Is a Tonkinese Cat Right For Me?


It’s a good question to ask – and actually, it’s one that isn’t asked often enough by potential new owners. With so many breeds of cat available, those people that are looking for a new addition to the home are spoilt for choice. These days, it is possible to get all the information you need online to ensure that the cat you end up living with is the perfect match not only for you but for the way you live and for your family.

The Tonkinese is an awesome cat. But then, I would say that as I love cats and I think (quite literally) all cats are awesome. However, you may have very specific requirements and so you might need a cat that will fit in with these requirements, which is fine. Let’s see if the Tonkinese does…

Is a Tonkinese cat right for me? The Tonkinese cat is right for you if you have enough time to commit to them, enough energy to play with them and enough love to share with them. If you read the below and decide that the characteristics of this cat match what you are expecting – then great news, this is the cat for you.

What is the Tonkinese cat best known for?

The Tonkinese is a cross between a Burmese and a Siamese cat and it’s easy to see the similarities when you look at one. So, you could argue that the Tonkinese is best known for being confused with a Siamese! However, it’s actually the personality of the Tonkinese that really makes the breed stand out amongst others.

This is a very special cat to its owners. Cats have a tendency to be somewhat aloof – it’s just part of the package. However, the Tonkinese is well known for seeking out attention from its owners. Actually, perhaps ‘owners’ isn’t the correct word here – perhaps ‘play-things’ would be more appropriate.

Is a Tonkinese Cat Right For Me?

When a Tonkinese cat comes to live in your home with you, they are more than just a cat. Many people say its qualities have some similarities to a dog, perhaps due to its relatively high intelligence.

So, at least in my rather humble opinion, the Tonkinese is best known for being a cat that thinks it’s not. It thinks it’s your companion, your friend – your lifelong partner in crime. Which some might say…makes it perfect.

Can the Tonkinese be kept indoors?

Yes, the Tonkinese can be kept indoors. However, despite what people say online about it having to live its life indoors, this is not the case. The Tonkinese is perfectly capable of having a life both inside and outside, achieving the best of both worlds.

However, if you are looking for a cat that will be content with just staying inside as perhaps you have an apartment, then this would undoubtedly be a good choice. As long as you keep your end of the bargain, the Tonkinese can be kept indoors with you. But, what exactly is your end of the bargain here?

Don’t leave the Tonkinese cat by itself for long periods of time. If everyone is going to be out of the house for most of the day regularly – this isn’t the cat for you. If you don’t have the desire or ability to be able to give them time every day to interact and play – this isn’t the cat for you. So, I could go on but in summary – if you’re prepared to commit fully to this marvelous breed of cat, and really appreciate what it is capable of giving you, then it will be prepared to share your home with you. Or should I say, share her home with you? 🙂

How playful is the Tonkinese cat?

Oh, I’m sure you know the answer to this if you’ve looked at this breed on YouTube. The Tonkinese is an exceedingly playful thing. There are some cats that could possibly be classed as hyperactive but this breed doesn’t quite fit into that category, which is a good thing.

Is a Tonkinese Cat Right For Me?

With the Tonkinese, you have the very best of both worlds. On one hand, you have a cat that is extremely playful. On the other hand, you have a cat that is content to spend time with you relaxing and sometimes this relaxing will be on your lap. There are many cats that belong to one group or the other – either very playful and aloof or will spend a lot of their time with you, but won’t have the greatest desire for mischief and adventure.

Most kittens of any breed are playful during the first few months but what makes the Tonkinese stand out is that this playfulness can stay with them all their lives.

Is the Tonkinese good with kids?

Yes, the Tonkinese can be fantastic with kids. Of course, there is variety in behaviors within any breed but we have to be quite general here and this breed is generally speaking excellent with kids. The Tonkinese loves kids as for them, they are just some new people to play with – the more the merrier. The kids love the Tonkinese as they both share some similar qualities – namely the cheekiness.

The Tonkinese can be the ultimate family cat. They are intelligent and (as I said before) may exhibit behaviors usually reserved for dogs. They will retrieve things that you throw for them. Well, sometimes they retrieve the things that you throw them. Sometimes things will go missing. These things may sometimes be found in their litter tray, food bowl, sleeping area amongst other places.

Your kids (either ones you have now or may have in the future) will love this breed for the simple reason that there is nothing for them not to love.

Is the Tonkinese good with other animals?

Yes, the Tonkinese can be excellent with other animals – depending on what the other animal is, of course. For most cats, they should be fine but ideally, any introductions would be made when they are young. If you are thinking about sharing your home with both a Tonkinese and a dog, then more caution needs to be applied.

Is a Tonkinese Cat Right For Me?

It may seem obvious, but smaller dogs may be better than a larger one – although this isn’t always the case. For instance, some dogs – such as the Siberian Husky is not the best dog to spend time with a cat. This breed of dog will usually see a cat as prey and they should never be left alone together – although there are some exceptions here.

Whereas if you have a little Collie or a Labrador, things should be easier. Again, socialization is key, particularly with the dog. If you can get a dog when it’s still a puppy and properly socialize it – this will give you a better chance of making it all work.

What kind of person do I need to be to own a Tonkinese?

It’s true that you need to be a special type of person to own a Tonkinese. This is a special breed of cat and it requires a special type of person to look after it. So, what are the qualities in you that are needed to look after this breed?

  • You need to love cats – this is a breed that demands attention and affection. You need to be someone who is prepared to give it.
  • You need to have time – the Tonkinese needs someone who has the time to commit to their needs. Their needs are actually quite simple (lots of play and lots of love)
  • You need room – if you’re going to keep this cat inside only, there needs to be enough room for them to play.
  • In for the long term – this breed can live a long time (up to around ~18 years), are you prepared to give them this amount of time?

If, after reading the above you are comfortable that you tick the boxes then congratulations – your life may well be about to change.

Conclusion – is a Tonkinese right for me?

It’s a simple set of questions and answers really. What you’ll find when you have a Tonkinese is that it’s actually quite hard to be sad in their presence. You’ll find the lows won’t be so low and the highs will be higher than ever. This cat could be the ultimate anti-depressant!

I hope you’ve read this, realized that you’re the right person and they are the right cat and decide to take the next step. If you love cats then they are difficult to beat and most owners once they’ve experienced a Tonkinese – can’t experience any other breed after.

Matt

I'm Matt Pettitt, joint founder of the Pets Knowledge Base alongside my wife, Jane. Since I was just 2 years of age I've had pets in my life - which I don't mind admitting is 47 years! I strongly believe that when you introduce a pet into your family you should do everything you can to give it the best life possible. I've learned a lot during the past (almost) five decades and this blog gives me a medium to share everything I have learned ( both good and bad) about pets. If you'd like to know more about us, and how to contact us - take a look at our About page here!

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