Khao Manee: Cat Breed Profile – How to Create a Happy Home for Your Pet

The pure white Khao Manee cat is known for its typical jewel-like eyes, which can be blue, green, gold or “odd” (two eyes of different colors; for example, one green and one blue). The Khao Manee developed naturally in Thailand many hundreds of years ago.

The body type of the Khao Manee is appropriate to the hot, tropical climate of Thailand. His sleek, muscular, athletic body with medium sturdiness is moderate in every way – never bulky or extreme. The coat of the Khao Manee is short, smooth, fine and slightly open, with a sparse to moderate undercoat. The nose is of medium length, which is more suitable for hot weather than a short or snub nose.

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The Khao Manee cat is playful and curious – some might even say cheeky, but everything is fun. Khao Manee owners know that their cat’s mischievous antics are always tempered by good-natured behavior. The breed is friendly and open-minded, including towards strangers, and will greet newcomers with a joyful welcome. They get along well with well-mannered children and accept friendships with other cats and even the family dog. In between exploration and play sessions, the Khao Manee will happily snuggle up on your lap to warm up. The social Khao Manee cat needs a lot of attention and interaction from its human family – this is not a breed that is satisfied with being left alone for long hours every day.

Breed overview

Weight: About 8 to 10 pounds.

Long: About 18 inches.

Fell: Short, smooth and fine, with a sparse to moderate undercoat.

Coat color: Pure, brilliant white.

Eye color: Any blue (including aqua), gold (including brown, copper, amber, yellow, and hazelnut), or green; Eyes can also be odd (multiple colors or shades between the eyes or within one eye).

Life expectancy: 10 to 12 years.

Characteristics of the Khao Manee cat
Degree of affection High
friendliness High
Child friendly High
Pet friendly High
Need for exercise middle
playfulness High
Energy level middle
intelligence High
Tendency to vocalize middle
Amount of dandruff middle

Getty Images/goptaste

History of the Khao Manee Cat

Thailand is the birthplace of many different breeds of cats, some of which are now extinct and others are still valued as pets today. The history of some cat breeds is limited, but thanks to that Tamra Maew, even Treatise on cats or called, we know a lot about the different Thai cat breeds Cat Book Poems, a collection of illustrations and poetic descriptions of cats written sometime around AD 1350 today, including the Wichien Maat (Siamese), the Suphalak (Burmese), the silver-blue Korat, the all-black konja, and the whole white khao manee.

That Tamra Maew is a style of manuscript known as the Samut Khoi Manuscript, a type of folded book found in various Buddhist cultures. The original version of the Tamra Maew was probably created in the mid-14th century and describes many different breeds of cats, some believed to be happy and some to be unhappy. The white Khao Manee was one of the cats believed to bring happiness and fortune to those around them. Khao Manee with strange eyes are considered particularly happy. Due to the inclusion of illustrations and physical details of cats, some believe that the Tamra Maew could have been an early book of breed standards, which are the written descriptions of the ideal cat of a particular breed.

The Khao Manee cat is extremely rare outside of Thailand. The first Khao Manee was imported to the United States in 1999. The breed is recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) and the International Cat Association (TICA), which uses the breed spelling Khaomanee.

Khao Manee cat grooming

The smooth short coat of the Khao Manee cat only loses moderately and is easy to care for. Brush once or twice a week to remove loose hair and keep the coat shiny and soft. A bath every few months also keeps the fur feeling good, looks good and smells good. To keep the fur shiny white, try a lightening shampoo made specifically for white cats. Like all cats, the Khao Manee has to trim her nails every two weeks. Check the ears weekly for dirt and clean them with a pet-safe ear cleaner if they look dirty. If you see redness or excessively dirty ears, make an appointment with your veterinarian for an exam.

Khao Manee is a very playful cat who loves to climb and explore. Give your Khao Manee places to climb and sit like scratching posts or towers and provide lots of fun toys like feather sticks, balls with bells, fuzzy mice and puzzle toys. Khao Manee is supposed to have fun playing fetch.

The Tamra Maew, or Cat Book Poems, is a 14th-century book of illustrations and poetic descriptions of cats.

Wikimedia Commons / Robotkung

Common health problems

The Khao Manee cat is generally considered to be healthy, with few known genetic health conditions affecting the breed. All white cats like the Khao Manee are sometimes prone to deafness, which can be one-sided (deafness in only one ear) or bilateral (deafness in both ears).

Diet and nutrition

Feed your Khao Manee cat measured meals at regular times (kittens typically need three to four meals a day, but adults generally need two meals a day – morning and evening). Scheduled meal times help prevent unwanted weight gain, which can happen if you go without food all the time (called free feeding). Cats that are overweight or obese can develop weight-related health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis. Talk to your veterinarian or breeder for advice on the best food for your Khao Manee cat.

14 top cat breeds from Asia advantages


  • It doesn’t go well if it’s left alone

  • Needs a lot of attention

  • Rare / hard to find

Where can I adopt or buy a Khao Manee cat?

The Khao Manee cat is extremely rare, so finding a Khao Manee breeder who has kittens available can be difficult. Your best bet is to visit a local cat show where you can meet a wide variety of responsible breeders. Cat shows are great fun for viewers as they can see many different breeds of cats under one roof. To find a cat show near you, search the web for “cat show near me” or visit Khao Manee cats are so rare that they don’t end up in animal shelters very often. When Khao Manee cats are in dire straits, they usually do so through a network of breeders.

More cat breeds and further research

If you like the Khao Manee cat, you may also like these cat breeds: