The Tonkinese is a domestic cat breed produced by crossbreeding between the Siamese and Burmese. They share many of their parents' distinctively lively, playful personality traits and are similarly distinguished by a pointed coat pattern in a variety of colors.
They share many of their parents' distinctively lively, playful personality traits and are similarly distinguished by a pointed coat pattern in a variety of colors. In addition to the modified coat colors of the "mink" pattern, which is a dilution of the point color (as in watercolors), the breed is now being shown in the foundation-like Siamese and Burmese colors: pointed with white and Solid overall (sepia.) They are also now designated a natural breed, as their history has now determined them to have been extant since the 14th century.
The active and social Tonkinese is a perfect choice for families with children and cat-friendly dogs. He will play fetch as well as any retriever, learns tricks easily and loves the attention he receives from childre who treat him politely and with respect. He lives peacefully with cats and dogs who respect his authority. Always introduce pets slowly and in controlled circumstances to ensure that they learn to get along together.
Like both parent breeds, Tonkinese are intelligent, active, vocal and generally people-oriented cats, playful and interested in everything going on around them; however, this also means they are easily susceptible to becoming lonesome or bored. Their voice is similar in tone to the Burmese, persistent but softer and sweeter than the Siamese, similar to the gentle quacking of a duck. Like Burmese, Tonkinese are reputed to sometimes engage in such dog-like behaviors as fetching, and to enjoy jumping to great heights
Tonkinese are a generally healthy and hearty breed, though they can be prone to gingivitis (gum disease), and may be sensitive to anesthesia. Because they are descended from the Siamese, they may develop some of the same diseases. The average lifespan of the breed is 10 to 16 years
Because they descend from the Siamese, they may also develop some of the same diseases that affect the Siamese, including the following:
Amyloidosis, a disease that occurs when a type of protein called amyloid is deposited in body organs, primarily the liver in members of the Siamese familyAsthma/bronchial disease
Congenital heart defects such as aortic stenosis
Gastrointestinal conditions such as megaesophagus
Hyperesthesia syndrome, a neurological problem that can cause cats to excessively groom themselves, leading to hair loss, and to act frantically, especially when they are touched or petted
LymphomaNystagmus, a neurological disorder that causes involuntary rapid eye movement
Progressive retinal atrophy, for which a genetic test is available