Catster logo

Khao Manee Cat Breed Info: Pictures, Temperament & Traits

khao manee cat portrait
Image Credit: ne_photo, Shutterstock
Last Updated on November 16, 2023 by Nicole Cosgrove

Click to skip ahead:

The Khao Manee is a rare breed of white cat from Thailand. Its line goes back hundreds of years, and its name means White Gem. Their coat is short and smooth, and their eyes can be blue or gold, with some rare cats sporting one gold eye and one blue one. It’s intelligent, vocal, and has a muscular body. The Khao Manee began entering competitions in 2010 once the Cat Fanciers Association recognized it.

Breed Overview

Height:10–12 inches
Weight:8–10 pounds
Lifespan:10–12 years
Suitable for:Families, small or large homes, children
Temperament:Social, outgoing, and affectionate

Khao Manee Cat Characteristics


Khao Manee Kittens

khao manee kitten laying on a soft blanket
Image Credit: Sheila Fitzgerald, Shutterstock

As Khao Manee kittens grow, they undergo a fascinating transformation in their appearance. It’s crucial to bear in mind that what you see in your new feline companion may not mirror their adult form. While initially enchanting, their eventual evolution is sure to captivate you.

cat paw divider

Temperament & Intelligence of the Khao Manee

Khao Manee cats are devoted to their owners and will often stay within a few feet of a family member. It’s intelligent and vocal, traits it will use to convince you to give it what it wants. Many owners also comment that it will use its intelligence to be mischievous, especially if it feels left out or has been alone too long. They also like playing fetch, mental stimulation games, like food puzzles, and snuggling up on the couch with their owner.

Are These Cats Good for Families?

Yes, the Khao Manee makes an excellent family pet. It’s extremely friendly and likes to stay close to family members. It enjoys games and will use its intelligence to entertain children. Its short hair is also less likely to get pulled by toddlers.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

Yes, the Khao Manee gets along well with other cats and cohabitates well with most dog breeds. It can become aggressive toward smaller rodents like mice but won’t bother rabbit or most reptiles.

khao manee cat lying on the couch
Image Credit: DenKara, Shutterstock

yarn ball divider

Things to Know When Owning a Khao Manee

Here is a list of things you should consider before purchasing a Khao Manee.

Food & Diet Requirements

The Khao Manee requires the same diet as any cat breed. Cats are carnivorous, so you should avoid food that is high in carbohydrates that contains ingredients like corn, wheat, and soy. A diet high in protein with whole meat like chicken, beef, or turkey listed as the first ingredient is best. Wet food is suitable for kittens and cats suffering from constipation because it’s very rich and high in moisture. However, dry food is better for adult cats because the crunchy kibble helps to scrub away tartar, keeping the teeth cleaner and preventing the onset of dental disease.


Cats are most active from dusk until dawn and will get most of the exercise they need during that time, especially if you have a large home they can explore. However, you should strive to play with your Khao Manee for 30–60-minutes per day. Fetch and laser pens are ideal ways to make sure your cat is active enough to maintain a healthy weight.

khao manee cat playing a ball
Image Credit: DenKara, Shutterstock


Your Khao Manee is intelligent and easy to train to use a litter box or a scratching pad. They will also learn several words and their meaning and will come running when you call them. Like most cats, your Khao Manee will respond best to treats, positive reinforcement, and patience.

Grooming ✂️

The hair on a Khao Manee is short and close to the body, so it doesn’t require more than an occasional brushing. You may need to trim the nails every few weeks if they don’t have a scratching post and instead use your furniture or curtains.

Frequent teeth brushing is also very important. You should brush the teeth every five to seven days to help reduce the risk of dental disease. It’s important to use a cat-safe toothpaste because many human-grade kinds of toothpaste contain an artificial sweetener called xylitol that can be dangerous and even deadly to your Khao Manee. Many brands include a standard and a finger toothbrush to help you get the job done. Getting your pet used to the brushing while it’s still a kitten will produce the best results.

Health and Conditions

The Khao Manee is considered a healthy breed with very few health concerns. However, there are still a few things you should consider.

Dental Disease

As we mentioned earlier, dental disease is a serious concern in cats, and some experts say up to 90% of cats over four years old suffer from some form of dental disease. The best way to protect your cat from the onset of dental disease is to feed it dry cat food, which can help scrape away plaque and tartar. Regular brushing with a cat-safe toothpaste is also essential. You can use a toothbrush similar to ours, or some brushes fit over the finger to help make the task a little easier. A lack of brushing can lead to gingivitis, a condition where the gums become red and inflamed. Periodontitis is an advanced form of gingivitis that causes teeth to come loose and fall out, and tooth reabsorption can also occur and is very common in many cat breeds.


Obesity is another common problem in all cat breeds. Experts suggest that 35% of American cats suffer from the disease and up to 50% of the cats over 5-years of age. This average is slightly higher in the UK. Obesity can lead to several health problems, including many types of cancer, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, osteoarthritis, bladder stones, and less tolerance to heat.

The best way to prevent obesity in your Khao Manee is to follow the feeding instructions on the bag closely. Limit treats to no more than 10% of their daily calories, and help them get plenty of activity. Putting your cat on a strict diet can be dangerous, and it puts them at risk of a possibly life-threatening disease called hepatic lipidosis. This disease causes a build-up of fat in the liver due to a change in the metabolic rate.

Diarrhea and Constipation

Your cat’s digestive system is very sensitive, and it doesn’t take much to upset it, which can lead to diarrhea or constipation. High-quality food that doesn’t contain harmful chemical preservatives or artificial dyes can reduce the frequency, as can food without corn, wheat, or soy products. If you notice a new brand of food or treat is causing diarrhea, switch brands immediately.

Intestinal parasites like hookworms, roundworms, threadworms, and whipworms, can also be sources of diarrhea and underlying health problems, like irritable bowel syndrome and malabsorption. Eating foods they shouldn’t, like garbage, dead animals, grasses, and plants, is also a common cause of diarrhea.

A water fountain can help ensure your Khao Manee gets enough fluids to prevent constipation. Foods containing probiotics can also help build up the good bacteria in your cats’ gut, helping them break down and absorb their food more easily. You can also include probiotic supplements if the food does not contain them.

Male vs Female

The male and female Khao Manee are virtually the same, with very little difference between them in size or personality. Some owners suggest that the males are slightly more vocal, but that Is purely subjective.

3 cat divider

3 Little-Known Facts About Khao Manee Cats

1. Thailand strictly protected the Khao Manee, and it was not allowed out of the country until 1999.

2. The Khao Manee is also called Diamond Eye.

3. The Treatise of Cats, a 19th-century cat illustrations book from Thailand, mentions the Khao Manee.

closeup of khao manee cat
Image Credit: Pattana Kesarat, Shutterstock

cat paw divider

Final Thoughts

The Khao Manee makes a great pet and companion. Its vocal nature is entertaining and gives you a better idea of how it feels or what it wants. It has very short hair that’s easy to maintain and doesn’t leave a lot of fur around the home. It’s soft and cuddly with captivating eyes, especially if you get two different colored eyes. The only downside is that it’s a rare breed and can be quite expensive.

We hope you have enjoyed our look into these attractive cats and have decided to get one for your next pet. If we have answered your questions, please share this guide to the Khao Manee on Facebook and Twitter.

You Might Also Be Interested in: 

Featured Image: ne_photo, Shutterstock

About the Author

Christian Adams
Christian Adams
Christian is the Editor-in-Chief of Excited Cats and one of its original and primary contributors. A lifelong cat lover, now based in South East Asia, Christian and his wife are the proud parents of an 11-year-old son and four rescue cats: Trixie, Chloe, Sparky, and Chopper.

Get Catster in your inbox!

Stay informed! Get tips and exclusive deals.


Follow Us

Shopping Cart