A bright white Khao Manee cat with odd colored eyes, looking cute as a button.
(Photo Credit: gopfaster | Getty Images)

Khao Manee

The Khao Manee is a distinctive and elegant cat breed originating from Thailand, known for its striking appearance and captivating eyes. Recognized for their pure white coat and gemstone-like, usually blue or odd-colored eyes, Khao Manees have a distinct allure. The breed has a short to medium-length coat that is smooth and lies close to the body. What sets the Khao Manee apart is its unique genetics, resulting in a high likelihood of having heterochromia, where each eye is a different color. Their name, which translates to “White Gem” in Thai, reflects their regal and precious demeanor.

Beyond their stunning physical characteristics, Khao Manees are cherished for their friendly and affectionate nature. They are also known to form strong bonds with their human companions, and their sociable personality makes them well-suited for family life. Khao Manees are often described as intelligent and playful, enjoying interactive activities and engaging with their owners. This breed has gained popularity for its unique combination of beauty and loving temperament, making it a sought-after choice for those seeking an enchanting and affectionate feline companion.

When considering a Khao Manee cat, it’s advisable to prioritize adopting from rescue organizations or shelters to provide a loving home to a cat in need. However, if you decide to purchase, it’s crucial to choose a reputable breeder. Conduct thorough research to ensure that the breeder follows ethical practices and prioritizes the well-being of their cats. Reputable Khao Manee Cat breeders prioritize the health and temperament of their cats, conduct necessary health screenings, and provide a nurturing environment for the kitties. This active approach ensures that you bring home a healthy and happy kitty while discouraging unethical breeding practices.

Quick Facts

  • Origin: Thailand, with a lineage possibly extending back centuries, considered an ancient and sacred breed.
  • Size: Small to medium (6-10 pounds)
  • Breed Group: Landrace (naturally occurring breed)
  • Lifespan: 10-12 years
  • Coat: Short, pure white, with no undercoat, and velvety soft.
  • Temperament: Playful, intelligent, curious, social, affectionate, enjoys human interaction and playtime.
  • Exercise Needs: Moderate – thrives on daily playtime and mental stimulation.
  • Training: Trainable with positive reinforcement due to their intelligence and desire to please.
  • Grooming: Minimal, weekly brushing to remove loose hair.
  • Health: Generally healthy, but some potential for hearing issues and genetic health conditions
  • The Khao Manee cat is thought to bring good luck and fortune to its owner.
  • Due to their rarity and the expense of importing them from Thailand, it can cost up to $10,000 to buy a Khao Manee kitten. Adopt, don’t shop!
  • The Khao Manee is related to the Siamese cat, but much more ancient.

Khao Manee Pictures

Khao Manee History

The Khao Manee has regal roots, originally being kept by royal families in Thailand many centuries ago. In fact, the breed appears in a classic book of cat poetry from the 14th Century called the Tamra Maew!

The breed’s name translates into English as “White Gem.” It’s said that the Khao Manee was kept native to Thailand until 1999, when a breeder named Colleen Freymuth decided to bring the cat to the United States of America. These days, you can find Khao Manees in shelters or in the care of rescue groups. So make sure to consider adoption if you decide that this is the breed for you!

Khao Manee Size

The Khao Manee is a small- to medium-sized cat. As is always the case, exact size standards might vary.

Most Khao Manees weigh in at eight to ten pounds. They’re usually ten to twelve inches in length when fully grown.

Khao Manee Personality

When it comes to the Khao Manee’s personality, you’ll instantly realize that this is one super playful and curious cat! This breed will happily play fetch games and never think twice about exploring every nook and cranny of an environment–so make sure you have at least one cat tree installed for the kitty and preferably lots of safe furniture that can be scaled.

The breed bonds well with children and other small pets, and will quickly become your kids’ best new playmate. Adding on to the Khao Manee’s playful side, this is a sociable cat who always wants to be at the center of any action going on. If your home is empty for large parts of the day, the cat could suffer from loneliness.

In fact, Khao Manee’s have also become known for being very talkative and verbal kitties–so be prepared for many back and forth conversations with your new feline friend!

Khao Manee Health

Khao Manees are generally considered to be healthy cats–but always schedule regular wellness visits with your cat’s vet. One breed-specific health problem that’s associated with the Khao Manee is potential deafness. This is actually something that any cat with the combination of a white coat and blue eyes might suffer from.

  • Deafness: Deafness in cats is not an uncommon condition and can be congenital or acquired later in life. Understanding the causes, signs, and management of feline deafness is crucial for cat owners and caregivers.

Khao Manee Care

As with all cats, it’s important to keep up your Khao Manee’s regular veterinary checkups to detect any health concerns early. Your vet can help you develop a care routine that will keep your cat healthy.

Beyond scheduling yearly wellness visits with your vet, make sure that you pick up a scratching post for your Khao Manee’s living environment–this can help promote healthy scratching and keep the cat’s nails in good condition. The Khao Manee’s ears should also be examined regularly for signs of dirt building up or possible infection. It’s also vital to check the cat’s skin regularly, especially around the ears, as white cats are often more prone to developing skin cancer.

Talk to your vet about starting a regular teeth brushing regimen that will suit your Khao Manee. Your vet can advise you about specific brands and techniques. Finally, for such an active cat, the Khao Manee definitely needs to be provided with enough space to be able to run around and satisfy their exercise needs.

Khao Manee Coat Color And Grooming

The Khao Manee is a white cat. The breed’s plain white coat also has the effect of making their eyes stand out and sparkle! When it comes to grooming, most Khao Manee cats are very low maintenance–because this is such a short haired cat, you can get by with brushing them just once a week. This will help lessen the likelihood of hairballs and mats forming.

In terms of climate, the Khao Manee generally prefers to be around warmer temperatures rather than cold ones. Although you should always make sure that there’s enough shade and fresh water available during the hotter months.

Children And Other Pets

The Khao Manee is a great fit with young children, not least because the breed is so outgoing and playful. Just be sure that early socialization takes place and boundaries are properly set on both sides–and supervise early interactions between kids and cats.

When it comes to other household pets, the Khao Manee fares well with many domestic animals, including dogs. Always supervise early interactions between the new cat and existing pets, as well. Ultimately, early socialization really pays off with this breed. Make sure to reward your Khao Manee for good behavior when you bring them home to your family!

Khao Manee Rescue Groups

It may be hard to find a breed specific rescue for Khao Manee cats because they are a fairly uncommon breed. However, you may want to try shelters and rescues that cater to all types of cats, including Khao Manees, as well as your local shelter. Here are some nonprofit rescues you can try:


Life Span
10 to 12 years
10 to 12 inches
8 to 10 pounds
Country Of Origin


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