Once you hear its name, it rings a bell, and you know what this feline is supposed to like. The Toyger is a cat specifically bred to lift awareness about the tiger’s decline in their natural habitat. These domestic furballs resemble the jungle cat’s striped patterns but are loyal and pleasant as a dog. They are muscular, athletic, and perfectly looking to live in the jungle. Yet, their friendliness and sociability with people and other pets prove that these miniature tigers are a welcome addition to any family and home.
Origin of the Toyger Cat
Judy Sugden is credited as the creator of the Toyger cat breed. In the 1980s, she decided to breed a Bengal cat to a Domestic Shorthair, aiming to raise awareness of tigers’ population decline in the wild. The first litters were promising but were not as desired.
Sugden continued to develop the breed and imported a street cat from India with distinct spots. With the help of two other breeders, Alice McKee and Anthony Hutcherson, they incorporated the feline into the gene to help bring out the best tiger-like patterns in the Toyger cat. In 1993, the International Cat Association accepted the Toyger for registration and awarded full recognition status in 2007.
Physical Characteristics of the Toyger Cat
Weight: 10 to 15 pounds (Males) 7 to 10 pounds (Females)
Life Expectancy: 10 to 15 years
Coat Color: Brown mackerel tabby
Type of Coat: Short, soft, and plush
Eye Color: Orange, green, yellow
Toygers are fairish-sized to largish, stocky, muscular domestic felines that pretty resemble the wild jungle cat. Their coat is short, soft, plush, brownish to reddish, sporting tiger-like tan to black vertical stripes. Their head is medium-sized, with a long, prominent cylindrical snout. The nose is also long, but broad and roundish in shape. The eyes are small, which can be orange, green, or yellow-colored, all deep-toned. Meanwhile, the ears are small and roundish. They have a long, lean body and distinct tall shoulders, providing them the gait close to that of the wild cats.
Toyger Cat Personality
While they may sport a rugged appearance, fear not as the Toyger cats are one of the most loving and affectionate breeds in the cat fancy. They adapt well to people, and enjoy human companionship and spending time with their family members.
With that, these felines would be perfect for large families, who always have someone to accompany them. As social cats, they will be happiest in busy households, and rather than being left alone at home for extended periods. They build strong bonds with their owners, even with other pets in the house.
Toygers are playful but have an easygoing side. They are energetic, but not too overly vigorous. Nevertheless, they are smart cats, and learning tricks, fetch, or walking on a leash would be a breeze. Puzzle toys also please them as it stimulates their minds. However, they often get accustomed to routines and can be surly when exposed to changes.
One thing to remember, though, these cats love to climb high points in the house and observe their surroundings from top to bottom. Plus, unlike most cat breeds, they have an innate love for water and will enjoy activities involving getting wet, befitting their jungle cat ancestry.
Caring for the Toyger Cat
Toygers are a relatively low maintenance breed when it comes to grooming. Their short, thick coat only needs weekly brushing. As with other cat breeds, it is best to watch out for any mats or tangles that may develop, and keep them off away. Grooming them not only keeps their fur clean and healthy but can also serve as a fun bonding sesh with these people-oriented felines.
Along with that, Toygers’ nails need to be examined weekly and clipped when necessary. Ear and eye examination should also be a part of the grooming routine to rule out any infection and clean any debris or dirt buildup. Accustoming these felines to these grooming practices at a young age can help them accept these activities and make it hassle-free as they grow.
As an athletic and intelligent breed, Toygers must be both physically and mentally stimulated. Cat trees or high perches are suitable investments to provide them with safe climbing opportunities. Regular playtime using interactive and puzzle toys is also a must to keep their minds sharp and satisfied.
As a relatively new breed, there aren’t many records about their common health issues yet. However, they can be more vulnerable to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and heart murmurs. Regular vet check-ups and getting preventative immunizations and care help ensure that they live a long, healthy life.
Toyger cats are meant for families looking for a distinct-looking cat for their homes. They may look wild and exotic yet have the genial disposition of a loving domestic cat.