Cat Lovers guide to the Toyger Cat

Toyger cat, the mini domestic tiger

Every cat lover, regardless of their preferences, has at some point fallen in love with his looks, and how can you not fall in love with this little domestic tiger?

This is a relatively new breed but it is really hard to forget, here we will tell you all about the appearance, personality, and care of this toy tiger!


Origin of the Toyger

As we mentioned, the Toyger is a relatively new breed of cat, this breed began to develop in 1980, it is originally from the United States and is the result of the quest to have a miniature tiger at home.

Their name derives from the words "Toy" and "Tiger" referring to a toy tiger.

Judy Sudgen in the late 80s decided to breed a cat whose phenotype was similar to that of a tiger. She was inspired by the need to transmit to people her concern for the care and preservation of tigers in their natural habitat.

She decided not to cross domestic cats with wild cats to avoid any kind of inconvenience linked to the character and physical needs of hybrid cats. So it was decided to cross Bengal cats with cats having a tabby or mackerel coat pattern.

In 1990 they were recognized by the International Cat Association (TICA), and in 2007 obtained the status of champion and were known as Californian Toyger.

They were also recognized by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy - GCCF in June 2016 and are currently a breed recognized and accepted by The International Cat Association - TICA and international clubs. 

Once the characteristics of this breed were fixed, they began to be exported to Great Britain and Australia. Today it is very common to find these beautiful cats in homes around the world.

But, this breed is still in full development and expansion, which means that there are no breeders specialized in it in all parts of the world.


Physical characteristics of the Toyger Cat

Size: they measure between 30 and 35 cm.

Weight: females can weigh from 3 to 5 kg while males can weigh from 4 to 7 kg.

Eyes: very expressive, small to medium size, deep set with a slightly bulging upper eyelid. They have black eyeliner that helps to simulate the eyes of a tiger, and they can be of different colors.

Ears: they are small and rounded, covered with hair and sometimes with small tufts at the ends.

Coat: it is short and soft, their coat patterns are mostly orange-brown, on which stripes are formed with darker shades, making it quite similar to that of a tiger.

There is also a variation of the white Toyger, although it is not recognized among the breed standard.

Body: medium-sized, their body is athletic, muscular, and elongated with a deep chest.

Their head is of medium size, long and wide, with rounded contours and protruding cheeks, their nose is long and broad and their chin is well formed.

Their legs are short in proportion to the length of the body but very strong with long toes, their tail is long with rounded tip.

Life Span: between 10 and 15 years.


The character of the Toyger Cat

They are very sociable, affectionate, and intelligent but very different from most cats in terms of personality.

They are very attached to their family and will share their affection equally with all the inhabitants of the home, they love to chase their owners around the house, they enjoy the company and take all the attention.

So being totally independent is not their thing, they also love water, they are also very curious, and love to explore their environment.

They need to be stimulated with games and toys to drain all their energy, as well as access to the outdoors in a safe space.

But they also need socialization in their puppy stage. These cats tend to suffer from separation anxiety if they spend too many hours alone, they also do not like to be where they are not given the attention they deserve, so they are not suitable for people who spend too much time away from home.

Toyger care

  • They require weekly brushing to remove dead hair, and prevent hairballs from forming in the animal's stomach when grooming on their own.
  • You can pass a damp cloth after brushing to enhance its natural shine.
  • Bathe your cat once a month or every two months, always with a specific shampoo for cats to protect his skin.
  • It is necessary to regularly clean his dark circles and eyes with moistened sterile gauze.
  • Brush his teeth regularly, preferably once a week to avoid tartar and periodontal diseases.
  • They demand constant attention, so it may be a good idea to equip your cat with games that keep him busy and help him develop physically and mentally.



Their diet should be composed of animal proteins and omega-3 and 6 polyunsaturated acids, to keep their coat shiny.

You can opt for a diet that combines feed with wet food to keep him hydrated and that will be gentler on their teeth.

You should take care of his diet mainly in their senior stage as these cats tend to put on a little more weight.

Reduce the consumption of treats and caloric foods, and avoid giving him leftovers or food out of his usual hours.


Health of Toyger cat

Being a relatively new breed, few diseases have been associated with them. So far the Toyger cat does not have any congenital or hereditary disease.

But, to avoid future illnesses or to detect possible anomalies in time, keep their vaccinations and deworming up to date, and go to their veterinary check-ups every 6 months to keep a detailed record of their state of health.

The Toyger cat will be your mini domestic tiger!

To sum it up in a nutshell, Toyger cats are cats that look like tigers but behave like dogs.

They are ideal for the whole family and adapt very well to different places, however, they are not good for people who do not spend too much time at home, or who cannot fulfill all their needs and give them all the attention they ask for, and they are not a good pet either.