Originating from Thailand, the Khao Manee also known as the Khao Plort is a rare cat breed. Although they are generally appreciated for their pure white fur and striking eye color, they are not widely popular due to their rarity.
Although breeders can be hard to track down, Khao Manee cats make for a great companion for any cat lover as they are social, communicative, and playful.
|Khao Manee Breed Overview|
|Height||10-12 inches (25-30 cm)|
|Weight||8-10 pounds (3.5-4.5 kg)|
|Suitable for…||children, seniors, and families with other cats or dogs|
|Temperament||active, outgoing, and playful; affectionate and people loving|
|Breed Traits Overview|
History Of The Khao Manee Cat Breed
The Khao Manee originated in Thailand where it was thought to be a symbol of good luck to the royal family. Originally, the breed was named Khao Plort which translates to “all-white”. As the breed got more attention, due to the belief that they would bring luck to the Thai royalty, the cat received the secondary name, Khao Manee, which translates to “white gem”. This Thai name has stuck with the breed over the years.
Another common name is “diamond eye” since the blue and green colors of the Khao Manee’s eyes resemble that of gemstones.
Amazingly, there is evidence of the Khao Plort that dates all the way back to the fourteenth century in a book of poems called the Tamra Maew which outlined many ancient breeds.
To this day the king of Thailand back in 1868, Siam Chulalongkorn King Rama V, is remembered for his love of the Khao Manee as they were his favorite breed of cat to keep in his palace.
In fact, King Rama V had such a fierce love for this breed, that when the western world started to infiltrate his country, he hid all of the Khao Manee.
With his fear that the breed would be stolen or tainted by being bred with other cat breeds, he instead presented the Siamese cat to any foreigner, deeming them as the “royal race” instead of his beloved Khao Manee.
How Much Does The Khao Manee Cost?
Since the Khao Manee is a rarer breed, not having left Thailand until 1999, the price of both kittens and adult cats is still quite high. Since most kittens have to be imported still for those purchasing outside of Thailand, they can cost upwards of $7,000 to $11,000 from a high-quality reputable breeder. This price tag has given them the reputation of being one of the most expensive cat breeds in the world.
With that said, there are many western cat breeders that you may be able to find more locally. In the United States at a more local breeder, kittens will range on average from $800 to $2,000. This range is consistent across Australia, Europe, and the United Kingdom, with the average being around €1000/£900.
One of the main reasons for price variability is the specific markings and oddities of each individual cat. For example, a Khao Manee with odd-eye colors (one green and one blue) will be far more expensive than one with two golden hazel eyes.
Personality Traits Of The Khao Manee
One of the most important categories to consider before purchasing a cat is its personality type. Ensuring that their personality matches that of your own will create a harmonious bond between cat and owner.
The Khao Manee is a very family-friendly cat, not posing a threat to children or the elderly thanks to their overall gentle but playful nature.
It’s especially important to note that the breed generally tolerates being picked up and handles very well, which is vital for families with younger children who will often be more hands-on with the cat. Finally, the breed is known to be good with strangers which is also vital for those who have children as the home can be a safe place to gather.
While some cats don’t tolerate being around dogs or even other cats very well, that is not the case with the Khao Manee. You will find that this breed is comfortable around other species and can socialize in a very friendly manner among a group of cats.
If you’re thinking of adding a Khao Manee to your existing family of pets, this is a great breed to introduce into the mix! Their high energy and playfulness will help them acclimate to the environment in a fast and friendly manner. They’re naturally inquisitive by nature so you can expect your Khao Manee to socialize with children, other household animals, and any family members willing to throw a toy around for them!
If you’re looking specifically for a breed that will be a good lap cat, the Khao Manee is the ideal breed! While the breed is known for its playful energy, they are also quite affectionate. In fact, due to their social nature with humans, they can often suffer when left alone for long periods of time.
While the energy level of the Khao Manee is on the higher side, they are by no means unmanageable. You will find that they have no problem calming down and relaxing after a little bit of exertion. This is a great trait of theirs as they will not laze around all day but also will not be the breed to wake you up to play in the middle of the night.
Their curiosity comes from having above-average intelligence and since they are so smart, you will often find them breaking into tight spaces, jumping on furniture to see things from a new vantage point, and overall being very inquisitive.
While this may seem like a downfall of the breed, with a higher capacity for learning, they are also very trainable. If you train your cat young, they will be very manageable and well-behaved.
They are not only friendly with the humans they spend most of their time around, but they are also friendly with strangers, children, and other animals.
With this, however, they have a strong sense of loyalty to their human family and while they will be friendly with visitors, they are not the breed you would need to be concerned about running away or straying far from home.
Finally, you can expect to always know where your Khao Manee is as they are an extremely vocal breed. Not only are they howlers, but they will also make a range of loud vocalizations to get the attention of humans.
Since they crave closeness and attentiveness, if you go too long without interacting with this breed, they will let you know!
How To Take Care Of A Khao Manee
While all cats have similar needs when it comes to nutrition, exercise, and basic inoculations, each breed requires slightly different care.
For the Khao Manee, you do not need to worry about any specific dietary restrictions; however, you should always follow what your veterinarian suggests for food based on the age, weight, and overall health of your cat.
Keep in mind that at different stages of your cat’s life you will need to give a different balance of wet/dry food, and they will require different nutrients. With that said, as carnivores, be sure you are feeding your cat foods that have real meat sources in them rather than fillers.
Since the Khao Manee is usually extremely active, being overweight tends not to be an issue in the breed. With the amount that these cats enjoy playing with, it is recommended to offer them a variety of toys to chase and play with throughout the day. Since they enjoy human company, try finding some toys that are interactive between you and your cat!
As far as grooming goes, you will find that the Khao Manee coat is very low maintenance as they have short hair that does not shed very much. If you brush your cat about once a week you will find that you will not get much hair off of them, but will maintain a healthy coat and good circulation in your pet.
It is ideal that the Khao Manee does not shed too much as they are very cuddly and affectionate; with this, you won’t end your days covered in cat hair!
Taking care of your cat will be far easier with a base knowledge of training. Since the Khao Manee are extremely intelligent and open to learning, you will find that you have no problem training them to utilize their litter box, not to jump on certain furniture, and getting them acclimated to feeding times.
While the breed is overall very healthy without any major health concerns, the number one health issue reported is deafness. Since they are not inbred and are a fairly old breed, they have great genes; however, all-white animals are usually more predisposed to suffering from deafness. While this does not affect all Khao Manee cats, it is recommended to get your kitten checked.
If purchasing your cat from a breeder, be sure to ask them if the cat is deaf before completing your adoption. All breeders should test their kittens for any potential problems before selling them, and while this should not deter you from buying the kitten, it is good to know of any potential hearing impairment ahead of time.
Physical Attributes Of The Khao Manee
The most distinctive feature of the Khao Manee is that their fur is bright white. With this complete white; however, for those who look a bit closer, you will find that there are many striking features on these cats.
- Head: Since the bone structure of the Khao Manee is thin, their heads are very dainty in size and shape. With a triangular head shape and defined cheekbones, they have very attractive profiles. Their noses are pink
- Body: While the breed is thin and elegant, they are also quite muscular. Since it is very uncommon for Khao Manee to be overweight, they maintain athletic builds for the entirety of their lives.
- Ears: In comparison to their head and body size, the ears of the Khao Manee are generally large. They stick straight up and point in opposite directions from one another with thin pink skin on the inside.
- Eyes: The breed has almond-shaped eyes that vary in color quite a bit! It is not uncommon to find an odd-eyed Khao Manee as they can often have one blue eye and one green eye. Other common eye colors include gold and hazel.
- Legs & Paws: The athletic appearance of the breed is complete by their leg height differing between the front and hind legs. Their front legs are just marginally shorter giving them a powerful yet sleek look. The pads of their feet are pink to match the color of their ears and nose.
- Tail: With slender long tails to match the sleekness of their body, this completes the graceful air given off by the breed.
- Coat: Among the most beautiful features of the breed is their silky thin coat. Their hair is not very coarse, making them extremely soft. Their coat remains short throughout their entire life and is very easily maintained without much shedding.
- Color: Interestingly, many kittens are born with a dark patch on their coats; however, these markings disappear usually within the first year of their growth. After any residual markings are outgrown, the Khao Manee has a pure white coat color.
Conclusion On The Khao Manee
The Khao Manee is much more than a strikingly beautiful cat breed. It is also a historically significant breed with deep roots in Thai culture. This breed would make a great addition to any family or household with its gentle personality, deeply playful spirit, and ability to mesh well with other household pets.