Toygers and their Regal Stripes:

Unveiling their exquisite elegance

Embark on a journey of opulence with the distinguished Toyger, a cat breed that’s known for its unique characteristics and resemblance to the big cats – tigers!


Dr Sarah Lea
Dr Sarah Lea

Toyger cats are medium-sized, tiger-spotted, exceptionally rare short-haired cats. We can trace their origin to the United States back in the 1980s. They remain one of the newest, most unique-looking cat breeds. Much of the toyger’s appeal lies in its wild tiger-like appearance while being a domesticated cat.

Unlike the ocicat, which has naturally developed markings, toyger is a designer breed, similar to the Bengal, the Savannah, and the nearly extinct California spangle. The toyger (a portmanteau of “toy” and “tiger”) is a playful, intelligent cat and an optimal choice for big-cat lovers, without the unethical ownership of a wild animal. With time, toyger breeders are hopeful the cats’ resemblance to tigers will only grow closer with time. The cat is recognized by The International Cat Association, but sadly not by the Cat Fancier’s Association.

A closer look at their mesmerizing appearance

Toygers have a distinctly tiger-like appearance, marked by its broken, vertical orange and black or brown-bordered stripes. The International Cat Association describes the markings as “dark markings on a vividly bright orange background on the outer to top portions of the cat with a whited ground color on the undersides and insides; enhanced by the scatter of gold glitter over the top.”Each cat’s markings are distinct. Vertical or stretched rosette patterns are acceptable.

The shape of a toyger’s head is described as a “half-hexagon.” Toyger cats are long, lean, and muscular but not bulky, with a long, thin tail with a rounded tip. They have round small ears and bright green or amber eyes. The nose is broad at the base, with the jowl area correspondingly wider.

Breed Overview
Another name–Toy Tiger
Personality – Friendly
Weight – 7 to 15 pounds
Length – About 18 inches
Coat length –Short hair
Coat colors – Orange, black, and white
Coat patterns –Tabby
Eye color – Usually ranging from dark
brown to hazel
Lifespan – 10 to 15 years
Origin – United States

Toyger Cat Chronicles and Charismatic Traits

Toyger is a friendly, easygoing cat with an ideal temperament and personality. Toygers make great additions to families with children or pets. They are always ready to play, offer abundant affection, and are indeed, by design a family friendly cat. If you’re looking for a below-average amount of commitment to exercising your cat, then toyger’s energy level may not be for you. Their intelligence makes them susceptible to boredom, so playtime is essential. Toyger’s are trainable and can be taught to do tricks. They are exceptionally sociable, getting on well with respectful children, and other cats and dogs.

Toyger’s fascinating history

In the 1980s, breeder Judy Sugden (daughter of the original Bengal cat breeder, Jean Mill) worked with mackerel tabbies — cats characterized by their wild stripes and an “M” shaped marking on their foreheads. Sugden noticed that her Bengal cat, Millwood Sharp Shooter, bore round spots on its head instead of the typical “M” shape. The spots sparked the realization that designing a domestic cat closely resembling a tiger was within Sugden’s reach.

Sugden then started a breeding program using two cats – Scrapmetal, a domestic shorthair tabby, and Millwood Rumpled Spotskin, a big-boned Bengal. In 1993, Sugden proceeded to import Jammie Blu, a street cat from Kashmir, India, with the characteristic, unusual spotting between his ears, added him to the breeding pool, and accelerated the program. Pioneering breeders Anthony Hutcherson and Alice McKee joined Sugden’s project later that year. The International Cat Association accepted the toyger for registration, andin 2007listed it as a championship breed, cementing its eligibility for cat shows.

Handle with love and care

The care routine for a toyger is standard like most domestic cats. Due to their friendly demeanor, playtime and grooming should be straightforward for both pet and pet parent. Toyger cats are naturally active and require regular exercise. Because of their high trainability, you can train your toyger to walk on a leash and fetch. However, leash-walking isn’t a necessity. They are usually active indoors on their own, so independent playtime can be adequate exercise. Even though toygers are short-haired cats, they still shed plentifully and should be brushed weekly. Tooth brushing, ear cleaning, and regular nail-trimming are also important part of their grooming routine.

Dr. Sarah Walker Cortes DMD, DDS, First Lady of Mandaue City Cebu, Philippines. She is from Cattery Visayan and is a breeder of Gentle Giants Maine Coon, Chihuahua, Toyger.