The Tonkinese was originally produced by crossing the Burmese and Siamese breeds. Blending the best features of its ancestors whether it is the Burmese coat pattern or the Siamese pointed pattern, Tonkinese are beautiful, medium-sized muscular cats that are intelligent and gregarious.
Tonkinese were first imported to England in the early 1800s as "Chocolate Siamese" and in the United States, Tonkinese and Burmese can trace their beginnings back to Wong Mau, a small walnut coloured cat imported to California by Dr. Joseph Thompson in 1930. New to the modern show ring, Tonkinese finally achieved championship status in 1984.
The Tonkinese is best known for its brilliant aqua eyes and beautiful sleek, soft coat featured in an unique pattern known as "mink". This remarkable coat is pointed like the Siamese, but the body is coloured in a shade harmonising with the point colour, and eyes are a rich, sparkling aqua shade. These cats are also surprisingly dense with good muscle development.
Tonkinese cats are active, alert, playful people oriented cats making them ideal companions. They are also warm and loving, highly intelligent supervising all their human's activities. Naturals at inventing and playing games or using favourite toys to play fetch and even entertaining the guests, they will delight their human owners with their playful antics. Tonks are cats that are impossible to ignore and quickly take over the hearts and homes of their enthusiastic owners.
Tonkinese are available in a rainbow of colours intermediate between their Burmese and Siamese parent breeds. The main colour is mink, but other coat colours include blue, champagne, honey, natural and platinum colours with some Tonkinese having pointed and solid colours, too. The natural mink color develops slowly as the kitten matures. In some associations, non-mink colours are also accepted for championship competition. Some Tonkinese are available in solid and dark colourpoints.
Eyes are distinctive features of the Tonkinese in a shade of unique, brilliant aqua.
TBA Tonkinese Breed Association.
Tonkinese Breed Club UK club for enthusiasts of Tonkinese in the UK and overseas.
Tonks West CFA affiliated cat club promoting the Tonkinese breed.
Tonkinese Cats by Linda Vousden.
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