Purring love – Tonkinese

Part puppy (following their pet parents around the house), part monkey (in their antics) and part elephant (the sound they can make while running through your house) – the colourful, warm and loving personality of the Tonkinese makes them an ideal addition to a feline loving family.

The Tonkinese is a stunning feline who has attracted attention not only for their exceptional good looks but also for their engaging personality.

The lineage…

Tonks were developed in North America in the 60s and 70s from Siamese and Burmese to get a more moderate breed than the extremes of the two parent breeds and they wanted new mink colours with aqua eyes.

The physical traits…

Tonkineses are medium-sized, surprisingly heavy and muscular cats. They have short, soft silky fur that is easy to care for and feel wonderful to pet. A weekly brushing with a small rubber brush will keep the shedding to a minimum and give them a shiny coat. Tonkineses come in four base colours and three coat patterns for a variety of 12 different looks. The base colours are Platinum (frosty gray), Champagne (medium brown), Natural (dark brown) and Blue (slate gray). The coat patterns vary in contrast between the body and the face, ears and tail. Each coat pattern has a corresponding eye colour. The three patterns are Point (high contrast with blue eyes), Mink (medium contrast with aqua eyes) and Solid (low contrast with green to yellow green eyes).

People cats…

People-oriented, social, active, playful and loving, the Tonkineses and their affectionate ways are impossible to ignore. They quickly endear themselves to family and visitors. In addition, the Tonkinese gets along with children, other breeds of cats and dogs. They just don’t like being ignored or left alone. They love to invent games to play with their pet parents or other family pets. Two of their favourite games are fetch and hide & seek.
They often climb or leap on people’s shoulders just to give a hug or a kiss. In doing this, they seldom use their claws. They also insist in sleeping in bed with their pet parents and usually will be found under the covers.
Although kittens are great fun, the Tonkineses tend to remain kittens throughout their life. What’s even more amazing is that Tonks love to talk to their pet parents. They talk in sentences and paragraphs when they have something to say, not just to hear their own voices.


Tonkineses are relatively a healthy breed with no known genetic inherent health issues.

(Nancy Mikita has been breeding and showing Tonkinese in CFA since 1993. She is an active member of the Tonkinese Breed Association, which is an intentional CFA Tonkinese Breed Club).