Kitten History: Tonkinese

This jewel-eyed kitten marks the happy medium of the cat fancy.

By Stacy Hackett

Printer Friendly
Tonkinese © Helmi FlickNeither too big nor too small, too tall nor too short, your Tonkinese kitten is just right. With her exquisite mink coat and stunningly aquamarine eyes, its no wonder she's captured the affection of cat lovers around the world.

Cat fanciers may know of a movement in the late 1800s of the chocolate Siamese. Breeders believe those cats may have been Tonkinese, heralding what was to come for these cats. Most of todays Tonkinese are the result of careful breeding programs started in the late 1960s by Jane Barletta, of the United States, and Margaret Conroy, of Canada. These women crossed Siamese with Burmese in separate breeding programs. When they learned of each others efforts, they joined forces to develop this moderate cat breed.

The Cat Fanciers Association accepted the breed for registration in 1978, with championship status granted in 1984. Today, the mink colors compete for championships, while the pointed and solid colors help strengthen and refine the breed.


- Return to the Tonkinese Breed Profile -

Printer Friendly

 Give us your opinion on
Kitten History: Tonkinese

Submit a Comment   Join Club
Earn 1,000 points! What's this?
Reader Comments

Karen    Scottsville, NY

11/3/2014 7:09:42 AM

I love my 2 Tonks!

Galadriel    Lothlorien, ME

10/29/2013 11:25:02 PM


Sophie's person    Santa Barbara, CA

8/3/2012 5:04:32 PM

Tonkinese are INCREDIBLE cats. They have the silkiest fur and the most fun, happy personalities as long as you give them the attention they need and deserve! Our tonk skateboards, rides on our shoulders, sleeps cuddled up under the covers in bed, has the most amazing aquamarine eyes, and even catches toys with her front paws. I would recommend them for adults who work at home, and can give them lots of love without annoying them the way a child would. Also, our tonk relishes her interactions with our other cats (including a Bengal), so I would recommend that any prospective Tonkinese adopter either adopt two Tonks or have other cats around who like to play. Oh yes, and our Tonkinese is quiet as well, far quieter than Siamese and Orientals I have known, which is kind of sad because I love her meow when she does meow (usually ONLY when we are in the bathroom and she wants to come in), it sounds like "WAAAAAHHHH!:)

Linda    St. Louis, MO

8/26/2010 7:49:02 PM

It is very true that Tonks NEED companionship, whether human or another animal. They are quite active and athletic, but are not curtain climbers. Also, not all of them are talkative. They are VERY sweet kitties, but not all of them are lap sitters or shoulder riders. Some of them have their own agenda, but their person is ALWAYS somehow a part of it. ALWAYS!

View Current Comments

Top Products