What Is A Toyger Cat?

If you’re curious about this unusual breed, you may be asking “what is a Toyger cat? You may have heard about it, but want more information to decide if this is the right breed for you.

In this post you’ll discover all about the Toyger cat and what makes it so special. You’ll find out how the breed was born, what type of temperament it has.

In addition, you’ll discover if there are any health issues you need to know about, as well as how to find a Toyger cat should you want one. Plus, lots more.

What is a Toyger cat?-a brief history

The Toyger cat is actually a fairly modern breed, and was born in the 1980s. After noticing one of her cats had tabby markings on it’s forehead, a breeder from the USA decided to use it for breeding The idea was to try and create a cat with a similar circular pattern on the face to that of the tiger.

It’s very unusual to find markings on the face of a tabby, as it’s normally only seen in tigers. This would make the new breed of cat quite a rarity.

As the tiger is sadly in danger of extinction, a miniature version would be a nice gesture, and provide owners with a taste of the wild in their own homes!

The cat breeder named Judy Sugden, crossed “Scrapmetal”, a striped domestic shorthair with a Bengal cat. Then, an Indian street cat named Jammu Blu was imported and became part of the breeding program as well.

Judy’s goal was to produce a domestic cat with striped coat markings of a tiger. Luckily, she achieved her dream, and the Toyger has now become a recognized breed.

It was in 1993 that the International Cat Association finally recognized the Toyger, and in 2007 it was granted full championship status.

What does a Toyger cat look like

toyger cat relaxing

If you were to come across a Toyger kitty you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d just seen a small tiger! Thankfully though, you’d have no fear of being eaten alive!

Toygers have the sweetest personality, but more about that later. Looking at the body you’d notice how lithe and low slung the Toygar appears. This helps to give a miniature big cat feel to this breed.

In addition, the legs are muscular and quite long with large feet. The tail is long and thick, and you’ll also notice that the Toyger carries her tail low, just like a tiger!

The head is oval in shape with a large muzzle, and the ears are rounded. Also, you’d notice the nose is long and muscular similar to that of a tiger.

Males tend to have broader muzzles that are well defined, but this applies to all male cats in general. Whisker pads are prominent and stand out clearly.

This stunning breed has small to medium size eyes which are round in shape. They can be any color from green, dark brown, to hazel or amber, but if you intend to show your cat you should know that blue isn’t accepted.

The Toyger cat has a short, dense coat with dark stripes against a light brown background. A dusting of gold gives a luxurious appearance.

You’d notice just how much this breed resembles it’s big cousin, the tiger. From the dark, broken stripes of the coat, to the rounded ears, and large feet.

The Toyger cat temperament

Though a Toyger bear an uncanny resemblance to the tiger, their temperament couldn’t be any different. Instead of a fierce predator, you can expect a loving lapcat.

In addition, if you have children or other pets, you’ll find a Toyger will get on with them with no problem. Their sweet and gentle nature makes this breed the perfect family pet.

If you want a cat that’s highly intelligent and loves to play, this is definitely a breed worth considering. A mischievous, lovable, kitty, you’ll find a play session often ends up with a cosy cuddle on your lap.

Toygers however, don’t like being alone for long. If you’re out at work all day you may want to consider getting two. Bored Toygers quickly find mischief!

In comparison to their near cousin the Bengal cat, Toygers are far easier to handle. They’re quick to learn new tricks whether good or bad, and can be trained to fetch.

If you’re considering getting a Toyger, it’s a good idea to get plenty of toys to keep your new companion active. Exercise is essential for all cats as well as humans to avoid obesity.

Think about buying a few interactive cat toys that your Toyger can happily play with on her own. These could include self rotating balls or cat tunnels.

Also, feather wands are great for encouraging play and bonding with your cat. These are really inexpensive and can provide hours of fun.

You may decide to keep your precious Toyger indoors to ensure she’s safe, especially if you live near a busy road. However, if you have a garden you could always think about cat proof fencing or building an enclosure.

Do Toyger cats have any health issues?

Toyger kitten

As the Toyger breed is still quite new there isn’t a lot of health history to go by. However, heart murmers which may indicate cardiomyopathy have been noted.

As with all pets, it’s important to get regular health checks with your vet. Potential problems can often be addressed before they develop. These may include weight gain and dental disease.

Feeding your Toyger cat

There are no specific brands of food you need to buy, but always get quality cat food. Avoid cheap, bargain basement foods as they may not contain the vital nutrients your cat needs.

One of the most essential nutrients all cats require to maintain good health is taurine. This is because your cat’s body is unable to synthesize it on it’s own.

The only way your kitty can get adequate amounts of taurine is from food. You don’t need to spend a fortune feeding your Toyger as there are many high quality cat foods at affordable prices. Many supermarkets have their own pet food brands most of which are perfectly adequate.

Caring for your Toyger

As Toygers have short coats they only need weekly grooming. However, you’ll still need to keep you’re cat’s nails trimmed regularly and clean her teeth. Brushing your Toyger will help keep her coat in good condition and allow you to check for any unusual lumps or bumps.

Flea and worming treatments are also an essential part of being a cat parent, no matter what breed. Prevention is always better than cure, and flea infestations can be hard to get rid of.

How much can you expect to pay for a Toyger cat?

If you have your heart set on one of these beautiful cats be prepared to pay upwards of $2,000. In the UK, you can expect to pay anywhere between £600-£1,500 for a Toyger kitten, so have plenty of cash set aside!

The reason for their high cost is the rarity of the breed. In fact, there are only around 400 Toygers in the world at this present time. Another good reason to keep this breed indoors!

For a Toyger cat to be of show standards it must meet a lot of detailed requirements. These include a circular pattern of markings on the face, and vertical stripes on the body.

This is what gives the breed such a close resemblance to the tiger. As you can imagine, this is incredibly difficult to achieve. If you’re lucky enough to find a Toyger kitten for sale you are truly blessed!

Many Toyger breeders donate a portion of sales towards tiger conservation. This is great as if you manage to find a good breeder you’ll be helping your new Toyger’s big cousins!

Depending on where you live, the best place to find a Toyger breeder is through the TICA. Here you’ll find a list of breeders for your area.

Is a Toyger the right breed for you?

Now you know what is a Toyger cat, you can decide if this breed is right for you. If you like the idea of a miniature tiger in your living room, with a gentle nature, this could be the breed for you.

Bear in mind though, these cats are quite dog like and need plenty of mental stimulation. If you go out to work during the day you may want to get two to keep each other company.

You may need to be very patient as it could take a while to get your Toyger. Don’t expect to drop by your local shelter and find one!

However, if you have a young family and other pets, you’ll find a Toyger should settle in well as this breed is quite dog like, and very sociable.

If you’ve enjoyed this post please share. Feel free to share this pin on your “pets” board.

Also, if you have any questions or would like to share experiences, please leave a comment below.

Wishing you a purrfect day


4 thoughts on “What Is A Toyger Cat?”

  1. When I started to read about the unique characteristics of the Toyger cat and how rare they are I already knew that they will be pretty expensive. Between £600 and £1500 is quite expensive, however not as expensive as I thought it would be, as I know of some dog breeds here in the UK that sells at eye watering amounts. These Toyger cats are beautiful, yet, luckily price wise not completely out of reach, that is if you can get hold of one that is.

    Thank you for a very interesting read.

    • Thank you Schalk, glad you enjoyed this post:) Yes, I’ve also heard how expensive some dog breeds are here in the UK. In comparison, Toyger cats are not that pricey, and within the reach of many people. That is of course if they can find a breeder!

  2. Hey Kathy, thanks for sharing this very interesting post about Toyger cat. To be honest, I’ve never heard about this breed before bumping into this article. When I read the name, I just had to read it and was not disappointed by the information. As always, great work. It cool to know more about this breed of cat and its origins. Thanks again for sharing and keep up the good work!


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