Tonkinese cat
Federations: LOOF, CFA, ACF, ACFA, TICA

The Tonkinese cat It is distinguished by the great variety of appearances that its coat can show, both in terms of color, as in pattern and even in length.


Characteristics "Tonkinese cat"

Coexistence is important that you have with your new friend. Before considering the acquisition of a cat of the breed "Tonkinese cat" you know certain factors. You must take into account their character, their need for exercise, their interaction with other pets, their care and if you have small children, their level of tolerance towards them.


Rated 4 out of 5
4 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Activity level

Rated 5 out of 5
5 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Friendliness to other pets

Rated 4 out of 5
4 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Friendliness to children

Rated 4 out of 5
4 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Grooming requirements

Rated 1 out of 5
1 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)


Rated 4 out of 5
4 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Need for attention

Rated 4 out of 5
4 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Affection towards its owners

Rated 4 out of 5
4 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)


Rated 3 out of 5
3 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)


Rated 4 out of 5
4 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)


Rated 2 out of 5
2 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)


Rated 3 out of 5
3 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)


The Tonkinese cat (also known as “Tonk“) es un híbrido entre el Siamese and the Birman. Sus antepasados procedían del sudeste asiático, more specifically from Siam (ancient name of thailand) and Burma. In other words, his name is confusing, Since, en contra de lo que podría pensarse, does not come from Tonkin, the northern part of present-day Vietnam. This breed has the peculiarity of having appeared naturally, since their “ancestors” the Siamese and burmese compartían el mismo territorio, and it happened that they mated with each other, without human planning, with the intention of creating a new breed. These random interracial matings are likely to have been going on for a long time.

The first “Tonkinese cat”

Tonkinese cats Odin and Oscar asleep

In the Decade of the 50, Milan Greer, un entusiasta de los gatos domésticos que vivía en Nueva York, decided to breed Siamese seal point with burmese to produce what he called Golden Siamese. Había aprendido que cuando este tipo de hibridación se producía accidentalmente, kittens were considered defective and discarded, sobre todo porque se pensaba que no podían reproducirse entre sí. Greer set out to show that this belief was wrong. He claimed to have managed to cross his cats Golden Siamese a lo largo de cinco generaciones y consideraba que había logrado su objetivo. He abandoned his project at the beginning of the following decade, aunque sus gatos ya se habían hecho muy populares en Nueva York.

In the Decade of 1960, the canadian breeder Margaret Conroy She was forced, for a series of circumstances, to mate your cat Khosoom, a burmese cat sable, with a Siamese colourpoint (or “seal point“) dark brown. The original plan was to send Khosoom to New York, donde había encontrado un macho Burmese con el que pensaba que sería interesante aparearse. However, dado el carácter más bien tímido de Khosoom, abandoned this plan and decided instead to mate her with a Siamese seal point, following the advice of a judge of the Canadian Cat Association (CCA).

Aproximadamente al mismo tiempo, in United States, a breeder of Siamese from New Jersey, Jane Barletta, and another breeder from California, Mary Swanson, iniciaron sendos programas de cría de Siamese and burmese. Later, an advertisement for Jane Barletta to the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) allowed the two Americans and the Canadian to get in touch and collaborate on the first new breed standard. They also worked together to obtain official recognition from the CFA.

Kittens born to Khosoom they were beige with turquoise eyes, but the three pioneers soon developed individuals with different shades of fur and eyes introducing various varieties of burmese or Siamese en sus programas de cría. For example, Jane Barletta used a Siamese blue point, While Margaret Conroy raised a Burmese blue with a Siamese of blue point, and Siamese red point with a Burmese sable. Other breeders, mostly on the west coast of the United States, they also entered the fray and began to develop the Tonkinese cat with various color variations. The work of all these enthusiasts has resulted in the great variety of coat and eye appearances for which the tonkinese hoy en día.

In 1971 a meeting of many of them was organized in Boston. On this occasion the first club of the breed was founded, the Club de la Raza tonkines.

A new breed… ¿o no realmente?

"Tonkinese cat"

Tonkinese Cat – Esteban Maurer, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Canadian Cat Association (CCA) affirms that the Tonkinese cat was the first recognized breed of domestic cat in Canada. It is true that the CCA was the first feline organization to accept the registration of this breed. (then call “Tonkanese“) in 1967, and then, in 1971, allowed them to participate in feline exhibitions organized under its auspices, with a new name (“Tonkinese“). Thus, the breed is considered to be native to Canada.

However, more than the birth of a new race, sería más exacto hablar de un renacimiento, ya que los híbridos entre burmese and Siamese ya existían desde hacía muchos años, y algunos incluso habían llegado a Occidente, mostly to the United States and the United Kingdom.

In fact, este pequeño gato híbrido ha estado presente en el Reino de Siam desde hace mucho tiempo, and was described as early as the fourteenth century in the Tamra Maew, a collection of poems about domestic cats written by the monks of a Buddhist temple.

Debido a la aparición natural de híbridos Burmese-Siamese, some of them were brought to the West as early as the early 19th century. In the UK they are known as “chocolate siamese“.

More recently, in 1930, the Dr. Joseph Cheesman Thompson, neurocirujano retirado de la Marina estadounidense e interesado en la entomología, la herpetología y la fauna en general, took San Francisco to Wong Mau, a cat considered then as Siamese. However, it was far from the breed standard: she was small, compact, too fine boned, short-tailed, her eyes were too round and too far apart, and the tips of her fur were chocolate brown, and therefore too dark. In fact, it is now generally accepted that Wong Mau era en realidad un híbrido Burmese-Siamese, and that this hybridization occurred naturally in Burma.

With Wong Mau as original parent, the Dr. Thompson set out to develop a new breed of cat which was given the name of “Birman“. Was a Tonkinese cat el que dio origen a este último, long before his true race was known and recognized, the tonkinese. For a just return of things, the Burmese cat contributed in turn to the official creation of the Tonkinese cat about thirty years later.

The recognition of “tonkinese” by feline associations

Following in the footsteps of the Canadian Cat Association from 1967, the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) recognized the Tonkinese cat in 1974. However, was not up 1984 when the CFA allowed its representatives to participate in beauty pageants organized under its auspices.

For its part, the TICA (International Cat Association) granted full recognition to the breed in 1979, dándole así acceso tanto al registro como a las exposiciones felinas.

In Europe, the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF), the leading British feline association, also recognizes the tonkinese, similar to the Livre Officiel des Origines Félines (LOOF) French.

In the rest of the world, the breed is recognized by the Australian Cat Federation (ACF), la New Zealand Cat Fancy (NZCF) y el South Africa Cat Council (SACC).

Last, la única excepción entre las principales organizaciones felinas -y es grande- is the Fédération Internationale Féline (FIFé), que aún no la reconoce.

However, of all the others, few accept the variety called “longhair” (but whose fur is actually rather semi-long), generally content to consider the tonkinese like a race of shorthair cat.

In fact, among the main institutions, only the Livre Officiel des Origines Félines (LOOF) French recognizes the tonkinese long-haired and accepts the registration of kittens of this variety. Therefore, opposes the position of his counterparts, that no longer allow interbreeding with other breeds.

In effect, to obtain semi-long haired kittens, it is necessary to hybridize the Shorthair Tonkinese with an individual of another race with said coat. This is exactly what the LOOF authorizes, who accepts marriages with longhair asian, but they must be sepia and not spiky. Esta autorización provisional debía finalizar el 1 in January of 2020, but it has been extended until 1 in January of 2025, debido a los bajos números de la raza. Until the same date and with the same objective, that is to say, diversify the genetic heritage of the breed to avoid health problems linked to excessive inbreeding, authorizes marriages of shorthair tonkinese with the European Burmes cat.

Popularity of "Tonkinese cat"

The tonkinese it is more popular in America and the Anglo-Saxon world in general than in continental Europe.

In France, the Livre Officiel des Origines Félines (LOOF) tiene estadísticas separadas para las variedades de shorthair and Longhair. Since the beginning of the decade 2000, has registered around 30 a 50 births of shorthair tonkinese a year, but this figure, which was previously relatively stable, has suddenly descended to 15 in 2018 now only 6 in 2019. La complejidad de la cría de tonkinese podría ser un factor de este declive. In fact, como los criadores han tratado de excluir de la cría a las líneas con problemas genéticos, the breed's gene pool has been considerably reduced, what has made your job difficult.

It is clear that the longhair tonkinese will not be able to take over. In fact, el número de inscripciones anuales, that no longer exceeded ten, also collapsed in 2018 and 2019 until reaching zero. In total, there was only 48 births between 2010 and 2019.

On the other hand, in United States, the tonkinese ranks 20 (of 45) in the ranking established by the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) según el número de registros anuales en la organización. Aunque no es una de las razas más populares del país, continues to enjoy some popularity. However, this popularity is eroding, since at the beginning of the decade of 2010 ocupaba el 15º puesto.

The same phenomenon is observed in the United Kingdom, where each year around 200 kittens tonkinese in the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF), lo que la sitúa en torno a la 15ª posición en el ranking de razas felinas más populares del país. This is far from the average of 500 nacimientos al año que había en torno al año 2000.

Physical characteristics

"Tonkinese cat"

Tonkinese kitten OdinAngela Thomas from Sydney, NSW, Australia, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

La morfología del “tonkinese”

La morfología del Tonkinese cat It is intermediate between the long and thin type (Eastern) of the Siamese and the long and mighty kind of Birman. It is medium in size, with a complexion between that of his two ancestors, and your body should not be slim and slim like the first, nor solid, compact and strong boned like the second. Eso sí, has powerful muscles, especially the male: this explains his unusually high weight for a cat of his size. Especially when they are neutered, since they usually weigh between 5 and 6 kg. Females have a much more standard weight, between 2,5 and 3,5 kg.

Although they can differ greatly in weight, the two sexes are quite similar in size, about 25 a 30 cm..

Whatever the sex, the legs of the Tonkinese cat they are thin and of proportional length to the body. They end in oval legs, with five fingers in front and four in the back. The tail also has a proportional length, that is to say, approximately equal to the distance from the rump to the end of the shoulder blades, and tapers to a point.

The snout is rounded and the eyes are almond-shaped rather than round. The eyes are generally aquamarine blue, but they can also be green or yellow-green, siendo este último el color más común de los individuos mostrados. The ears are size medium, are widely spaced and have a broad base that tapers to the rounded tip.

A great diversity of appearances

The Tonkinese cat It is distinguished by the great variety of appearances that its coat can show, both in terms of color, as in pattern and even in length.

However, not all colors are recognized by all feline associations, being some more restrictive than others in this sense. For example, the American Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) only recognizes four basic colors: natural (medium brown), champagne (buff), blue and platinum. At the other end of the spectrum, the TICA (International Cat Association) recognizes all known colors, that is to say, nothing less than thirteen. Among them, the CCA (Canadian Cat Association) accepts six colors: natural, champagne, honey, blue, platinum and fawn.

What's more, the fur of the Tonkinese cat can have three different types of patterns:

“colorpoint” (pointed)

A pattern similar to the classic Siamese: in most of the body, hair ends in “points” darker than base color, which can be white or cream. Cats with this pattern have blue eyes..

“Solid, also called sepia

Similar to the pattern of Burma: hair color is uniform over most of the body or has faint ends. This pattern is associated with green or green-gold eyes..

“Mink or sable

Intermediate pattern between the first two. The tips are more striking than the pattern points, but more contrasted than those of the solid drawing. The eyes are a pale greenish blue, called aquamarine, which can vary in shades of blue and green.

The thirteen recognized hues can be combined into three patterns each, which also exist in a tabby version in the tonkinese with spikes and mink patterns. Esto significa que el número de combinaciones posibles es muy grande, which makes the tonkinese in one of the most diverse races in this sense.

Su aspecto es aún más variado, since its color changes over time. Kittens can take up to 16 months to show its adult color, which then tends to darken with age.

The Tonkinese cat has a fur short and dense. The coat has a fine texture, silky smooth and a lustrous shine. The extremities (that is to say, the mask, the ears, legs and tail) are dark and the intensity of their coloring gradually decreases, merging with that of the body.

However, but the tonkinese usually has the shorthair, there is also a lesser known -and recognized variety- of semi-long-hair, which is a cross with him Asian Semi-longhair cat (Tiffanie).

Size and weight

  • Size: 30 cm.
  • Weight: Of 2,5 a 5,5 kg

Breed standard

The breed standards are documents prepared by official bodies in which the conditions that a dog must meet are listed. tonkinese to be fully recognized as belonging to the race:


Tonkinese cat- Flickr

Like his ancestors the Siamese and the Sacred Cat of Burma (Birman), the Tonkinese cat enjoys good longevity: It is not uncommon for him to reach the venerable age of 18, 19 or even 20 years, superando así a menudo la edad media de 15 years that domestic cats reach.

However, just like their ancestors, may be subject to certain genetic diseases:

  • The amyloidosis, una enfermedad que se produce cuando una proteína, amyloid substance, is deposited in the organs (empezando por el hígado) and prevents its proper functioning. The kidneys are usually one of the affected organs, therefore, kidney failure may occur. Amyloidosis can also cause bad breath and gingivitis.;
  • Aortic stenosis, that is to say, a narrowing of the aorta: this congenital disease can cause growth retardation;
  • Convergent strabismus (narrowed eyes) causado por malformaciones congénitas de las vías del nervio óptico;
  • Congenital pyloric stenosis, que es un estrechamiento del esfínter entre el estómago y el duodeno. May cause gastric retention problems, manifested in the form of vomiting, which are often severe and occur long after eating. These vomits consist of undigested or poorly digested food.
  • Síndrome de hiperestesia felina, a neurological problem that causes heightened sensitivity of the different senses. Causes untimely and impressive behavior in affected individuals;
  • Lymphoma, or lymph cancer. All races can be affected, but the eastern ones are the most affected;
  • The nystagmus, a neurological disorder that causes rapid, involuntary eye movements;
    Progressive retinal atrophy (ARP), an incurable disease of the retina that causes total loss of vision in the cat. There is a genetic test to diagnose it.

A breeder responsible for tonkinese is careful to select stallions that are not affected by congenital diseases, and whose ancestors are not either. Any potential buyer is advised to demand proof that both the parents and the kitten itself have been tested, and that they have been negative.

It is worth mentioning that the tonkinese it is very healthy because, from the beginning of the race, breeders have worked together to reduce the risk of inbreeding. Through effective communication between them, han conseguido eliminar las líneas con problemas genéticos.

Various feline associations - including the CFA- they no longer allow interbreeding with other breeds and, therefore, consider that race is a “closed race”. Consequently, the breeders of tonkinese, like those of other closed breeds, are concerned about the possible depletion of the gene pool of the tonkinese. Esto podría dar lugar a una raza con peor salud, shorter life and fewer litters. It is probably for this reason that, in France, the LOOF authorizes crossings with the European Burmes cat and the Asian longhair cat (just the kind “blunt cuttlefish”).


"Tonkinese cat"

Tonkinese kitsFlickr

The short coat of the Tonkinese cat does not require particularly extensive care. Brushing the cat's coat weekly is enough. Of course, the coat of the long-haired variety may require more frequent brushing.

During the weekly maintenance session, the ears should also be examined and, if required, clean them with a cotton ball or soft cloth soaked in a mixture of cider vinegar and warm water in equal parts.

Although the Tonkinese cat no tiene ningún problema ocular particular, the eyes should also be checked regularly. If scabs and dirt have built up in the corner of your eyes, should be cleaned with a clean cotton pad soaked in warm water or saline solution.

What's more, as with other races, regular brushing is recommended to prevent periodontal disease.

Depending on your level of activity, It may also be necessary to trim your cat's nails if their tips have become too long and sharp. This is especially important for indoor cats., since natural wear is usually insufficient, although having a scratching post can greatly reduce this need.


Feeding a tonkinese does not present any special difficulties. You just have to make sure that the food you give is balanced and of good quality., seeking advice if necessary from a breeder or veterinarian.

What's more, as in the case of any other race, It must also be taken into account that the cat's food needs change throughout its life, and make the necessary adjustments accordingly.

In any case, as the tonkinese he is a curious and active cat, not very prone to obesity problems, especially if you spend part of your time abroad.

This is especially true because they are normally capable of self-regulation and, therefore, they can have food available at all times without causing problems.

For sale "Tonkinese cat"

In Europe - and especially in France- the price of a kitten tonkinese destinado a la compañía oscila entre los 800 and 1000 EUR. However, en el caso de un individuo destinado a la cría y/o a los concursos de belleza de gatos, the amount may well exceed these figures. In any case, puede diferir según el linaje y la cría de la que proceda el gatito, but it doesn't really depend on the sex: the prices of males and females are more or less the same.

In United States, the price ranges between 600 and 1.200 $. Once again, un animal de cría o de exposición puede ser significativamente más caro.

Videos "Tonkinese cat"

If you liked, rate this entry.
5/5 (2 Reviews)
Share with your friends !!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.