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Khao Manee Cat Facts

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blue and green eyed khao manee cat close up

Khao Manee cats are a stunning breed—their name even means “white gem.” Though they have a unique and unforgettable name, don’t be surprised if you’ve never heard of them or seen one before because these felines are not overly common.

Breed History

Originating in Thailand, the Khao Manee breed has been around for centuries. This breed’s history has been recorded in the Tamra Maew, also called the Treatise on Cats or Cat Book Poems, which was written in 1350 A.D. This manuscript contains illustrations and descriptions of more than 20 cat breeds, though only a handful of these cats exist today.

In 1999, this breed was brought to the United States, where some cat breeders took an interest in the breed. However, even today, outside their home country of Thailand, the Khao Manee breed remains quite rare.

Attributes

Khao Manee cats are friendly and outgoing. They aren’t ones to know any strangers. Whenever you have new company over to your house, chances are your cat will not hesitate to go up to and meet this newcomer. In their eyes, this is just a chance to meet a new friend.

This breed also gets along well with children, even those of a younger age. Thanks to the high-energy Khao Manee cat personality, they won’t tire out quickly when playing. Even though Khao Manee are known to do well around kids, it is still crucial to teach kids how to interact with the cat properly and until your children are a bit older, it doesn’t hurt to supervise their interactions.

Khao Manee cats additionally enjoy the company of other pets. In fact, these cats prefer to be in the company of others, so by having another pet in the house, you can ensure that they don’t become lonely or bored. 

While the easy-going nature of this cat breed can make them an excellent choice for first-time cat parents, this may not be the best breed for someone with a hectic schedule. These cats prefer to spend their time with their family, and they typically don’t enjoy being left alone for endless hours.

These all-white cats have a glistening coat that contrasts their bold-colored eyes, which can be various shades of blue, green, or gold. Though it can vary per cat, the average weight for a Khao Manee is 8-10 pounds, and the expected Khao Manee lifespan is 10-12 years.

Is My Cat a Khao Manee?

Sometimes when you adopt a cat, you will receive little to no information about your pal’s history or even what breed they are. If you think your feline friend may be a Khao Manee, there are a few characteristics to look for. 

  • All-white, short coat
  • Vibrant green, gold, or blue eyes
  • Medium-build, athletic, but not overly bulky
  • Friendly, outgoing personality
  • Gets along well with other animals

If your cat checks off all these items, then there’s a chance that you may have a Khao Manee on your hands.

khao manee cat dressed as a ladybug

Grooming

This may come as good news to cat parents, but the Khao Manee breed does not require extensive grooming. With a short coat, typically, just one good brushing a week is enough to collect any loose or dead hairs. Not only will a weekly brushing help keep your cat’s coat healthy, but it can also help decrease the chances of your cat getting hairballs.

Your cat’s nails will need to be trimmed every few weeks, though the timeframe may vary slightly per cat. If your Khao Manee isn’t a fan of this process, you may find it helpful just to trim one paw at a time. Don’t forget to reward your feline friend with some cuddle time, chin scratches, or treats afterward.

In addition to trimming your cat’s nails, it will also be necessary for you to check your pal’s ears every few weeks. If they appear dirty, gently clean them out with a cotton ball and a cat ear-safe cleaning solution—never use cotton swabs as these could accidentally cause injury. If you ever notice that your cat’s ears appear to be more red than usual or they have an unusual odor, go ahead and schedule an appointment with their veterinarian, as this could be a sign that they have an ear infection.

A grooming item that is easy for many pet parents to overlook is brushing teeth. Brushing your cat’s teeth a few times a week can help lower their chances of developing periodontal disease, plus it can help keep their breath smelling fresh.

Are Khao Manee cats hypoallergenic?

Unfortunately for cat allergy sufferers, these cats are not hypoallergenic.

Care 

One of the most critical elements when it comes to caring for your Khao Manee is their diet. All cats should be given age-appropriate food, which will change as they get older. Don’t forget to look at the recommended serving size per meal. If you believe that the portion sizes are too large or too small, meet with your veterinarian to discuss what an ideal meal size looks like for your cat.

The amount of meals you feed your friend each day is also influential. While some cats may have enough self-control to graze on their food whenever they please, others may overeat. The easiest way to regulate your pal’s diet is to separate their daily food amount into a couple of meals throughout the day.

Of course, even cats love a special treat, but they should be given in moderation, just like any other goodies. Too many treats are nearly a guarantee that your cat will be packing on some extra pounds.

In order to help keep your cat in good shape, exercise is the perfect solution. Though some cats are naturally active just by themselves or whenever they play with their other four-legged family members, other felines may need a little coaxing. A great place to start is providing your cat with plenty of interactive toys, a scratching post, and a cat tower. You can also encourage your cat to be active by playing with them multiple times per day.

Khao Manee cats are quite active and energetic, so giving them an outlet for their energy is necessary. Otherwise, you will have a bored cat on your hands. Thankfully, because cats of this breed are also quite intelligent, they can also be taught various tricks and commands. This is an ideal way to keep them busy both physically and mentally.

khao manee cat peering off a table

Common Khao Manee Health Issues

One of the best ways to look after your cat’s health is to take them for yearly check-ups with their veterinarian. Just remember that even if your cat appears to be in perfect health at the time of their appointment, it’s essential that you never cancel. Cats are sneaky at being able to hide when they don’t feel their best.

Though this breed is relatively healthy, they can still be prone to developing some health issues. According to our claims data,** the top issues that affect this breed are,

  1. Periodontal disease
  2. Ear infections
  3. Stomatitis
  4. Diarrhea
  5. Upper respiratory infections

As a Khao Manee parent, you may find it helpful to familiarize yourself with the common signs for these health issues. This will allow you to stay a step ahead with your friend’s health.

Fun Facts

With a fun cat like the Khao Manee, of course there are some fun facts to be learned about the breed. 

  • Khao Manee can be odd-eyed, meaning each of their eyes is a different color.
  • These cats are related to the Siamese breed, which means you can expect them to be on the vocal side.
  • Some people consider the Khao Manee breed to be good luck.
  • These cats don’t mind warmer climates—just be sure they have enough shade and water to stay safe.
  • Besides ‘white gem,’ these cats have also earned the nickname ‘diamond eye’ cat. 

Although all Khao Manee cats have some shared traits, each cat is an individual and will have their own set of unique characteristics. As this is true for all cat parents, you will undoubtedly notice that cats of any breed also have some odd behaviors—thankfully, these weird cat behaviors can be explained.

Cat Names

When it comes time to pick a name for your own Khao Manee, it only seems fitting to choose a gem or crystal-inspired name, given the breed’s nicknames. Here’s a shortlist to begin your brainstorming for the perfect name.

  • Emerald
  • Sapphire
  • Onyx
  • Ruby
  • Jade
  • Opal
  • Pearl
  • Jasper

Before introducing a new feline family member to your home, it’s crucial first to understand the time commitment and financial responsibility that comes along with being a cat parent—do you know how much it costs to have a cat?

**Internal Claims Data, 2015-20

The information presented in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute or substitute for the advice of your veterinarian.

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