Photo credit: Heikki Siltala

Toyger - Breed Profile:

Origin: USA
Colors: Orange/tan with dark stripes
Size: Medium
Coat Type(s): Shorthair
Grooming: Little
Talkativeness: Average
Activity Level: Average
Attention Requirement: Average
Overall: Moderately docile

Physical characteristics

A little tiger. This is what you get to think about when you see a Toyger. The Toyger is a cross between a striped Domestic Shorthair and a Standard Bengal Tabby, which resulted in a striped cat with a striking mini-tiger appearance. Toygers are medium size cats with a strong and robust chest, long muscular body, and rectangular proportions. Good boning and high shoulders give the cat he rolling gait of the large wild cats. Males weigh 10-15 pounds, females weigh 7-10 pounds.
The breed is still in development: breeders want to replicate the pattern and colours of the tiger with ever-increasing accuracy. Apart from the above mentioned features, a perfect Toyger should have a broad nose, strong chin, high contrast between stripes and under colour, white patterns above eyes, in lower face, and whited ears (bright "head lights" like in a tiger).

Temperament

In spite of their truly wild look, Toygers are easy-going cats with a mellow temperament and friendly nature. They love being with people. Highly intelligent and interactive, they get along well with children and other pets. Like Bengals, they are easy to train and can be taught to go for walks on a leash and to play fetch. They are more active than placid Persians but much less mischievous and demanding than Thai cats or Egyptian Maus.

Coat and grooming

The Toyger's coat is short, thick, plush, soft and extremely luxurious to the touch. Instead of the vertical stripes of the mackerel tabby or the rounded rosettes of some spotted tabbies, the Toyger has broken, or branched, bold vertical stripes in a random pattern. Some of the stripes resemble rosettes that have been stretched vertically. There should be no spotting. The facial markings should have a circular pattern. The ideal colouring of a Toyger is an orange/tan background with dark stripes (black preferred, but some can be brown or tan) like that of a Tiger, and a white tummy.

Health

Toygers are basically robust cats. However, they can suffer from infections like Feline Infections Peritonitis or FIP. A Toyger suffering from this ailment will display symptoms like watery eyes, nasal discharge, sneezing and lethargy. They may also suffer from what is known as the Lyme disease. This generally occurs among outdoor cats which get ticks. This disease can also pass on to humans. Some of the symptoms include lethargy, limping, appetite loss etc. The best way to ensure that the Toyger cats stay healthy is to give them their vaccinations on time and pay regular visits to the vet. Also, ensure that they follow the recommended diets and get adequate exercise.

Other interesting facts

The vivid striped patterns of Toygers were obtained without a single drop of real tiger blood. It does, however, possess genes passed on from the Asian Leopard cat.
The name "Toyger" comes from the the words Toy and Tiger.
Toygers are best kept indoors because their unique coats make them attractive to thieves.
TICA accepted the Toyger for Registration in 1993, and advanced them to the new breed exhibition classes in 2000, finally granting them full recognition as a championship cat in February 2007.