A Tonkinese cat nicknamed ‘Tonk’ is one of the domesticated breed of cat (Felis catus) by mankind and native to Thailand. Cats generally are known as man’s companion and pets since ages. Cats are generally carnivorous like their feline/catfamily, in the family are lion, tiger, leopard, cheetah and others. Tonkinese cat is a hybrid which comes from the crossbreeding of the Siamese (the earliest recognized Asian cats native to Thailand.) and Burmese (believed to originate near the Thai-Burma border and was developed in the United States and Britain. The modern Burmese cat was descendant of a female cat called Wong Mau brought to America from Burma in 1930). The popular one was short-haired Tonkinese. The Medium-haired is also known as Tibetan was popular in Europe especially in France, Germany, Belgium and Netherlands.
The pedigree of the Tonkinese cat Wong Mau was believed to be a Tonkinese but was not recognized then, the modern Tonkinese were as a result of two individuals namely Margaret Conroy of Canada and Jane Barletta of the United States working independently cross-breeding the Burmese and the Siamese breeds to combine the breeds lively personalities and appearance. In 2001, The cats were promoted from crossbreed to an established breed classification.
Appearance: They are deceptively muscular medium-sized cats and heavier than they look when picked up. The head is round, blunted muzzle, moderate almond-shaped eyes and ears and slightly wedge-shaped. According to Cat Fancier’s Association (CFA), Tonkinese is recognized in four colours which are:
- Medium brown(natural)
- Champagne (pale buff-beige)
These colours were determined by CFA’s breed councils and the executive boards. Some European associations welcome colours like caramel,apricot,cinnamon,fawn,cream,red and tortoiseshell. The international cat association (TICA) accepted all the patterns and colours because they are not selective, unlike CFA. The major difference between the two associations is that CFA determines breed merit based on her breed council members while TICA relies on genetics using a scientific approach. The colours are further divided into three types which are:
- Mink: it was intermediate between ‘point’ and ‘solid’. The base is a light shade and has lighter blue-green eyes called Aquamarine.
- Point: The base is cream or contrasting white with the tail, legs, ears and Siamese-style dark face and a blue eye.
- Solid: This type is similar to the Burmese because the coloursare uniform all over the body with a visible point that is faint and gold or green eye.
The patterns and colours depend on the patterns of the parent, colour genetics and a statistical chance.