8 Domestic Cat Breeds That Look Like Tigers
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Have you ever fancied having a pet tiger? While it would be incredible to see these majestic animals up close, they are wild animals which should not be kept domestically. Also, the possibility of being disembowelled makes it a tricky proposition. If you enjoy the look of a tiger and want to have a less dangerous cat in your family, you might want to consider one of these 8 domestic cat breeds that look like tigers.
If you want to know more about these little tiger lookalikes, we will also provide some background information on the breeds. Of course, we should also point out there are many mixed-breed cats with tiger-like markings, so you can always consider adopting a shelter cat.
1. Bengal cat
We start our list of breeds that look like tigers with the Bengal cat. This is a species which was developed in the 1960's as a cross between the wild leopard cat and domesticated cat breeds. This breeding took place in the United States of America.
They are a robust animal of medium to large size, with a thick tail and sleek body. Their hind legs are especially strong, allowing them to jump up to great heights and stay there with ease. Their head is characterized by their long and pointed ears, pronounced snout and strong jaw. Perhaps most striking is their clear green eyes.
What really stands out when compared to other breeds is the Bengal cat's fur. Their body is distinguished by having rosettes; almost circular patterns which are commonly found on leopards. The colors are reddish brown to black, with different tones. The base color of their coat can be yellow, cream, ivory, gold or orange. While the rosettes give them the appearance of a leopard, they also have distinct stripes which make them looks like a tiger, especially face on.
Like the Bengal cat, the Toyger is a result of crossings made by humans. This time the crossing was between a Bengal and a stray cat found in India. The breed is popularly known as a 'tiger cat'. Not only is it a cat breed which looks like a tiger, but this was the express purpose of breeding them in the first place. You can see how they look like a tiger with their thick long tail, short coat with orange, gold and yellow tones and their abundance of stripes.
The Toyger is a very active cat breed which loves to run, jump, play and explore. When adopting one of these specimens, it is vital you take into account the activity level they require. If you do not have the time to engage with these cats as they need, behavioral problems can develop and seriously affect their well-being.
3. Savannah cat
Another wild cat cross, the Savannah cat breed is the result of a breeding between a Domestic cat and an African serval. Without doubt, they are one of the breeds which most look like tigers. They appeared for the first time in the year 1986. These cats are active, agile and curious. They maintain great physical similarity to wild cats, but their character is much closer to that of the Domestic cat breed. They can measure up to 60 cm in height at the withers and can weigh up to 25 kg. This is why they are considered to be one of the largest domestic cat breeds in the world.
Another distinctive hallmark of this breed is their rounded ears which are large and tilt slightly backwards. The Savannah cat has different tones of color in the eyes which can vary between yellow, green and blue. Their tail is medium length and thins out at the tip. Their coat can vary individual to individual, but generally presents with orange and amber tones, accompanied by black stripes and spots, similar to a tiger or leopard.
4. Egyptian Mau
As their name suggests, the Egyptian Mau is native to Egypt where, in ancient times, it was considered a sacred animal. This is according to the innumerable works of art which show depictions of the breed. This cat is of medium size and has a strong musculature. The head is rounded, the jaw firm and they have very pointed ears.
Of all cat breeds, the Egyptian Mau has one of the most unique coats. it stands out for being semi-long and very bright, being of smoke, silver or bronze in color. They also have dark stripes which helps to give them their tiger-like appearance. Their tail is long and thick, but wider at the base. As for their personality, the Egyptian Mau is an affectionate and loving cat which also has some territorial tendencies. They also stand out as a breed which does not adapt well to low temperatures, so take this into consideration if you fancy adopting one.
The Ocicat is so called because it is a mixture between an ocelot and a domestic cat. They are of a medium to large size, although males are generally large than females. They are characterized by a muscular and solid body with a rounded head and slight elevation on the bridge of their nose where it connects to the forehead. Their legs are long, but proportionate to the rest of their body. The tail is long and thin, the base thicker than the tip. As for their ears, they are noticeably large and have tufts of hair inside them.
The fur of these tiger-like cats is fine of texture with stripes and spots. These distinct markings are what give them their wild cat appearance. As for the color of Ocicat's fur, they present with dark hairs on a brightly colored base which is golden, reddish or brown.
Another cat breed which looks like a wild cat is the Cheetoh. This cat is smaller than some of the other cats which look like tigers, weighing around 10 kg and measuring about 30 cm at the withers. Their characteristics are similar to the Ocicat, although they also possess certain distinctive elements. Among them is their particularly kind and affectionate character, despite its wild cat appearance.
The Cheetoh is a high energy cat, so it is not strange to see them running, playing and jumping all day long. They can also be very curious, spending much time exploring. You will need to be careful with objects being knocked over or leaving harmful materials out. The fur of this feline resembles the tiger, but its body markings are distinctly cheetah-like, giving them their name. This is due to the dark spots which are always of darker tones. Tiger stripes can be found on other parts of their fur. Their eyes are rounded and, invariably, green.
7. Chausie cat
The Chausie cat is another energetic breed. They like to spend time running and jumping. However, when they are bored, they can become restless and destructive in the home. This is why you will always need to provide sufficient interaction in the form of games and affection, as well as proper environmental enrichment. In respect to their physical characteristics, they weigh around 10 kilos, like the Cheetoh. They have a well-balanced and proportioned body which looks like a wild cat.
The Chausie's eyes are attentive, their ears pointed at an angle and legs long. As for the coat of the Chausie, they can present in various colors. The most common is the brown body with a ticked coat. This means, although they resemble a tiger, they do not have as many well-defined stripes like some of the cats on this list. Their markings on the main part of their body are a little more subtle.
8. Abyssinian cat
We finish our list of domestic cat breeds that look like tigers with the Abyssinian cat. This is a domestic cat which probably more resembles a puma than a tiger, thanks to its slender yet muscular figure. The Abyssinian is a loving and very active animal. Combined with high activity levels is its similarly high intelligence. They are so clever they can even learn some basic tricks. Their head has a smooth curve, its eyes are somewhat separated and can be shades of amber, yellow, green or blue.
The Abyssinian's coat is soft, shiny and medium-long. Similar to the Chausie cat, the Abyssinian has a ticked pattern on their fur. These ticks are distributed in dark stripes with lighter bands, the latter usually being brown or reddish, this is what gives the Abyssinian its tiger appearance.
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- "Cheetoh." Pet Guide. Available: https://www.petguide.com/breeds/cat/cheetoh/
- "Characteristics of the Bengali cat". Bengali cat. Available: https://www.gatobengali.com/caracteristicas-del-gato-bengali.php
- "Egyptian Mau". Fédération Internacionale Féline. Available: http://www1.fifeweb.org/dnld/std/MAU.pdf
- "Ocicat". Fédération Internacionale Féline. Available: http://www1.fifeweb.org/dnld/std/OCI.pdf
- "Abyssinian". Fédération Internacionale Féline. Available: http://www1.fifeweb.org/dnld/std/ABY-SOM.pdf
- "Chausie." Pet Guide. Available: https://www.petguide.com/breeds/cat/chausie/
- "Savannah." Pet Guide. Available: https://www.petguide.com/breeds/cat/savannah/
- "Toyger". Pet Guide. Available: https://www.petguide.com/breeds/cat/toyger/