Tonkinese Cat

Tonkinese Cat

Some people think that all cats are independent and remote, and that would be true for most housecats, except the Tonkinese Cat. These cats tend to be very affectionate and very playful with their owners. In this short cat guide you can find out a little more about the very intelligent Tonkinese Cat.

  • Tonkinese Cat Height: 8 to 10 inches
  • Tonkinese Cat Life Span: 12 – 18 years
  • Other Names: Tonk
  • Tonkinese Cat Price: $600 to $1,200

Tonkinese Cat Basics

Tonkinese Cats come from paired Siamese and Burmese breeds, with the hope of creating a breed with a sensible body type, a less earsplitting voice than a Siamese, but the intelligence and loving tendencies of both breeds. Tonkinese are often mistaken for Siamese and do look very similar, but Tonks have a rounder face and their features aren’t as prominent.

They are medium sized and muscular but are much heavier than they look. Tonkinese have glamorous mink-like coats that can take two years to mature. Base coat colors for the Tonkinese include, Platinum, Natural, Champagne, and believe it or not, Blue, with Pointed, Solid, and Mink patterns.

These cats have an open and friendly personality which is great for families with children and other pets. Tonkinese have coats that are easy to take care of with a weekly brushing. Tonkinese cats need their nails trimmed and ears cleaned regularly and tend to develop periodontal disease, so you’ll need to brush their teeth.

Tonkinese Cat Temperament

The Tonkinese Cat tends to be very active, friendly and affectionate, intelligent, trainable, and masters of puzzle toys. These cats have been known to be demanding, follow people around, jump high, walk on a leash, retrieve items well, and even ride around on your shoulder.

The Tonk has been known to answer the door and greet guests and muster up a show for everyone. You can train these cats to do all sorts of tricks, and you may be amazed at what these cats can learn. Tag, hide and seek, and fetch may be a favorite game for a Tonkinese cat. This cat breed is said to be the master of the household.

Tonkinese Cat Price

Tonkinese breeders aren’t as widespread, but the breed is still available online or from a local breeder. Price for this breed ranges from $500 to $1,200. If this pricing is a bit steep for your budget, you may be able to find a Tonkinese Cat or a similar breed through a shelter or rescue center.

Tonkinese Cat Pros and Cons


  • Long lifespan
  • High energy and affectionate
  • Social and playful
  • Very smart and can learn many tricks
  • Easy to groom


  • Can be prone to some health issues
  • Tends to be very demanding
  • Needs a companion, or shouldn’t be left alone for long periods of time
  • Needs many brainy activities
  • Can be destructive or mischievous when bored

Tonkinese Cat Life Span

It is hard to say exactly how long your Tonkinese cat will live, but the average lifespan for this breed is long and tends to be about 12 to 18 years. Health, diet, and quality of life contribute to how long your cat can live, so make sure to take care of your feline friend the right way and talk with your vet about diet and some health issues that Tonkinese may be prone to.

Tonkinese Cat Health Issues and Genetic Problems

Tonkinese as a breed are considered healthy, but just like any other breed, there are some ailments they may be prone to than others. Make sure you get a health guarantee from any breeder you buy from, when purchasing any kind of pet. Tonkinese Cats tend to be at risk for gingivitis and can show anesthesia sensitivity.

Since Tonks are descendant from Siamese, Tonkinese may be affected by the same diseases that Siamese are like, amyloidosis, asthma, congenital heart defects, crossed eyes, gastrointestinal conditions, hyperesthesia syndrome, lymphoma, nystagmus, and progressive retinal atrophy.

Tonkinese Cat Kittens

Getting a kitten is a family decision and should be considered as a lifelong commitment. Kittens are usually available from breeders when the kitten is about 3 or 4 months old. While they’re with the breeder kittens learn habits from their mom and siblings, like ways to socialize and confidence that can help when they leave for their new home with you. As with any new kitten, you should “kitten proof” your house, just like you would “toddler proof” your home.

To care for your Tonkinese kitten, you will need to have a rubber brush to use when the kitten is shedding, and the kitty may need a bath occasionally. Your Tonk should be an indoor kitten because they lack a sense of defense and would like to be pals with everyone. Last, but not least, you should talk and work closely with your Tonkinese breeder and your vet, to make sure your kitten is getting the best care and has an easier transition.

Tonkinese Cat Rescue

Tonkinese Cat Price

If you would like to adopt or rescue a Tonkinese it is best to make sure you have a suitable lifestyle to care for a cat. Whether you are adopting a kitten or an adult Tonkinese Cat, you should have the personality and time for all their energy and mischief.

Check your local shelters and rescue centers first, and if you have no luck there, try an online website. Local breeders may have some adoptable adult cats, retired from a show career or breeding, who need a home with less cats and more attention. Adult Tonks who are retired are a great option for families that want a more relaxed cat. These cats are usually priced lower than kittens, but the price does depend on the individual breeder.

Rescuing an adult cat will mean that they’re most likely litterbox trained, and their personalities are already formed so it will be easier to see the traits that you want and go home with the best cat suitable for your family.

Getting your Tonkinese Cat from a shelter or rescue is lifesaving, not only for the cat you just rescued, but it provides an open spot for another feline that may come into the shelter, or rescue center, that needs to be cared for.