Khaomanee, sometimes spelled as Khao Manee, means White Gem and is believed to have been a favourite in the royal palaces. With their one blue eye and one eye ranging from copper to yellow to green, this stunning white cat from Thailand captures your imagination. They have a heart-shaped face with high cheekbones, and a dazzling white coat like diamonds contradict the mischief of these striking cats. But their dedication to their human companion will have you appreciate these smart cats. So, enjoy their company as they can entertain you with their tricks.
This cat breed 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, Khaomanees 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 affectionate and relaxed, making them a perfect lap companion.
Outgoing and spirited, Khaomanees are inquisitive and athletic cats. Highly intelligent with a curious nature, they will play fetch games giddily and not think twice about exploring and discovering every corner and space of the house. They are very friendly and love being around people.
They are suitable for young children and 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: Low 2/10
Numerous related cat breeds have their origins – ancient origins in Thailand. These include the Burmese, the Siamese, the Korat and the Khaomanee. The first three cat breeds are well-established in the West, but the Khaomanees have stayed a well-kept secret in their native Thailand. Like the other cat breeds, we find the Khaomanee’s records in the Tamra Maew – an ancient collection of Thai cat poems from 1350. Though in that text, it is called the Khao Plort.
While their eyes were initially referred to as the colour of mercury, their eye 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 have grown in the West. In 1999, Colleen Freymouth introduced the first Khaomanee, Sripia, from Thailand to the United States. She also imported a male and bred the first Khaomanee litter in North America.
Janet Poulsen of Odyssey cattery exported the first Khaomanee 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 from the Khaomanee cats. Their large ears are upright, which gives these cats an alert appearance that matches their inquisitive nature. While the preferred eye colour is the odd eye with one blue eye and one yellow eye, Khaomanee cats can have one blue eye and one ranging from yellow all the way to green. In some cases, they will have even eyes of green or yellow.
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 – 4.5kg, with males heavier than their female counterparts. This cat breed is graceful in appearance with its long legs and oval paws. Khao Manees have large ears set wide apart and have medium-length tails.
When it comes to their personality, you will immediately realize that this is one super playful and curious 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 in your home for the cat and, if possible, lots of safe furniture that can be climbed.
This cat breed goes well with children and small pets. They will swiftly become your children’s best new 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 feline and enjoys 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 of the household.
Khao Manee's 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 stranger shy and typically comfortable and relax in approaching visitors inside 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. Due to their friendliness and curiosity, you need to keep a watchful eye so they won’t run off through an open door or window or any access to the outdoors to wander off.
Transform your Khao Manee’s energy into 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.
You can start by training them at kittenhood. Train them to do simple tasks such as using the litter box and a scratching post. As they grow and develop their intelligence and personalities, familiarize 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 loves affection, interaction, and attention, so make sure to give this to them and incorporate it while training them. Don’t forget to provide them with rewards for following your commands and doing the trick correctly.
Like other cat breeds, when Khao Manees are properly trained and familiarized 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 Khaomanees 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 gentle smoothen their coat and remove dead hairs and dirt that is accumulating on their coat. Make it a pleasurable experience for your Khao Manee so they would 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 weekly to examine your Khao Manee’s ears. Should there be any dirt or wax buildup, you can clean it using clean cotton balls to wipe it out. 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 their teeth away from tartar buildup and tooth and gum diseases. Use a vet-approved toothbrush and toothpaste to clean their teeth and mouth effectively. Protect not only your skin but also your furniture by regularly trimming your Khao Manee’s nails. Don’t forget to examine their paws too if it is healthy, dirt 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 fabric to clean the corners of their eyes. Just make sure that you are using a different part of the cloth for each eye to prevent the spread of the risk of eye infection.
Because of their white coat, it is essential to keep their litter boxes clean at all times. Dirty clumped litter can cling to their immaculate white coat. If not monitored, your Khao Manee might swallow the soiled litter and may cause blockage in their body. It may also lead to other health and coat issues. Just like other cat breeds, they are particular about their bathroom hygiene. If their litter box is always dirty, they may find the urge to 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 you supervise it. Letting them explore unsupervised may lead to getting feline diseases that they may contract from feral cats. It is also to avoid any animal attacks and other accidents that may encounter outside.
Khaomanees are considered an overall healthy cat breed. However, some cat breeds of pure white tend to be disposed to deafness in one or both ears.
Moreover, it is still recommended that their vaccinations and parasite treatments are up to date and regular vet checkups are met to keep them healthy and happy.
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 breeds. Because of their energy and their playfulness, it may cause accidents that may be too rough for younger children.
Living with other pets such as other cats and cat-friendly dogs is a joy with a Khao Manee. Because of their love for interaction and friendly nature, this cat breed can live peacefully and happily with other pets. However, keep in mind that not all breeds are the same; always familiarize them gradually and in controlled spaces to make sure that they learn to get along well together.