Tonkinese cats are well-known for their playful, adorable personality. Many people contend that Tonkinese kittens are the most "dog-like" of all the cats. They're very social and tend to be people-oriented.
Unlike some cats that will just run and hide whenever people come over, Tonkinese cats are friendly will be much more receptive to the company.
Because of their "dog-like demeanor," many people consider getting a Tonkinese kitten if they're in the market for a new cat. Here's what you need to know if you're in the market for a Tonkinese kitten!
What, Precisely, is a Tonkinese Kitten?
Some names are self-explanatory. Unfortunately, the moniker "Tonkinese" is not one of those.
A Tonkinese cat is a cross between a Siamese cat and a Burmese cat. These two breeds have some desirable personality and physical characteristics that combine to make the Tonkinese a top-notch feline friend.
For example, it gets its sleek physique and intelligence from the Siamese side and its "puppy-like" attitude from the non-shedding Burmese side.
Tonkinese cats are relatively new. They have existed in the west for at least 100 years. However, Tonkinese became an established breed only in 2001. Before that, people classified it as a crossbreed.
Tonkinese Cat Characteristics
Physically, Tonkinese cats have few defining characteristics. As noted earlier, these pets have a healthy, slender body with an average-sized tail. Their paws are oval, not round, which is perhaps the most defining trait on a Tonkinese kitten's body.
In terms of Tonkinese cat colors, there's are only four base colors that the official breed description recognizes. You can get a Platinum cat, which has a frosty gray face. The Champagne Tonkinese has a medium-brown face. If you're looking for something a little more unique, you can get the Blue Tonkinese, which has a slate blue face. Finally, the Natural cat has a dark brown complexion.
Tonkinese cats also "change" color as they age. In particular, they often develop darker fur as they mature. A Tonkinese kitten with a solid white face may eventually develop the Natural look as they grow into adulthood. Therefore, if you're bringing home a kitten, the color that they are when you get them home may not match what they are when they grow up!
Tonkinese vs. Siamese: Which To Choose
Reading the personality description and physical characteristics, you may wonder what the difference is between a Tonkinese cat and a Siamese cat. Both have very similar features and traits, which one should expect, considering that the Tonkinese is a Siamese mix cat!
Indeed, the differences are subtle. Tonkinese cats tend to be more docile and easy-going than Siamese ones. By contrast, Siamese cats are a little more outgoing, vocal, and demanding. Siamese cats also require more attention and are less independent, in general, than Tonkinese. The latter breed is happy to go about their business with less attention or direction.
Because Tonkinese tends to be more docile and cuddly, most people recommend them for families with children. That's not to say that Siamese cats are bad for kids - they aren't. Instead, the Tonkinese cats have a more suitable personality that's more patient and easy-going - two attributes necessary for being around small children!
Therefore, ultimately, it's up to you which you would pick. For most families and situations, getting a Tonkinese kitten is probably going to be the better approach.
How To Get a Tonkinese Kitten
There are two approaches if you want to get a Tonkinese kitten.
The first is to go to a reputable breeder. There are many breeders all over the US that raise Tonkinese cats. This route tends to be relatively expensive, with purchase costs ranging anywhere between $500 and $1,000. In some places, the fees might even be more than that!
If you buy from a breeder, make sure that you ask for medical records before completing the sale. In particular, ask for evidence that the cat has had all their vaccinations and that the animal is disease-free. Most reputable breeders will produce a vet certification attesting to both of these things. Also, when looking at breeders, look for ones with fantastic reviews. You'll want to make sure the pet you receive is healthy and that the breeders themselves treat their animals humanely.
The other option is to adopt a Tonkinese kitten. This option is cheaper and has the added benefit of saving a life! Considering that shelters have to euthanize an unfortunate number of pets each year, adopting a cat ensures that the little kitten has a beautiful new home and a new lease on life.
If you're worried about the cat's temperament, ask the shelter personnel what the cat is like in the shelter. Usually, the staff there will give you a straight answer, simply because they don't want to see the pet back in the shelter if it's incompatible with you!
Is a Tonkinese Kitten Right for You?
If you want a dog-like cat with a beautiful personality, a big heart, and healthy socialization, then a Tonkinese kitten might be the perfect addition to your family! These little cats also know how to be independent and find their way, so when you need some time to yourself, your cat will be just fine. Additionally, they're perfect for kids, so if you have children, this is the ideal first cat to get!