Khao Manee means White Gem and these beautiful cats are believed to have been a favourite in the royal palaces. With one blue eye and one eye ranging from copper to yellow to green, this stunning white cat from Thailand captures your imagination.
Their heart-shaped face with high cheekbones and dazzling white coat like diamonds contradicts the mischief of these striking cats. But their dedication to their human companion will make you appreciate these smart felines and you’ll surely enjoy their company as they can entertain you with their tricks.
Khao Manee is one of the naturally occurring, ancient cat breeds from Thailand. They were quoted in the cat book of poems written in the 14th century known as the Tamra Maew.
Elegant and curious, Khao Manees make delightful feline companions. Their eyes may be blue or a mixture of one green and one blue or amber. They have been recognized to be very quiet and relaxed, making them a perfect lap companion. Khao Manee cats can also be very chatty and verbal, just like their cousins; the Siamese.
Outgoing and spirited, Khao Manees are very inquisitive and athletic cats. Highly intelligent with a curious nature, they will play fetch giddily and not think twice about exploring and discovering every corner of the house. They are very friendly and love being around people.
They are suitable for young children and other pets, including dogs. They love the company of others and do not like being left alone for long periods.
- Grooming: Once a Week 2/10
- Shedding: Low 2/10
- Hypoallergenic: Low 2/10
- Activity Level: High 10/10
- Playfulness: High 10/10
- Friendliness to other pets: High 10/10
- Friendliness to children: High 10/10
- Affection towards it’s owners: High 10/10
- Vocality: High 10/10
- Intelligence: High 10/10
- Independence: Medium 6/10
Khao Manee are not the only cat breed to have ancient origins in Thailand. Others include the Burmese, the Siamese, and the Korat. However, what makes the Khao Manee stand out is that unlike the other Thai breeds, they are not well-established in the West. Instead, the Khaomanees have stayed a well-kept secret in their native country.
Like the other Thai cat breeds, the first records of the Khao Manee are found in the Tamra Maew – an ancient collection of Thai cat poems from 1350. Though in that text, these cats are called the Khao Plort.
Their eyes were initially referred to as the colour of mercury. However, the colour was changed to mirror the odd-eyed cats that were considered lucky and the yellow eyes like canary diamonds that cat breeders also favoured.
Interest and attention to these stunning cats has slowly grown in the West. In 1999, Colleen Freymouth introduced the first Khao Manee, Sripia, from Thailand to the United States. She also imported a male and bred the first Khao Manee litter in North America.
Janet Poulsen of Odyssey cattery exported the first Khao Manee to the United Kingdom. Interest in the cat breed is growing in the UK, as cat breeders import more of these spectacular cats from Thailand to continue developing the cat breed.
The International Cat Association accepted the Khao Manee for Registration Only status in May 2009. In September 2011, it moved to the next step in gaining full breed recognition, Preliminary New Breed, effective May 2012.
Their heart-shaped head and high cheekbones provide an ideal setting for their jewel-like eyes that are distinctive of the Khao Manee breed. Their large ears are upright, which gives these cats an alert appearance, matching their inquisitive nature. While the preferred eye colour is the odd eye with one blue and one yellow, Khao Manee cats can have one blue and one ranging from yellow to green. In some cases, they will even have two green or yellow eyes.
Their shining white coat is another key characteristic of the cat breed. Khao Manee can sometimes be born with dark markings or black spots on their white fur, but this will fade away when they are around eighteen months of age.
Khao Manees have long, athletic bodies with a muscular and agile build. They usually weigh around 3.6 – 4.54kg, with males heavier than their female counterparts. This cat breed is graceful in appearance with their long legs and oval paws. Khao Manees have large ears set wide apart and medium-length tails.
When it comes to their personality, you will immediately realise that this is one super playful and inquisitive cat. This cat breed will giddily play fetch games and explore and discover every space and corner of their home. So, it is best to have at least one cat tree for this cat and, if possible, lots of safe furniture that can be climbed.
This cat breed goes well with children and other small pets. They will swiftly become your children’s best playmate. In addition to the Khao Manee's playful side, this is a friendly cat who always wants to be in the middle of any action. If you leave your cat for long periods every day without any companion, they could suffer from loneliness.
Khao Manees are remarkably social felines and enjoy being the centre of the action. They are intelligent, curious, and a little cheeky. Because of their inquisitive nature, they love to discover and explore new spaces and check the tops of the furniture for the best view in the house.
Khao Manees have also become branded for being very chatty and verbal cats. So be prepared to enjoy many backs and forth chats with your new feline companion. They are not shy and are typically comfortable and relaxed with approaching visitors in their house. Khao Manees are definitely bold, confident, and friendly.
Human interaction and affection are vital for your Khao Manee. That’s why it is advisable never to leave your cat alone for long periods of time. So, if you are always on the go and need to work all day, the gorgeous Khao Manee may not be the cat breed for you. Because they are so social and interactive, they need a family with lots of love and attention to give.
Don’t worry about having frequent guests in your home; Khao Manees don’t really mind who you tag along with as long as you provide them with lots of attention, affection and interaction. In fact, they will engage with your visitors, and they enjoy that.
Khao Manees can be your child’s playmate. They also go well with other pets, such as cats and cat-friendly dogs. These active and playful cats don’t mind sharing the spotlight with the ones they adore and love. Khao Manees quickly form a deep bond with every member of their family. Still, due to their friendliness and curiosity, you’ll need to keep a watchful eye so they won’t run off through an open door or window.
Transform your Khao Manee’s energy in a fruitful session by training them to do tricks, follow commands and interact through games. They are intelligent, bold and curious, which for sure will make each training session a fascinating and motivating one.
Start training them during kittenhood. Teach them to do simple tasks such as using the litter box and a scratching post. As they grow and develop their intelligence and personalities, familiarise them with more challenging commands and tricks. You can also teach them to play a game of fetch, interact well with children and obey commands using a clicker.
Because of their high energy, they need to keep their mind stimulated. You can provide plenty of toys that they can share and play with other cats. Khao Manee cats love affection, interaction, and attention, so make sure to give this to them and incorporate it into their training. Don’t forget to provide them with rewards for following your commands and doing the tricks correctly.
Like other cat breeds, when Khao Manees are properly trained and familiarised with different people, animals and various environments at kittenhood, they will bloom into a well-bred and well-behaved family pet.
When it comes to grooming, most Khao Manees are very low maintenance because of their short hair. Weekly brushing or combing is recommended. Bathing is not necessary unless they are muddy or dirty.
While they are low maintenance in the grooming department, you can still train them to get used to regular coat care. Use a very soft brush to gently smooth their coat and remove dead hairs and dirt accumulation. Make it a pleasurable experience for your Khao Manee so they submit themselves easily every time their coat needs brushing. Reward them too for behaving well to encourage them that good behaviour has its perks.
Dedicate some time each week to examine your Khao Manee’s ears. Should there be any dirt or wax buildup, you can clean it using clean cotton balls. Do not use cotton swabs, as this may damage the cat’s inner ear structure. Check if there’s any foul odour coming out of their ears as this may be a sign of infection.
Brush their teeth weekly to keep them free from tartar buildup and tooth and gum diseases. Use a vet-approved toothbrush and toothpaste to effectively clean their teeth and mouth. Then, protect not only your skin but also your furniture by regularly trimming your Khao Manee’s nails. Don’t forget to examine their paws to check if they are healthy and injury-free.
Examine their eyes each day for any stains or discharge. If left unclean, it may lead to an eye infection that can be painful for your cat. Use a clean tissue to wipe the corners of their eyes. Just make sure that you are using a different part of the cloth for each eye to prevent spreading any infection.
Because of their white coat, it is very important to keep their litter boxes clean at all times. Dirty clumped litter can cling to their immaculate fur. Moreover, just like other cat breeds, they are particular about their bathroom hygiene. If their litter box is always dirty, they may do their business elsewhere in the house.
Lastly, it is best to keep your Khao Manee as an indoor cat due to their extreme friendliness and curiosity. Should you allow them to explore the outdoors, make sure to supervise it. Letting them explore unsupervised may lead to getting feline diseases from feral cats or attacked by other animals.
As a natural breed, Khao Manees are considered overall healthy cats. However, some cat breeds with pure white coats tend to be disposed to deafness in one or both ears, especially those with blue eyes. Therefore, we recommend you ensure your breeder tests for this before buying a Khao Manee. All ethical, registered breeders will run DNA health checks on their cats and provide proof of this. In addition, take your cat for routine vet checks to ensure they stay in good health.
Khao Manees are curious, sociable and intelligent cats. They are also very welcoming and playful. That’s why a lot of families with children are endeared by this beautiful white cat. While they are good-natured, keep a watchful eye on your children when interacting with a Khao Manee or any other cat breed. Because of their energy and playfulness, accidents may happen if they play too rough for younger children.
Living with other pets such as cats and cat-friendly dogs is a joy for the Khao Manee. Because of their friendly nature and love for interaction, this cat breed can live peacefully and happily with other pets. However, keep in mind that not all breeds are the same; always familiarise them gradually and in controlled spaces to make sure they learn to get along well together.