This dainty, aristocratic cat with a sparkling white coat is very loving, making it an active and loyal companion.
Development of this breed began in the 1950s, with crosses between the Siamese and white shorthaired cats. In the UK the first of these hybrids had either orange or blue eyes, but selective breeding produced cats with blue eyes only, which were given the name of Foreign White.
Elsewhere, either green or blue eyes are permitted, and the cat is regarded as a solid-colored variant of the Oriental Shorthair, known as the Oriental White. This striking breed has the characteristic elongated lines and vibrant personality of the Siamese.
Many blue-eyed white cats have a genetically linked tendency to deafness, but the Foreign White is free from this defect.
The foreign white is the only Oriental breed that cannot be bred with other Orientals.
The Tonkinese is midway between the ultra-lean Oriental cats and the typically stocky shorthair. In early breeding programs, it was first known as the Golden Siamese.
Origin: UK, 1950s
Breed registries: CFA, FIFe, GCCF, TICA
Weight range: 9–14lb (4–6.5kg)
Colors and patterns: White only.