In the mid-1950s, Milan Greer, a pet-shop operator in New York City,crossed the Colorpoint Siamese and Burmese cats to form a new variety that was intermediate in type between those breeds. Greer named his cats golden Siamese, but he discontinued the project before he had bred enough golden Siamese to carry on the name. In the early 1960s, apparently by coincidence, a Canadian cat fancier named Margaret Conroy decided to cross a Sealpoint Siamese and a Sable Burmese in order to form a more perfect union and a more perfect cat.
In those days, the Siamese was not yet the imperially slim, something-of-an-acquired-taste, art deco composition that it is today. And Burmese had yet to evolve to the contemporary look.Nevertheless, Margaret Conroy was convinced that Siamese had begun to evolve away from popular taste. Thus, she concluded, the cat world was ready for a new and clever hybrid which would occupy a middle-of-the-road equator between the hemispheres of substantial and svelte.
When Mrs.Conroy began working on her Siamese-Burmese crosses, she, too, used the name golden Siamese for a few years before the name Tonkinese was adopted.
Body Structure:The Tonkinese has a medium-length torso that is strong and muscular without being coarse. Its abdomen is taut, well muscled, and firm, and its back may rise slightly from shoulder to rump. The Tonk’s legs are slim, but proportionate in length and structure to its body.
The tail, also proportionate in length to the body, should be medium to medium long, tapering to a slightly blunted tip. The Tonkinese has a modified-wedge-shaped head, a bit longer than it is wide. In profile the Tonk exhibits a slight, convex curve in the forehead, extending from the top of the head to just above the eyes.There is a slight stop at eye level.
Alert, medium-sized, broad-at-the-base ears with oval tips are set as much on the sides of the head as on the top.
Eyes:The brilliant aqua-colored eyes, a transcendent combination of blue from the Siamese and gold from the Burmese, range from aquamarine to turquoise. The Tonk’s eyes are almond shaped, medium in size, in proportion to the face, and slightly rounded on the bottom.
Coat:The Tonkinese has a short to medium short, close-lying coat.
The colors known in America are seal point, blue point,chocolate point and lilac point.
Color:The fine, soft, and silky coat is universally recognized in Blue Mink, Champagne Mink, Honey Mink, Natural Mink and Platinum Mink. “Mink” does not describe the feel of the coat, but the original Tonkinese pattern: a medium brown that shades to a lighter hue on a cat’s underparts and to a dark brown color at its extremities.