Tonkinese are a medium-sized cat breed distinguished by points as with Siamese and Burmese breeds. They are lively, friendly, often talkative cats, with gregarious personalities. But they are happy apartment cats if they have some exercise opportunity. They are commonly referred to as 'Tonks'. As with many cat breeds, the exact history of the Tonkinese varies to some degree depending on the historian.
In 2001, the Tonkinese were moved from hybrid classification to an established breed.