Breed review: Toyger kittens and cats

Posted by Trixie. July 18th 2014.

Distinctive to look at and a household favourite, the Toyger cat is a small feline with a big personality.

History of Toyger kittens and cats

The Toyger cat is the type of cat which stays in people’s memories owing to its stunning markings which give it a big cat appearance in a domestic cat-sized body.

Bred in the late 1980s by breeder Judy Sudgen, Toyger kittens and cats boast tiger-like markings which, their creator said, were to remind the public about the need to protect tigers in the wild. The name itself comes from ‘toy’ and ‘tiger’.

The first Toygers were the offspring of a domestic shorthair, a Bengal and, later on, a street cat from India which displayed distinctive markings.

The International Cat Association (TICA) accepted the Toyger for registration in 1993 and advanced them to the class of new breed in 2000. This gorgeous cat gained full recognition in 2007 when it was granted the status of championship cat by TICA.

Toyger 2


The Toyger is a real treat for the eyes. Browns, greys, blacks and caramel colours are all combined in intricate mackerel patterns on the body which replicate the stripes of a tiger.

Rosettes and tabby markings found in domestic cats are elongated to fill the lengthy body and the head is spotted and striped in a unique manner. The Toyger’s underbelly is pale caramel while the coat of the Toyger has the appearance of being scattered with gold, making it very attractive.

The face is round and the eyes are big and bright but another remarkable characteristic of the Toyger is the way that it walks; its rolling gait is also similar to that of a tiger!

Toygers’ are medium-sized with males weighing 10-15 pounds and females weighing 7-10 pounds on average. The typical lifespan is about 13 years.



The Toyger is one of the most laid-back cats around and the ultimate lap-cat. This cute cat is friendly and extrovert, enjoying the company of people. It also gets on well with other pets and its intelligence means it can be trained to happily go on walks on a lead which can be handy for town dwellers living in apartments.

Good at interacting with others, the Toyger is the ideal pet for a family, single person and as a sole companion or a member of a group of pets.

Exercise and health

A Toyger enjoys stimulation but does not require any more exercise than most domestic cats.  A few toys and play-fighting will keep it entertained and if there is access to a garden, it can enjoy roaming. Those living in flats who want to give their Toyger outdoor exercise can take it out on a lead. Toygers don’t experience any health issues which are any more serious than those of a typical domestic cat and regular visits to the vet should keep any problems at bay.


A Toyger’s coat is plush, thick, short and velvety. It requires minimal grooming but weekly attention is advisable. A good brushing will keep its coat healthy, with increased attention advised if it is shedding. For claw care, it is worth visiting a professional.

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