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The Toyger Cat Breed


The foundation cats for the Toyger cat breed was a big-boned Bengal cat and a striped domestic shorthair cat. In the late 1980’s, Judy Sugden was working to improve the clarity of the markings of mackerel tabby cats. She noticed that one of her own cats had two spots of tabby markings on his temple which is unusual for a domestic tabby cat. Judy realized that this would be the breakthrough she needed to develop a domestic cat breed that would have the patterns and marking of tigers in the wild.

Toyger cat breed Toyger Cat

In 1993, Judy imported a street cat from Kashmir (India) that had spots between his ears rather than the regular marking of a tabby. Judy was later joined by Anthony Hutcherson and Alice McKee to establish a proper breeding program for the Toyger. In 1993, TICA accepted the Toyger for registration and this different cat breed advanced to New Breed status in 2000. In February 2007, the Toyger gained full recognition as a championship cat breed.


The Toyger resembles a tiger in the wild in more ways than just its coat. It has a long, low slung powerful body with high shoulders and big bones. It is a very muscular cat that has the rolling gait and grace of a large wild cat. Mature males can weigh between 10-15 pounds and mature females can weigh between 7-10 pounds.

Judy Sugden had a very clear idea for the kind of domestic “tiger” cat that she wanted to create – it had to have circular head markings not found in any other domestic cat, the colors and patterns had to be as vivid and bold as that of wild cats and the body had to be large and long. The most important factor to her though was that this different cat breed had to have a friendly and relaxed temperament.

Toyger cat breed Note the orange background with the dark tiger-like stripes

So it came about that the Toyger’s coat pattern is the most unique of any domestic cat breed. Where mackerel tabbies have vertical stripes and spotted tabbies have rounded rosettes, the Toyger has bold, branched vertical stripes that appear in a random pattern. The facial markings have a circular pattern and some of the stripes look like rosettes that are stretched vertically.

The colors of the Toyger cat breed range from a striking orange background with dark markings on the top parts of the cat and a white color on the insides and the undersides. These markings are all further intensified by the gold glitter that is scattered over the top of the coat.

A weekly brushing is required to remove loose hair and to keep the coat in beautiful condition.

Personality & Temperament

Toyger cat breed The Toyger cat breed is highly intelligent and can be easily trained to walk on a leash and to play games of fetch. It has a very laid-back temperament, which makes it a great addition to any family as they get along well with other pets and children.

This “toy tiger” loves being around people and will entertain you and any guests with graceful leaps and acrobatics.

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