Breed review: Khao Manee Cats

Posted by Argos, 28 March 2016, last updated 19 December 2022.

Khao Manee comes from Thailand and means “white gem” – relating to this cat breed’s size and colour. These medium cats have pure white coats and bright colourful eyes – hence their other nickname, the Diamond Eye cat.

Khao Manee breed history

The breed is relatively new to Western countries, having only been introduced to the UK in 2009. The breed’s history, however, dates back to ancient Thailand, where it originated alongside the Siamese, Burmese and Korat breeds.

Khao Manee cats have distinctive eyes, which can be different colours

The breed was taken to the US in 1999 and was brought to the UK ten years later by breeder Chrissie Russell. In 2010, the Khao Manee breed was recognised in the UK by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy.

Khao Manee size and appearance

The Khao Manee kittens and cats are a medium-sized breed, growing to between 10 and 12 inches and weighing between 8 and 10 pounds. Khao Manee has a muscular, athletic body, with a wedge-shaped head and large ears. The nose is prominent with a blunt, rounded tip.

The white fur is short, sleek and close. The legs are strong-looking and well proportioned, while the medium length tail is broad at the base and tapers to a rounded tip. Both eyes may be blue or a mixture of one blue and one green or amber eye.

Khao Manee personality

This breed of cat is very calm and relaxed, making them an ideal lap cat. But they are far from boring, they are highly intelligent with an extrovert and inquisitive nature. They are very sociable and love being around people, making them great family cats, however, they do not enjoy being on their own for long periods of time.

Khao Manee kittens and cats appreciate the company of other cats, especially one that has a similar personality. They will get on well with other pets, including dogs and are likely to enjoy playing with a canine companion.

Khao Manee Cat Breed Review

Taking care of Khao Manee cats

From a grooming point of view, Khao Manees are very low maintenance. Their short coat means only occasional brushing is needed to prevent matting and help circulation. If rubbed with a chamois cloth, the coat will develop a lovely sheen, they also hardly shed at all so are a good choice for allergy sufferers.

A Khao cat should be regarded as an indoor cat, they should be neutered at about six months old as the breed reaches sexual maturity at a young age. Like most cats, the breed needs regular vaccination boosters against common cat problems such as influenza and enteritis.

When it comes to feeding, it’s important to feed Khao cats with good quality cat food, or cooked chicken, fish and ham. Allowing them to drink cow’s milk is not advisable as it can upset their stomach.

How long do Khao Manee cats live?

The breed is regarded as generally healthy but because it has existed in the West for such a short space of time, the verdict is by no means conclusive. Some breeds of pure white cats tend to be prone to deafness in one or both ears, but it is not known how much Khao Manee kittens or cats are affected by this syndrome, if at all. A Khao Manee has a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years, dependent on their care and living environment.

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