Toyger is one of the newest cat breeds created by mixing Bengal cat with a domestic shorthair. Toyer is a domestic cat that captures a wild tiger look effectively. This cat is a designer breed, much like California spangle, Savannah, and Bengal cats. In fact, in the beginning, Toyger used to be called California spangle.
The idea to develop a Toyger is to create a “Toy Tiger” that replicates the striped marking of its jungle namesake and also its physical traits. The attempt resulted in an athletic and muscular cat with a rolling gait that truly looks like a mini tiger.
Developing this breed aims to inspire people to care about the conservation of tigers in the wild. These cats are also bred with a mind towards social interaction and friendliness, so they love to be around people and other pets.
In this blog, you will get the feature characteristics, personality traits, and some fancy facts about Toyger. Continue reading!
History of the Toyger Cat and Physical Appearance
The Toyger began development in the 1980s in the US, when breeder Judy Sugden tried to develop a true replica of majestic jungle cats. Judy Sugden is the daughter of Jean Mill, who is responsible for breeding Bombay cats. Sugden was also involved in breeding Bengal cats and worked with mackerel tabbies -tiger-striped with ‘M’ on the forehead- cat breed.
Sugden noticed distinctive markings on one of her cats, “Millwood Sharp Shooter”. She observed a circular pattern tabby marking on the temple of her cat resembling the tiger’s head pattern instead of an ‘M’ pattern. This pattern struck Sugden, and it occurred to her that it could be a secret of developing a domestic cat that resembles a lord of the jungle.
So, Sugden started a breeding program with a big-boned Bengal named “Millwood Rumpled Spotskin” and a striped domestic shorthair named “Scrapmetal”. Later in 1993, she imported a street cat from Kashmir, India, named “Jammu Blu” to add to the development. Jammu Blu had spotted markings instead of tabby lines between the ears.
Sugden made her vision come to reality by creating a tiger for the living room. Other breeders, Anthony Hutcherson and Alice McKee, shared Sugden’s vision and contributed to the breeding program. They have developed a domestic cat with a large body, tabby patterns and rosettes that stretched and branched out, and circular head marking.
They worked to get Toyger accepted by one of the biggest cat organizations TICA (The International Cat Association). TICA began registering Toyger in 1993 without giving full recognition. Ater advanced the status in 2000 to a new breed and granted full championship recognition in 2007. However, TICA is the only organization that recognizes the Toyger.
Now you know where the Toyger cat came from. So, here is a quick overview of the Toyger cat breed.
||9 - 13 inches
||7 - 15 pounds
||Affectionate and Sociable
||Children, Cats, Dogs
||Sable, Brown, or Chocolate
||Easy to train
||9 - 13 years
||$1200 - $3500
The Toyger cats look exactly like small-sized tigers than any other tabby cat you have ever seen. However, some design elements are still missing due to being relatively a new breed. People who are familiar with traditional mackerel tabby cats will recognize Toyger by the face. The traditional tabbies are devoid of marking in the face, but the Toyger has a circular marking pattern in this area.
Toyger vs. Bengal - The Breed Comparison
Toyger Cat Breed Standard
Toyer is a muscular, medium-sized cat with a rectangular and long body combined with majestic looks fitting for a tiger. Her powerful body type is well structured with substantial boning, high shoulders, and an inverted heart-shaped face. The unique, dark vertical stripes patterned coat with circular facial marking gives her a slinky look. Here are the Toyger breed standards adopted from 2008 The American Cat Association (TICA):
- Dominant deep
- Circular with gentle hooding
- Set wide apart
- Rich and deep in color
- Round and small
- Short but thickly furred
- 45-degree orientation towards the center of the eye
- Wide-set towards the back of the head
- Strong and robust
- Muscular and long with a rounded contour
- Medium to deep
- Long and broad
- Muscular and rounded
- Widened towards the end
- Medium length
- Large boning
- Equal front and back legs
- Long and thin
- Rounded tip
- Short nut dense fur
- Deep and broad
- Long but well defined
- Rounded muscular contour
- Black to brown to tan
- Dark marking
- Pumpkin ground color with a dark marking
- Mackerel tabby
- Vertically aligned strips
- Circular pattern marking on neck, legs, and tail
- Blacktail tip and paw pads
- Traditional tabby marking
- Circularly aligned facial strips and marking
- White thumb marks on the back of ears
- Black mascara like marking on eyes
- Black lipstick marking on the mouth
Toyger Cat Personality and Temperament
Friendly, sweet, calm, playful, and outgoing, the spirited Toyger rejoices near her people and gets along well with kids and pets. She is highly energetic and loves to play fetch and other interactive games, outgoing enough to walk on the leash.
Her intelligence makes her easy to train, and her easy-going personality suits her well as a family companion. They are a perfect breed if you want to keep an emotional support cat.
The Toyger is a good choice for families with kids and pets as long as their interactions are supervised. She is well suited for homes with people who love and care for cats. She loves to bat around a feather or fishing-pole toy or just spending quality time with her family. The easy-going and calm personality makes the Toyger suited for almost every kind of family or household.
The Toyger is a highly intelligent cat breed and quick learner like most of the cat breeds. You can keep her interested in life by teaching her tricks and rewarding her with treats and kibbles after learning a trick. Challenge her mind by providing puzzle toys and teaching her roll-over tricks or walking on a leach with relative ease.
Toyger is not just a name that beats around the bush. These wild cats not just took the orange, black and brown colored tabby lines looks but also the personality traits of the wild tiger. They have the same energy level and activeness, making them crave for some scratching post, toys, or something to climb on. Moreover, they are relatively independent with fairly low demands.
These guys love to explore the environment, but not as much as any other cat breed. They are also not as good or active climbers and explorers as other breeds. Instead, they would love to stick around their human companion and entertain themselves by interacting with them.
Toyger Cat Care and Grooming Needs
Toygers require a little more grooming than other cat breeds as they tend to shed regularly. Weekly brushing with a soft hair brush is required to keep her coat silky and shiny. The coat is short but fairly thick with an undercoat, so a lot of brushing is going to happen with your Toyger. However, regular ear cleaning, teeth brushing, and nail trimming are necessary.
Teeth cleaning is essential to keep your Toy tiger protected from any kind of dental problems. Ear cleaning keeps your kitty safe and secure from an ear infection. Grooming sessions allow you to bond well with your pet and spend some quality time. Toygers love to play and spend time with their human family, so they’ll enjoy every grooming session with you.
Moreover, these guys adapt well when introduced to homes with kids and pet animals. They are also amazing lap cats and given a lot of affection to you when in your lap. Also, you need to provide them sufficient exercise, mental and intellectual stimulation. However, you need to keep them inside to prevent exposure to thieves, fights, and infection as they are indoor-only cats.
Toyger Cat Food and Nutrition Requirements
Toygers do not have any special food requirements apart from meat, as they are meat lovers. So, never forget that when you design a meal plan for your toy tiger. To ensure that your cat gets enough amino acid and other proteins, provide her the food with real meat. If you want to give them canned foods, make sure it contains meat, not a byproduct, listed as the first or second ingredient.
Other than that, provide them with high-quality dry or wet cat food and ensure that they have access to clean and fresh water every time. However, it is important to keep an eye on her calorie intake because excess eating can cause obesity. To keep your kitty healthy, you need to provide them the right amount of food, neither less nor more.
Avoid overfeeding her to maintain a healthy weight. You can discuss the amount of food sufficient for your cat according to her age and size with your vet. Decide the portion size and divide the food into 2 to 3 servings per day. Just like humans, cats need food at least twice a day; otherwise, they feel hungry if you provide them all at once.
Spreading out the food during the day will keep your cat feeling full, energetic, and satisfied. The Toyger’s diet is very limited so avoid giving them the same food you eat yourself or provide your dogs and other pets.
Toyger Cat Common Health Problems
As Toyger is relatively a new breed and still very uncommon, so it’s hard to make a conclusion about their common ailments. However, they have the potential to develop some genetic problems just like other cat breeds. Cats can also be prone to some kidney and heart disease, but that is just across the board in cats. So just as a matter of course, you need to check these ailments in your cat.
Nevertheless, the Toyger cat has a greater risk of developing heart murmurs. It is caused by turbulent blood near or in the heart. Most of the time, these murmurs are not serious, but they should not be avoided, as ignorance can lead to severe heart problems. Regular vet checkups and proper care can keep your cat healthy and happy.
Moreover, make sure that your toy tiger is up to date on her vaccination. Make a schedule of regular vet checkups and stick to it to ensure that your cat does not get any health problems. Once the vaccination is over, you still need to take your cat for health checkups every now and then.
As you know, Toygers are generally a healthy breed, and they are easy going also; you can have them as your pet or an ESA. They are bred with a purpose in mind to create a friendly and compassionate companion for humans. With the looks of the enchanting tiger combined with soft and calm personality traits, this cat perfectly suits as an ESA.
An emotional support animal is the one that provides you love, attention, care, and companionship. A pet animal who is there to help improve your mental health and deal with any type of mental disorders. People with mental health problems like depression, anxiety, etc., usually tend to have an ESA.
If you have some mental illness, you can ask your doctor to provide you with an ESA letter. A professional mental health provider will write you an ESA letter that you can use to keep your kitty everywhere with you. An ESA letter is a legal document signed by a medical professional that makes your pet eligible to go and live with you anywhere.
If you are not sure about getting the ESA letter from your doctor, you can contact us. RealESALetter.com is a professional and legal website that provides real ESA letters at affordable prices. Our doctors are licensed, and they will write you a letter within just 48 hours.
Frequently Asked Questions
- 1. Do Toygers like water?
Yes, Toyger quiet like water, so they enjoy playing in the water and occasional bathing sessions. They love to play water games and be in the water tub for hours as long as you provide them with fun activities.
- 2. How do you know if your cat is Toyger?
The Toyger has the same looks and personality as a tiger that they are called toy tigers. To identify a Toyger cat, look for dark and tabby stripes on a lighter color body. The strips should be in a circular pattern on the face and vertical on the body. The friendly, mild-mannered, and energetic who love to play are some personality traits of Toyger that you can look for.
- 3. Where to adopt or buy a Toyger cat?
There are many local and national breeders in every state that you can contact to get a Toyger. But if you would rather prefer to adopt a Toyger from a rescue organization, you can contact the following:
- Specialty purebred cat rescue
- Rescue me
- 4. Why are Toygers banned in NYC?
Toygers are banned in NYC because of their lineage with the Bengal cats. All generations and breeds related to Bengals are banned in NYC, so do the Toyger cat. The regulation was imposed strictly after an incident of a person having a tiger in his apartment as a pet.
- 5. How much food do you need to give your Toyger?
The amount of food, portion size, and time to feed your Toyger depends on the following factors:
These three things determine your Toyger’s dietary requirements. However, you should consult your vet to figure out the daily nutrition requirements of your cat.
- 6. Is the Toyger a house cat or a yard cat or both?
As a Toyger is a domestic cat, she is best suited as indoor or house cats. However, they would enjoy some time back in the yard playing with kids or toys. But, it is better to keep them inside to protect them from animal attacks, diseases, and thieves.