Tonkinese vs Siamese

 Tonkinese vs Siamese

The Tonkinese and Siamese cat breeds are close relatives: the former is considered a crossbreed of Siamese and Burmese cats. However, there are considerable differences that you will notice between these two breeds. Read on to find out more about the differences between Tonkinese and Siamese cats. 

Tonkinese vs Siamese: What are the differences?

Tonkinese cats are more docile, while Siamese cats are more vocal. 

Tonkinese cats, or Tonks as they are popularly called, are more docile than Siamese cats. The latter is well-known for being talkative and vocal. Siamese cats have a low-pitched meow called “meezer”, which is compared to a crying baby. 

Tonkinese cats do not have distinctive color points like Siamese cats. 

Tonks have short, silky fur but do not have distinctive color points. Their coats may be darker or lighter shades of blue, champagne, cream, platinum or beige, with light brown, red, pink or cinnamon color points. Their color patterns are high-contrast, medium contrast or mink, and low contrast or solid. 

Siamese cats have more pronounced color points, and temperature causes the points to turn darker. The actual color is determined by genetics. Their naturally-occurring colors are seal point, blue point, lilac point and chocolate point. Other color points include apricot, red, cream, fawn, cinnamon, caramel, lynx, tortie and tabby. 

Tonkinese cats are smaller than Siamese cats, and have a more moderate build. 

Tonks cats are only 12 to 15 inches long (excluding the tail) and weigh around six to 12 pounds, while Siamese cats are 15 to 20 inches long and weigh around six to 14 pounds. Tonks also have a rounder head and more medium ears, while Siamese cats have a longer head and bigger ears. 

Tonkinese cats are quite rare compared with Siamese cats. 

Tonks are not so easy to find and are bred by fewer breeders. There are only a few of these breeders in the US, which explains their high price tag. Siamese cats are easier to find and more common in several countries. 

Tonkinese cats: Pros and cons 


  1. They are friendly. 

Tonks love human company and they are active pets. They develop a close relationship with their humans and may get depressed if they are left alone at home.

2. They are good-looking cats. 

Tonks are gorgeous cats. They look similar to Siamese cats in many ways, since they were crossbred from Siamese and Burmese cats.

3. They are very smart. 

Tonks cats are intelligent and can be trained easily. They have autodidactic abilities and can teach themselves to play fetch and open doors. 

4. They are healthy. 

This cat breed has few genetic diseases and they are healthier than many other pedigree cats. 

5. They are ideal for children. 

Tonks are sweet and social cats and they are great with kids. They tolerate the antics of children and are very patient around them. 

6. They are not loud.

While they may tend to be vocal sometimes, Tonks are not too loud and are more docile than Siamese. 


  1. They are mischievous because they are smart and get bored easily.

Tonks are intelligent cats, but this can be a nuisance, especially if they have figured out how to open doors. 

2. They always seek attention. 

Tonks won’t take it well if they are not given attention or if they are left alone for long periods. They tend to become stressed and depressed. 

Siamese cats: Pros and cons 


  1. They are highly sociable. 

These cats love to play games and are great companions. They are jovial and are a good choice if you want a cat that will bond with a family.  

2. They are playful and intelligent. 

Siamese cats love to play games like hide-and-seek and ball-fetch.  They are also smart cats and like to solve puzzles. 

3. They are low-shedding. 

Siamese cats do not shed much hair compared with other cat breeds.  


  1. It is a costly breed. 

Siamese kittens can cost between $200 and $700, depending on the breeder. 

2. They are loud and expressive.

Siamese cats are friendly, but also very vocal and talkative. Their low-pitched meowing, or meezer sounds, could become irritating at times.


The differences between Tonkinese and Siamese are subtle but noticeable. These two breeds are similar in many ways, and both are very affectionate toward the people they have bonded with. Siamese cats are louder and more vocal than Tonkinese. Tonks have a more moderate build than Siamese cats, do not have distinctive color points, and are also rarer than the Siamese breed. 

 Image: / Sally Hinton