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The Tibetan Cat

| January 2, 2011
Tibetans Cat - Anshira Waya's Eloïse: Seal Point

The Tibetan Cat

The Tibetan cat – or semi-longhaired Tonkinese – blends the best features of its ancestors into one beautiful, medium-sized cat that is remarkably dense and muscular.

Whether appearing in the coat pattern of its Burmese predecessor, with sparkling gold-green eyes, the pointed pattern of its Balinese ancestor, with glittering blue eyes, or the “mink” coat pattern with its unique aqua eyes, the Tibetan is an intelligent, gregarious cat with a sense of humor.

These cats are firmly convinced that humans were put on earth to love them; these are the cats that know they belong.

They purred their way through six years and a lot of presentations to the board of directors of The Dutch Cat Breeders Association in their pursuit of championship status, achieving their goal in 1997.

Although new to modern competition, the Tibetan cats are descendants of the Tonkinese breed, the same breed that is depicted in “The Cat-Book Poems of Siam” during the Ayudha Period (1358-1767), and imported to England in the early 1800s as “Chocolate Siamese.”

The colorful personality of the Tibetan make them ideal companions. They will take possession of your lap and shoulder, and they will supervise your activities. They are warm and loving, highly intelligent, with an incredible memory and senses that are akin to radar. They are strong willed, and their humans are wise to use persistent persuasion in training them. They are naturals at inventing and playing games, using favorite toys to play fetch, and delighting in games of tag with each other. Of course hide ‘n seek is a favorite game, which they play with humans as well as other Tibetans.

They become your “door greeter” and will happily entertain your guests. They have been described by enthusiastic owners as part puppy (following their owner around the house), part monkey (their “acrobatics” are legend!), and can sound like an elephant running through your house when they choose. In short: they quickly take over and run your house and your life! Their affectionate ways are impossible to ignore, and they quickly endear themselves to family and visitors.

Caring for Tibetans is as easy as feeding a well-balanced feline diet, clipping their nails weekly (providing a scratching post and insisting they use it is also imperative), using a soft brush to groom them, and of course the all important visit to the vet for check-ups and inoculations.

These are best kept indoors, and a thorough inspection of your home prior to your Tibetans arrival, to make certain screens and doors are secured, will help insure they remain indoors. “Cat proofing” your home, much as you would for a two-year old human on the loose, is bound to save you frustration.

Toys and an interesting cat tree will help keep them occupied when you have other things to do besides playing with your Tibetan. Working humans find two Tibetans will keep each other company as well as lessen the mischief one bored Tibetan can get into.

Tibetans wear a rainbow of colors, and no matter which color in whatever coat pattern you may choose, be assured you are joining an enthusiastic fan club of admirers of this breed. You are about to embark on the most joyful experience of your life — enjoy!

The Tibetan is an elegant, nimble cat and is a real Tonkinese, both in type as character. The big difference is the beautiful bushy tail and the slightly longer coat on the body.
The Tibetan cat is of average size with an oriental body and head, firm and round as the traditional Siamese. The Tibetan has a sleek, silky, very soft, semi-long coat which gives this oriental cat an extra stylish look. The fur has no undercoat. That is why he fur doesn’t tangle and sheds just a little.

Tibetans as well as the Tonkinese come in three markings:

  • Siamese marking (point) with blue eyes,
  • Burmese marking (sepia) with yellow / green eyes and
  •  Tonkinese marking (mink) with aquamarines eyes.

Characteristics and nature of the Tibetan and Tonkinese cat

The Tonkinese and Tibetan are spontaneous and confident. They love to communicate with their people. This breed is gentle, playful, affectionate, social, naughty and very cuddly. It is a lively cat and very curious, they want to know and take part in all that you are doing, just to ‘help’, of course in their own way … (walking in front of your feet, talking when you are on the phone, reading your newspaper and books by lying on top of them, getting your things out of your bag, etc.). They love company and feel most comfortable when they have a lot of room to have fun in and toys you throw are quickly apported back for another throw.

This cat has a sense of humor and often invents new games, with their people or their catfriends. They also know their name well – of course they don’t always listen to it . The Tibetan and Tonkinese are not happy when they are alone, they require regular attention and love. If they think they get not enough, they will ask for it on their own way and they will usually get it because of their enchanting character. When you feel bored or a bit lost, having one or more Tibetans or Tonkinese in the house will make you feel better soon. Their stunts, remarkeble habits, beautiful looks and good nature makes them an exceptionally pleasant pet. You will always see something interesting when you look at them.

It’s a pretty smart cat and they do like to explore the entire house, especially cabinets and forbidden spots’ are favorites. Outside trips make them happy but their curious nature and kindness makes them sometimes end up in places where you do not want them to be. So keep an eye on them and do not let them stray.

The Tibetan cat is developed in Agnes Driessen’s cattery Anshira Waya out of crosses between Balinese and Burmese cats and later out of Balinese and Tonkinese with the gene for long hair. It is developed since 1992 by Agnes Driessen and is recognized in 1997 in the Netherlands. The Tibetan is bred in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. A cattery in France is planning to breed the Tibetan in 2010. In 2008 the South African cattery LoeLoeraai has bred a litter Tibetan kittens.

Copyright & Credit:
Breed Profile and
Photos copyright & courtesy: Agnes Driessen’s cattery Anshira Waya, Tibetan and Tonkinese Cats –


Category: Feline Resources

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