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No cat loves attention or cuddles as much as the Tonkinese. Learn more about this energetic and intelligent breed.

Tonkinese cats or Tonks are known for their energetic personality and loving nature. If you’re looking for a cat to snuggle up to at night or caress while you’re watching your favorite show, then there’s no better partner than a Tonk.

The Tonkinese cat is a mix of Burmese and Siamese cat breeds. They are short, fuzzy little creatures with the prettiest set of eyes you’ll ever see. Once they start recognizing you as an ally, they’ll definitely use those eyes to get on your soft side.

These cats are the perfect pair for someone who has tons of free time to spare and loves to give. Tonks will follow you from one room to another and occasionally pull mischievous tricks to show their intelligence.

Physical Characteristics 
Height7 to 10 inches
Weight6 to 12 pounds
Lifespan15 to 20 years
ColorsBlue, Gray, Beige, Chocolate Brown, Cream
Suitable ForFamilies, apartments, children
TemperamentSociable, intelligent, playful, affectionate

Which Homes Are Best For Tonkinese’s

The Tonkinese cat breed is suitable for most living conditions but would prefer to be kept indoors mostly. These cats love having company and being played around with at most times. This is a great option as a family cat as Tonks are enthusiastic when it comes to making new friends.

Since the Tonks are generally attention-seeking creatures, they always need to have someone or the other taking care of them. Also, they are very strict when it comes to their hygiene and cleanliness, so be prepared to keep their toys extra shiny.


Tonkinese cats have an average life expectancy within the ranges of 15 to 20 years. These cats predominantly have the same average life span in comparison to other breeds. Tonkinese cats may sometimes be more prone to conditions like asthma and gum diseases but are generally healthy and active.

Average Size

Generally, Tonkinese cats are medium-sized felines that are between 7 to 10 inches in height when fully grown. Adult Tonkinese cats can weigh anywhere between 6 to 12 pounds on average.

Males are usually larger than their female counterparts; however, there are no other significant differences between the two genders, and ultimately comes down to preference.

Breed Origin

The first Tonkinese cat was spotted around 1930 in the United States. These have the right mix of genes from Siamese and Burmese cat breeds. The first Tonkinese cat, Wong Mau, was originally thought to be Burmese because of the similarities in appearances.

During the early 20th century, there seemed to be a rise in the population of chocolate siamese cats (later identified as Tonkinese). With most of their population centered around Asia, they were somewhat rare in the North American regions.

But soon enough, families around the world began to cross parent breeds to have their own Tonkinese kittens.

Original Gene Pool

The Tonkinese cat originated from a mix of Siamese and Burmese breeds. The result was a chocolate siamese cat with an appearance very similar to Burmese cats. They almost always come in neutral colors like their parent breeds like gray, beige, and chocolate.

Breed Founder


Tonks will almost always drag attention towards themselves, either due to the texture of their fur or their dazzling eyes. These short-haired felines have pointy ears and a medium-sized body.


Tonkinese cats have a lean physique which helps them zoom across your house when excited. Although they are medium-sized and have a lean build, you’ll actually be pretty surprised when you pick them up. Weighing in at 6-12 pounds on average, the Tonkinese breed is certainly heavier than it looks.

These house cats have slim yet powerful limbs which help them jump to higher grounds. The most well-known use for their slim limbs is to pounce on their owners with the sole aim of gaining pats and kisses.

Tonkinese cats have short-hair coats, which can be classified into four categories, natural neutral, champagne, blue, and platinum. Tonks will either have a high-contrast pattern, mink pattern, or a solid pattern.

According to the pattern of their coat, Tonks tend to have a range of eye colors too. These cute little cats have large almond-shaped eyes that can be either blue, aqua, or yellow-green.


When it comes to humans, no other breed is as curious and friendly as the Tonk. Not only will they end up jumping onto the shoulders of your guests, but they’ll make it a point to be the center of attention in any room. While they are quite active and energetic, be assured that Tonkinese cats don’t have mischievous tendencies.

Indoors or Outdoors

Tonkinese cats typically prefer and enjoy staying indoors; however, their playful nature implies that they enjoy having a feline friend or a playmate to keep them engaged throughout the day.

This particularly curious and playful breed does not like being left home alone for extended periods of time. They’re a sociable breed with a strong sense of wanderlust; therefore, they can be taken outdoors under supervision.

They are easygoing, and that helps them get along well with other felines and even dogs. It’s important to keep in mind that Tonkinese cats are trusting and curious in nature and therefore are more likely to wander off with strangers.


Tonkinese cats are high in energy and are full of life. They are very talkative and opinionated when it comes to communicating. In comparison to other feline breeds, Tonks are more noisy and vocal than average. However, their voice is much sweeter and softer for felines that are so vocal.


By now, you already know that Tonks are very easy to become friends with. These cats are always busy seeking attention from others, making them perfect for families.

As they are playful in nature, it is fairly easy to teach them tricks with certain toys. These cats are also great with other pets and children, making them the ultimate house pet.


Known for being inventive, Tonkinese cats love stimulating their brains with interactive toys. These cats trust their owners blindly, and that’s what makes them so easy to train!

In addition, they can also sense the mood of the room and act accordingly. Tonkinese cats love sitting on laps and being caressed, which is great for the days you feel lazy.


Tonkinese cats are playful and curious in nature. They tend to be very vocal, active, and people-oriented felines which makes them ideal pets. While Tonks love attention, adoration, and affection, they tend to get bored without company or a playmate.

They can be trained to do tricks, play games, and respond playfully to commands. Tonkinese cats are generally very curious about their surroundings, they’ll probably follow you around and try to get your attention if it is diverted to something else.

Soft toys and yarn balls can prove to be a very effective source of entertainment and helps create a wholesome bond between you and your feline.


When it comes to being friendly, that’s their middle name! Tonkinese cats are natural extroverts that love interacting with humans and animals alike.


Children are the best partners for Tonkinese cats because they both love to play around. Tonks tend to be so energetic and playful that some owners find it difficult to keep up with their pace. For kids, however, this is not the case. Tonks are extremely loving and affectionate and will enjoy playing with children of all ages.

Other Animals

Tonkinese cats are very social when it comes to other pets such as dogs. If you have other cats who have hunting tendencies, it’s better to supervise their initial interactions with Tonks. In most cases, your Tonkinese cat will gel well with almost any other pet you have in the house.

Breed-Predisposed Ailments

Tonkinese cat breeds are generally healthy if they are kept indoors for most parts of their lifetime. However, like all cats, they are susceptible to certain health conditions.

Eye Issues
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Respiratory Infection


Grooming your Tonk is one area where you cannot go wrong. These pets always prefer being clean, and so you must make sure they are well-groomed at all times.


One of the good things about the Tonkinese breed is that they don’t shed too much. As their body is covered with a coat of short hair, they do not shed as much as your average cat breed.

On the whole, Tonkinese cats are considered to be low maintenance. When it comes to brushing, you only need to brush their fur once every week.


Always make sure to check your cat’s ears from time to time. Cats are always at risk of foreign objects causing infections. If you notice any sort of redness or a bad odor, you should immediately contact the vet.


When it comes to the price, Tonkinese cats have two different ranges. Your average pet Tonk is quite affordable, but the price can go high depending on its genetics and coat color.

Cost of Kittens

A regular pet Tonkinese kitten costs around $300 to $500, but if you want one with a fancy coat pattern, it can go higher. Purebred Tonkinese cats can cost between $600 to $1200 depending on the parent breed and seller reputation.

Pros & Cons


  • All Tonkinese cats are friendly and playful in nature
  • Tonks usually have little to no health problems if maintained properly
  • Requires very basic level grooming practices
  • Tonks can learn tricks easily due to their intelligence


  • Certain Tonkinese cats can be very stubborn if they don’t get their way
  • In some areas, Tonk can easily develop diabetes

Final Thoughts

Having your own Tonkinese cat is a very engaging experience. The social and playful nature of the cat will foster a loving relationship with you. As they almost always love cuddles and pats, they are perfect for family settings.

Most Tonks come at an affordable price, but if you’re looking for something fancy, you can look for pure breeds.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Tonkinese cats a good choice for families with children?

Tonkinese cats are extremely friendly and extroverted creatures. Whether you’re an adult who likes to caress your pet or a child who loves playing, a Tonkinese cat fits both criteria.