Tabby Tonkinese Queens
Mother and Daughter Tabby Tonkinese
"Sameera Saeed of Thai Dye" is North America's very first registered Tabby Tonkinese. Until now, this striking coat pattern has only been recognized in UK, Australia and parts of Europe. Sameera and her Champagne Tabby Mink daughter "Thai Dye's Tea For The Tillerman" produce gorgeous kittens; sometimes Tabby Minks and Tabby Points as well as rare Tibetans (long hair Tonkinese).
Originally, the Tonkinese was registered and accepted in only 4 colours and 3 patterns. The result was a total of 12 colour/pattern combinations. However, thanks to TCA accepting Thai Dye's appeal to have the patterns of Tabby Mink and Tabby Point added to the breed standard, the Tabby Tonkinese is also now officially recognized in North America! Thai Dye is also credited with producing the first TCA registered Traditional Tibetan cats. Most rare is the Tabby Mink or Tabby Point Tibetan, of which Thai Dye has produced only 3 to date.
With only a handful of Tabby Tonkinese in the global gene pool, Sameera and her daughter Tilly will be very important contributors to the Tonkinese and Tibetan future.
Tonkinese Breed Summary
by Karen Godson
A Tonkinese is a sturdy cat with a short, close lying silky coat. Known as one of the most playful and vocal breeds, the Tonkinese carries the best of both its parent breeds; the Siamese and the Burmese. Tonks, as they are often affectionately known, have a strong social nature, making them the life of the party. When the doorbell rings, you can bet the Tonkinese will be at the door to greet the visitor, most likely with a full report of the day’s events. Happy to cuddle on a lap and equally ready to pounce on a moving toy, this beautiful breed is pure delight packaged in a feline skin!
Thought to be descended from an ancient cat indigenous to the area near Thailand known as the Gulf of Tonkin, today’s Tonkinese has been successfully revived by careful crossing of the two breeds which are genetically known to be cousins of the original cat. In the 1960’s, deliberate and careful mating between Siamese and Burmese cats brought back the distinct breed we now call Tonkinese. Due to the still fairly limited gene pool, a Tonkinese female is sometimes bred back to either a Siamese or a Burmese male in order to continue the pure bloodlines and maintain the breed standard.
One of the most interesting facts about the Tonkinese that sets it apart from all other cats it the variety of coat colours and patterns in which it is found. Initially, the Tonkinese was registered and accepted in only 4 colours; Natural (Seal), Champagne (Chocolate), Platinum (Lilac) and Blue (Blue), and 3 coat patterns; Solid, Mink and Point. The gene structure that is unique to the Tonkinese breed results in combinations such as Blue Mink, a Blue Point or a Blue Solid, Natural Mink, Natural Point or Natural Solid, etc. There are a total of 12 accepted colour/pattern combinations in North American cat associations. Depending on the colour and coat pattern, a Tonk will have blue, green or the uniquely Tonkinese aqua eyes.
In UK and Australia, Tonkinese are also accepted and registered in Tabby and Tortie patterns. In 2010, Canadian cat breeder Karen Godson of Thai Dye Cattery successfully lobbied the Traditional Cat Association to register the female Champagne Tabby Mink Tonkinese “Sameera Saeed of Thai Dye”, making Sameera the very first Tabby Tonkinese to be recognized and registered in North America.
Personality of the Tonkinese
This delightful member of the cat family forms a close relationship with its humans. Very tolerant of other animals, including dogs of all breeds, the Tonk makes itself quite at home in any size family. From young children’s playmate to elderly person’s lap warmer, the Tonkinese is more than accommodating when it comes to sharing the love. It will talk about the weather if you ask it! If a commercial comes on the television that offers something stimulating, the Tonk will stare at the screen, chattering away as if inviting a conversation.
Care of the Tonkinese
Little grooming is required with this svelte cat. The coat sheds very little, and as the cat is prone to frequent self-bathing, brushing is not necessary. There are no issues with running eyes as you might find in the shorter nosed breeds. All in all, the Tonkinese is an extremely low maintenance, easy keeper. If adequate climbers are provided, it may not even be necessary to trim the nails, as Tonks love to climb. Simply making sure the climbing post is covered in looped carpet or sisal rope, will allow a Tonk to look after its own manicure.