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Khao Manee (Diamond Eye Cat): Info, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts

Rachel Giordano

By Rachel Giordano

A Khao Manee cat sitting on the floor

Height: 10–12 inches
Weight: 8–10 pounds
Lifespan: 10–12 years
Colors: Pure white
Suitable for: Experienced owners, active families, families with children, families with plenty of outdoor space
Temperament: Intelligent, loving, loyal, easy to train, friendly, playful, affectionate, sociable, dependent

The Khao Manee, also known as the Diamond Eye, is a pure white cat that hails from Thailand. They have lean and muscular bodies, soft and short coats, and are highly intelligent. They can have blue or gold-colored eyes or a mix of the two. These cats love to interact with their humans and play, as they are highly inquisitive.

Khao Manee means “white gem,” and these cats are considered royal cats to Thailand Emperors because they believe they bring good luck. They have been around for over 700 years and were once exclusive to Thailand, but you can now find breeders in the United States.

These cats are recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association and are considered a naturally occurring breed. In this article, we’ll dive deeper into this rare cat breed to give you an idea of their personalities, characteristics, traits, and more.

Khao Manee Kittens

Khao Manee kittens
Image Credit: Loopneo, Shutterstock

The Khao Manee does not like to be left alone for long periods of time. If you’re rarely home, you may need to reconsider acquiring a Khao Manee. These cats are sociable and require extended periods of playtime and mental stimulation. If you have the time to devote to this beautiful pure white cat, the Khao Manee can make an excellent addition to your household.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Khao Manee Cat

1. They are one of the most expensive cat breeds in the world

These cats were not found in the western world until 1999, and if you do find one, then remember that they can be quite expensive. Some have even sold for $11,000. For centuries, the Khao Manee was kept a secret, and only the people of Thailand knew of their existence.

2. The Khao Manee was mentioned in the Tamra Maew (Cat Treatises)

Also referred to as the Cat-Book Poems, the Khao Manee is mentioned in this collection of painted illustrations and poems that dates back to the 19th century.

3. They are vocal and chatty cats

The Khao Manee loves to talk and will likely carry on a conversation with you. If you talk to a Khao Manee, be prepared for the cat to talk back.

A Khao Manee Cat
Image Credit: vistawei, Pixabay

Temperament & Intelligence of the Khao Manee

Overall, the Khao Manee is a highly inquisitive extrovert. They have a friendly nature and are always going to be a source of entertainment. They do tend to show off, and their loud meows will deter some people from buying them. However, if you don’t mind giving your pets every ounce of attention that you can spare, then they’d be a great fit for you.

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

These cats love to be with their humans and love to play. They don’t like being left alone for long periods, so as long as you’re home often, your Khao Manee will be happy. They are friendly and outgoing but do require a lot of attention. They love to play but will also curl up in your lap for an afternoon or early evening snooze. In short, they make wonderful family pets, and they are friendly with strangers.

They do well with children, but if you have children, ensure the children know how to interact with the Khao Manee respectively, which means no rough play or pulling of tails.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

These cats love to play, and as long as other pets in the household are friendly, your Khao Manee will get along with them just fine. They are curious and inquisitive cats and will partake in any family activity, especially with other pets in the home. They adapt quickly to their environment and are easy-going.

Things to Know When Owning a Khao Manee Cat:

Food & Diet Requirements 🐡

The Khao Manee does not require a certain diet that’s different from any other cat, but they do require essential vitamins and minerals that they can consume from high-quality cat food. Be sure to follow the feeding guidelines, and if ever in doubt, check with your veterinarian for the appropriate feeding amount.

Exercise 🐈

As we’ve stated, these cats love to play and interact with their humans or other pets in the home. They are highly intelligent and require lots of mental stimulation. It’s vital that you keep plenty of cat toys around for their pleasure. They love puzzles and games, so be sure to have plenty for this intelligent cat to work on. They also are excellent jumpers and love to climb, so having a cat tree will help keep them in shape.

Training 🧶

Khao Manees loves to play a game of fetch. Since they are very social and love to be in the middle of whatever is going on, it doesn’t take much to get them interested in playing.

They learn the litter box quickly, as well as scratching posts. Positive reinforcement is key in training these cats. When your Khao Manee displays a welcomed and positive behavior, reward them. Always have plenty of treats available for training, and always reward for good or desirable behavior. With time and patience, your Khao Manee will be trained in no time, especially with their intelligence.

A Khao Manee Cat with a red collar
Image Credit: NaNae, Shutterstock

Grooming ✂️

The Khao Manee is a low-shedding cat with no undercoat and only requires weekly brushing to remove dead hair. With their white coats, you may need to bathe them once in a while with a whitening shampoo safe for cats.

Dental hygiene is important, so try to brush your Khao Manee’s teeth three to four times a week at least and even more if it’ll let you. Be sure to use a toothbrush designed for cats, as well as toothpaste designed for them. Enzymatic toothpaste is best for removing plaque and tartar, which are the culprits that lead to gingivitis and periodontal disease. Dental treats are also excellent to have on hand to use in between brushings.

Their nails should stay at a reasonable length with the help of scratching posts and cat trees, but it’s a good idea to check them weekly to ensure they don’t require clipping.

Health and Conditions 🏥

These cats are a pretty healthy breed, but there are a few minor concerns to be aware of.

Minor Conditions
  • Sunburns: White cats are more susceptible to sunburns, but you can help prevent it by limiting their outdoor exposure. If your Khao Manee likes to be outdoors, make sure to provide shaded areas and avoid peak times of sun exposure, which are between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Upper Respiratory Infections: Cats can get colds similar to humans, complete with coughs, sniffles, and congestion, and Khao Manees are more prone to this sickness. If your Khao Manee develops any symptoms, take it to your vet for a work-up.
Serious Conditions
  • Deafness: Inherited deafness sometimes affects white cats, and the blue-eyed Khao Manee is more prone to it. Deafness can be partial or complete.

Male vs. Female

There’s not much difference between males and females other than the males may be slightly bigger. Female cats tend to be more aloof than males, but every cat is different. It’s a wise decision to have your cat spayed or neutered for their health to avoid potential complications down the road, such as certain cancers.

Final Thoughts

The Khao Manee is a fun cat to have around. They are vocal, affectionate, intelligent, and love to play. Their soft and cuddly white fur requires minimal brushing, and they are smart for easy training. Having a Khao Manee is similar to having a dog because they love to play fetch, and providing mental stimulation can be fun for both of you.

Keep in mind that they don’t do well being left alone for long periods, so as long as you are home often and have the time to devote to your kitty, the Khao Manee can be a terrific pet. They do demand your attention, but they will provide you with lots of love in return. You may have some trouble finding this rare cat, but if you do, you will pay a significant amount, but it will be worth the expense.

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Featured Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

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