About the Tonkinese Breed
The Tonkinese breed is the result of crossing a Siamese with a Burmese and, therefore, it displays characteristics from both breeds. Tonks were recognised as a breed by the Victorians, Chocolate Siamese, with their own breed standard. Even in terms of its modern revival in the 1960s that makes it already now over 50 years old! They are very people-orientated and make ideal family pets. Tonks, as they affectionately known, are very inquisitive and intelligent.
The Tonkinese is a medium sized cat of foreign build. The head is gently rounded with a medium wedge that is neither pointed nor square. The ears are set wide apart and are broad-based tapering to a rounded tip. The preferred eye colour for show cats is greenish blue but they may range from green to light blue. The body is well balanced, firm and muscular and the back rises slightly from shoulders to rump. The legs are slim and well muscled, with the hind legs slightly longer than the front. The paws are neat and oval. The tail is slender and when brought along the side of the cat reaches to the shoulder.
So much has been written about the Tonkinese breed that we would struggle to tell you more ourselves than what is readily available elsewhere. A detailed yet concise article by Linda Vousden, one of the most knowledgeable breeders, admits: It is virtually impossible to describe the sheer charm of a Tonkinese.
Perhaps the most important aspect we can tell you about is this: it’s absolutely essential to understand and appreciate that Tonkinese are truly people cats. They crave our company, they are unhappy if we are not there to be with them, they miss us when we are away. You must be able to provide them with a great deal of interaction and should expect them to demand this from you.
They are not a low-maintenance cat in that sense, prepared to come and go about its business treating its humans with disdain. Instead they are wonderfully intelligent and loyal creatures, who can read your mood and will depend on you for an emotional and very direct relationship. Such interactions are not exclusive to Tonkinese, of course, but they are an extremely strong aspect of the breed and perhaps its most significant attraction.
We will only sell a kitten to a new owner if we are satisfied they will be 100% committed to every aspect of their cat’s needs, and fully appreciate the importance of the bond that forms between the cat and its human(s).
The following links will give you plenty of information about Tonkinese cats:
- GCCF Tonkinese Breed Description (quoted above)
- Tonkinese Breed Club (UK)
- Tonkinese Cat Club (UK)
- MyMystic Tonkinese Archives (UK)
- Tonkinese on Wikipedia
For even more information you might like to consult the reference work on Tonkinese Cats written by Linda Vousden:
Tonkinese Cats – A History
The unique, fascinating & surprising history of this beautiful breed of cat, from centuries past. This book contains a wealth of new information on the introduction of the Tonkinese (the Chocolate) to the Cat Fancy in the 1880s, The Tonks’ significant contribution to both the Burmese & Siamese breeds throughout most of the 20th century – and the re-claiming of its identity since the 1960s. Containing some extra-ordinary records & information, this book sets the Tonks firmly into their rightful place as one of the earliest acknowledged breeds of the Cat Fancy. Lavishly illustrated with colour photos of over 140 named Tonkinese from around the world.
The earlier version: Tonkinese Cats (No longer in print but still sometimes available online):
Awarded the Certificate of Excellence by the Cat Writer’s Association of America.
The first, and most comprehensive, book on Tonkinese. 272 pages with around 100 colour photos and illustrations. UK based but much information is internationally relevant. Chapters include history, breeding, buying, showing, health, feline bereavement, import/export, cats & the law etc.
Your Cat Magazine– “Everything you wanted to know about Tonkinese … Lavish and comprehensive.”
Cat World Magazine – “.. crammed with information, very well illustrated … the book could easily be viewed as a ‘bible’ for this magnificent breed.”
Julia May, Feline Advisory Bureau Journal – “How many of us wish that there had been such books about our own breed in its early years, with photographs and pedigrees of named cats!”