The Toyger is a young breed. The development programme started in 1980s when Susan Sugden noticed distinctive facial tabby marking on one of her cats; the cat had two spots of tabby marking on the temple unlike most domestic tabbies. Susan then selected a striped domestic shorthair to start the development of a tiger look-alike cat. A street cat was also from India imported to refine the facial tabby features. Anthony Hutcherson and Alice McKee also contributed to the Toyger breeding programme, coming up with a domestic cat with body structure and facial features. The breed is still in the process of being developed, with many traits still undergoing refinement.
Being recognised as a Registration only breed in 1993 by TICA, the Toyger has progressed through all requisites to gain full Championship status in 2007.
Despite its wild looks, the Toyger is a highly intelligent, affectionate breed that loves to get along with people and interact with them. Being easy to train, this cat can be taught to play fetch and walk on a leash. It is a very friendly breed and gets along well with other pets.
- Activity level: 3/5 (quite active)
- Intelligence level: 4/5 (very intelligent)
- Curiosity: 3/5 (quite curious)
- Friendliness: 3/5 (quite friendly)
- Vocal: 2/5 (mildly vocal)
A designer cat developed to resemble the tiger, a long, deep rectangular body, big bones, high shoulder blades and the rolling gait of a big cat characterise the Toyger. The most distinctive feature of the breed, however, is the facial stripes and marking, which are circularly aligned around its face just like the wild cats.
- Fur: Short, soft coat with thick and luxuriant feel; orange/tan background with dark stripes.
- Eyes: Medium, circular eyes set wide apart. Rich deep colour preferred.
- Body structure: Large boned, long and muscular. Strong and robust body.
- Facial features: Dominant muzzle, oval head. Facial stripes and marking circularly aligned around the face.
- Weight: the male Toyger weighs 10-15 lbs, whereas the female weighs around 7-10 lbs.
Being a shorthair breed, the grooming requirements of the Toyger are very minimal. Weekly grooming is considered adequate to remove any dead hair from the fur, whereas daily rubs with a chamois cloth also brings out a lustrous sheen to the coat. Gingivitis and other periodontal diseases can be avoided by regular dental brushing. Regular exercising is also recommended for maintaining healthy body weight.
The major health concerns that have been noticed in the Toyger are hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), and flat chest syndrome. Hyperrtrophic Cardiomyopathy affects all cat breeds, and results from blood flow disturbances, and can be diagnosed by chest X-rays, echocardiography, Doppler tests and complete blood profiling. Feline infectious peritonitis, which is a fatal, incurable disease which causes body’s immune system to attack the cells affected and cause intense inflammatory reaction. FIP can be diagnosed by histopathological examination, polymerase chain reaction and Rivalta test.
We have gathered this information from our breeders based on their experience with this breed. However, remember that each animal is different with its own personality and needs (just like people!), so use this information wisely.
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