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The stunning all-white Khao Manee is a rare but naturally occurring breed from Thailand. They are most known for their vibrant eyes, which may be blue, yellow, green, or odd coloured. The latter is the most desirable as odd-eyed Khao Manees symbolise good luck in Thailand.
Regardless of their eye colour, these white beauties are friendly, playful, outgoing, and curious. They are registered under all the top pedigree organisations as Khao Manee but go by various other names, too. These include Khao Plort, White Gem, and Diamond Eye (because of their jewel-like eyes).
Meet the Khao Manee cat
Khao Manee cats are medium-sized, weighing between 8 to 10 pounds. Their muscles are visible through their short fur, giving them an athletic look. But, on the contrary, their long legs and dainty oval paws give them an elegant appearance.
They have medium-length noses and large ears that point out to the sides. Their almond-shaped eyes have a slight upward slant, and whatever colour, they are always bright and shiny.
Their snow-white fur glistens just like their eyes and feels silky smooth. Moreover, their short, fine coat is well accustomed to hot climates. It has a minimal undercoat to keep them cool in the tropical weather.
The Khao Manee requires minimal grooming as they take care of their short coats. However, you can brush it once a week to keep it healthy and shiny. As an additional step, you may want to use a brightening shampoo made especially for white cats to keep their fur looking extra vibrant.
They have an expectant life span of 10 to 12 years, and as they are a natural breed, they are less prone to genetic issues. However, like with all white cats with blue eyes, blue-eyed Khao Manees are prone to deafness. So, if choosing a Khao Manee with aqua eyes, it's best to get them tested beforehand.
The temperament of a Khao Manee
The Khao Manee have an animated personality; they are outgoing, chatty and super playful. These curious felines love to be involved in everything going on and explore every spot of the house. Because of this, you should provide plenty of cat trees and towers for them to climb. They are also very smart, so you can have fun playing fetch with them for hours.
They can be a little mischievous but in an adorable way, and they love to play interactively. They have a lot of energy, so they can play for ages before tiring out. However, when they are calm and content, these kitties will often seek out their owners to curl up beside. Quality time with their humans is essential to their well-being. The more interaction they have, the deeper they bond with their family.
Despite their naughty moments, they are good-natured cats and display a great adoration towards their owners. Domestic Khao Manee cats will be friendly with strangers, too, provided they are sufficiently socialised. If this is the case, they will likely welcome visitors at the door and lap up the attention these stunning kitties always attract.
If a Khao Manee doesn't get the level of affection they need, they will let you know about it. These white gems can be pretty vocal, like their Siamese cousins. However, they have a more attractive voice, so you will likely enjoy the regular chats. They also have a lovely deep purr that is hugely therapeutic.
10 reasons to add a Khao Manee to your family
- They have been around for centuries - These ancient Siam cats are mentioned in records dating back to the early 1800s. Plus, it's possible that they even roamed the Ayutthaya Kingdom with the Siamese well before then.
- They were royal companions - In Siam times, Khao Manee were kept and bred by royals and had a significant association with the monarchy.
- They are considered good luck - Both in ancient times and today, Thai people believe Khao Manee cats to be a lucky charm. This is especially true for those with odd-coloured eyes.
- They are sometimes born with black spots - Interestingly, Khao Manees may have one or a few black spots or markings as kittens. However, this unique trait doesn't last and fades away before they reach one year old.
- They are super friendly and loving - Your friends and family will love your new white gem. Plus, their chattiness will keep your loneliness at bay, and you'll find a life-long friend and devoted companion.
- They are playful yet cuddly - While some cats can be active yet aloof, and others can be affectionate yet lazy, these kitties are the best of both worlds.
- They are fantastic entertainers - Despite being a little mischievous, these active kitties will make you laugh with their extreme playfulness and curiosity.
- They are easy to train - Their high intelligence means it's not difficult to teach them house roles and get them to respond to commands.
- They are healthy and recognised by all pedigree organisations - Because they are naturally occurring, rather than selectively bred, Khao Manee is considered one of the healthier cat breeds, with no concerns over their quality of life.
- They are beautiful - Lastly, the Khao Manee is undoubtedly a gorgeous breed. Their graceful appearance, shiny white fur and colourful, glistening eyes is a winning combination.
Best homes for a Khao Manee
Being such people cats, Khao Manees typically don't like to stay alone for too long, so they are not cats you can leave at home every day. Instead, they will be the happiest in a household where someone is regularly around to initiate play sessions and offer their lap for snuggles.
Many Khao Manee cats will accept other cats and family dogs, although this does depend on their personality. Moreover, they are friendly towards well-behaved children. They like to be the centre of attention, so if there are other pets or young kids in the household, ensure your Khao Manee still gets plenty of one-on-one time with you.