This mystical cat was once guarded fiercely by Thai royalty. It was considered to be a sacred, very special cat – in fact in ancient Thailand it was thought to bring good luck.
The Khao Manee is natural breed that comes from Thailand, alongside the Burmese, the Siamese and the Korat. While the Siamese might be the world’s most popular Thai cat breed today, in old Siam the cat that was most revered was the Khao Manee. One of Thailand’s greatest kings bred these cats and had nine of his own.
The name Khao Manee means white gem, and when you look at the cat you can see why, with their beautiful white body and sparkling, dazzling eyes.
Those dazzling eyes are the Khao Manees most distinctive feature, the striking starburst pattern around the cat’s pupils gives the appearance of a cut diamond. Their eyes come in a variety of colours, but the most coveted and exotic is the odd eyed Khao Manee.
- The Khao Manee has long legs and a muscular athletic build
- This is a medium size cat with a very graceful appearance
- Their stunning coat is short smooth and almost always pure white
- White animals, no matter what the species, can have a higher than usual incidence of deafness, so occasionally Khao Manee are born deaf in one or both ears. Caused by a gene linked to the white coat colour, there is a lower than usual incidence of deafness with the Khao Manee – many believe that this is because it is a naturally occurring breed.
The Khao Manee is a rare breed not yet recognized by many cat associations as it only arrived from Thailand into the US in 1999.
Khao Manees are affectionate, people loving cats. They are very social and they really thrive on company and attention so make sure that you plenty of time to spend with them.
Grooming requirements are minimal, their coats are short and lie close to the body but it does have a little bit of undercoat so you will need to brush it out once or twice a week just to remove that loose undercoat to make sure it doesn’t irritate the skin.
Apart from occasional deafness Khao Manees have no known, group specific, health issues – they are relatively healthy cats and long lived cats. Because the Khao Manee is a white cat it can be prone to getting sunburn and that could lead to skin cancer.