What You Need to Know Before Adopting Tonkinese Kittens

Most people are familiar with the Siamese cat and this distinct appearance. Especially those who have seen the classic movie, Lady and the Tramp. However, the Siamese cat is only half of what makes up the Tonkinese cat. It goes without saying that the family resemblance is strong in the Tonkinese. 

There's a lot to learn about this intelligent cat breed. Especially if you are considering bringing one home to be a part of your family. You will need to know what kind of environment they thrive in, as well as other important care needs.

Knowing about this fluffy cat breed's personality is also crucial, to make sure that they are a good fit for you and your family. 

Where did the Tonkinese Cat Come From?

Back in the 1960s, a cat breeder decided to cross a Siamese cat with a Burmese cat, and the result was a Tonkinese kitten. It's likely that this breed has been around for a few centuries now, but not to public knowledge until the mid-1900’s when it was purposely bred. 

In 1971 the new breed was recognized and granted citizenship by the CCA, the first cat registry to do this for the new breed of feline. Some cat enthusiasts, however, still do not recognize the Tonkinese as a breed because it is not considered to be pure. Due to this, Tonkinese cats are not allowed to participate in shows as of yet. 

What are Some Tonkinese Cat Colors?

If you have decided that you are in the market for a Tonkinese kitten, you will immediately find that you will be choosing between a wide variety of colors that these beautiful kittens can be found in. Natural, champagne, blue, and platinum are a few of the more popular and common colors you will find Tonkinese kittens in.

Tonkinese kittens can also be found in different color pattern variations. These color patterns are called point, mink, and solid. The point and mink have a darker tone to their face, tails, and paws. While the solid color Tonkinese kittens are generally all the same color throughout. 

Siamese vs. Tonkinese: What’s the Difference?

Although they look very alike, due to the Siamese being one of the direct ancestors of the Tonkinese, they are two very different cats. At first glance, you will notice that the Tonkinese cat is larger than the Siamese cat on average. Additionally, some Tonkinese cats have held onto their point color pattern that they have inherited from their Siamese parents, but others have their Burmese parents’ solid color scheme instead. 

Both breeds of cats are incredibly loving and interactive with their human owners, but the non-shedding Siamese cats tend to have an even more outgoing and chatty personality. While the Tonkinese is more on the docile end of the spectrum.  Some cat experts will also say that Tonkinese cats are better for families with children and other cats than Siamese cats tend to be. 

Caring for a Tonkinese Kitten

Thankfully for the Tonkinese kitten and its mixed background, it does not have many health issues to speak of due to its wider gene pool. So, as far as their health and wellness go, you won’t have too much to be worried about.

When the day comes that you are planning to bring home your Tonkinese kitten, be sure to have kitten-proofed your home prior to letting them loose. Kittens are naturally curious and rambunctious, but the Tonkinese, as a breed, are incredibly curious and energized. Meaning, be sure to remove anything valuable or breakable from within their reach. 

Tonkinese Kitten Personality

Even as kittens, this breed is known for high levels of activity without being hyperactive. Some cat lovers have a hard time settling in with a cat who is hyperactive and hard to keep up with. They will have their fair share of the zoomies, just like any other cat, but nothing that can’t be handled. 

The Tonkinese cat, even from a young age, is intelligent and curious. Meaning if they are left to their own devices for too long, such as if you are away at work for the majority of the day, they may find their way into some mischief in order to occupy themselves until you return. 


The Tonkinese cat breed is a descendant of two very ancient breeds of cat, the Siamese, and the Burmese cat. When adopting a Tonkinese kitten, be prepared to be bringing a loving, adventurous, and energetic little ball of fur into your home. They can be troublesome if you do not kitten-proof the home first, but they will eventually learn and grow used to their home environment. 

With the Tonkinese breed, it’s also a relief to some that these kittens are so good with children as well as other cats that are also living in the home. Tonkinese kittens are a breed that would make an excellent addition to any home.

Do Tonkinese cats shed?

Tonkinese cats do shed, but they are a breed that sheds minimally. This is good news for cat lovers who do not want to have to vacuum their homes every single day. As well as for cat lovers who have allergies to cat fur and/or dander. 

What is a Tonkinese cat?

The Tonkinese cat is the result of cross-breeding a Siamese and a Burmese cat together. They have an easily distinguishable look, similar to that of the Siamese and Burmese coats. Not to mention the also inherited playful and adventurous personality.

Are Tonkinese cats rare?

The Tonkinese cat breed is actually considered to be an unusual cat that you won’t easily find at a local shelter or pet store. If you are in the market for a Tonkinese cat you might have to do some research on where you can adopt one.

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Written by Leo Roux

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