Khao Manee cat staring
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Khao Manee Cat

The Khao Manee cat originates from Thailand, where they are known as the Khao Mani which translates to ‘white gem’. The breed possesses a beautiful, pure white coat that’s as flawless and glossy as snow. With precious stones for eyes the Khao Manee cat is a visually striking breed.

Breed Snapshot

Breed: Khao Manee Cat
Size: Medium, 6 to 10 lbs
Energy Level: 4/5 (but with bursts of activity)
Talkative: 4/5
Coat: Fairly smooth, short and pure white.
Hypoallergenic: Yes
Seeking: I get along with almost everyone!
Child Friendly: Yes
Personality Snapshot: Sociable and friendly, devoted to my humans and mingles easily with strangers and other pets, loves interactive games.

My Khao Manee Looks

I have precious stones for eyes – one silver and one gold – which are my most prized physical feature.

I should mention that not all of us have both silver and gold.

white khao manee kitten

Some Khao Manee cats have two silvery blue eyes. And some of us have two gold eyes in varying hues from amber-green to amber-gold. And some of us have a combination of the two.

But by far the most sought after Khao Manee cats are those of the odd-eyed variety, possessing the prized combination of one blue eye and one yellow eye.

Khao Manee Cat

My Khao Manee Personality

I’ll be the first to proudly admit I’m one of those pesky people cats. I adore my humans and try to be around them whenever I can, which means I’ll be curling up next to you or perching on your shoulders quite often.

But I’m not just friendly with my humans – as a sociable feline, I tend to like humans in general so you’ll often see me hanging out near the front door to greet visitors dropping by.

I can easily adjust to new faces and won’t think twice about getting chummy with people and other animals upon first meeting.

Kham Manee cat

When I’m not playing social butterfly, I’ll be working on my fitness.

I’m very fond of keeping myself active and of course, playing tops my list of favorite ways to keep myself lithe and muscular. And this is no solitary activity for me, either – I love interactive games that keep me moving while bonding with my humans at the same time.

As such, I’ve got a soft spot for fetch and have been known to initiate a game or two by carrying small balls, plastic bottles, deli cups and just about anything I can fit in my mouth.

Kham Manee cat

Of course, if you’re too busy to play, I’ll have to make do on my own. This usually involves letting my curiosity take the reins as I go inspecting anything and everything around the house. So when you see me peeping behind corners and tapping on cabinets and doors, just know I am conducting thorough investigations into the nature of things.

My Ideal Human

Easy going and sociable, the Khao Manee breed is a cinch to get on with. Which makes me pretty ideal for all fanciers, from newbies to experienced cat lovers.

My happy-go-lucky disposition also makes me a good fit for homes with children and my undemanding playfulness means even older cat lovers looking for a companion feline won’t have a problem rearing me.

I’m sort of the best of all worlds, if I do say so myself. You know, the purrfect combination of playful activeness combines with easygoing charm.

Khao Manee Cat Sitting

My Roots

My Khao Manee breed is considered the original royal cat of Thailand from back when it was still called Siam. Based on Thai historical manuscripts, King Rama V, who ruled from 1868 to 1910, had nine of my ancestors in his care and cherished them so very much that the penalty for a commoner stealing a Khao Manee cat was death.

Along with the Korat (Dork Lao), Burmese (Suphalak) and Siamese (Wichien-maat), the Khao Manee cat lineage is referenced in the Tamra Maew, an anthology of poems about cats written in 1350.

Khao Manee cat

Although the name of the breed mentioned in the anthology was “Khao Plort,” which was described as having “eyes the color of mercury,” the proliferation of kittens having odd-colored eyes over the next two centuries inspired a new name for our lineage: Khao Manee, or “White Gem” in Thai.

Now while the Siamese, Korat and Burmese already established their popularity in the West after the World War II, our breed became only known to cat fanciers outside Thailand when an American breeder by the name of Colleen Freymouth (Freymuth in some accounts) imported Sripia, a female Khao Manee cat, and another male to the United States in 1999, and became the first person outside of Thailand to breed us.

That means that until 1999, the Khao Manee had been bred only in Thailand for almost 650 years!

But thanks to Freymouth, the very first litter of Khao Manee kittens was bred in North America. Moreover, Odyssey Cattery’s Janet Poulsen imported the first Khao Manees to the United Kingdom in the months that followed and pioneered the proliferation of my breed in and around the sovereign state.

Now while my breed still isn’t accepted in most cat registries, we were granted the Preliminary New Breed status by The International Cat Association (TICA) in 2012 and was given championship status in 2015.

How To Keep Me Happy And Healthy

I am not a very demanding cat and keeping me hale and hearty is quite easy. I only need a meticulous brushing every week to keep my coat looking great. I don’t have any special diet requirements either.

There’s just one thing you should be aware of – some Khao Manee’s can be partially or totally deaf. This is a genetic characteristic commonly observed in felines having blue eyes and white coats and not exclusive to the Khao Manee breed.

Fun Khao Manee Facts

  • My breed is also called ‘Diamond Eye’ – beautiful nickname, no
  • My breed is not only rare, but unique in that we’re considered extremely lucky. And thanks to the luck associated with us, we tend to be very expensive, with Khao Manee kittens going for eight to ten thousand dollars each in the UK. As for the US, we’re a very rare breed here still and exceptionally hard to get ahold of.
  • Although I generally sport a white coat, I have some relatives that can have a few small splotches of color on them. Some kittens in my family are even born with dark marks on their heads that disappear when they celebrate their first birthday.

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20 thoughts on “Khao Manee Cat

  1. I had a cat that fit this description perfectly, and looks exactly like this breed. I found her as part of a stray litter in Los Angeles in 1995, her mother looked just the same. She was not only white, odd-eyed and even-tempered, but has the facial structure, coat, and meow of a burmese cat, and to top it off, was also polydactyl. She lived to be 19.5 years old and was the best cat I’ve ever had.

    So, maybe they weren’t bred here till 1999, but somehow I had one in 1995. Seeing photos of these cats, it’s uncanny. Her photo is linked in my web site.

  2. The Khaomanee were accepted for Championship competition in The International Cat Association as of May 1, 2015. The first Grand Champion was alter Leotie Lap Lang. Four of his brothers and sisters have also gotten Grand Champions titles, making their dam, Odyssey Ratsamee (of Leotie) the first Outstanding Dam for the breed.

  3. I’m positive my cat is a Khao manee her eyes and everything right down to her coat are as explained in this description I picked her up at a shelter in Maine and I am just now figuring this out but I’m almost 100% positive
    Wow I’m a lucky guy and she is my baby ??

    1. Wow, you are one lucky guy. And she is one lucky gal to have you, too 🙂

  4. I too have acquired a Khao Manee. He was given to me by a gal who, a month later, was stabbed to death by her boyfriend. He was a mere 7 or 8 weeks old when I got him, in June of 2010. He is my best friend.

  5. I found my Daisy in a shelter 8 years ago on 9/11. She was only 9 weeks old, and scared to death. No one wanted her because she was strange. Kids screaming in the front foyer, poking at her, I wouldn’t want to go home with them either! So I knew that although we were there for other kittens, she HAD to be the one. She needed us more than any other kitten or cat. She was our gem. Our older cat took her under her wing and had to teach her how to cat, since Daisy was the runt of her litter, and shunned. She’s still a bit skittish thanks to her first weeks being a shelter kitten, but she adores her family. We never knew much about her until a cousin commented, “Wow you have a Khao Manee! She’s lovely!” a couple of years ago. I never knew how valued she was until just recently. Well… she’s always been valued by us. 😉

    1. Love this story! And congrats on your good fortune – not everyone is lucky enough to live with a Khao Manee 🙂

  6. We have a Khao Manee too, she’s so lovely and cute. She has odd eyes, green and blue, with white purr.Less “meoww”, only you can hear her when asking food. She’s living with us for about six months. We’re crazy playing with her.

  7. I have a cat who is actually Half Khao Manee and Half Siamese. He sports almost all the traits of a Khao Manee even two blue diamond eyes but his pointing gives away his Siamese origins as well.

  8. I have a Cat that I got from a friend that is the EXACT replica of the Khoa manee I have researched online. My friend had a Beautiful white cat with a one blue eye and one green eye just show up at her place out in the country. We had NO idea that she was a khao manee. She had a cople of litters of kittens so I know they are not full blooded Khoa manee but, every single baby she has had carry the Khao Manee traits. Also, She had a second cat show up, All white, with gold eyes and same characteristics. Also, had a bunch of kittens, mostly all white with the exception of one or two. I believe that someone may have lost their cat or it walked off. In any event, I have one of the kittens and she is the smartest cat I have ever had. She plays fetch with me. Loves to play. and very verbal. I just love her to pieces. I am truly sorrty I had her spayed now. I would love to have tried to find a male Khoa manee and breed a couple litters just for their beauty and intelligence.

  9. We have this exact cat with one blue eye and one is green….she fits the description of this breed perfectly…got her as a kitten from a yard sale…..she is very active and adjust well to family and friends as well as our other cats…..she is totally deaf in both ears, so she is constantly watching every move and shadow as she plays….we are lucky to have her!

  10. how long do kao mannees live for? does anyone know, I met my partner a couple of yrs ago and bonded instantly with his cat which he is now mine as neither of us can live without each other, I hope I have a good few yrs with him yet, I heard they live till they are 10/11 he is 7 now so I’m hoping that’s wrong, if anybody knows plz let me know thanks kate

  11. I have what I believe to be a khao manee. Got him for free from a friends litter. The mother is a taby and got pregnant in another state by an unknown cat. All the litter was pure white and have every aspect of the khao manee. This is in Australia aswell!

  12. I just got a female yesterday. She was at a pet store and I went nuts for her. Blue is so smart and somewhat vocal, luckily not deaf at all. We will have a good long spoiled life together. Lucky me.

  13. We have one i dont know if he really a khao manee because his another eye is like a brown honey color. He is very active my son named him snow. My son fund him summer school and bring him home.. My daughter love him so much she dont want him to go out that maybe we lose him..Snow is very loveable cat … hope that he is really a khao manee..

  14. I have had my Khoa Manee for the last year and this article fits “Faith” to a “T”. She has a sister and its funny how we are talking and its like talking about the same cat. My friend Nancy named he little girl “Hope”. I wouldn’t own anything else. they are such a joy to have. I’m so blessed to have her in my life.

  15. Like 3 years ago we got her from a guy he sold her for 20 bucks best cat every she seems to have had a rought life her tail got cut off but she is a smart cat. Very loving and I can tell you she has too much love from my little sister the cats name is petunia she is beautiful cat

  16. I’m pretty sure we had one of these at one point. He, sadly, was a stray kitten that we took in. He was so young but seemed to be in excellent health and had been well cared for. A year later i ran into his origional owners who had gotten him for breeding purposes but they hadn’t told me his breed. But because it had been a year they had already replaced him and we got to keep him. We named him Ghost and he was beautiful pure white with a blue eye and a gold eye. He was so friendly and loving. Sadly, one day he disappeared. That was about 6 years ago. This was the first time i had heard of this breed. I suppose i was very lucky to have had him. I am glad that we did.

  17. I believe this is the breed of my Sisi. She was a stray cat that hung out in our back yard one bitterly cold winter. We made a warm bed for her and provided food. One day I came home and found her in my kitchen. Neither my husband or my daughters let her in. She’s been with us ever since. However, the traits of this breed don’t quite fit her. With me she’s all that but she sometimes hisses and scratches at my girls and always sits between me and the bedroom door. She does not like other cats at all! Even so, I believe this to be her breed!

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