odd-eyed Khao Manee cat outside
Facebook Pinterest Twitter

Khao Manee Cat Breed Profile

Est. read time: 8 min.

The Khao Manee (pronounced cow-man-EE) is an ancient breed that hails from Thailand. They are also known as “diamond eye” cats because of their jewel-toned eyes, which can be blue, green, gold, or odd-eyed. The Khao Manee has had many names given to them over the years, such as Khao Plort and white gem, adding to their mysticism and uniqueness. 

The Khao Manee, regarded as a good luck charm in Thailand, is a very rare breed that is hard to come by in the United States. They are remarkably outgoing and friendly cats that make for wonderful companions. These cats have a distinct solid white coat that makes their beautiful eye colors pop all the more. You likely won’t see one of these felines with any other coat color.

To learn more about these lovely creatures, their history, and what life is like with them, keep reading!

Khao Manee cat ...at a glance
Personality Playful, outgoing, devoted
Life expectancy 10-12 years
Weight 6-10 lbs
Coat & colors Short; white
Energy level Medium
Affection level High
Friendliness High
Shedding level Medium
Required grooming Low

Overview of the Khao Manee cat

odd-eyed Khao Manee cat

The Khao Manee is a small-sized cat that developed naturally, without any help from humans. The Khao Manee comes from Thailand, where they are a highly respected breed and thought of as lucky charms. They are rather petite and don’t have an overbearing presence, but they can be quite mischievous and adventurous when they feel up to it. 


Khao Manees are not large cats. They typically range between 6 and 10 pounds, with males being a little larger than females. However small they come across, they are muscular and strong cats that can easily take care of themselves. 


Khao Manees have long, slender bodies that can grow up to 18 inches in length. They have medium-length tails and long legs, which may make them seem slightly larger than they actually are. Khao Manees are proportionate for their size and known to use their size to their advantage. They are nimble, quick, and extremely agile. 

Coat and eye color

The Khao Manee’s coat is very silky and soft. This short coat is fine with a sparse undercoat, making them better suited for warmer climates. The Khao Manee’s coat is always going to be solid white, with no markings present.

However, this breed’s eyes are what really set them apart from other white cats. They have jewel-toned eyes, hence their nickname of diamond eye. Colors can range from gold to green to blue, with some cats being odd-eyed, which are two different-colored eyes. The odd-eyed cats are thought of as being particularly lucky to come across—so if you happen to, make a wish! 

Life expectancy

The life expectancy for a Khao Manee ranges from 10 to 12 years. You can support your cat’s health by bringing them to regular veterinarian check-ups and keeping an eye out for any changes in behavior. 

History of the Khao Manee cat

Khao Manee cat outside

The Khao Manee is a natural breed of cat that developed over time in Thailand without any human intervention. The Khao Manee white cat (along with many other ancient Thai cat breeds) was referenced in the Tamra Maew or “The Cat-Book Poems” written by Siamese monks between 14th and 18th centuries. However, the all-white Khao Manee is one of only several breeds from this book that still exist today, along with the colorpoint Siamese, copper-brown Burmese, silver-blue Korat, and all-black Konja. 

Some cats that were described in The Cat-Book Poems are thought to bring ill fortune to people, but the Khao Manee does quite the opposite. Based on the descriptions of this book, it was also shown that odd-eyed Khao Manees were considered to be even luckier than other Khao Manee cats. 

Outside of Thailand, Khao Manees are not a common cat to come across. The first Khao Manee to be transported out of Thailand and to the United States was in 1999. If you are seeking a Khao Manee specifically, you might have to spend over $10,000 to acquire one. 

Just know that if you ever come across a Khao Manee and are able to adopt one, consider yourself downright charmed! 

Characteristics of the Khao Manee

As mentioned, all Khao Manees are pure white cats, but their eyes can differ in color. Eyes must be jewel tones like green, blue, and gold to fit the breed standard, including odd-eyed colors (heterochromia). 

Khao Manees are very strong despite their small bodies. They appear lithe, athletic, and graceful, thanks to their long legs and oval-shaped paws. The Khao Manee has a longer nose than some other cat breeds, which can help them breathe easier in the hot, humid weather of Thailand.

They also have large ears that might appear too big on their head, but they make for good listeners. If you open their favorite packet of treats, they’ll likely be by your side in an instant. 

Khao Manee cat

Personality and behavior

Khao Manees are outgoing and playful. They will run up to any stranger they meet with no fear, hoping to become their best friend. They are confident in themselves and their antics, making them rather mischievous but a whole lot of fun to be around. 

Khao Manees are used to being treated well and worshiped, so be prepared to make this cat the center of your world. They do not like being left alone for long and can become easily depressed when they don’t get enough time spent with their humans. 

This breed thrives off of interaction with their people, so teaching them tricks and providing puzzle toys can keep them entertained and fulfilled. This is the kind of cat that you can easily train to walk on a leash because they are highly motivated to please their humans. 

Khao Manees are somewhat talkative and will be sure to let you know when they want your attention. They make endearing sounds, including purring and chirping noises that often reflect their content and playful moods. If it seems that your Khao Manee is being a little too quiet, it's likely they are getting themselves into trouble!

Caring for a Khao Manee cat

Khao Manee cat lying on a chair

Khao Manees are known to be generally healthy cats that have been able to exhibit their longevity by simply still existing in their native lands.

You will want to provide your Khao Manee with plenty of cat trees and cat shelves so that they can play even when you aren’t around without getting into too much trouble. Mental enrichment games can do a great job of burning some of their energy so that they are ready to cuddle at the end of the day.


Khao Manees don’t have much of an undercoat, which makes grooming their short coats an easy task. By brushing them once or twice a week, you can capture any loose fur and avoid finding it all over your home. Giving your Khao Manee a bath every few months can keep their coat in top condition. 

You’ll want to keep an eye on and clean their ears to avoid infection and trim their nails at least monthly. To avoid periodontal disease, you should also be taking extra time to brush their teeth or having your vet provide them with proper dental health care. 

Keeping your Khao Manee’s pure white coat clean can also be helped by maintaining a fresh litter box area. To make this task easier, use a self-cleaning litter box. Your cat will always have a clean place to go, and you’ll no longer have to scoop. 

Health-related issues

Even though Khao Manees are considered healthy felines that are great at taking care of themselves, like other white cats, they are more likely to be deaf—especially if they have at least one blue eye. This deafness can be in one ear or both ears, and if your cat is odd-eyed, deafness is likely to occur on the side with the blue eye.

Taking home a Khao Manee

If you are able to adopt a Khao Manee, you should consider yourself very lucky. They are a cat that is hard to come by but makes for an amazing companion. They are loyal and loving cats that know how to entertain. Make sure that you are giving them all of the love they deserve, and they will return the favor!