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Khao Manee Cat Breed Info: Pictures, Temperament & Traits

Written by: Sarah Psaradelis

Last Updated on June 21, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Khao Manee

Khao Manee Cat Breed Info: Pictures, Temperament & Traits

The Khao Manee is a beautiful feline known for its snow-white fur and odd-colored eyes. They are a gentle and independent breed with undemanding care requirements. Khao Manees enjoy a peaceful environment and prefer to spend their time indoors where they can relax with their family.

They are well-mannered enough to be suitable for apartment living and aren’t fussy about their space or who they share it with. Keep reading to discover more about what this rare cat breed has to offer.

Breed Overview


10–12 inches


8–10 pounds


10–15 years



Suitable for:

Families with children, apartment-living, and seniors


Curious, playful, affectionate, and intelligent

Khao Manees are nicknamed the “diamond eye cat” for a good reason. Their most distinctive feature is their eyes which can be two different colors. Most Khao Manees have single-colored eyes in either green, blue, or gold. However, some have two different colored eyes, with one being blue and the other gold, or one green, and the other blue.

Their eyes look striking against their short, white fur and pink noses. The Khao Manee’s temperament is just as regal as their appearance.

Khao Manee Characteristics

A high-energy cat needs a lot of physical and mental stimulation to keep healthy and happy, while a low-energy cat needs minimal physical activity, but still needs mental stimulation. When choosing a cat, It’s important to ensure their energy levels match your lifestyle.
Cats that are easy-to-train are more willing and skilled at quickly learning prompts and actions with minimal training. Harder-to-train cats are usually more stubborn or aloof and require a bit more patience and practice.
Certain cat breeds are more prone to various genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every cat in those breeds will have these issues, but they do have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Due to their size or potential genetic health issues of a specific breed, some cats have shorter lifespans than others. Proper nutrition, exercise, mental stimulation, and hygiene also play an important role in your cat’s lifespan and quality of life.
Some cat breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other cats and animals. Cats that are more social have a tendency to rub up on strangers for scratches or jump on laps for cuddles, while cats that are less social shy away, hide, are more cautious, and even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed or gender, it’s important to socialize your cat and expose them to many different situations.

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Khao Manee Kittens

Khao Manees are an incredibly rare breed that is not commonly found up for adoption or rehoming outside of Thailand. Khao Manees with odd-colored eyes are highly sought after and rarer than ones with same-colored eyes.

A reputable breeder will be the best choice if you want a purebred Khao Manee kitten. When you welcome a Khao Manee kitten into your home, you should be prepared for their high energy levels and playfulness. Khao Manee kittens love exploring from an early age and have a natural curiosity that makes them enjoy observing their environment.

You can begin training and socializing them when you bring them home from the breeder, as it’s best to start while they are still young and learning. It’s a good idea to keep plenty of toys nearby when Khao Manee kittens are in a playful mood. They won’t hesitate to play with anything that catches their attention, even if it happens to be your favorite pair of socks.

khao manee kittens
Image Credit: Loopneo, Shutterstock

Khao Manee Origin & History

Khao Manees originate from Thailand with an ancient history dating back hundreds of years. Although the exact origin of this breed is somewhat of a mystery, they are believed to be a naturally occurring breed. Khao Manees are one of the five existing Thai cat breeds mentioned in the Tamra Maew.

They were associated with good luck and their jewel-colored eyes have always been their most adored feature throughout history.

Temperament & Intelligence of the Khao Manee

Khao Manees have fascinating temperaments that pair well with their striking appearance. This breed is known to be curious and playful, with a hint of independence when they want to explore on their own.

As much as this breed enjoys spending time with their family as a devoted pet, they enjoy their own space and observing what’s going on around them. Khao Manees thrive off of attention when they want it. They don’t mind socializing with guests if it means they get the attention they crave. This breed enjoys playtime as much as they love napping in comfy spots around the home.

Khao Manees are naturally well-mannered felines, but consistent training can help bring out their most desirable traits. They settle well into peaceful environments and make the perfect companions for cozy apartments.

Are These Dogs Good for Families?👪

Khao Manees can be great for families, couples, or individuals. This breed can easily bond with their family members, and everyone will get along well with them. Khao Manees prefer their family to be home for most of the day, as they love attention and interaction. They can get along with both young and older children who know how to handle and interact with cats properly.

Khao manee diamond cat with red collar
Image Credit: NaNae, Shutterstock

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Khao Manees get along with other cats and dogs. They get along well with other playful cat breeds similar in age. However, Khao Manees usually aren’t the right fit for multi-cat households. They aren’t always happy about sharing your attention with other cats.

It’s important to socialize with this breed from a young age so that they can become more comfortable around dogs. They tend to get along better with older dogs with calm demeanors. They don’t enjoy being chased by dogs, and young puppies can be too boisterous for them.

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Things to Know When Owning a Khao Manee:

Food & Diet Requirements

Khao Manees are not fussy about what they eat and have similar dietary requirements to many cat breeds. As an obligate carnivore, most of a Khao Manees diet should consist of animal-based meat. They enjoy foods with turkey, chicken, or beef as a main ingredient. Khao Manees accept both wet and dry foods, although they seem to prefer wet foods more.

You want to ensure that you are feeding quality food to them with wholesome ingredients and essential vitamins and minerals.

Exercise 🐈

Khoa Manees are an energetic breed that thrives with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. They like to keep active and explore and appreciate having interactive toys that can keep them busy. This breed enjoys playing on cat trees, using their scratching posts, and exploring their home.

Although Khao Manees are suitable for apartments or other small homes, they still need space to run around and play in. Exercise helps keep this breed healthy and prevents them from becoming bored.

Training 🧶

Training is fairly straightforward for the Khao Manee. They are highly intelligent and enjoy being trained because it means they get to interact with you. Khao Manees respond well to positive reinforcement training methods and will look forward to their training sessions if they associate it with something good.

You want to gain their trust during training, so be sure to be patient and progress the training at a pace they feel comfortable with. Khao Manees can be litterbox trained, housebroken, and taught to respond to various commands.

A Khao Manee cat sitting on the floor
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

Grooming ✂️

Khao Manees have short coats that require minimal grooming. They are moderate shedders and a brush once or twice a week can help remove loose hairs. As with most cats, Khao Manees prefer to groom themselves. You will only need to brush their fur throughout the week and ensure their nails are kept in good shape. Their oral hygiene should be incorporated into their grooming routine too.

Brushing their teeth a few times a week using cat-friendly toothpaste can help prevent a buildup of plaque and tartar.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Khao Manees are a healthy breed with few known genetic health conditions. Despite this, they can still develop certain health conditions like most cat breeds can. As with most purebred white cats, the Khao Manees are prone to deafness in either one or both ears.

Minor Conditions
  • Deafness
  • Minor allergies

Serious Conditions
  • Diabetes
  • Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)
  • Ear infections
  • Skin cancer
  • Periodontitis

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Male vs Female

Male and female Khao Manees are very similar in many ways. It can be difficult to tell them apart once they have been spayed or neutered. Some owners report that their male Khao Manees are taller and slenderer than the females. Both sexes have the same temperaments and are equally as curious, affectionate, and intelligent.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Khao Manee

1. They are considered good luck charms in Thailand

Khao Manees originate from Thailand and were treasured by royalty. According to a passage in the Tamra Maew, Khao Manees were believed to bring good luck to those around them.

2. Khao Manees are one of the five existing Thai cat breeds

The Tamra Maew is an old manuscript that is thought to be the breed standard for several Thai cat breeds. Out of all the 20 Thai breeds mentioned in the passages, the Khao Manee is one of the five breeds that still exist today.

3. They are incredibly rare outside of Thailand

Khao Manees are rare outside of Thailand and it’s difficult to find them in the United States. Finding a reputable breeder in the United States that breeds purebred Khao Manees can be challenging. They are almost non-existent in shelters.

White Khao Manee with yellow and blue eyes
Image Credit: ne_photo, Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts

Khao Manees are a rare breed from Thailand with ancient origins. They are one of the five existing Thai breeds mentioned in the Tamra Maew manuscript. This breed is incredibly rare outside of Thailand and only a handful of them are registered in the United States. Khao Manees are very energetic and affectionate and thrive with human interaction.

They have no issue fitting into a family environment and bonding with everyone. Khao Manees are always eager to explore, and they need plenty of mental and physical stimulation to thrive.

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Featured Image Credit: vistawei, Pixabay

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