Siamese Cats vs. Tonkinese Cats: Know the Differences in This Full Guide

Siamese cats and Tonkinese cats look similar in many aspects, and you could mistake them by appearances alone. However, when you begin to pay close attention, you can start to see the differences between the two. Each cat breed has distinct and bold personalities that are unmistakably unique. If you plan to adopt one of these cats, it’s best to do your research beforehand so that you can take care of your pet properly the moment they enter their new home. So, this article provides you with a comprehensive guide on Siamese cats vs. Tonkinese cats so that you can know the differences between the two breeds.

Facts about Siamese and Tonkinese Cats

Before delving into the differences between these two cat breeds, you should have a clear understanding of some basic facts about these cats. This way, you’ll be able to effectively determine whether one breed is right for you or not. Making an informed decision when getting a pet is necessary because it ensures you’re able to take care of it and that your pet is happy in its new home.

Facts about Tonkinese Cats

Tonkinese cats are not a breed of themselves. They are a product of crossbreeding between Siamese and Burmese cats. Therefore, they look pretty similar to Siamese cats. In fact, they also come in 4 coat color categories, blue, natural, platinum, and champagne. In addition to that, they have three subcategories for each of these. The subcategories are based on the contrast levels. So, there are:

  • Low-contrast (solid pattern)
  • Medium-contrast (mink pattern)
  • High contrast (point pattern)

These cats also originate from Thailand, as Siamese cats do. Moreover, they also inherit some of the playful and lively characteristics from their parent breeds.

With that said, here are some quick facts about Tonkinese (or Tonk) cats:

  • Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
  • Average weight (adult): 10 to 14 pounds
  • Average length (adult): 12 to 15 inches
  • Traits: Friendly, playful, loving, active
  • Grooming requirements: Weekly brushing (twice a week in some cases)
  • Dog-friendly: Yes

Facts about Siamese Cats

Siamese cats are one of the most recognized and oldest cats in the world. It is the 5th most popular cat breed in the US currently. If you’ve seen a Siamese cat, you may have seen that its points are dark while the rest of its body is light in color. The points include the paws, face mask, ears, and tail—essentially all extremities of its body.  

According to the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA), there are only 4 colors of Siamese cats. These include:

  1. Seal point
  2. Blue point
  3. Lilac point
  4. Chocolate point

With that said, here are some quick facts about Siamese cats:

  • Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
  • Average weight (adult): 6 to 14 pounds
  • Average length (adult): 11 to 14 inches
  • Traits: Talkative, playful, demanding, loyal
  • Grooming requirements: Weekly brushing
  • Dog-friendly: Yes

Siamese Cats vs. Tonkinese Cats

Now that some facts about these cats are clear, it’s time to discuss the differences between Siamese cats and Tonkinese cats in terms of their personality traits and other factors.

Here are some traits compared between the two types of cats.


Tonk cats are one of the most friendly cat breeds out there. They love human company, and they’ll most likely follow you around where you go. What’s more, is that you can see the visible joy in their demeanor when they interact with you. So, it’s easy to form a strong bond with your pet in the case of Tonk cats. Also, Tonk cats get along very well with children and other cats—which is common among many cat parents.

If you have children and cats in your home, it’s always best to monitor the interaction between them. Children may not know how to handle cats appropriately and may end up hurting your pet. So, try to teach your children how to care for their pets while simultaneously supervising each play session.  Tonk cats also tend to act friendly and comfortable with guests. So, you may find your cat rubbing itself on your guests.

Siamese cats are also friendly cats. They follow you around and keep you company. However, they’re not as friendly as Tonks. So, they may not get along very well with other cats in your home. This will, of course, vary from one case to another, but it’s something worth noting. In addition to that, Siamese cats’ friendliness is typically reserved for familiar people and pets. They don’t interact much with new faces.


If you’ve ever read about the personality traits of Siamese cats, you must have learned that this breed is known for being particularly talkative. Therefore, you can expect your Siamese cat to try and converse with you. Talking (or meowing) is their way of expressing their affection. Moreover, they also expect a response from you, so you will have to be attentive to its conversing. If you want a companion, then a Siamese cat is a great choice.

Tonkinese cats, on the other hand, are much more docile. They are significantly quieter than Siamese cats, which is great for pet owners who don’t want their cats to consistently nag at them vocally.  So, if you’re looking to have silence in your home, a Tonkinese cat may prove to better choice over a Siamese.


Typically, Tonkinese cats are more robust in terms of health. They are prone to very genetic diseases, and they are generally healthier than other pedigree cats. This also means that taking care of this breed will be easier, especially for new cat owners. That said, Tonk cats can suffer from gastrointestinal conditions, asthma, and more. So, visit the veterinarian often to ensure your kitty is healthy.

Siamese cats, however, are more prone to various diseases. One of the most common types is gum and mouth disease. In addition to that, Siamese cats tend to get gastrointestinal disorders, liver diseases, heart diseases, asthma, kidney disease, and more. Therefore, you must visit the vet regularly to monitor your cat’s health.

Some Similarities between Siamese and Tonk Cats

A guide on Siamese cats vs. Tonkinese cats would be incomplete without also discussing some of the similarities between the two breeds.

Active and Playful Cats

Both Siamese and Tonkinese cats are playful cats. They’re intelligent creatures and enjoy interacting and playing with people and other cats. These cats have a lot of energy and typically roam and explore their surroundings, zoom about in your home, and jump on elevated objects. You should not consider getting either of these cats if you’re looking for a laid-back cat.

Also, because of their intelligence, these cats get easily bored. You have to consistently give them attention. Typically, Siamese cats are more demanding and require more attention than Tonks. However, the difference is not so significant to mention in the discussion above. So, you should consider getting a companion for your cat (like another cat) if you work a lot and won’t be home for most of the day.

Not Picky Eaters

One of the best characteristics about these cats is that they’re not picky eaters. They tend to be happy with whatever nutritious food you provide them. However, both Siamese and Tonk cats have the habit of overeating. So, you’ll have to be careful with how much food you give them. If you have more than one cat, make sure to monitor the mealtime. Stop your cat from eating from another cat’s plate if it tries to. Overeating can be harmful to the health of Siamese and Tonk cats.


These cats are not afraid of indulging in a bit of mischief to keep themselves entertained. So, they may drop vases, pull on toilet rolls, and so on. Also, they may keep an eye on where you stash food, how you open drawers, and how cabinet door locks work. So, they may try to get access to what’s hidden there when you’re not around. What you can do to counteract this is to keep the food items out of reach and cat-proof your home.

Last Few Words

Now that you’re aware of some of the subtle differences between Siamese cats and Tonkinese cats, you can pick a companion that’s best suited to you and your household. Siamese cats can be more needy and talkative, and Tonks are generally more friendly and welcoming. However, if you’re looking for a loving and active cat, you can’t go wrong with either breed.