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Minkitty Tonkines

Home of Several Spoiled Tonkinese and one well trained human

Grand Champion Wenlock of Minkitty

Experience the joy of living with a Tonkinese

About Tonks - A Brief 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 in the 1800s.

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 1930s. Once the Burmese gene pool was established, the 'mink' coated pattern cat was no longer bred by breeders of that time.

In the late '60s & 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.

It took a lot of work from a few dedicated breeders to get us where were we are today and able to present to you an absolutely gorgeous cat with a unique look and great personality.   


In the CFA, the Tonkinese comes in four colors and three patterns with corresponding eye colors.
The three colors are: (using generic terms)

Platinum: Point color is a frosty gray.           Body-color from pearly white to silvery gray.
Champagne: Point color is medium brown.       Body-color from light tan to dark golden tan.
Blue: Point color is slate blue.                 Body-color from light gray to slate blue.
Natural: Point color is dark (sable) brown.  Body-color from light brown to a dark (sable) brown.


The three patterns are: (using generic terms)

Pointed:     Sharp contrast between the body color and the points (ears, mask, legs, tail).
Mink: Medium contrast between the body color and the points ( ears, mask, legs, tail).
Solid: Low contrast between the body color and the points (ears, mask, legs, tail).


The corresponding eye color to the pattern is as follows:
(note, these examples are not exactly right but you'll get the idea.)

Blue Eyes
Mink:Aqua Eyes
Solid:Green to Yellow/Green

 Putting all the charts together, an easy way to look at this is as follows:

Sharp Contrast (between body and ears)
Blue eyes
Medium Contrast (between body and ears)
Aqua eyes
Low Contrast
(between body and ears)
Green-Yellow/Green eyes
PlatinumPlatinum PointPlatinum MinkPlatinum Solid
ChampagneChampagne PointChampagne MinkChampagne Solid
BlueBlue PointBlue MinkBlue Solid
NaturalNatural PointNatural MinkNatural Solid

Remember the color of the cat is the color of the markings (ears, mask, legs, and tail).  The body is a lighter version of that same color. The difference between a point, mink, and solid color pattern is the amount of contract within the same color.

A common question that I get is do tonks get dark with age.  The answer is usually.  Blues sometimes get lighter than they are when they are kittens.  Some cats stay light all their lives.  Some tonks don't start to get dark until they are about 18 - 36 months. Others get lighter after they are spayed or neutered - it all depends on the genetics of the cat.  One thing to remember is that the color doesn't really change, it just deepens.   

For more information about the color and pattern see  Tonkinese CFA Breed Council's web site.   More technical information about Tonkinese genetics can be found on this TBA web site.  


The Tonkinese is a stunning feline that has attracted attention not only for their exceptional good looks but also for their engaging personality.

Tonks are very people-oriented and love to be an active members of the family. They are affectionate, mischievous, athletic, intelligent, talkative, friendly to strangers, and have an incredible memory and sense of humor.  I have seen them actually playing tricks on one another. 

They love to invent games to play with their humans or other family pets. Two of their favorite games are fetch and hide and seek.

They often climb or leap on people's shoulders just to give a hug or a kiss. In doing this, they seldom use their claws. They also insist on sleeping in bed with their humans and usually will be found under the covers.  

They have been described by some as part puppy (following their humans around the house), part monkey (in their antics), and part elephant (the sound they can make while running through your house). The colorful, warm and loving personality of the Tonkinese makes them an ideal addition to a feline-loving family.