Seeking advice on Ragamuffin vs Tonkinese breed

nymeria

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Hi everyone,

I'm looking into two different breeds, both said to be affectionate, I'd love to hear from people who have experience with either breed as I'm having a really hard time deciding between the two. Quick background: I live alone and work from home.

Last Spring, I lost my soul cat, a rescue DSH tabby. I'm still devastated. He was the most loving cat ever, and truly my best friend. We were so bonded and he was so smart, he'd actually understand things I was telling him to do and do them! He'd greet me at the door, talk with me (he has a soft high pitched meow which was so cute), lay on my chest and purr every morning and every evening, and hed hop onto his hind legs and demand to be picked up and held on my shoulder. For what it's worth, i live with PTSD and having a loving cat like him was extremely therapeutic and I miss him so much.

Now I'm feeling ready to adopt another cat again. I know I'll never replace my baby but I really want a cat that's likely to be as physically affectionate. I also want a cat that looks different from him, as the thought of having another DSH tabby feels painful. I've researched a lot of breeds and am leaning towards either the Tonkinese or Ragamuffin.

For the Tonkinese, I heard they love to sit on laps and shoulders and can be very amusing. From speaking with a few breeders, it sounds like I should most likely get two, as they are really high energy and playful cats. If anyone has experience with them—just how high energy are they? I'm open to getting two, as the breeder I spoke to definitely recommended them.
I'd love to have playful and funny cats, but a part of me worries if they will be playing like crazy all day and all night. How much "work" is it to wear them out? Do you ever have time to just relax while the cats are sleeping? I can certainly play with the cats every day, but I worry that "high energy" means playing for several hours every day. From reading on google and such, sometimes I worry that they'll be constantly up to mischief and I'll constantly have to be after them every waking moment until they finally fall asleep on me. Is this accurate or is it just my anxiety talking to me? Also, how "loud" are they? I love vocal cats, but is their meow loud enough to disturb neighbors?

For the Ragamuffin, I heard they are also affectionate and cuddly. It seems like having just one (since i work from hom) could work. I'm more hesistant to get two because they grow to be so large and I'm in an apartment. My concern is the long hair, I've never had a long haired cat before—is it a lot more maintenance? Are there puff balls everywhere? Does the large size and poofiness make it harder to cuddle with them and pick them up?

I just love the Tonkinese looks a little more, honestly, but my worry is that they'll need constant amusement and get destructive and I won't be able to keep up. Ragamuffins are absolutely adorable, too, though.. It's so hard!

Thanks SO much everyone.
 
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nymeria

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To clarify above (sorry I can't seem to find if there's an edit button!)
When I said " I can certainly play with the cats every day, but I worry that "high energy" means playing for several hours every day" I meant several hours straight of undivided attention and interactive play, even as adults. I definitely understand kittens will need a lot of play regardless of breed! :)
 

sivyaleah

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While I am not familiar with either breed what I can say is going by generalized descriptions of behavior for a breed is just not going to be accurate all the time.

Case in point. Some years back I had the opportunity to take a purebred Ragdoll into our home. Everything I'd read said they were very easy going, sweet and placid cats. Well that was not the case here. The cat actually lunged at me while I was sitting on the couch chatting with her owners. For no reason. We did not adopt her needless to say and in fact later was able to assist in getting her returned to her breeder for rehabilitation. Nature or nurture? Who knows but she surely was not a nice cat.

Swing over to current times. We purchased a purebred Maine Coon late 2019. We always got the impression that MC's were big, loveable gentle giants as they are sometimes called. Well ours, is a slinky ball of energy who is constantly on high alert and spends a lot of time by herself. She is not huggable - she gets annoyed by being restricted in any way. She is very much her own cat, even when she graces us with her presence. She is unique to say the least and not what we expected her to become. But we love her to pieces regardless and work with her as she is.

All cats need to be played with, it's not specific to any breed. It makes for a happier, more well adjusted cat in the long run. But you don't have to go crazy trying to entertain them either. And kittens in general are destructive to some degree. It's just baby behavior. Eventually once they become adults that constant need for entertainment drops off considerably. I remember thinking Luna never slept as a really young cat LOL. But now, at 1-1/2 years old, hours can go by where we aren't even sure where she's napping.

Anyway, point is get the cat that speaks to you most. Do your due research well beforehand so that you really know what you want. And yes, if you have the finances, getting two at once is a much better idea as it really will keep them more entertained to have a friend.
 

lutece

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I haven't raised Tonkinese, so I'm definitely not an expert, but I've visited other breeders that raise them. If you love talkative and affectionate cats, and you are attracted to the way they look, you would probably love this breed.

How did you feel about the Tonkinese breeders you talked to? A good breeder will help you to evaluate whether this breed is well suited to your lifestyle, and can also help choose individual kittens with a temperament that can work for you. What did they say about the breed's requirements, other than suggesting you get two cats (which definitely sounds like a good recommendation to me)?
 

lutece

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Swing over to current times. We purchased a purebred Maine Coon late 2019. We always got the impression that MC's were big, loveable gentle giants as they are sometimes called. Well ours, is a slinky ball of energy who is constantly on high alert and spends a lot of time by herself. She is not huggable - she gets annoyed by being restricted in any way. She is very much her own cat, even when she graces us with her presence. She is unique to say the least and not what we expected her to become. But we love her to pieces regardless and work with her as she is.
Having briefly raised MCs, I don't think of them as the most "huggable" breed. My experience is that they vary in how physically affectionate they are. They are wonderful cats, but it's not one of the breeds I would put at the top of my list for people who want a cuddly lap cat.
 

sivyaleah

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Having briefly raised MCs, I don't think of them as the most "huggable" breed. My experience is that they vary in how physically affectionate they are. They are wonderful cats, but it's not one of the breeds I would put at the top of my list for people who want a cuddly lap cat.
LOL as I found out :D
 
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nymeria

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How did you feel about the Tonkinese breeders you talked to? A good breeder will help you to evaluate whether this breed is well suited to your lifestyle, and can also help choose individual kittens with a temperament that can work for you. What did they say about the breed's requirements, other than suggesting you get two cats (which definitely sounds like a good recommendation to me)?
I spoke with two on the phone, one had a lot more to say about what to expect from the breed.
  • They are a very playful, high energy breed, and if they don't get enough stimulation they can start to get destructive like opening doors and stuff. She thinks its cute but some people really don't like that.
    • Personally I don't mind that to a point, as I can just get child safety locks for cabinets, and I don't consider that destructive really. My concern would be chewing wires and such and actually destroying things (I've already bought some pet-safe cord covers but would prefer if they weren't prone to that at all). I'm curious how "mischievous" they can really be? I can tolerate some, but again I'm worried about total pandemonium?
  • That if you want to get work done on a computer they will be on your keyboard and sitting on you, etc, so you'll probably need to put them in another room with the door closed.
    • This I don't mind to a point... I guess my concern is if this is something that will happen constantly, or just sometimes. My last cat would jump on the computer for a few minutes, but eventually he'd settle down on the seat next to me and let me get work done for hours.
  • They recommended also playing with them about 30 minutes before bed to tired them out, then feeding them. She said they usually sleep through the night, that they will try to wake you up early morning(4am-ish) but if you ignore them, theyll learn not to.
    • I can totally do this, my only question is if sometimes I don't, because we all have days sometimes where we're just overwhelmed with work and so tired, will it be okay? I suppose having two kitties will help?
  • They said at 4 weeks old they can start seeing personalities and which ones will match best with some families. I asked for a very affectionate/cuddly one and she said she could do that. They said once we have a match they'll continue to talk about the home (activity level, people present, etc) to make sure it's a good match.
Thanks very much to everyone for replying and helping me make this decision :) I do feel like the Tonkinese breed makes me more excited to own, I just worry that I may not be able to handle it... Another thing I read is they like to climb and be in high places.. this I can get cat trees and wall shelves for..but I worry about stuff like being in the kitchen and them trying to get on the stove and it being unsafe. Is this something you guys think I could train them not to do?

Thanks again everyone
 

lutece

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I think the breeder can probably answer those kind of detailed questions better than I can. It's great that they are giving you a lot of detailed information and suggestions; they sound serious about making a good match for their kittens. Do they seem like a good breeder in other ways?
 

Seadreamer

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Hi!!!
I am the happy proud parent of Tonkinese who has ruled my heart for the past 15 years. I hight recommend this breed. My Cocoa is affectionate and playful without being in your face. I also would highly recommend her breeder if you are interested.
 
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nymeria

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I think the breeder can probably answer those kind of detailed questions better than I can. It's great that they are giving you a lot of detailed information and suggestions; they sound serious about making a good match for their kittens. Do they seem like a good breeder in other ways?
I think so! They emailed me promptly with lots of info, kittens are raised underfoot, and they spoke to me on the phone at length, and update their page regularly. They also told me that the parent cats are from a diverse gene pool and some of them are from other countries, and they've been breeding for over a decade so that makes me feel good too. I'm not sure if they test for specific genetic conditions (for example, I know with Ragamuffins they test for genes for HCM and PKD) but I'm not sure if the Tonkinese breed has the same predisposition... They did tell me that Tonkinese can be prone to gingivitis and gave me some dental care suggestions.
And thank you! I think maybe I'll just call with a couple more questions just to be sure :)


Hi!!!
I am the happy proud parent of Tonkinese who has ruled my heart for the past 15 years. I hight recommend this breed. My Cocoa is affectionate and playful without being in your face. I also would highly recommend her breeder if you are interested.
Thank you so much for telling me this!! That makes me very happy. Yes please, I'd love to know her breeder and I would love to hear more about Cocoa as well!
 

Seadreamer

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I think so! They emailed me promptly with lots of info, kittens are raised underfoot, and they spoke to me on the phone at length, and update their page regularly. They also told me that the parent cats are from a diverse gene pool and some of them are from other countries, and they've been breeding for over a decade so that makes me feel good too. I'm not sure if they test for specific genetic conditions (for example, I know with Ragamuffins they test for genes for HCM and PKD) but I'm not sure if the Tonkinese breed has the same predisposition... They did tell me that Tonkinese can be prone to gingivitis and gave me some dental care suggestions.
And thank you! I think maybe I'll just call with a couple more questions just to be sure :)




Thank you so much for telling me this!! That makes me very happy. Yes please, I'd love to know her breeder and I would love to hear more about Cocoa as well!
Hi Nymeria,

Cocoa's breeder is call Kittentanz out of Georgia. If you go to her website your will see all the different colors of Tonkinese. Cocoa is a natural mink, which is a brown with aqua colored eyes. I love her color since you rarely see brown cats. She is petite and can be very chatty but definitely not as loud as her Siamese cousins.
Go to the website and take a look. Let me know what you think and please feel free to reach out to me if I can answer any more questions about Cocoa.
 

eva21513

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It sounds like your mind might be made up, but I just wanted to chime in, since I have a ragamuffin and I highly recommend this breed!

Mine is undersized, probably because she's inbred (I rescued her at 18 months) at 7.5lbs. That said, her fur doesn't get in the way and isn't difficult to care for - she's my first long-haired cat and her coat doesn't require any more care than any of my previous domestic shorthaired cats. Ragamuffins don't have an undercoat, and their coat is mat-resistant. I brush her once or twice a week and that's sufficient, unless she's shedding, which lasts about a week and just requires daily brushing.

In terms of temperament/neediness, Millie does want to be around me, but she's very eager to please, so she learns wanted vs unwanted behaviors very quickly. I rearranged my home office and she discovered the allure of sitting on my keyboard five days ago, and after just a couple of times moving her off the keyboard, she learned - she'll jump up, move towards the keyboard, then catch herself and sit in her designated spot. Same with meowing - there are stretches of days that I don't have many meetings, so I'll talk back to her when she meows, and within hours she'll figure it out and become more vocal. On the flip, when I stop responding to her meows, she'll stop trying and taper it down very quickly. It's really remarkable and I think it's because the breed is (generally!!!) so attached to humans.

Millie is just about 2 and is still, in my view, very playful and active, so that might be a consideration. Then again, it's been like 20 years since I've had a kitten or a young cat, so I probably just don't remember what it's like!

I'm sure you will love whichever breed, breeder, and kitten you decide on!
 
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