Welcome to Hylily Tonkinese & Samburu Sokokes

Hylily Tonkinese & Samburu Sokokes are owned and Bred by Mrs Hilary Goodburn with the help of my husband Fred in our home near Folkestone in Kent.

Tonkinese Cat Photo Tonkinese Cat Photo Tonkinese Cat Photo
Click on photos for enlargement

The Breeding programme is to promote the breed with their people loving and cuddly natures and to breed kittens that are a credit to their breed.

For further advice, information and kitten availability please contact:-

Tel. 01303-893958
Mob. 07931342202
e-mail hylilytonkinese@aol.com

Origins and History of the Tonkinese

It was in the Far East that this distinctive cat was first recorded, mostly in Siam (Thailand) around 400 AD. A Belief common in both Burma and Siam was that when a great personage died, such as a King or Queen, his (her) soul transferred itself to the body of a cat, where it remained until it died a natural death. Only then could the royal member’s soul enter paradise, it was also customary for the royal member’s favourite cat to be entombed alive with him. The tomb had a small opening through which the cat could escape carrying the soul if the recently deceased. The cat was then reverently escorted to the temple, where it lived the rest of its life in gracious ease, cared for by the local monks. The practice of giving a home to and caring for the welfare of the temple cats continues to this day.

The history and breeding of Tonkinese, Burmese and Siamese are inextricably linked, though the Burmese and Siamese are generally referred to as the Tonkinese’s parent breeds. However, a painting by am American artist William Morris Hunt (1824-1879) entitled “Girl with a Cat” suggests that the Tonkinese has been around in the west for at least 100 years, and maybe even longer.

While still considered a new Breed, the Tonkinese is not a Hybrid as some people mistakenly assume. Being of the same blood lines and the Siamese and Burmese breeds, today’s Tonkinese are believed to be a reconstruction of the chocolate Siamese cat imported to England in the early 1900s.

Incidentally, you may be wondering how the name “Tonkinese” originated. It was chosen because the Gulf of Tonkin in the South China Sea, lying on the latitude 20 degress, it runs between Burma & Thailand.