5 Things to Know About Toygers

Toygers look exotic but have the sweet disposition of domestic cats.

1. Key Characteristics

  • Weight: 10–15 pounds for males; 7–10 pounds for females
  • Life Expectancy: 10–15 years or longer

Toygers are medium-sized, muscular cats with dramatic striping resembling a tiger. The pattern of stripes is broken or branded.

They have big bones, high shoulders and a long, rectangular body. The name “toyger” comes  from a combination of the words “toy” and “tiger.”

2. Where They Came From

In the 1980s, a cat breeder noticed one of her cats had tabby markings on their temple, and she believed the markings would be beneficial for creating a cat with a circular pattern on the head, similar to the markings of a tiger.

She mated a domestic shorthair, Scrapmetal, and a Bengal, Millwood Rumpled Spotskin. She also imported a cat named Jamma Blu from India, a street cat with markings she desired to incorporate into the breed.

The breeder, Judy Sugden, sought to develop cats that appeared as miniature tigers. Temperament was also important, and the cats in her line were laid-back and friendly. The Toyger was registered in 2000 and received full championship recognition in February 2007.

“Toyger” is a portmanteau of “toy” and “tiger.” By: Anne Yakimova (Top: Natalia Pyzhova)

3. How Friendly Are They?

Toygers are friendly, outgoing, active, alert, highly intelligent and easy to train. They like to play fetch and can be taught to go on walks outdoors.

These cats are also good candidates for agility training. They get along with other pets and children and make excellent family pets.

4. Is This the Right Cat for You?

Exercise Needs

Low

LOW: The breed is fairly active indoors and should not require additional exercise beyond everyday movement and play. If you notice a drop in activity or a change in your cat’s appearance, a trip to the veterinarian may be in order.

Grooming Needs

Low

LOW: This shorthair breed does not require heavy grooming; a weekly brushing should be sufficient. Bathing can be done as needed. Nails should be trimmed regularly, about once every 2 weeks. Provide a scratching area for your cat to use as desired.

Check and clean the ears and teeth regularly for optimum feline health. Maintaining a regular grooming routine will help you notice changes in your cat, some of which may require your vet’s attention.

Health Problems

Low

LOW: Toygers are fairly healthy cats. There are a few ailments somewhat commonly seen within the breed, such as:

This adorable Toyger just loves her new cat toy:

5. Where to Adopt One

Check adoption resources before buying from a breeder. Use our adoption search feature to get started, or search for local rescues.

If you choose to go to a breeder, be aware that kitten mills do, in fact, exist. Check for a clean environment and request health checks to ensure the cats are being raised with the utmost care provided for their good health.

Keep an eye out for red flags that indicate the breeder is not reputable.

Additional Resources

Kristine Lacoste

View posts by Kristine Lacoste
Kristine Lacoste, editor in chief of Petful, is an author, poet and pet lover from Louisiana. She is the author of an award-nominated book, One Unforgettable Journey, and was host of a weekly pet news segment on the National K-9 Academy Radio Show. She was the New Orleans coordinator for Dogs on Deployment, a nonprofit that helps military members and their pets, for 3 years. She is also employed as chief operating officer for a large mental health practice in Louisiana. Kristine has a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a bachelor’s degree in English and a Master of Business Administration degree.

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