Updated: June 19, 2020

The Toyger is a young domestic cat breed developed in the late 80s. They capture a tiger look while completely being a domestic cat. This is where they get their name “Toyger” (toy tiger). These designer cats were obtained after a breeding program that started with a shorthaired Tabby and a big-boned Bengal cat.

These cats are calm, outgoing, very friendly and intelligent. Making them a great house cat for families, singles or couples. Especially for tiger fans, as they are very similar in their fur pattern. In this AnimalWised breed file we are going to talk about the Toyger cat breed, their origin, care, health and more!

  • America
  • United States
Physical characteristics
Average weight
  • 7-11
  • 11-13
  • 13-17
  • 17-22
  • 22-30
Life expectancy
  • 8-10
  • 10-15
  • 15-18
  • 18-20
Type of hair
  1. Origin
  2. Physical Appearance
  3. Character
  4. Care
  5. Health


The Toyger breed began its development in the late 1980s when Judy Sugden noticed distinctive markings in one of her cats. Sugden was looking to find the difference between the mackerel markings in tabbies. She started the program with a shorthair tabby and a big-boned Bengal. She later imported a street cat from India that had the correct striped she was looking for.

In 1993, Anthony Hutcherson and Alice McKee joined Sugden in her pioneering work. That same year, the International Cat Association accepted the Toyger registration and in 2000 advanced them to the new breed exhibition classes. Finally, in February 2007 they were fully recognized as a championship cat.

Physical Appearance

The main characteristic of a Toyger cat is their signature tiger-like fur. Their coat is brown mackerel tabby can have dark markings on a vividly bright orange background on top and a white underside. Their coat is soft and short.

Toyger cats have medium-sized circular eyes. They are wide apart and set toward the base of their ears. When it comes to the color of their eyes, deep and rich colored eyes are preferred. Their ears are small and round. They're set wide apart at a 45º line towards the base of the ears. Judy Sugden described them as being longer and larger than the average domestic cat.


As we've previously mentioned, these cats have a wonderful and balanced character. They are very friendly towards everyone, making them great domestic cats for everyone. This also includes other cats and even dogs.

They are also very intelligent cats, curious and playful. Some human companions even train their Toyger cats to go out on walks with a cat leash and play fetch. If you're looking for a friendly and trainable cat, the Toyger breed may be the perfect choice for you!


To care for your Toyger cat you'll have to take some factors into consideration. Firstly, you'll have to brush them weekly to get rid of dead hair and dirt. As with other domestic cats, you'll need to also brush their teeth with cat toothpaste (human toothpaste is toxic for them) and clean their ears.

When it comes to their training, these cats enjoy short walks outside with their human companion. You can also teach them other tricks, such as sitting down when asked and playing fetch. Like other domestic cats, Toyger cats are very affectionate and will enjoy sitting on your lap and cuddling.

Make sure to provide enough mental stimulation as these cats are very curious and can get easily bored. Other than that, they'll need a rich diet. Learn more on our article about the best diet for cats. Remember to also bring them to the veterinarian for regular check-ups.


Due to the fact that this breed is relatively new, there isn't enough information on what type of health issues they may be prone to. They are, however, known to have heart issues.

To make sure your Toyger cat is healthy, make sure to provide them with a healthy lifestyle as well as take them for their regular check-ups. Lastly, remember to strictly follow their vaccination and deworming schedule.

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