In today's video, we are going to look at a cat breed that was the result of the mixing of two famous Southeast Asian cat breeds.
The Tonkinese Cat.
The Tonkinese is the love child of the Siamese and Burmese breeds. The two breeds from Southeast Asia, were crossed in an attempt to create a cat with a moderate body type, a less piercing voice than the Siamese, but with loving nature and intelligence shared by both the Siamese and Burmese. But the story of their affair began with a case of mistaken identity.
Wong Mau, a small, darkbrown cat, belonged to Dr. Joseph Thompson. A sailor, knowing of Dr. Thompson’s interest in felines, had brought him the cat, acquired in a faraway port. Wong Mau was at first thought to be a Siamese with a chocolatecolored coat. Such Siamese weren’t unheard of. “Chocolate Siamese” were described in the 1880s. Their bodies were tan or brown, and they had sealbrown or nearly black points. The sealpoint Siamese, also known as royal Siamese, had lighter bodies that contrasted with their dark points and were preferred by breeders and the public. The chocolatecolored cats eventually disappeared in Britain, but they still existed in Thailand and Burma (now known as Myanmar), where they were probably the offspring of natural matings between freeroaming Siamese and Burmese cats. Wong Mau was one of them. It was her destiny to become the matriarch of two new breeds: the Burmese and later on, the Tonkinese.
The Tonk feels surprisingly heavy when picked up and can weigh six to 12 pounds, or more. The short coat of the Tonkinese comes in a medium thickness and feels soft and silky. It comes in solid and pointed shades in natural, champagne, blue, and platinum, for a total of 12 different colorways.
Mink Tonkinese have a body color that is rich, even and unmarked, shading almost imperceptibly to a slightly lighter shade on the underparts, with a distinct contrast between body color and points.
For example, a champagne mink Tonkinese has a buffcream to beige body, which may have reddish highlights, mediumbrown points, cinnamonbrown nose with a leathery texture, and cinnamonpink to cinnamonbrown paw pads.
The Tonkinese cat demands attention and affection, and won’t rest until he gets it. This is a cat who will follow you around, ride on your shoulder and be involved in all family activities. He likes meeting people, and is not the type of cat who will be satisfied to stay home alone all the time. If you work during the day, it’s a good idea to make sure he has a friend to keep him occupied, whether it’s another Tonkinese, or even a dog.
Like his forebear the Siamese, the Tonk is brainy and active. He likes to jump up to high places, retrieves as if he were born to it, masters puzzle toys instantly, and will learn to walk on leash if you so desire. Teach him tricks and provide him with a rotating assortment of interactive toys, to keep his mind and body exercised. Tonkinese can be stubborn in their quest to get their own way, but their clownish behavior is so endearing, that it doesn’t really matter.