.