The tonkinese can be traced back to the middle ages. The first known depiction of a tonkinese was found in The Cat Book of Poems of Siam, written sometime between 1358 and 1767. Imported to England in the 1800s and originally called the Golden Siamese, it is a cross of Siamese and Burmese cats. Dr. Joseph Thompson brought a small walnut-colored cat named Wong Mau to California in 1930. This was the foundation for the Burmese and Tonkinese breeds in the U.S.
In 1971 the Canadian Cat Association was the first to recognize the Tonkinese as a breed. In 1979, the International Cat Association of the U.S. Followed. In 1984 the Tonkinese was granted championship status in the Cat Fanciers Association and also recognized by the American Cat Fanciers Association.
The Tonkinese combines the Siamese intelligence with the laid back Burmese temperament. Friendly, intelligent, affectionate, very vocal and strong willed, Tonkinese do not like to be ignored and are always on the go. If not given plenty of interaction and toys, they can get into mischief! They are often found perched on the highest object in the house.
Tonkinese love to play, and can be taught to “fetch”. They get along with other pets and children, and are in-door cats.
By: Linda Eastabrooks
Former AKC Breeder