Toyger Cat

The Toyger is a uniquely beautiful cat with many referring to it as a 'designer cat' due to it's stunning coat. It is a loving, playful, medium sized domestic shorthair cat that is reminiscent of a tiger in pattern, confidence and movement, hence its name. They make great family cats, being dependable, laid-back, intelligent and easy to train.

History of the Toyger Cat

The Toyger's resemblance to a tiger is undeniable, hence its name. When Judy Sugden was struck by the two spots of tabby markings on the temple of her cat Millwood Sharp Shooter, it occurred to her that they could be the secret to developing a domestic cat that was truly similar to the king of the jungle.

She started with a striped domestic shorthair named Scrapmetal and a Bengal named Millwood Rumpled Spotskin, and later imported a street cat from India, with the latter having spots instead of tabby lines between his ears. She then set to work creating a "tiger".

She wasn't the only breeder who shared her vision with Anthony Hutcherson and Alice Mckee also contributing to the program in 1993. After numerous cross-breedings, the "Toyger" was formed. It was a domestic cat that had a large, long body, tabby patterns and rosettes that stretched and branched out, and circular head markings.

The International Cat Association began registering the Toyger in 1993, advanced it to new breed status in 2000, and granted the breed full championship recognition in 2007. Currently, TICA is the only association that recognizes the Toyger.


The Toyger is an average sized cat with long and muscular rounded contours and a strong and robust body. Their ears are round, small and set as much on the side as the top. Thickly furred temples and ears preferred. Lynx tipping is undesirable.

A Toyger's eyes are small to medium in size and circular with a rich deep colour being preferred. The muzzle is medium length to long, deep and well-defined. The Toyger cat's eyes nose is the same, medium to long and well-defined.

The neck is long and muscular. A Toyger's strength is in its forequarters with a deep and broad chest. Their legs are medium length and as long in back as in front. They have a very long and muscular tail with a blunt, rounded tip.

californian toyger cat

Source : KucingMu


The Toyger cat's coat is short in length. However, the markings may be slightly but uniformly longer than ground coloured fur on body for a sculpted effect. Their fur is thick, luxurious, very soft, plush but also resilient.

A Toyger's coat is one of it's most characteristic and unique features. Each cat's markings are distinct but The International Cat Association (TICA) describes it 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."

There should be a distinct difference between the background and foreground colours, giving a clear, sharply edged pattern. Body stripes should generally be vertically aligned with encircling marks on the neck, legs, and tail. The belly and inside of the legs must be marked with paw pads and tail tip being black.

A Toyger cat's eyes must have black 'mascara' markings and whited spectacles. Facial stripes and markings should be circularly aligned around the face.


The Toyger is a friendly and playful breed that loves spending time with people and other pets. Just like their canine counterparts, they enjoy playing fetch and learning new tricks. They have an easygoing temperament that makes them suited to most households or families.

As is the case with most cats, the Toyger is a highly intelligent and interactive breed. This makes them easy to train and means you can teach them to go on walks on a leash if you so wish.

Health and Care

The Toyger is a generally healthy cat, but heart murmurs have occurred in the breed, possibly indicative of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. It is advised to only buy from a breeder who provides a written health guarantee.

Make sure to keep an eye on their weight as obesity is one of the most common health problems for all cat breeds. Keeping a Toyger at an appropriate weight is one of the easiest ways to protect their overall health.


It is advised that a Toyger cat is brushed weekly to keep his coat shiny and healthy. Make sure to keep their nails trimmed and ears clean if they look dirty.

As with most cat breeds, it is wise to keep your Toyger as in indoors-only cat to prevent exposure to predators, infections and thieves. As Toyger's are still only to be found for a premium price, it should be even more of a priority to protect them.