Khao Manee

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khao manee portrait
Step into the world of enchanting felines with the Khao Manee, a breed as rare as it is captivating! With its striking white coat and mesmerizing eyes—one blue and one gold—this cat exudes charm and mystery. Discover why Khao Manees are treasured for their captivating looks and legendary status in ancient folklore!

Join us in this comprehensive guide as we explore everything you need to know about this breed, including their appearance, temperament, care, health concerns, history, and more!

Overview

OFFICIAL NAMEKhao Manee
OTHER NAMESKhaomanee, Khao Plort, Diamond Eye
ORIGINThailand
HEIGHT9-10 inches
WEIGHT8-12 lbs
LIFESPAN10-12 years
COAT LENGTHShort
SHEDDING LEVELLow
GROOMING NEEDSLow
SOCIAL NEEDSHigh
ENERGY LEVELModerate
VOCAL LEVELLow
khao manee walking outdoor
Photo: Naenaejung/Getty Images

Appearance

Ah, the Khao Manee! This cat truly is a sight to behold, a jewel in the feline world. Let’s take a closer look at this stunning creature, from head to tail, shall we?

Starting with their overall physique, Khao Manees are medium-sized cats, typically weighing between 8 to 12 pounds. Their bodies are muscular yet sleek, displaying a well-balanced combination of strength and grace. Just imagine a petite, agile gymnast in the cat world—that’s the Khao Manee for you!

Now, take a moment to admire their heads. A Khao Manee has a heart-shaped face that seems to say, “Show me some love!” Their ears, moderately large and pricked up in curiosity, are set just right and add an endearing quality to their expressions.

But it’s the eyes of this breed that truly enchant! Remember those mesmerizing peepers we mentioned? They are usually blue or gold, but here’s a fun fact: some Khao Manee cats even have one eye of each color, making them even more alluring. These brilliant jewel tones set against their snowy white fur are a sight that can make any cat lover’s heart skip a beat.

Speaking of fur, let’s have a word about their magnificent coats. The Khao Manee’s coat is short, fine, and as white as a fresh snowfall. While they are predominantly known for their pure white coats, you may also find some with a splash of color on their tail or paws, adding a unique charm to each individual.

A Khao Manee carries her tail high, a proud flag that flows behind her as she moves. It’s medium in length, proportional to their body, and ends in a graceful curve. When you see a Khao Manee in motion, you’ll understand why they are often likened to elegant ballerinas.

Last but not least, is the Khao Manee’s expression. With an inquisitive look that belies a playful and intelligent nature, it’s hard to resist falling in love. Every glance seems to say, “Come, let’s explore the world together!”

khao manee lying on a table
Photo: Naenaejung/Getty Images

Temperament

The Khao Manee, much like their captivating appearance, possess an equally charming personality. They are the embodiment of affection, curiosity, and playful mischief. Each one has a heart brimming with love for their human companions and a mind filled with curious intrigue for the world around them.

Brace yourself for a vibrant bundle of energy because a Khao Manee cat is always ready to explore and play. Toys, laser pointers, feather wands, you name it—they’re up for anything that keeps them on the move.

Their high energy levels make them great companions for households with children and other pets. The Khao Manee simply loves company and wouldn’t miss an opportunity for a friendly tumble or chase!

Yet, their vivaciousness is perfectly balanced with a calm and collected demeanor. They are equally comfortable curling up on your lap and purring gently while you stroke their soft, white fur. They exude an endearing aura of tranquility and serenity, making them perfect companions for those quiet, cozy evenings at home.

Did we mention that they are incredibly smart, too? Khao Manees are quick learners and love a good challenge. They’ll quickly figure out how to open cabinets, doors, or any other mysterious contraption that catches their fancy. Puzzle toys are the perfect way to keep their agile minds occupied. It’s truly a joy to watch them plan their next move, their eyes gleaming with intelligence and determination.

But what stands out the most about the Khao Manee’s temperament is their heightened sense of loyalty and affection towards their humans. They form strong bonds and will often follow you around, wanting to be involved in whatever you’re doing. Whether it’s helping you type on your laptop or supervising your cooking in the kitchen, they’re always eager to be part of the action.

In return for your love and attention, the Khao Manee offers an abundance of love. They are known to be very vocal and will readily communicate their feelings to you with adorable meows and purrs. Their expressive eyes, combined with their vocalizations, make them highly communicative pets that you will find hard not to understand.

However, due to their sociable nature, Khao Manees do not do well with loneliness. If left alone for long periods, they may become bored or anxious. So, if your lifestyle requires you to be away for extended periods, consider getting another pet to keep your Khao Manee company.

khao manee sitting on pebbles
Photo: Sophnn/Getty Images

Care

Grooming

Caring for a Khao Manee’s pristine, white coat is more straightforward than you may think. These cats have a short, silky coat that requires minimal grooming. A weekly brush to remove any loose fur will serve well to keep their coat looking glossy and healthy.

It’s a routine that can turn into a bonding moment, with your cat purring in delight as you gently stroke their fur. Remember to check and clean their ears weekly as well, using a gentle, cat-friendly cleanser and cotton pads.

Exercise and Play

The Khao Manee is an active and intelligent breed. They thrive on mental and physical stimulation. Incorporate play sessions into your daily routine to keep your feline friend happy and prevent them from becoming bored or anxious.

They’ll love interactive toys that challenge them mentally. Laser pointers, puzzle toys, and feather wands are all great choices. Remember, exercise isn’t just good for their physical health— it also stimulates their brain, keeping them mentally sharp.

Diet and Nutrition

When it comes to their diet, Khao Manees are not fussy eaters. However, a balanced and nutritious diet is crucial to their health. Aim to feed them high-quality cat food that’s rich in protein, as it aligns with their natural dietary needs.

Remember, every cat is unique. The best portion sizes and types of food for your Khao Manee may depend on factors like age, size, and activity level. Always ensure they have access to fresh water, and try to limit treats to no more than 10% of their daily calorie intake.

khao manee walking on the beach
Photo: undefined undefined/Getty Images

Health

Khao Manee cats are generally healthy and robust with a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years. However, like any breed, they’re susceptible to certain health conditions that potential owners should be aware of.

Deafness: Khao Manees, especially white ones, have a higher chance of being born deaf in one or both ears.

Eye Conditions: Due to their distinct eyes, they may experience eye-related issues like strabismus (crossed eyes) and nystagmus (involuntary eye movement).

Cardiac Problems: This breed is prone to heart conditions like hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the most common form of heart disease in cats.

Urinary Tract Infections: Khao Manees can be susceptible to urinary health issues, including urinary tract infections and kidney problems.

Obesity: Due to their appetite, these cats can become overweight if not monitored closely.

To keep your Khao Manee in the best of health, a well-balanced diet is essential. Feed them high-quality, protein-rich food and monitor portion sizes to help prevent obesity. Remember, treats are fine occasionally, but shouldn’t make up more than 10% of their diet.

Regular veterinary checks are a must. These check-ups often catch potential health issues before they become severe. Make sure your pet is up-to-date with vaccinations and preventative treatments for parasites like fleas and worms.

Healthcare might seem overwhelming, but it’s mostly about being observant and proactive. Keeping a close eye on your Khao Manee and ensuring they live in a stimulating, caring environment will go a long way in maintaining their health. Remember, a happy cat is often a healthy cat!

khao manee's face up close
Photo: undefined undefined/Getty Images

History

The Khao Manee cat hails from the exotic lands of Thailand. Its name, translated as ‘White Gem’, aptly captures its exquisite beauty and rarity. The breed was deeply cherished by the Siam royals, becoming an emblem of wealth and fortune during the Ayutthaya Kingdom (1351–1767).

It was a common belief that owning a Khao Manee would bring longevity and prosperity. They were so treasured that they were rarely seen outside the royal households.

Our feline friends have led rather secretive lives, remaining relatively unknown to the outside world until the late 20th century. The first Khao Manee was brought to the United States in 1999 by a cat enthusiast named Colleen Freymuth. She worked tirelessly to popularize the breed and ensure its survival.

In 2009, the breed was officially recognized by The International Cat Association (TICA), a major milestone that boosted its prominence. However, it wasn’t until February 2015 that the Khao Manee gained championship status with TICA, a crowning moment for this unique breed.

The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) acknowledged the breed in 2017, further cementing the Khao Manee’s position in the feline world. It’s fascinating to note that this breed, once reserved for Siamese royalty, has now found homes and hearts across the globe.

The Khao Manee’s journey, from royal palaces in Thailand to cat lovers worldwide, is a tale of intrigue, perseverance, and ultimately, recognition. As we look into the enchanting eyes of a Khao Manee today, we are gazing at a slice of history, a living gem breathing life into age-old legends.

Breed Standard

A breed standard is a set of guidelines that describes the ideal characteristics, temperament, and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function with soundness essential. Breed standards are devised by breed clubs and recognized by various cat registries worldwide.

These standards provide detailed descriptions of the breed’s physical characteristics such as body shape, size, coat type and color, eye color and shape, ear placement, and tail length.

khao manee's odd eyes
Photo: Naenaejung/Getty Images

FAQs

Why is the Khao Manee so expensive?

The Khao Manee is often considered expensive due to its rarity and unique physical characteristics. With its pure white coat and different colored eyes, it’s a breed that stands out. The breed was once exclusive to Thai royalty, and to this day, it remains a highly sought-after and treasured breed.

What does the Khao Manee symbolize?

In Thai culture, the Khao Manee cat is often associated with good fortune and wealth. Its name translates from Thai to English as ‘White Gem’, reflecting its radiant white coat that is seen as a symbol of purity and luck.

Is the Khao Manee an indoor or outdoor cat?

The Khao Manee can adapt to both indoor and outdoor environments. However, due to their rarity and the potential risk of theft, many owners prefer to keep them as indoor cats. They are social, playful, and adapt well to living in a house or apartment.

What is the English translation of ‘Khao Manee’?

‘Khao Manee’ is Thai and translates to ‘White Gem’ in English. This name is a nod to the cat’s pure white coat that gives it a jewel-like appearance.

How does the Khao Manee interact with other pets and children?

The Khao Manee is known for its sociable and friendly nature. These cats are generally good with children and can get along well with other pets. They are playful and enjoy interactive games, making them a great addition to families.

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