The Tonkinese is a beautiful, medium sized breed of cat known for its intelligence and loving nature. They love company, both that of humans and other animals. They are perfectly suited to the life of a housecoat, as long as they have company around most of the day. They don’t appreciate being left alone for long periods. They make great pets and are an increasingly popular choice for pet owners. Here we take a look at the history of the breed and look at all the things you will need if you are getting ready to welcome one in to your home.
The History of the Tonkinese Breed
The Tonkinese were originally a crossbreed between the Siamese and Burmese, becoming recognised as a breed in their own right in the latter half of the 20th century. They have since become increasingly popular amongst both pet owners and show cat owners.
They are a medium sized breed with distinctive almond shaped eyes. Perhaps best known in their Siamese-like colouring, there are in fact a broad spectrum of coat colours and patterns in the breed - with 78 combinations of coat colour and markings!
Their intelligence makes them quick learners and they are quite capable of learning a trick or two. They can be vocal, just like their Siamese cousins and are known for being extremely affectionate (although perhaps not as loud as Siamese!). They will love spending time with you and other pets. This does mean they can get bored easily - so ensure you give them plenty of stimulation and they will live happily content lives.
Tonkinese Shopping List
So you’ve decided to bring one of these beautiful cats into your home? Here are the cat products we recommend you have ready for their arrival!
Travelling Home With Your Kitten:
It is essential that you travel safely with your new kitten, Even short journeys will require a good quality cat carrier that can be fastened securely in to the car. The Catit Cabrio carrier is great as it is safe for various forms of transport and some wonderful features. There is a shoulder strap for comfortable carrying, a slide out water & feeding bowl for on-the-go drinking and snacking and it opens from the top - this is really handy when you first take kitten to the Vet as they may be nervous. It will make it super easy to get them in and out.
Kittens love a warm snuggle. A blanket will allow them to curl up and snooze and give them a feeling of security, We’d suggest leaving a blanket with the breeder in the run-up to bringing them home so the blanket can be left with Mum for a while. Then when you bring kitten home with the blanket they will have the comforting scent of Mum with them.
Like the blanket, a snuggle toy will offer a comforting cuddle to nervous new kittens. Moving in to their new home is a big step for new kittens, so making them feel as settled and secure as possible is the most important thing.
Moving Kitten in to their New Home:
Cats are notorious for sleeping wherever they like around the house; sunny window sills, the top of a wardrobe, the back of the sofa… you name it, your kitten will probably enjoy a snooze on it! It’s still important to give your kitten a dedicated bed though. You can pop their snuggle blanket and toys in there; and it will be a place of their own for them to retreat to when they need a break from the rest of the house.
Feeding time will probably become one of your kitten’s favourite times of the day. You will need at least two bowls for food and water - three if you want to separate dry and wet food. We have a wonderful range of melamine bowls by Tarhong. The new Cactus design is particularly adorable, but there are also many other designs to choose from to suit all tastes and interiors.
Your cat will have a strong instinct to scratch. This isn’t a bad habit, but actually promotes healthy claws and allows them to stretch their muscles. Cats are like athletes and need to ensure their muscles are primed for all that climbing and jumping! With this in mind, you need to provide an area where you can allow and encourage them to scratch that isn’t your furniture. A tall scratch post is ideal. If your cat is going to live indoors we’d suggest a tree that is on the larger side with multiple platforms and posts. This will give them a place to climb and exercise as they would outside. Giving your indoor cat plenty to do will also ensure boredom doesn’t set in.
Your cat will need somewhere to toilet inside the house. Even if they will be allowed outside, giving them a litter tray indoors is always advised for the occasions where weather doesn’t permit outdoor pursuits; or if your cat has to be kept indoors for medical reasons. We’d recommend the Cat Washroom with a standard litter tray inside. A white wooden piece of furniture that will complement most interiors, our L&L Cat washroom is a great way to disguise your cat’s litter tray. Use a good quality clumping cat litter and you’ll be all set for litter training.
We all know kittens are playful. This, teamed with their instinct to hunt and chase, means they will love a toy or two. We offer an array of brightly coloured toys featuring interesting textures and sounds for your cat to explore, such as feathers, rattles and bells, as well as an impressive selection of catnip toys they won’t be able to get enough. Buy a few different ones and try to swap them around so they don’t get bored of them.
In a similar vein to catnip toys, your cat will love playing with a feather teaser. A wand toy has the added benefit of including you in the fun - playing with your cat is good bonding time and the perfect chance to spend valuable time with your feline friend.
If you want to add an extra dimension to your cat’s playtime, you could try the interactive toys by Catit. Catit have designed a series of accessories that can be used alone or in conjunction with each other. Each one is designed to appeal to a specific feline sense - hence the name ‘Catit Senses’! Your cat will love chasing a ball around a Senses track system, or digging for treats in the Digger accessory. Explore the collection and create the ultimate kitten playground.
Feliway is designed to stop unwanted cat behaviours around the home. Settling into a new home can be stressful for a kitten. Stress can lead to all kinds of unwanted behaviour such as scratching furniture and toileting in the wrong places. Feliway is a good place to start when trying to stop this behaviour. Simply plug it in and the diffuser will release a scent that mimics the pheromones that cat’s leave on furniture - basically their smell of home.
If you’re adding a new kitten to a home that already has cats or other pets, try Feliway Friends - this is designed specifically to prevent tension between pets.