Khao Manee cats come from Thailand, where they have a history dating back at least a few hundred years, but probably longer. Their beautiful large eyes are the reason for their nickname of "diamond eye cat." They are usually all white with a lithe, muscular body. They fit in well with families and keep you on your toes with energetic and intelligent antics. The Thai Royals have prized these cats for centuries and so will you!
Khao Manee Cat Origins
The nobility of Thailand has revered the Khao Manee cat for perhaps almost a millennia or more
. There is a reference to the breed in Tamra Maew, a Thai book of poems about cats from the year 1350. Their name means "white gem," showing how prized they were by the royals, the sole group of people to own them until recently.
The Thai people love this cat breed so much they did not allow one to leave the country until a breed enthusiast brought one to the United States in 1999
. Even so, the breed is very rare in North America, remaining popular in Thailand, though its population is in decline. Breeders around the world over are trying to bolster the breed numbers to ensure the beautiful cats will continue to thrive.
Khao Manee Cat Physical Characteristics
These felines have bright white fur with no spots or stripes. Some kittens may have a dark patch on the head that fades over time.
Khao Manees also have characteristic big sparkling eyes
that can be blue, green, gold or odd. The latter means the cat has two different colored eyes. Due to the fact that breed enthusiasts prefer the odd eye coloring, there are a high percentage of cats with this feature.
Like many all white cat breeds, Khao Manees, especially the ones with blue eyes, are prone to deafness due to genetic disposition. Some of the cats bred and born in the United States have a kink in the tail
Khao Manee Thai Cat Personalities
While the profile of this cat may seem regal with upright posture and petite but strong frames, their behavior proves they are a typical cat. They are generally curious
and like to see everything that is going on. They are not shy around strangers, though each cat's personality may differ. Khao Manees are more than just a pretty cat. They are so intelligent they can often learn to play fetch or learn other simple tricks to impress your guests.
Grooming and Care for Khao Manee Cats
The Khao Manee cat has no undercoat, due to Thailand's warm climate. So, they are quite easy to groom
, even during high shedding seasons. Just brush them once a week and care for their claws and teeth as any other breed. The one thing you do have to watch for is cancerous spots
around their ears. This is a common problem with all white cats - especially ones who like to lay around in a sunny spot.
Khao Manees are a beautiful and rare cat from Thailand. They are limited around the world over so you may want to keep it as an indoor cat due to its scarcity. It's possible that someone would be completely love-stricken by this gorgeous cat if they saw it mewing on the sidewalk. They make a great addition to families with kids or other pets, and their loyalty will make you feel like an aristocrat!