Khao mani cats, having barely appeared on the free market, managed to become a real hit among the rich and famous breeders. For many years, this breed was completely closed from free sale and remained available only to selected representatives of the Thai aristocracy. In Thailand, these animals are still valued incredibly highly, only about 100 purebred cats are bred. Outside the country, the number of livestock is also not too high – about 200 individuals – which makes the breed one of the most expensive on the planet.
Khao Manee is also often referred to as hao mani or cats with diamond eyes. Snow-white animals have regal grace and unique external data. The main features of this cat breed are associated with different eye colors. In addition, they have high intelligence, are quite well socialized and are able to decorate the most respectable interior with their presence.
Before studying the description of the appearance of Thai cats kao mani, you need to immerse yourself in the history of their origin. For the first time, the mention of snow-white cats from Thailand is found in national literature as early as 1350. The breed in its modern version was recognized by TICA felinologists in 2009, and it was admitted to exhibitions in 2012. Moreover, specialists from other popular organizations are still not ready to recognize kao mani because of its small number.
For a long time – more than seven centuries in a row – the only breeder of the diamond eye breed was the Thai royal court. It is this factor, according to experts, that made it possible to maintain the purity of the blood. Animals were bred within the population, practically without the admixture of fresh blood.
Purebred kao mani got outside the country only in the 21st century, the first individuals were taken to the USA, and already there, thanks to enthusiasts, they gained incredible popularity.
Interestingly, the original or local name of the breed sounded like Khao Plort – all white. It is assumed that seal-point Siamese cats were involved in breeding animals with a snow-white color, which, when mixed with domestic outbred animals, can produce such offspring. In addition, in kittens obtained by such crossing, heterochromia is observed – a genetic anomaly that provides animals with eyes of different colors.
Khao mani are not the largest representatives of the cat family. Adult cats grow up to 5 kg, cats – up to 3.6 kg with a height at the withers of 25–30 cm. The muscles of the animal are quite well developed, the outlines of the body are elongated, the back is straight, the chest is much wider than that of the Siamese counterparts. For an oriental breed, the kao mani has rather strong and short paws – they do not differ in excessive grace, they testify to the strength and strength of the constitution. On the limbs there are uniformly colored paw pads, without the appearance of spotting.
The tail of cats is of medium length, mobile. With active movement, it helps the animal to flank and make the most risky jumps and somersaults. The coat color of the animal is exceptionally snow-white, the coat is dense, smooth, silky, with a small amount of undercoat.
In a small kitten and a teenager up to a year old, the presence of a small dark spot on the head may be observed, which should completely disappear by the year.
The head of a cat of the kao mani breed is wedge-shaped, has a shape characteristic of all eastern representatives of the cat family. The line of the cheekbones is high, with a slight rounding, in young animals the cheeks can be a little dense, as they grow older, this characteristic feature becomes more pronounced. The area under the mustache is pronounced, the nose with a clear stop, convex at the bridge of the nose, the forehead is wide, giving the cat solidity. Widely spaced large ears are slightly pubescent, arranged vertically.
The eyes of kao mani cats deserve special attention from felinologists and just fans of the breed. Large, with an almond-shaped cut, they have a characteristic reflection, similar to the radiance of diamonds. If an animal has a single color iris, it has a blue tint.
The manifestation of heterochromia is also a sure sign of purebred breeding. With a different color of the iris, one eye is blue, the second usually has a green or yellow color.
Kittens and adult kao mani are allowed to participate in exhibitions only within the framework of events held by TICA. Here the exterior of purebred animals is evaluated, their potential as producers is revealed. The breeding marriage of the breed includes:
- the appearance of a copper shade of the eyes;
- underdevelopment of the chin;
- deformation of the tail (kinks, wrong direction of growth);
- blotches of a different color on the surface of a white coat;
- excessive elegance of physique;
- excessively small ears or eyes;
- manifestation of aggression in character.
The Khao Mani cat is an excellent companion for a person in need of a pleasant company. A friendly animal is not aggressive, easily masters the basic rules of behavior and can even learn various tricks. High intelligence combined with sociability allows cats of this breed to easily find a common language with children. Kao Mani gets along well with other pets.
It is important to remember that the breed is distinguished by social activity – it has high needs for communication, games, human care. The animal literally follows the owner on the heels, in addition, it is characterized by “talkativeness” – the range of sounds made can surprise people who are familiar with oriental cats only from silent Siamese.
They are called the ideal choice for those who have never had animals before – getting used to the role of the owner in this case will be much easier.
If a representative of the Khao Mani breed will have to be alone for a long time, breeders recommend that they take a second cat or a cat with them. In this case, the animal will not feel sad, show signs of destructive behavior or fall into aggression. It is important to take into account that Thai royal cats have a loud, shrill voice and are not shy about expressing their needs. For people who are not inclined to dialogue with a pet, such a moment in communicating with a cat can be a problem.
How to choose?
Khao Mani kittens are representatives of a unique breed with a certain set of external features. Not every animal with a white color and eyes of different colors belongs to this unique species. That is why when buying and choosing a baby, you should not rush. You should not believe the promises of selling a kitten from a Russian cattery or from the territory of the CIS countries. The breed is so small that it barely has 200-300 adults.
Nurseries and breeders of kao mani today are only in the USA, Great Britain, Spain, Thailand. The most famous of them are Odyssey, Nova, WhiteGemCattery.
At the same time, the cost of one thoroughbred animal is at least 900-2000 dollars, depending on the phenotype, characteristics, and age of the pet.
How to identify healthy kittens when selecting and buying? First of all, you need to look at the condition of the fluffy coat. On a snow-white surface there should be no yellow or contrasting dark, colored spots. The appearance of the animal does not differ in adulthood and infancy, only the coat has a more fluffy, disheveled appearance. As they grow older, the coat becomes smooth and fairly dense.
Eyes and ears are important indicators of a kitten’s health. The animal should not have traces of purulent discharge on the muzzle, the hair around the eyes remains snow-white. The inner part of the auricle is another important indicator. Traces of dirt, sores, black dots, combed wounds indicate the presence of problems. In addition, when choosing a kao mani kitten, you need to follow:
- for the characteristics of the coat – it should be shiny, elastic, healthy and clean;
- condition of the digestive system – an inflamed, tense tummy, a manifestation of anxiety when probing is an alarming symptom;
- no signs of a cold – sneezing, coughing, nasal discharge;
- manifestations of activity – the baby should be cheerful, playful, curious;
- no hearing loss – the kitten must respond to the call, respond to the nickname assigned to it;
- the presence of vaccinated hygiene skills – by the time of moving to a new home, the pet should be able to use the toilet, wash himself.
Do not rush to wean a pet from its mother. Babies kao mani quite successfully adapt to a new home upon reaching the age of three months. It is important to consider that when buying from private individuals (outside catteries), genetic confirmation of the kitten’s belonging to this breed should be required – there are no other ways to prove the purity of blood.
How to name?
Choosing a name for a kao mani cat is a serious task. Of course, in a nursery or breeder, the animal will most likely already receive a loud and pretentious nickname for presentation at exhibitions. But at home, calling a pet by its full name is not very convenient. Among the options for names for the royal Thai, the following available versions can be considered.
- By the names of famous Thai personalities – Vanessa May, Tiger Woods, or one of the popular options in the country. For girls, you can offer variants of Suda (meaning “lady”), Vanida (“girl”), Bunsi (beauty worthy of respect), Tasani (“beautiful eyes”). For boys, the names will be more masculine – Kyet or “honor”, Narong (“winner”).
- Geographic toponyms. Samui, Surin, Mun, Ping are easy-to-remember nicknames that can emphasize the historical origin of the breed.
- Taking into account the features of appearance. You can call the animal Diamond – a diamond, Snowy, Azur (for blue-eyed cats), Skye.
- Based on character traits. Sweety, Sunny, Missy are suitable for kitties. Strong, Thunder, Hiro – for boys.
The choice of name affects the character of the pet – any breeder will agree with this. That is why it is worth giving the final home nickname only after talking with the kitten and determining its individual features.
Accustomed to the royal level of comfort and high cost, Khao Mani cats still live in conditions of increased comfort. Pets perfectly adapt to life in a city apartment or a private house, they always demonstrate goodwill towards people. But an active and mobile animal needs entertainment. As a rule, various toys act in this capacity, as well as branches of trees that imitate wildlife, on which you can jump, beds fixed at a height, scratching posts with different tiers of height.
It is important to know that the Khao Mani cat breed belongs to the category of animals that do not require free range. Bred in palace chambers, they prefer homeliness and comfort to any other pastime. It is worth protecting your pet from prolonged contact with the sun. For cats with white hair and delicate skin, ultraviolet is detrimental, it can lead to burns.
You should regularly inspect unprotected areas of the pet’s skin in order to timely identify possible signs of a negative effect.
When choosing a bed, you need to focus on the nature of the animal. Cats often prefer open baskets with high sides, from which it is convenient for them to view the entire house. A cat may prefer an individual shelter in the form of a house or a bed, equipped at a height. For hygienic needs, it is advisable to purchase a tray for the animal with sides more than 6 cm high.
To keep the pet’s coat white, experienced breeders advise using a dry closet in the form of a box, supplemented with replaceable cassettes.
In matters of nutrition, cats of the Kao Mani breed are relatively unpretentious. For them, it is recommended to purchase a ready-made diet of a super premium class, which allows you to give the animal all the necessary vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Khao mani is not prone to obesity, it is customary to feed adult animals up to two times a day.
When choosing a natural menu, preference should be given to a balanced set of products with lean white meat, offal, cereals, vegetables and dairy products.
On the recommendation of a veterinarian, additional mineral and vitamin supplements can be given.
Cats of the Khao Mani breed are fairly clean animals with well-developed hygiene skills. Animals do not have a thick undercoat, so they do not require careful and regular combing. It is enough just to purchase rubberized brushes and remove dead hairs weekly. Cats are very supportive of this procedure, and, in general, like to be near the owner.
Kao mani cats do not need water procedures too often. For the most part, the animal copes with cleaning the fur coat on its own. But if the whiteness has faded, it is worth bathing the capricious Thai.
For care, it is better to use special shampoos that help fight yellowness and gently cleanse the coat without causing allergies.
Cleaning the ears is a rather delicate matter. It is carried out regularly with a soft swab or a special sanitary napkin. Instead of trimming the claws, it is better to teach the animal to use a special sharpener – then grinding off the stratum corneum will not become a traumatic procedure.
Characterized by a pure snow-white shade of wool, kao mani cats demonstrate an average life expectancy of 10-12 years. But the genetic characteristics of the breed bring some features to its content. For example, when it comes to the risks of detecting cancer, these cats are in the forefront. Owners of snow-white wool should avoid prolonged contact with the sun’s rays. When visually monitoring the health of an animal, you need to pay attention to areas that are the least densely covered with hairs – ears, head.
Another important point – high risk of deafness. Albinos, as well as blue-eyed, white-coated cats, are traditionally predisposed to this defect. Up to 35% of animals are culled precisely because of the lack of hearing.
Another hereditary factor is a predisposition to the development of gum disease. In order to prevent possible problems, regular veterinary control should be carried out, the health status of the animal should be checked by a doctor if tartar, discoloration of the enamel, and bloody discharge in the oral cavity are detected.
Interesting facts about the kao mani cat breed, see the following video.