To all those who think cats are aloof, independent and don’t give a hoot about the world, I say get a Tonk.
Tonkinese cats are a fascinating blend of affection, playfulness and mischief. This blend is a consequence of many reasons, one among them being inheritance.
Tonkinese cats derive their genetics from a combination of two exotic Southeast Asian cat breeds, Siamese and Burmese.
In addition to being curious, gentle and cuddly, the Tonkinese cats also carry an aura of mystery and mischief around them.
I have been receiving a boatload of queries from my readers revolving around their personality, behavior traits and their response towards kids, pets, other family members and strangers.
So, in this article let me round up all the questions around Tonkinese cats keeping their personality in context so that potential Tonk owners will have a greater clarity on how Tonkinese cats are really like and how will they thrive and evolve in a domesticated environment.
Let’s start with the most common one which is,
Do Tonkinese cats get along with other cats?
Yes, Tonkinese cats do tend to get very well along with other cats owing to their playful, engaging and gentle behavior. In addition to being affectionate Tonkinese cats are also known for being intelligent and having good memory. They will enjoy sitting on your lap and will gel well with your family, other pets and even strangers.
While that does give a very qualitative insight into the nature of Tonkinese cats, we have to acknowledge the fact that it isn’t enough.
So now let’s go ahead and see what Tonkinese cats are really like by trying to understand their nature and personality comprehensively.
These posts are as engaging as Tonkinese cats,
- Do Siberian Cats get Along With Dogs?
- Do Russian Blue Cats Get Along With Other Cats?
- Do Bengal Cats Get Along With Other Cats?
- Why Are Siamese Cats So Vocal?
- Pros and Cons Of Getting Two Kittens?
- Why are Siamese Cats So Needy?
Tonkinese Cats Personality
The Tonkinese cats were bred with a purpose of creating a breed that is loving, intelligent, playful while having a slightly lighter vocal tone than that of Siamese cats.
Siamese cats are known for being chatty and here are the reasons why Siamese cats are so vocal.
The conscious attempts to cross Siamese and Burmese can be dated back to 1950s.
What began as an attempt to produce “golden Siamese”, “chocolate Siamese“, or Siamese with variable brown coloration got its global identification as a separate breed in 1984.
Similar to Siamese cats Tonkinese cats as well demand and cherish attention and won’t stop following you until you get it to them.
With a muscular body, they are inherently energetic cat breeds that need play and engagement to develop as a nicely adjusted pet.
In addition to inheriting affection and activity the Tonks also inherit exceptional intelligence from their Siamese parentage.
They are inquisitive, love climbing high vantage points, rejoice with brainy puzzle games and when done properly you can even teach them tricks and walking on a leash.
And therefore, having an ecosystem where they can play, climb around jump, engage in puzzle toys is absolutely important for them.
For their love of engagement, they are well suited as family pets and if the family has kids or other pets that’s even better.
Therefore, if you are really looking into getting a Tonkinese cat, its imperative that you create an environment of activity and engagement, lack thereof can result in them developing boredom and anxious behavior.
One aspect that Siamese cats are known for are their chatty nature. I discussed this in a previous post where we discuss the vocal attributes of Siamese cats in great details.
Now the question that most people who eye Tonks with interest ponder, are Tonkinese cats as vocal as Siamese cats?
The answer is yes, Tonkinese cats are known to be talkative but the difference is that their voice isn’t as raspy and loud like that of Siamese cats. They will happily sit on your lap and won’t mind answering all your concerns and queries before they happily close their eyes and rest.
What Cat Breeds Can Get Along With Tonkinese Cats?
Now that we know how gentle, active and easy going Tonky cats are, lets discuss what cat breeds can form good potential partners for your Tonkinese cat.
This of course, isn’t written in stone.
So much depends on a cat’s individual personality and it is entirely possible that a cat breed not listed here can form an excellent companionship with your Tonkinese cat.
In any case these are some potential cat breeds that should get along well with Tonkinese cats,
- Another Tonkinese Cat – Of course the best possible companion for your Tonkinese cat can be another Tonkinese cat. Getting two Tonkinese kittens from the same litter is going to be just perfect. But even if that isn’t the case, another Tonkinese cat can be your best bet as a companion for your Tonk.
- Abyssinian Cats – Known for their sociable attributes, Abyssinian cats get very well along with people, cats and other pets. Because Abyssinian cats are vocal as well, it would be fun to see them engage in conversation where they discuss world domination.
- Birman Cats – Known for their soft voice, Birman cats are incredible with kids, cats and other pets. They are a very patient and tolerant cat breed, which can be especially good for feisty and energetic cats like Siamese and Tonkinese.
- Persian Cats – Persian cats are breed with royal queen like demeanour. In addition to royal outlook these breeds are surprisingly good with other cats, people and dogs. Perfect partner for your Tonk given they have a very tolerant and laid-back attitude.
- Maine Coons – How can we forget the gentle giants of the cat kingdom. They aren’t too demanding and have so much love to give, something Tonkinese cats will definitely appreciate.
- Ragdoll Cats – Last but not the least, the beautiful ragdolls. They have this adorable tendency to go limp when you pick them up just like a ragdoll, hence the name. Just goes to show how accepting these beautiful cats are, which will come in handy while bonding with your Tonky.
How To Introduce A Tonkinese Cat To Other Cats?
Introducing your Tonkinese cats to other cats shouldn’t be challenging given the fact that they love company, or a partner they can engage with but bringing a new cat into an old cat’s territory can get a bit tricky.
Because as inviting as Tonkinese cats are, we have to acknowledge the fundamental fact that cats are territorial beings and this nature of their need to be addressed in order to ensure the meeting goes smooth.
Here are some tips that you need to be aware of when you introduce a new cat to your Tonk.
- Don’t Rush The Introduction
Yes, we acknowledge the inviting, playful, active and bubbly personality of a Tonkinese cat but for the first few days its imperative to create a separate space for your new cat. This space should have everything that she would need like food, water, toys, scratching pads, litter box and other accessories. This does two things. Makes your new cat comfortable in the new environment. And secondly makes your current cat see that the new member isn’t a threat to her territory.
- Let The Smell Do The Talking
A cat’s smelling senses are beyond exceptional. She knows when a new cat has entered her territory. What you want to do is take your time to make her realize that the other cat isn’t a threat. Some separate space and time make both the cats acclimatize to each other’s presence. What you can do is shift, your new cat to a different location from where she is right now, while ensuring all her basic requirements are met. This space where the new cat has been, can now be opened for your original to explore and get accustomed to the new cat smell. Give sufficient time to both of them to get comfortable with the new apparent shift.
- Slowly Shorten The Distance Between Them.
Still, it isn’t the right time for them to meet without some kind of separating barrier between them. They both are aware of each other presence but still some insecurity and resistances need to be worked out. The best thing would be to keep them on the opposite sides of the door. The distance is reduced but the barrier isn’t gone. They can smell each other’s scent and maybe you can work up an arrangement where they can see each other without coming in contact. You see we are gradually getting there.
- Give Them Treats And Food Close To The Door At The Same Time.
This is where the psychological walls are going to see a sudden drop. If your cat understand that she can eat without feeling threatened in other cat’s presence, it will bring them closer like nothing else. The core idea is both of them must understand that the other isn’t a threat but someone with who they can peacefully coexist with. The door will restrict physical engagement but their smell will form a virtual contact within which they are learning to coexist happily.
- Bring Them Closer but Be Conscious While Doing So
The next step is to remove the barrier or the door from between them but still keep a safe distance while engaging them separately. One good way to do this is by playing with one cat while the other observes from a cat carrier and vice versa. Repeat the process at least twice every day. If you have someone to help you can engage with both of them together while maintaining a healthy difference between them. This will make them even more comfortable. Treat them with their favourite treats when you see them appreciating each other’s presence.
- See Them Adopting
If you keep reducing the distance in a conscious way and in the process that I have just described you will see that they are gradually getting more and more comfortable in each other’s presence.
Keep reducing the distance and slowly they will learn feeling comfortable in each other’s presence. Not just that they will start seeing each other as an avenue of play and interaction.
Something cats cherish and Tonkinese cats even more so.
Tonkinese Cats FAQs
I hope that gives a wholesome insight into what Tonkinese cats are really like, how they get along with other cats, and how you can go about introducing them to other cats or pets.
However, in the context of discussion around Tonkinese cats I think there are a few more queries that I feel apt addressing here.
While I have answered do Tonkinese cats get along with other cats quite wholesomely, here are a few more questions that I think you must be having if you are a inquiring into Tonkinese cats
Can Tonkinese Cats be Left Alone?
Tonkinese are active, playful, and brainy cat breeds that love encouragement. And as such you should not leave a Tonkinese cat alone for more than a few hours alone at home. They are an energy high breeds who need to expend their energy via play, engagement and affection, lack thereof can lead them to develop anxious and erratic behavior patterns.
A great way to ensure your Tonkinese cat always has an avenue to engage and interact with is to see if you can get another cat. Having a companion for your Tonkinese cat will help reduce the responsibility of interaction and engagement from you to a great extent.
Yes of course you will have to provide the necessary attention, affection and a listening ear to them.
But you will feel a lot lighter that you won’t have to bother about every single acts of engagement with them. And ironically, you will find that the relaxation in responsibility enables you to engage with your cat in a much more inclusive, playful and joyful manner.
How Long Do Tonkinese Cats Live?
Tonkinese cats have an average lifespan of around 15-18 years. They get weaned from the litter when they are around 8 weeks old. While they take nearly a year to reach adulthood but they truly develop physically and psychologically into their fulness in around 4 years.
In general, they tend to be healthy because of their love for activity and interaction which gives them a solid muscular build.
However, they are observed to share health issues which are common among their Siamese ancestors like amyloidosis, bronchial disease, lymphoma, and progressive retinal atrophy.
Can Tonkinese Cats Go Outside?
Tonkinese cats are a very inquisitive and hence may show a tendency to go outside and explore. If you wish to take them outside, do so in supervision and in a secure space. Your backyard garden can be an ideal place to start where you can train her to walk on a leash before taking her outside in a safe bordered neighbourhood.
Once again, I need to highlight the importance of supervision if you choose to take your cat outside. While at one level it is extremely beneficial for your cat to experience fresh air and sun, its important to understand that taking them outside has its own caveats.
They may catch infections, get in a fight with other pets, or even meet an accident if you aren’t careful. Therefore, ensure that they are properly vaccinated, they are old enough (at least 6 months), and are under your constant attention and supervision.
Okay I hope this article gave you a wholesome comprehension on a Tonkinese cat personality and how you can expect them to behave in a domesticated ecosystem.
The beauty about cats is the more you know about them, the more you realize how less you know about them.
Therefore, if there is a shred of doubt in your mind regarding Tonkinese cats make sure you relay it down in the comments section below.
If the question is potent, I will update my post to include it and share it with the world mentioning your name 😊.
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Take great care of yourself and your cat and I will see you in the next one.