The Tonkinese Cat Breed

The Tonkinese cat breed is similar in looks to the Siamese cat breed.

It has the points of the Siamese but has a softer more rounded body shape, as opposed to the sleek contours of the Siamese.

he breed came about with the mating of a Siamese and Burmese during the 1950's in America.

Because of this mix no litter ever produces a full litter of Tonkinese kittens, instead it is common to have a couple of Tonks, a Siamese and a Burmese in the litter.

( I have since been advised by a breeder that When breeding Tonk to Tonk, there is no way that you can end up with 3 breeds in the one litter. )

The breed has a medium build with a soft wedge shaped head that is rounded at the top. It has a short nose similar to the Burmese that is angled and not pronounced.

The coat pattern shades to a darker tone around the ears, face, legs and tail. The coat is darker than a Siamese coat but lighter than that of a Burmese.

Colour Variations

The recognised colour variations of this cat breed are :

Solid colours - Brown, blue, Lilac, Chocolate, red, cream, caramel and Apricot.

Tortoiseshell - Blue, brown, Chocolate, lilac and caramel

Tabby - brown, Lilac, Blue, chocolate, red, Cream, caramel and Apricot.

There are three coat patterns:

colourpoint - Siamese coat pattern

mink - sometimes referred to as the Tonkinese pattern

solid - Burmese coat pattern.

Breed Characteristics

Coat: The breed has a short coat that lies close to its body. It is very soft and silky to the touch and has a lovely sheen to it.

Eyes: The eyes are almond shaped and slightly slanted, similar to the Siamese breed. The colours can range from Aquamarine to a greenish blue.

Grooming: The breed requires no special grooming and brushing the coat several times a week gently with a brush will be sufficient.


This cat breed has a temperament similar to its close relatives the Siamese and Burmese breeds. It is very lively and inquisitive but also has an air of calmness and tranquillity. It requires lots of stimulus to keep it happy so a varied and active environment would be required. 

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