Image supplied by Animal Photography
The name Khao Manee (pronounced Kow Manee) is Thai, and it means ‘white gem’, the ‘gem’ referring to the breed’s striking eyes. The coat is short.
Health and welfare issues
There is an established link between the white coat colour, blue eyes and deafness. Not all blue-eyed whites will be deaf but it is a possibility. Cat fancy organisations and the Khao Manee Cat Club are recommending that cats registered for breeding must be tested. See Inherited deafness in white cats.
We have limited the information about inherited disorders to those conditions that are known and proven to exist within a breed. For many breeders and many conditions, insufficient information may be available at this time to know whether any particular breed is necessarily free of any particular condition.
In general, pedigree breeds use a much smaller gene pool for breeding than domestic cats and therefore have a higher risk of developing inherited disorders. In addition, a number of ‘newer’ pedigree breeds are derived from matings between one or more ‘older’ breeds, and in these situations perpetuation of inherited problems that were seen in older breeds is likely within the newer breeds.