Last Updated on March 18, 2021 by Julia Wilson
- Origin: Thailand
- Lifespan: 12-14 years
- Eyes: Gold, green, blue and odd
- Energy: Medium
- Temperament: Loyal, easygoing, intelligent, gentle
- Weight: Males 4.5-5 kg (9.9 – 11 lbs), females 4-5 kg (8.8 – 11 lbs)
- Colours: White
- Coat: Short
- Grooming: Once a week
- Also called: Khao Plort, White Gem, White-Jewelled Cat, Diamond Cat, Diamond Eye, Khaomanee
The Khao Manee is a rare, natural breed of cat from Thailand with a stunning white coat and blue, gold or odd-eyes (blue and green or yellow). Several other breeds have originated from Thailand including the Siamese, Burmese and Korat.
Originally known as the Khao Plort, the first written mention of the Khao Manee is in the Tamra Maew (Cat Treatises) which describes a set of 23 different coloured cats, 17 of whom were thought to bring good luck. King Chulalongkorn (also known as King Rama V -20 September 1953 – 23 October 1910 loved the Khao Manee. He allowed his son Prince Chum Rom Kreth Udomsak, to raise and breed them. Prince Chum Rom Kreth Udomsak eventually passed caretaker duties to his daughter, Princess Ruang Jit Jarang Apakorn.
Princess Ruang Jit Jarang Apakorn passed the cats on to the family of Namdee Witta in 1957. Namdee Witta is a retired film producer and is the nephew of Princess Ruang Jit Jarang Apakorn, and the number of cats expanded to 300.
Completely white, eyes of clear mercury, this cat if in any house, brings long life and title, material wealth coming in with no decrease will be entertained with all things in happiness.
Colleen Freymouth imported the first Khao Manee (named Sripia) to the United States in 1999, followed five years later by French breeder Frédéric Lachaud-Goedert.
As of 2007, the Khao Manee has begun the new breed application process in TICA and promoted to Advanced New Breed in 2013.
GCCF granted the Khao Manee Exhibition Only status in 2010.
CFA placed the Khao Manee in Miscellaneous Class in 2018, which is their starting point for new breed recognition and the breed to be exhibited at shows and provides judges with the opportunity to examine the cats and plan a breed standard.
Interesting fact: The name diamond eye comes from the unusual starburst pattern around the pupils of the eyes which resembles that of a diamond cut.
The Khao Manee is a medium-sized cat with a white short and close-lying coat that is smooth and has very little undercoat. As with most Thai cat breeds, the Khao Maneeis a semi-foreign type; lithe and athletic with medium boning. Males are slightly heavier than females.
Head: Modified wedge, with high cheekbones and a straight nose. Ears are large and wide at the base.
Eyes: Moderate size and oval in shape.
Eye colour: Odd (blue and yellow or green), yellow and green.
The Khao Manee is a curious, active, playful and outgoing cat. They need to interact with their human family and do not like to be left on their own long.
Is my cat a Khao Manee?
Unless the cat was purchased from a Khao Manee breeder and can trace the cat’s origins back to Thailand, then it is unlikely. White cats (even white cats with odd-eyes) are found throughout the world. Some purebred cats do find their way to shelters, but with only a handful of breeders (at best) the chances of such a rare breed (outside of Thailand) turning up in a shelter would be extremely unlikely. As far as I am aware, there are no Khao Manee breeders or Khao Manee cats in Australia.
Most white cats with blue, gold or odd eyes are domestic shorthairs, which makes them no less special.