The Tonkinese breed is the result of a mating between a Burmese and a Siamese in the USA in the 1950s.


A medium build cat, the Tonkinese has a wedge-shaped head with high cheekbones, almond-shaped eyes that are blue-green or turquoise and oval tip ears.

They have a short, fine and soft coat with a lustrous sheen. The coat colour is paler than the Burmese but darker than the Siamese. Their face, legs, ears, paws and tails have a darker shade to the rest of their body. The breed can come in a variety of colours including brown, blue, red and lilac.


The Tonkinese has all the lively curiosity and affection of an Oriental breed. They love the outdoors so they should not be confined or left alone for long periods of time. Easy to look after and train, they are suitable for families with children.


Their short coat requires very little grooming.

Health concerns

For the latest research in breed-related problems in the Tonkinese breed, visit the University of Sydney’s LIDA (Listing of Inherited Disorders in Animals) website.

Related Articles