Pendragon Tonkinese

About Tonkinese

Tonkinese were developed from Siamese and Burmese in the 60s and 70s. Since 1984, Tonkinese have been an established breed in CFA, with only Tonkinese to Tonkinese breedings permitted. They have the intelligence and curiosity of the Siamese but the warm, friendly personality of the Burmese. They are socially oriented cats which enjoy people, other cats, dogs, and children. The Tonkinese is an intelligent cat which makes a great companion. They are the “purrfect” addition to any family.

The Tonkinese has a sleek, soft coat. They come in twelve different varieties as a result of three different coat patterns and four different colors. Coat patterns include solid, pointed, and mink. Mink is a coat pattern that is unique to this breed and which shows more contrast than a solid but less contrast than a pointed. Colors include platinum, champagne, blue, and natural. Please see the CFA’s Tonkinese Breed Standards for more information.

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Blue Mink


Champagne Mink


Natural Mink


Platinum Mink

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See the Color Description in the Tonkinese Breed Association website for more detail about how the color changes as they age, as well as photos of all 12 color/coat patterns .

The Tonkinese blends the best features of the Burmese and Siamese into a beautiful, medium-sized cat that is dense and muscular. While the breed is considered medium in size, balance and proportion are of great importance.

Tonkinese are easy to care for “wash and wear” cats. We like to describe them as “low maintenance” cats. They require a well-balanced diet, nail trimming weekly, use of a rubber brush to groom them, an assortment of toys for their amusement, and regular routine medical care such as checkups and vaccinations.

To read more about this breed, visit the CFA’s Tonkinese Breed Profile.

Tonkinese History

The origin of the Tonkinese is often open to discussion and is sometimes controversial. Some believe that the Tonkinese is a naturally occurring cat that can be seen today in the streets and temples of Thailand. Many believe that the Golden Siamese were actually Tonkinese, which would establish its existence back to the 1800's.

Both the Tonkinese and the Burmese, as we know them today, can trace their roots back to Wong Mau, a small chocolate colored cat with a natural 'mink' coat pattern. Wong Mau was brought to the US from the Thailand area to establish the Burmese breed in the 1930's. Once the Burmese gene pool was established, the 'mink' coated pattern cat was no longer bred by breeders of that time.

In the late 60's & early 70's a couple of North American breeders re-established the 'mink' coated cat by breeding the Siamese and Burmese. They believed that the very moderate look of this cat was worthy of being established as a breed in the registries of America. As the Burmese and the Siamese became more extreme in their look, the Tonkinese kept the original look - one of moderation and one very similar to the Golden Siamese. The Tonkinese was accepted in CFA in 1978 with Champion status for the mink coated Tonkinese in 1984. Today they are considered an established breed and have full championship status in CFA.