Tonkinese Breeders and other Links


    The Tonkinese blends the  best features of its ancestors into one beautiful, medium-sized cat that is remarkably dense and muscular. Whether appearing in the coat pattern of its Burmese predecessor, with sparkling gold-green eyes,  the pointed pattern of its Siamese ancestor, with glittering blue eyes, or the "mink" coat pattern seen in the show ring, with its unique aqua eyes, the Tonkinese is an intelligent, gregarious cat with a  sense of humor. These cats are firmly convinced that humans were put on earth to love them; these are the cats that know they belong. They purred their way through seven years and four presentations to the  board of directors of The Cat Fanciers' Association in their pursuit of championship status, achieving their goal in 1984. Although new to modern competition, this is the same breed depicted in "The  Cat-Book Poems of Siam" during the Ayudha Period (1358-1767), and imported to England in the early 1800s as "Chocolate Siamese." In the United States, Tonkinese and Burmese can trace their beginnings  back to Wong Mau, a small walnut colored cat imported to California by Dr. Joseph Thompson in 1930.

    Type and Characteristics

    The Tonkinese is a medium, moderate, non-extreme cat. It should not look like a bad version of either of its component breeds  (Siamese or Burmese), but a pleasing blend of the best aspects of those breeds in absolute moderation, resulting in a distinctly different look all its own.


     Conformation is mid-point  between the extremes of long, svelte body types and short cobby body types, with balance and proportion more important than size alone. Torso a medium length rectangle, appearing neither compact nor rangy;  chest medium width, rounding gently in front. Flanks level. Back rises slightly from shoulders to rump. Solid, well-developed, clean-lined musculature, with abdomen taut and firm. Adult males may have quite  muscular neck and shoulders, and are proportionately larger than females.

    Legs and Feet

    Moderately slim, proportionate in length and bone structure to the body. Hind legs slightly longer than  front. Paws more oval than round. Tail: Medium to medium long, in proportion to body, tapering gently to slightly blunted tip.


    Medium short. Soft, fine, close lying, with a lustrous sheen.


    A modified wedge, slightly longer than it is wide, with high, gently planed cheekbones; the brow, cheek and profile all showing clean, gently curved contours. Muzzle blunt, neither  excessively rounded nor pointed, with a definite whisker break. Head and ears give impression of an equilateral triangle from ear tips to chin when viewed from front. Allowance to be made for jowls in adult  males. The profile shows slight convex curve (slight doming) of the forehead from top of head to just above eyes, dipping to a slight stop at or just below eye level, with no appearance of a break. Nose  shows very slight convex curvature. Chin neither prominent nor weak.


    Medium in size, broad at base, with oval tips. Pricked forward. Alert. Set as much on the sides of the head as on the  top. Hair on ears very short and close lying. Leather may show through.


    Almond shaped, slightly rounded on the bottom. Set at least an eye's size, in proportion to the head. Eye color aqua,  bluish-green to green-blue, in dark color cats; bluish-green to blue-greenish- gold in dilute color cats. Deep, clear, brilliant mid-range colors preferred. Tonkinese eye color is best determined in natural  light, with allowance for incomplete development in cats under the age of one year.

    Tonkinese Breeders and other Links

    More Breed Descriptions on the Net

    CFA Breed Standard - Tonkinese -
    The official standard by which Tonkinese cats are judged in CFA shows.

    TICA Breed Standard - Tonkinese -
     The official standard by which Tonkinese cats are judged in TICA shows

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