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 Cats - Tonkinese

Tonkinese cats are a cross between Burmese & Siamese cats. Some kittens look more like Burmese, with green eyes, some look more like Siamese with blue eyes & white coat with Siamese markings.  



a Tonkinese cat showing wedge-shaped face

There were cats similar to Tonkinese in Siam many centuries ago. Cats were taken to England in the 1800's and called chocolate Siamese. The Canadians produced the Tonkinese breed by crossing a seal-point Siamese with a sable Burmese.  A true Tonkinese has aquamarine eyes - a distinguishing feature. The Canadian Cat Association declared the Tonkinese to be a breed in 1960. USA granted recognition in 1972. In UK the Tonkinese is only recognized by one cat association.

They are now available in many colours. For championship show only five colors are allowed: blue mink, champagne mink, honey mink, natural mink, and platinum mink. There are some groups that will allow colors like the pointed Siamese or Burmese, so Tonkinese cats can be solid-coloured. The coat or markings may go darker in the winter or in cold climates.

The Tonkinese loves people and will follow the owner around like a dog. They get on well with other cats in the household. They are playful and affectionate. Do provide a scratching post, to keep the nails short. Brushing regularly improves the coat.

Paws are oval, and the head is wedge-shaped. Tonkinese are more stocky than the Siamese.

If two mink-coloured cats mate, the litter may produce for example two mink kittens, two Siamese-type kittens, and two Burmese-type kittens, so breeding is not for novices. There are a few breeders in South Africa.


We can admire the devotion of a Tonkinese cat, or a dog, that follows the master around. Remember Caleb in the Bible? He followed God wholeheartedly, and was rewarded personally and wars ceased! Joshua14, 13 - 15


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