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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

So I know that officially they are DSH (I've read the 'what breed is my cat' thread)...but I just wanted to see what you guys might think about these two...

The backstory is (quite sad)...A whole litter of 6 of them were abandoned (all pretty much identical, same colour...literally couldn't tell them apart). They were rescued by the RSPCA and the vet said they were likely Tonks. Only two of them made it to the shelter where I worked (others were adopted by vets, nurses etc). My Mother adopted both of them, and let them be outdoor cats (very common in England...however I had researched the breed and advised her against it). Eventually they were both killed in road accidents...

However, I'm still very interested in their breeding. The fact that the whole litter was identical is not usual for domestic litters is it?

They definitely had Tonk natures, extremely affectionate, needy, talkative, playful, friendly to anyone and everyone, fearless. Very fine boned, delicate body shapes. The thing that threw me was the colouring...they are not typical Tonk colors (are they?)...and were more 'mottled' in a way that I basically can't find any similar pictures of (bar one, which was actually a Tonk queen for a purebred breeder). Fur was very short but super super soft (think rabbit fur then 10 times softer)....

Anyway...some pictures....









Also, how 'established' is the Tonk breed? When I've been looking online some seem more like what I think of as Tonk while others seem to lean a lot more toward Siamese and others a lot more toward Burmese...which makes me think their not actually 'Tonkinese' but just a mix of Burm/Siam....

So...curious if you think they are in fact Tonks (just without papers, I thought maybe they were abandoned by a breeder because of their colouring not being desirable), and what colour is that??

Any thoughts appreciated! :)
 

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Tonkanese kinda are a mix of Burmese and Siamese.

Siamese, Burmese or Tonkanese colouring is all on the same genetic locus we call C (colour)

The allele for;
full colour = C
sepia (Burmese) = cb
colourpoint (Siamese) = cs

Each cat has two alleles for a certain gene, with most genes there are dominant and recessive alleles and when they are mixed the dominant allele "wins" and gets expressed. With gene C that is a little different. C is dominant over the other alleles, so the combination Ccb or Ccs yields full colour. Sepia and colourpoint are not completely dominant over each other, when you mix those you get an inbetween form that a lot of breeds call mink or Tonkanese colouration.
So;
cbcb = sepia = Burmese colouration. Yellow eyes, smooth transition between darker points and lighter body colour.
cbcs = mink = Tonkanese colouration. "Aqua" eyes, contrast between points and body clearer than in sepia but not as clear as in pointed cats.
cscs = colourpoint = Siamese colouration. Blue eyes, high contrast between point and body colour desired in most breeds.

On a dutch forum I found a really cool cat, his name is Abeltje and he is a mink Ragdoll. Abeltje had one blue eye, probably caused by the white spotting on his face. The blue eyes of white/white spotted cats are very much like those of pointed cats. Abeltje also has one "aqua" eye, the normal colour that goes with his mink coat color, so this way you can see the difference between blue and aqua eyes in one cat;


My guess is your cats are blue tortie mink or something like that. I found you another pic of a blue tortie mink Tonkanese: Nashira's Perfume Litter | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

In Tonks they will breed for the deepest eye colour possible, so a good quality Tonk will have greener eyes, just as a good quality Siamese will have deep blue eyes and random bred pointed cats will often have paler blue eyes.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your reply! The picture you found I think is a litter from the picture of the Queen I found (was also Nashira's)...which seems to be the only example of the colouring your talking about in Tonks...

I didn't think tortie was a feature they really aimed for in Tonk breeding, which is why I thought they might have been abandoned for being 'undesirable' (in the midst of a terrible economy), which makes more sense considering the eyes also being yellow rather than green.

Personally, they were like literally like beautiful little angels and I could never get my head around why anyone would just dump them in a cardboard box. Which is why I thought maybe they had got another breed in them outside of Burm/Siam, but they just look so **** Tonkinese.

What I meant about a lot of Tonks seeming more Siamese or Burmese...was that it kinda of seems like Tonkinese aren't established yet in their own right and seem to just swing between the two. You can always tell a Burmese (established) and you can always tell a Siamese (established) but Tonkinese sometimes get you thinking about whether it's one of the three or something else entirely...

Like I find it hard to believe that this is a Tonk:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3423167775/in/photostream/

And then this is also a Tonk:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3423167573/in/photostream/

Whereas, in my head, neither of those seem quite right and it should be more somewhere in the middle.
 

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Here are Tonkinese color descriptions....yours look to be perhaps "champagne". Tho it's difficult to say is they're really Tonkinese, the head shape isn't quite rounded enough for Tonks, but difficult to say as they're still kittens. They do look like Orientals (or a mix) in cinnamon color, or cinnamon tortie. But without registration papers and pedigree they're moggies.

Tonkinese - Breed: Tonkinese --- a hybrid of Siamese and Burmese and first recognized as a breed in Canada, distinguished by acqua color eyes.

Oriental - Breed: Oriental (basically A Siamese type in a non-pointed color)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I think Mimosa was spot on to be honest, they looked *exactly* like these guys (except the eyes a touch more yellow than green):

http://www.tonkinese.ch/en/adult/IMG_2716_Nana_110402.JPG

http://www.tonkinese.ch/en/adult/IMG_0662_PrettyNana__100627.JPG

From what I can tell, it seems like the head shape for Tonks seems to varied, again what I was saying about them not seeming to be as established as other breeds...But a lot of apparent pure bred Tonks seem to have the same shape (head and body) as the two links above, which was identical to our two girls.
 

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I would not be surprised that there are several types of Tonks, since they are a sister breed of the Burmese, and there are several types of Burmese worldwide. The European Burmese often looks different from the American Burmese.
 

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That's true what Mimosa says, the European Burmese look different from the American Burmese. They don't have as rounded a head and flat profile that the American Burmese have which would give European or UK Tonks a more Siamesey look to the head. I've seen Tonks at shows in Canada and the U.S. and they don't look very much like the pics here of Tonks. Tonks also have a stockier body type than the svelte Siamese.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Oh, they really were very beautiful. Physically and mentally. Like, the most beautiful, angelic creatures I could possibly imagine. It's heart-breaking. I wish I had adopted them myself and then I would have been able to put my foot down about the not letting them out thing.

I think cats deserve to be outside, personally. But after my experiences even in the remote countryside in England, my ideal would be to have a cat-proofed garden, so they can roam safely.

I was hoping to look into getting a Tonkinese over here (US) in the future....but if it's true that they are different between Europe/US...I think I prefer the European look...Strange though...since I think they are Canadian breed?
 
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