The Toyger is one of the newer cat breeds. It achieves the wild appearance effectively, but it is a domesticated cat. Unlike the Ocicat cat , whose markings developed naturally and have remained the same for centuries, the Toyger is a designer breed, very similar to the Bengali and Savannah cat breeds .
The Toyger was originally called “California Toyger.” Toyger’s name is a contraction of “toy” and “tiger.”
Toygers are a breed of domestic cat that have been bred to look and move like a tiger, but to be friendly and loyal like a small dog. The creator of this breed, Judy Sugden, wanted to educate cat owners about wildlife conservation by introducing these “tiny tigers” into their homes.
In Spain, being an exotic breed, it is difficult to find a Toyger cattery .
Next I explain the characteristics, health and care of this exotic breed of cats .
A little history of this breed of cats
The Toyger was developed in the USA by Judy Sugden, whose mother, Jean S. Mill, is the founder of the Bengal cat breed .
In the late 1980s, Judy Sugden discovered facial markings on two of her Bengal kittens that were similar to markings on the heads of tigers, prompting her to breed tiger-like looking cats using for this Bengal and domestic short-haired cats.
The striped domestic shorthair, Scrapmetal, and a large-boned Bengal, Millwood Rumpled Spotskin, formed the cornerstone of the young Toyger breed. Judy also imported Jammu Blu, a stray cat from India who had spots between her ears, rather than the normal tabby lines.
Later on, other breeders such as Anthony Hutcherson and Alice McKee joined Judy Sugden in her effort to develop a breed of domestic cat with a long, muscular body and tiger-like stripes.
Very soon other breeders became interested in developing the breed, which soon led to the Toygers being accepted by international clubs. The breed was recognized by the GCCF in June 2016.
Physical characteristics of the Toyger cat
Toygers are medium-sized cats with an agile, muscular body with a graceful appearance. Females tend to be much lighter and smaller and have a heart-shaped head. The ideal type of this breed bears a striking resemblance to wild tigers, with circular head markings and a reddish-orange coat of short hair, adorned with broken or branched vertical stripes.
They are large-boned cats with high shoulders that give them a very powerful appearance, especially when moving. The front and back legs of these cats are almost equivalent in size. The tail is long and muscular, resembling a rope and carried quite low by the cat.
The coat is smooth and shiny. The color of the stripes can be black, brown or tan. However, not all cats possess the ideal markings, as this rare breed is still in development. The term used to describe the stripes on a toyger cat is the striped mackerel tabby.
The nose of a Toyger cat is medium in size with a wider base, while the ears are broad with rounded tips.
They usually have small, round eyes with deep colors. They always have a kind and serious look on their eyes.
Seen in profile, they have a nice angle to the forehead with the line leading to the bridge of the nose practically in a straight line, with only a hint of a concave curve. The chins are deep and wide, strong and prominent.
Toyger Health and Care
The Toyger is by rule a healthy cat and is not more predisposed to infectious diseases than any other breed. Some breeders claim that some cats show an adverse reaction to the feline leukemia vaccine , but this has not been proven.
In some cats, heart murmurs, possibly indicative of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy , have been diagnosed in the breed. It is always advisable to buy from a breeder who provides a written health guarantee.
Toygers are still very rare, so there isn’t much history to draw solid conclusions about their common ailments.
Because they have short, dense hair, Toygers are very low maintenance and only need to be brushed once a week.
A weekly brush and a suede cloth is all that is needed to keep your mantle looking good with a nice shine. Like other breeds, they tend to shed more in the spring and again in the fall, when more frequent brushing is necessary to maintain well.
It is also important to check a cat’s ears and clean them when necessary. If too much wax is allowed to build up, it can lead to a painful infection that can be difficult to remove. Cats often suffer from ear mites, so it is important to check them regularly.
Toyger cat personality and character
The Toyger is a friendly and playful breed that likes to spend time with people and other pets. They have a calm temperament that makes them suitable for most homes or families.
Accustomed to routine, they do not like it when it changes for no reason. The Toyger is known to be outgoing, social and confident by nature and a cat that loves to be in a family environment and with people.
They are smart and learn new things quickly, including interactive games with their owners. However, because they form strong ties to their families, the Toygers do not like to be left alone, even for short periods of time. Therefore, they are better suited to families where at least one person stays at home with them or where there are other cats or pets to keep them company.
Toygers like to explore the great outdoors , but should only be allowed outside if it is safe for them. Being easy to train, perhaps with patience they can be taken for a walk on a leash.
The good news is that they adapt well to living as indoor pets , but only as long as they are given a lot of mental stimulation and things to keep them busy. Sharing a home with a Toyger means investing in a large number of good quality toys and building tall platforms where cats can climb and look down at what is happening.
They are a breed of cat with a lot of energy, they are excited to be high. A like their cousins the Bengal, the Toygers love water and are easy to bathe
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