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Tonkinese Colors & Coat-Pattern

Tonkinese cats are beautiful, elegant and of Foreign type. They are considered moderate in that they have no extreme features. Their build is lithe and well balanced, firm and muscular with an elegant body on slender legs and neat oval paws all in exquisite proportion to each other.

They have slightly rounded chests and their flanks are level. Their back rises gently from their shoulders to their rump demonstrating a truly elegant predator's body. Their tail is of medium length, tapering gently to a rounded tip, being either thick or whippy.

Their eyes are large and expressive, set well apart with a gentle almond shape. Their colors are sparkling hues of aquamarine, sapphire blue and golden green according to their coat pattern. The Tonkinese is an attractive breed famous for their "mink" coats which are short, fine and close lying, with a soft, silky and lustrous sheen.

A coat that incidentally needs little upkeep, in order to retain its sleek, soft, luxurious texture. On closer examination, the color and coat-pattern of their fur is reminiscent of the wild animal's pelt. However, the description also refers to the similarity of pattern and color between the wild animal's pelt and the foundation cat of the Burmese breed, Wong Mau, who was actually a Tonkinese with a Tonkinese  coat pattern, i.e. a medium-brown body that shaded to a lighter hue on its underparts and to a dark brown color at its points.

Tonkinese Cat Colors And Their Pattern Images, Picture

The Tonkinese belongs to the genetic type group known as Himalayan. In Tonkinese like most with a Himalayan coat pattern we find that the Points (mask of face, ears, feet, legs, tail and testicles in males) are darker because the temperature at the extremities of the body are lower than the rest of the body. However, fleshier legs and feet tend to be paler in tone than the other points.

In the United Kingdom, the principal authoritative body for cats (the GCCF), acknowledges Tonkinese cats who exhibit the standard Tonkinese coat pattern as well as those that exhibit variant coat patterns i.e. solid like the Burmese and pointed like the Siamese. However, it is only cats that possess the Tonkinese  coat pattern that are eligible to be shown. The Tonkinese coat pattern has a medium rich body which gently merges into a darker tone of the same color on their points, this means their ears, and tail, nose and paws are a darker hue than their body.

Their underparts shade into a lighter hue of the body color. These cats have a greenish-blue colored eye. Incidentally Tonkinese are the only cats to possess these beautiful sparkling aquamarine colored eyes. 'The points- nose, legs and tail- are as dark as found in the Burmese, contrasting with the body and enhancing the beauty of the cat.'.    
A solid variant of the Tonkinese coat pattern is evenly colored over its body and in most colors have no noticeable contrast. These cats have greenish -gold eyes. The pointed variant of the Tonkinese coat pattern is very pale in its body with contrasting dark points.

These cats have blue eyes. All Tonkinese have some contrast, as the dominant allele (C) gene is not found in the Tonkinese or Burmese breeds. There is only a single variation between the three strains of Tonkinese: the 'C' gene. It is this that controls their coat pattern. Each Tonkinese has one pair of genes that control their gene pattern with one gene derived from each parent.
Each gene can be either a pointed (cs) or a solid (cb) coat pattern gene. 

Breeders realize that when Tonkinese is mated together, their offspring will uniquely have one of only three coat pattern variations. Thus, the Solid, variant has two (cb) coat pattern genes. The cat is evenly colored across its body and points. It has the weakest color contrast and will have chartreuse eyes, ranging from green-gold to yellow-green. Pointed, this type has two (cs) coat pattern genes. It has the strongest contrast with a pale body coat, dark points and bright blue eyes in shades from sky blue to violet.

The Tonkinese (Mink), version has one (cs) and one (cb) coat pattern gene. Since both are recessive genes, neither will be dominant. The type is characterized by a strong body with darker points but overall the coat pattern illustrates a medium contrast. Unlike their eyes which are a brilliant aqua color: a beautiful combination of the golden Burmese and blue Siamese eye color.

A word of caution should be inserted here as it is not always possible to be authoritative as to what type of coat pattern the young kittens may have. It often takes some time (as much as 18 months) for kittens to acquire their definitive coat-pattern / eye-colorcolor. Don't blame the breeder if they initially err on the side of caution!