It is certainly one of the oldest and rarest breeds in the world … The Khao manee, enigmatic, mesmerizes at first sight! How can you resist this lucky cat, with diamond eyes, as beautiful as it is endearing.
The origins of the Khao Manee Cat
Originally from Thailand, the “Khao manee” is said to mean “white jewel” or “precious stone” because of its immaculate white dress and its clear, deep eyes like gems. The English and Thai also call them the “diamond eyes”.
This cat, considered a lucky charm, is a very old breed, traces of which can be found in writings, poems and legends dating from the 14th century.
Legend has it that King Rama V hid all the Khao Manee from the English and French when they arrived, lest they steal them. He would have offered instead, Siamese cats, presented as the royal breed … to preserve the real one: the Khao manee!
Until 1999 the only existing Khao manee lived in Thailand. This extremely rare breed was brought to the United States by the American Colleen Freymuth, a specialist in endangered species, where she set up the first breeding program.
To date, Khao Manee breeders are very rare.
Appearance of the Khao Manee Cat
Her dress must be immaculate white, solid. The coat is short and very silky.
His eyes are brilliant like diamonds, light blue, yellow, or minnow (the latter being the most sought after).
The pads and nose are a soft reddish pink.
There is a very large gap in size between females and males; the female being much thinner than the male who will be more massive. Nevertheless the Khao Manee is an athletic, supple and graceful cat with rounded and soft curves.
Its head is triangular, with prominent cheekbones, straight, rounded ears.
Coat color of the Khao Manee Cat
Only solid white is accepted. You should know that the kitten can have a tuft of gray hair between the ears which disappears completely once an adult.
The character of the Khao Manee Cat
The Khao Manee is a lively, curious, agile, and very playful cat. However, this does not prevent them from being a gentle, sensitive cat who is very attached to his master. A big talker with a characteristic meow, the Khao Manee is also very intelligent.
It accepts its congeners or other animals rather well, but will much prefer to stay with their human! The Khao Manee also acclimates very well to apartment living.
We can expect beautiful displays of feline love with thrm, especially after a busy day!
Active and mischievous, this cat loves to play. It can even go so far as to bring back the ball, like a dog!
Well balanced, its moments of madness are counterbalanced by sweet moments of calm.
Like other Thai breeds, its curiosity rivals his keen, highly intelligent feline mind.
Suspicious of Strangers : Usually very social, most Khaomanees will meet visitors.
This little rascal wants to be involved in all household activities, even those in the small corner.
Behavior of the Khao Manee Cat
A distant cousin of the Siamese, it nevertheless shares its little talkative side.
Greedy / glutton:
In general, it is not considered gluttonous.
Need for exercise:
The White Gem, as it is sometimes called, needs exercise to maintain its flexibility, but also to stimulate its many skills.
It’s probably too attached to its humans to want to run away, but the Khao Manee’s curiosity shouldn’t be underestimated!
Compatibility of the Khao Manee Cat with other animals
The Khao Manee with Dogs:
Sociable, it will get along well with dogs, as long as a proper introduction is ensured.
The Khao Manee with Other Cats:
Although it can get along with other cats, it has a slight preference for its humans.
Khao Manee with Children:
As long as respect is in order, Khao Manee will love to play with children.
The Khao Manee with the Elderly:
The active nature of the White Gem might perhaps displease a very calm person.
Price of the Khao Manee Cat
The rarity of the breed explains the high cost of its representatives. From a minimum of 1200 USD, for a sterilized adult with non-optimal characteristics for cat shows, its price can climb to 3600 USD for a kitten imported from Thailand. For the monthly budget, you can plan around 50 USD to meet your needs.
Maintenance of the Khao Manee Cat
Little demanding, a simple weekly brushing is all it asks, with a light cleaning of its clear eyes as needed.
Hair Loss: Hair
loss is minimal as this breed does not have an undercoat.
Food of the Khao Manee Cat
There are no particularities with regard to the diet of the Diamond Eye cat. A quality diet, well balanced and in the right quantity will help keep it healthy. Using interactive stations, instead of standard bowls, will also be the best way to feed them.
Caring of the Khao Manee Cat
The Khao Manee is a very old breed that has hardly experienced any genetic modification. In this it is a very resistant and healthy cat who is not affected by any defect or genetic disease.
Likewise, unlike other white cats, the Khao manee is hardly affected by deafness.
Its clear eyes, however, remain a little fragile and require regular cleaning.
A weekly brushing will keep all the splendor of her dress.
It is strongly recommended not to buy a Khao manee without proof of its pedigree! You should know that a khao manee with minnows can sometimes cost up to 3561.15 € … also there are many malicious people, especially on online sales sites.
Note: This breed is not yet recognized by LOOF, there can be no Khao Manee breed cat with a French pedigree for the moment.
Health of the Khao Manee Cat
This lucky cat lives between 10 and 15 years .
Resistant / robust:
Cat from hot regions, it does not tolerate cold well.
gain weight : Not easily overweight, the Diamond Eye cat is not however immune to obesity, if its diet and daily exercise are not suitable.
The periodontal disease and other diseases and pathogens alley cats are quite possible in this race, like all races. The white color of the Khao Manee’s coat, combined with the fact that it has one or two blue eyes, would suggest that deafness is a common problem within the breed.
In fact, although possible, it is less common than in all other white cats with blue eyes. This denotes the meticulous work of the first breeders and the following ones.
Without particularity for its reproductive biology, the breeding of the White Jewel is however not the easiest. Formerly jealously guarded in its country of origin, there are still very few farms in the West.
Breed recognized only by the TICA and the GCCF, it is currently impossible to find a Khao Manee with a registered French pedigree, because the LOOF does not recognize him yet. Despite forbidden marriages with other breeds, several usurpers try to pass off ordinary white cats for the Diamond Eye cat.
The future buyer must therefore be very vigilant, especially if it is to bring a new genetic breath to the lines already in place.
Good to know
The always white Khao Manee, however, can breed colorful kittens. These are not recognized as Khao Manee, but will still be kept in breeding programs.
These colorful kittens appear from time to time because the gene responsible for the white coat (W) is a dominant gene, which has the function of masking the true color of the coat. White is therefore not a color, but rather an absence of color, in feline genetics.
True White Gems are either homozygous (WW) or heterozygous (Ww). By breeding two heterozygous parents, a small percentage of kittens will not inherit the gene (W) at all and their coat will be an unmasked color.
The breeders will then breed them with white individuals to find the “color” of the breed.