A pet owner's guide to Tonkinese cats

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Tonkinese cats were developed from a cross-breed of Burmese cats and Siamese cats. Playful and fun-loving, these cats require entertainment, so you'll need to make a trip to your local pet store's toy department to keep your Tonkinese cat happy. Left to its own devices, a Tonkinese will grow bored quickly and, more often than not, turn to making mischief.


Given its hybrid origins, it took the Tonkinese a while to gain official breed status. In 2001, following more than 20 years of effort, Tonkinese breeders finally succeeded in obtaining breed status for these cats. This was achieved through selective mating practices aimed at phasing out the direct genetic influences of the line's Burmese and Siamese ancestry.


Size: Despite their medium stature, these cats are heavier than they look due to their thick musculature. Expect a fully grown, healthy adult to weigh between 10 and 14 pounds.

Coat: Tonkinese breeders specify three distinct coat patterns: solid, pointed and mink. Common solid colors include champagne, blue and platinum. The pointed pattern is like that seen in Siamese cats – generally solid, with variances in shade brushed throughout the fur. The mink coat, highly desirable in show cats, is typified by a pastel-like blend of the base color with lighter and darker patches scattered throughout the body.

Eyes & Ears: This breed's eyes are lemon-shaped and typically blue or aqua in color, though some breeders favor a yellow or green pigment. Ears are wide at the base, narrowing sharply to a rounded point and set far apart, on the sides of the head.

Tail: The tail should be proportional to the length of the body, tapering from medium thickness at the base to a rounded end.


Tonkinese kittens display a love of heights from their earliest weeks and months, something also commonly seen in adult cats. Acrobatic and active, these cats enjoy games, particularly hide and seek, and are an affectionate breed that displays dog-like loyalty.

Health and Care

Feeding: Nourish these cats with a well-balanced diet consisting primarily of quality dry cat food. Feed them table scraps only sparingly, as they can be prone to stomach sensitivity.

Grooming: Tonkinese cats need their nails clipped on a weekly basis and regular grooming with a rubber brush. Otherwise, their short coats need little attention.

Activity Level: Though relatively active, Tonkinese cats are best kept indoors. Their curious and daring natures can be dangerous when they venture outdoors, but they strongly prefer being indoors anyway.

Health Problems: Other than gum sensitivity and a risk of developing gingivitis, inherited from their Siamese ancestors, these cats are very healthy. Of course, all breeds face age-related health problems, including feline distemper and feline inflammatory bowel disease. The need for regular veterinary care is stressed.

Average Lifespan: Tonkinese cats live about 10 to 15 years.

Find Tonkinese Kittens for Sale from Local Breeders

A good rule of thumb when seeking Tonkinese cats for sale is to trust your gut when dealing with breeders. If you don't like the Tonkinese breeder for whatever reason, it's quite possible for those negative traits to translate to their cats, as well.

In general, you should expect to pay between about $400 and $550 for a companion-quality Tonkinese kitten of certified parentage and guaranteed health. Show-quality cats are usually available for a premium of $200 to $300 on top of the standard price.

Tonkinese cat adoption is a good alternative if you want to save some money and do a good deed. You can contact your local SPCA or animal control authorities to inquire about local animal rescue services where you might find a Tonkinese to call your own.

Posted by Teth on July 08,2017 at 02:41 AM
I have a champagne tonkinese but the furr fades its color what the best food to regain his color
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Posted by linda burke on November 05,2013 at 11:46 AM
I am looking for a Tonkinese female kitten. I have just had to have my adorable feline Siamese cat who was 12 years old put to sleep and I am devasted. I loved her so much. She cannot be replaced, but as I am at home all day I would very much like a new companion. So if anyone can help me please get in touch.
Posted by Francis on August 15,2013 at 08:13 PM
I'm not aware of any foods currently being reeallcd, although Nutro is having some issues.The best food for cats is wet food, so you'd do better to feed more canned food than dry. You don't have to feed any dry at all it doesn't clean the teeth but it's ok if you offer some for your convenience.The best foods are grainless. You can find grainless dry foods and there are several varieties of grainless canned foods that are readily available.
Posted by Jessa Morrison on May 16,2013 at 08:30 AM
I have a five year old male tonkinese. His name is Murray and he is my lovey. He needs a lot of affection and loves to cuddle. One of his favorite games is fetch with a little toy mouse. I'm looking for someone to adopt Murray. He needs more attention than I can give him and has recently been acting out by peeing on my bed. I'm taking him to the vet this weekend to be sure he doesn't have a bladder infection. In the meantime, I need to put feelers out there for finding him a good home. I believe the best match for Murray would be someone that is home most of the time and someone that has a quiet disposition; he does not like loud people/noises. Please email if you'd like to speak further. Thanks!
Posted by Tim Chrisman on August 14,2013 at 12:15 PM
Do you still have your Tonk? I'm seriously thinking about adopting one and am interested. Your post was a few months ago but maybe you still have him.
Posted by tlgambino on February 14,2012 at 03:38 AM
Recently, my 19 year old tonk male left this realm. I am seeking another natural male tonk, prefer blue eyes. Kitten not necessary in the Pittsburgh, PA area. I can be reached at
Posted by Thomas White on March 30,2011 at 04:35 PM
I am looking for a tonkinese kitten or young adult. I live in the Washington DC area My name is Thomas White an my cell is 202-390-3367 Thank you
Posted by jan drummond on February 01,2011 at 06:20 PM
I am looking for a tonkinese kitten in the austin, tx area. I just lost my kitten today and I am looking for another tonkinese.
Posted by mary burgess on March 15,2011 at 09:46 PM
dear jan, sorry to hear about your loss ((((hugs)))) mary burgess
Posted by Victoria M. Hollie on October 05,2010 at 05:49 PM
We have a neutered male that would love to have a Tonkinese friend. We are a loving family and would like to have another cat that purrs.
Posted by Pat on June 10,2010 at 04:33 PM
I'm looking for a tonkinese female kitten. I do not need a show cat, just a companion and entertainment center for my 6 yr old siamese, male cat and me. I'm an old retired school teacher who retired as a school principal. I am a stay at home, who does not travel very much so I am a good animal trainer and a loving Mama. I had to have my 2 little companion dogs put down last summer and vowed, no more dogs, but I love cats just as much. My siamese was raised with the dogs, therefore, he thinks he's a dog. I think he would be a good papa to a new kitten. His name is El Gato Diable which he really was as a kitten, but has slowed down some now. Probably because I've slowed down too.
Posted by Shirley on May 26,2010 at 09:10 PM
I'm looking for a burmese or tonkinese male kitten, does anyone have one available in the Broward County, Florida area?
Posted by angel on February 08,2010 at 02:50 PM
i want a cat
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