Khao Manee


Introduction

The Khao Manee is a stunning white coated cat that boasts having two different coloured eyes which can be copper right through to yellow and green. Their name translated means White Gem and these charming, unusual cats have always been firm favourites in the Royal Palaces of Siam. In more recent times, the Khao Manee or Khaomanee, has found a fan base in many other countries of the world thanks to their beautiful heart-shaped faces, their stunning white coats and their beautiful different coloured eyes.


History

Like many other breeds, Khao Manees are thought to have their origins in Thailand. The breeds that most people are familiar with are the Siamese, the Korat and the Burmese, but the Khao Manee is far less well known outside of their native Thailand. These charming cats are found in ancient poems that date back to 1350, but at the time they were known as the Khao Plort and they have mercury coloured eyes. In ancient times, breed enthusiasts set about developing a cat with odd coloured eyes because they were considered as being "bringers" of luck.

It was not until the late 1900s that a breeder outside of Thailand began to show an interest in their unusual and striking cats and she set about importing them to the United States with the first litter having been born a short time later. The breed was an immediate hit with cat lovers the world over thanks to their kind natures and extraordinary looks.


Appearance

The Khao Manee has a lovely, heart-shaped head with cats having high cheekbones and beautiful brilliant coloured eyes. Their ears are large with cats holding them upright which gives the appearance of a Khao Manee always being alert. They have odd coloured eyes with one being blue and the other being yellow although the yellow can range from a light yellow right through to green. With this said, some cats have the same coloured eyes although they are always brilliant in colour. Their heads are in fact a modified wedge being moderately wide and long. Their eyes are oval-shaped being set nicely apart with a slight slant.

They have moderately large ears that are wider at the base and which have oval tips and they point forwards being set well apart on a cat's head and being lightly furnished. Muzzles are moderately long and wide with a nice break. They have long, slightly convex foreheads and when seen in profile, their noses are virtually straight with a slight slope from a cat's brow to just below their eyes. Necks are moderately long and wide adding to the overall well-balanced look of a Khao Manee.

Their bodies are nicely firm and muscular with some cats having a little loose skin on their underbellies. Their overall appearance is one of athletic looking feline with males showing slightly more muscle than their female counterparts. Their legs are moderately long and feet are a nice oval shape being medium in size and nicely in proportion with the rest of a cat's body. Tails are moderately long and taper gradually to the tip with some cats having a kink at the tip of their tails.

When it comes to their coat, the Khao Manee has a medium length coat with the texture being smooth and resilient without being coarse or fluffy. The accepted breed colour is a pure, brilliant white.


Temperament

Playful, cheeky and totally people-oriented, the Khao Manee forms incredibly strong bonds with their families becoming devoted companions and family pets. They are social by nature and love greeting anyone who arrives at the door. Intelligent, inquisitive and loving, these charming cats love to follow their owners around the house to check up on what they are doing. They also love to interact with people and are never happier than when asked to fetch a toy that's been thrown for them to retrieve.

They are known to be quite vocal by nature although not quite as much as their Siamese counterparts. They make lots of different noises to suit every occasion and will happily hold long conversations whenever they can. They are highly adaptable and therefore accept being kept as indoor pets although like other breeds they do love to explore the great outdoors, although cat should only be allowed outside if it is safe for them to do so.

Like other breeds, the Khao Manee likes a routine and doesn't particularly like it when this changes for any reason. They like to be fed at the same time of the day and don't appreciate it when furniture gets moved around the home which can often stress cats out. With this said, Khao Manees are quite laid back by nature although they are energetic and like to be kept busy when they are not snoozing that is. They thrive on human company and don't like being left on their own for any length of time. As such, these active, intelligent cats are best suited to families where at least one person stays at home when everyone else is out of the house.


Intelligence

The Khao Manee is a highly intelligent cat and one that needs to be given a ton of stimulation to keep them happy. Because they are valuable cats that like to roam, most owners opt to keep them as indoor pets and providing they have lots of company and things to keep them busy, they adapt well to being kept as indoor cats. They learn new things very quickly and thoroughly the one-to-one interaction they are given when they are being taught to do anything.


Children and Other Pets

Khao Manees with their outgoing, affectionate personalities are a good choice for families with older children. However, care must be taken when very young children are around cats and any interaction should always be well supervised by an adult to make sure things stay nice and calm. With this said, children need to be taught how to behave around cats and when it's time to leave them alone.

They also get on well with dogs especially if they have grown up together in the same household. Being so gregarious enjoy the company of other animals and much prefer being around them rather than being left on their own. However, care must be taken when introducing a Khao Manee to dogs they don't already know just in case the dog does not get on with their feline counterparts. They are social by nature and have been known to get on with large pet birds and some small animals, but it's always wiser to keep a close eye on any cat when they are around smaller pets particularly when they first meet each other.


Khao Manee Health

The average life expectancy of a Khao Manee is between 10 and 12 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate, good quality diet to suit their ages.

Because the breed is quite rare outside of Thailand, there is not a lot of information regarding health issues that may affect the Khao Manee, but the breed is thought to be one of the more natural ones and therefore not prone to suffer from the sort of hereditary and congenital disorders that affect other breeds. With this said, the sort of health concerns that are sometimes seen in the breed are as follows:

  • Deafness
  • Kinked tails

Caring for a Khao Manee

As with any other breed, Khao Manees need to be groomed on a regular basis to make sure their coats and skin are kept in top condition. On top of this, they need to be fed good quality food that meets all their nutritional needs throughout their lives which is especially true of kittens and older cats.


Grooming

The Khao Manee boasts having short, close lying coats and as such they are low maintenance on the grooming front. A weekly brush and wipe over with a chamois leather is all it takes to keep their coats in good condition with a nice sheen on it. Like other breeds, they tend to shed the most in the Spring and then again in the Autumn when more frequent brushing is usually necessary to keep on top of things.

It's also important to check a cat's ears on a regular basis and to clean them when necessary. If too much wax builds up, it can lead to a painful infection which can be hard to clear up. In short, prevention is often easier than cure with ear infections. Cats often suffer from ear mites which is another reason why it's so important to check their ears every week or so.


Energy Levels/Playfulness

The Khao Manee is an active, playful, intelligent cat and one that likes to be given a tremendous amount of stimulation for them to be truly happy. Most owners tend to keep their pets as indoor cats because they do like to roam and being so valuable, they run the risk of not only getting injured, but stolen too.

Cats kept as indoor pets need to be given lots of things to do and places to hide when they want to, bearing in mind that Khao Manees love to climb up high so they can look down on the world below from a high vantage point. They also need to have lots of places they can snuggle up for a snooze when the mood takes them, bearing in mind that all cats love to snooze throughout the day.


Feeding

If you get a Khao Manee kitten from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule and it's important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same kitten food to avoid any tummy upsets. You can change a kitten's diet, but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don't develop any digestive upsets and if they do, it's best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again.

Older cats are not known to be fussy eaters, but this does not mean they can be given a lower quality diet. It's best to feed a mature cat several times a day making sure it's good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements which is especially important as cats get older. It's also essential to keep an eye on a cat's weight because if they start to put on too much, it can have a serious impact on their overall health and wellbeing. Like all other breeds, the Khao Manee should have access to fresh, clean water at all times.


Average Cost to keep/care for a Khao Manee

If you are looking to buy a Khao Manee, you would need to pay upwards of £500 for a well-bred kitten and you would need to register your interest with breeders and agree to being put on a waiting list because not many well-bred kittens are produced every year. The cost of insuring a male 3-year-old Khao Manee in northern England would be £14.62 a month for basic cover but for a lifetime policy, this would set you back £25.88 a month (quote as of April 2018). When insurance companies calculate a pet's premium, they factor in several things which includes where you live in the UK, a cat's age and whether they have been neutered or spayed among other things.

When it comes to food costs, you need to buy the best quality food whether wet or dry making sure it suits the different stages of a cat’s life. This would set you back between £15 - £20 a month. On top of this, you need to factor in veterinary costs if you want to share your home with a Khao Manee and this includes their initial vaccinations, their annual boosters, the cost of neutering or spaying a cat when the time is right and their yearly health checks, all of which quickly adds up to over £600 a year.

As a rough guide, the average cost to keep and care for a Khao Manee would be between £40 to £50 a month depending on the level of insurance cover you opt to buy for your cat, but this does not include the initial cost of buying a well-bred kitten.


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