The Tonkinese, Tonkinese or Tonkinese cat is the result of a cross between the Siamese and Burmese breeds. The mix has produced a medium-sized cat with a good character. He is affectionate, sociable and active.


Breed Origin:
America, Asia
Life Span:
10 - 16+ years
Average Weight:
6 - 12 lbs
Hair quantity:
General health:

Origin and History

The Tonkinese breed was intentionally developed in the mid-20th century, though cats of similar type have existed naturally in Southeast Asia for centuries. The breed as it is known today began to take shape in the 1960s and 1970s when breeders sought to create a cat that blended the best traits of the Siamese and Burmese breeds. The goal was to produce a cat with the striking color points of the Siamese but with the warmer, more solid body color of the Burmese. The result was the Tonkinese, a breed that combines the distinctive features and personalities of both ancestors.

Physical Characteristics

Tonkinese cats are medium in size with a muscular, yet slender body that strikes a balance between the svelte Siamese and the stockier Burmese. Their coat is short, soft, and close-lying, showcasing a unique range of colors that include various shades of brown, champagne, blue, and platinum, often with a gradient or “mink” pattern that is neither as pointed as the Siamese nor as solid as the Burmese. The most captivating feature of the Tonkinese is their sparkling aquamarine eyes, which are large, expressive, and set in a slightly rounded face.

Personality and Temperament

Tonkinese cats are known for their outgoing, friendly nature. They are highly social creatures that thrive on interaction with humans and other animals, making them excellent companions. Their playful and curious nature lasts well into adulthood, often engaging in kitten-like behavior throughout their lives. Tonkinese cats are also known for their vocalizations, though they tend to have a softer, more melodious voice than their Siamese relatives. They are affectionate and enjoy being involved in every aspect of their owner’s life, whether playing, cuddling, or simply sitting nearby.

Care and Health

The Tonkinese breed is generally healthy, with a lifespan that can extend into the late teens or early twenties with proper care. Their short coat is easy to maintain, requiring only occasional brushing to remove loose hair and distribute natural oils. Like all cats, they benefit from regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, and plenty of exercises to keep them fit and happy. They adapt well to indoor living but also appreciate safe, supervised outdoor access or playtime in a secure enclosure.

Living with a Tonkinese

Living with a Tonkinese cat is a rewarding experience filled with affection, entertainment, and companionship. Their adaptable nature makes them well-suited to various living situations, from quiet singles to bustling families with children and other pets. Providing interactive toys, climbing structures, and puzzle feeders can help keep them mentally stimulated and physically active. For those seeking a sociable, affectionate, and engaging feline friend, the Tonkinese offers the perfect blend of charm and charisma.

Latest on CatOlympus