- Reigns as one of the world's oldest feline breeds with historical references dating back to the Ayudha Period in the late 1300s.
- The first known Tonkinese was named Wong Mau in the 1930s. This cat was bred with a Siamese.
- The name "Tonkin" is the ancient name of Vietnam.
- Imported to England in the early 1800s from Asia.
- In the 1960s, the Gulf of Tonkin became a household phrase due to the Vietnam War. This is the body of water located on the east coast of the peninsula that housed Burma and Siam (now called Thailand).
- First recognized and accepted as a cat breed by the Canadian Cat Association in the 1980s.
- Achieved championship status by the Cat Fanciers Association in 2002.
Tonkinese Behavior Concerns
- Active, intelligent and athletic.
- Prone for being mischievous, especially if bored. Able to open doors.
- Touted for have the smarts and inquisitiveness of a Siamese with the laid-back personality of a Burmese.
- Benefits by regular exercise, learning tricks and playing interactive games with people like fetch.
- Extremely chatty and loves being in the spotlight.
- Capable of turning on and off lights and mastering dog-like tricks.
- Would rather "help" you with chores than sit calmly in your lap.
- Enjoys the company of visitors, other cats, children and dogs.
Look of Tonkineses
- Bred to look like a pleasing blend between a Siamese and Burmese.
- Only purebred cat to have almond-shaped aqua eyes (a blend of the blue-eyed Siamese and the golden-eyed Burmese).
- Body is medium sized and muscular.
- Comes in three primary patterns: mink, pointed and full color. Points on the face, ears and tails are slightly darker than the Siamese.
- Color tends to get darker as this breed gets older.
- A "cowlick" look on the chest occurs naturally.
Grooming Tonkinese Cats
- Blessed with a wash-and-wear coat that requires minimal grooming.
- Short, dense coat is silky to the touch.
- Benefits by having its teeth brushed regularly to prevent gingivitis.
Suggested Nutritional Needs for Tonkinese
- Not prone to obesity due to its high metabolism.
Fun Facts of Tonkineses
- Also known by the popular nickname of "Chocolate Siamese."
- Jane Barletta, one of the early promoters of this breed, single-handedly gave the Tonkinese national recognition when she extolled its many talents while being a contestant on the game show, Jeopardy! in the 1960s.