Khaomanee at a Glance
The Kahomanee (sometimes known as Khao Manee) means White Gem. While new to the Western world, they are an older breed that originated from Thailand. They have a distinctive heart-shaped head, high cheekbones and jewel-like eyes that can be odd-colored, with one being blue and the other yellow, or the eyes may be the same color. Their coats are short and easy to maintain. Find out more about this breed and if the Kahomanee is right for you and your family.
Temperament: Playful, Graceful, Curious
Size: Medium-sized cat
Colors: The shining white coat is a key characteristic of the breed. However, there may be kittens of other colors in the litter.
Life Expectancy: 10 - 12 years
About the Khaomanee
Graceful and curious, Khaomanee cats make wonderful companions. Their eyes may be blue or a mixture of one blue and one green or amber. They have been known to be very calm and relaxed, making them an ideal lap companion. Khaomanees have also been known for being very talkative and verbal – so be prepared for many back-and-forth conversations.
Outgoing and playful, Khaomanees are very curious and athletic cats. Highly intelligent with an inquisitive nature, they will happily play fetch games and not thing twice about exploring every nook and cranny of the house. They are very sociable and love being around people.
They are a great fit with young children and other pets, including dogs. They appreciate the company of others and do not like being left alone for long periods of time .
TICA Regions, Clubs & Rescues
Want to connect with fellow cat lovers and those who love the same breed as you?
Find a Kitten: Khaomanee TICA Breeders
The TICA website is the only place where you can find TICA member breeders who have signed the TICA Code of Ethics.
When it comes to grooming, most Khaomanee cats are very low maintenance due to their short hair. Brushing once a week is recommended.
As with all cats, keep their nails trimmed, ears cleaned and teeth brushed regularly with a vet-approved pet toothpaste and provide a nice tall scratching pole to help their natural scratching instinct.
Khaomanee cats do not have any particular nutritional needs other than good, quality food.
As with all cats, it is important to give your cat fresh, clean water daily. Fresh, clean water is best, so cats don’t hesitate to drink. If you worry about your cat drinking enough water each day, here's a tip from cat behaviorists - place the water bowl at least three feet away from any food. Cats’ noses are sensitive and an overwhelming smell of food may cause them to drink less. Filtered drinking fountains can also be used in place of a water bowl.
The Khaomanee is considered an overall healthy breed. Some breeds of pure white cats tend to be prone to deafness in one or both ears. However, it is recommended that their vaccinations and parasite treatments are kept to date.
Several related breeds have their origins, ancient origins, in Thailand. The Siamese (Wichien-maat), the Burmese (Suphalak), the Korat (Dork Lao) and the Khaomanee. The first three breeds are well-established in the West but the Khaomanee has remained a well-kept secret in its native Thailand. Like the other breeds, we find references to the Khaomanee in the Tamra Maew (an ancient collection of Thai cat poems from 1350). Although in that text, it is called the Khao Plort. While the eyes were originally referred to as the color of mercury, the eye color was changed to reflect the odd-eyed cats that were considered lucky and also to have the yellow eyes like canary diamonds that breeders also favored.
Interest in these striking cats has grown in the West, and in 1999, Colleen Freymouth imported the first Khaomanee, Sripia, from Thailand to the US. She also imported a male and bred the first Khaomanee litter in North America. Janet Poulsen (Odyssey cattery) exported the first Khaomanee to the UK, and interest in the breed is growing there, as breeders import more of these stunning cats from Thailand to continue developing the breed.
TICA accepted the Khao Manee for Registration Only status in May 2009 and in September 2011 moved to the next step in gaining full breed recognition, Preliminary New Breed, effective May 2012. In September of 2015 the Khao Manee was accepted for Championship in TICA.
Did You Know?
- Khaomanee cats are known for their pure white coats and bright colorful eyes giving them nickname the Diamond Eye cat.
- The Khaomanee is mentioned in the Tamra Maew, a 14th century book of poems about cats.The book referred to the breed as the Kao Plort, meaning “all white” and said it would bring “long life and title” to families it lived with.
The Breed Standard
The ideal cat of this breed is a medium-sized cat of semi-foreign type, descended from and resembling the native Khao Manees of Thailand. It is a shorthaired, completely white cat with odd-colored eyes, or same-colored eyes. Indeed, the original eye color of the breed may have been limited to blue.
Click here to read the full TICA Khaomanee Breed Standard.
Accepted For Championship in TICA in 2015