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Characteristics, History, and Health


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The Toyger dazzles with their glittering coat and tiger-like stripes. A wild-looking kitty that is actaully all domestic cat, the Toyger will keep you on your toes with their high energy antics and warm your heart with their fierce loyalty.

Main Info
Coat Pattern
Tabby with stretched, branched vertical stripes and circular head pattern
Coat Length
Health Issues
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM)Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM)
  • Generally healthy breedGenerally healthy breed

Main Characteristics of the Toyger

The Toyger is a muscular beauty with a long and lean body, big bones, and long heart shaped-face. Their appearance differs from the tabby, departing from the rosette or mackerel patterns and instead exhibiting bold stripes that branch out vertically over a brownish-orange background. While they are truly 100% a domestic cat breed with absolutely no tiger blood at all, their uncanny tiger-like appearance is said to come through even in their physical movements.

Toyger Origin

The Toyger breed is relatively new on the scene. Breeder Judy Sudgen began a program in the 1980s that aimed to create a fabulous feline that looked like a tiger but was suited for home life as a domestic cat. Judy bred "Scrapmetal", a striped domestic shorthair, with a Bengal named "Millwood Rumpled Spotskin". These two cats became the foundation of the young Toyger breed. A street cat named "Jammu Blu" also played a role in further development of the breed after Judy imported him from India.

Toyger Personality Traits

The Toyger is known as a highly intelligent and affectionate cat that loves to be around the people they love. They have plenty of energy and are always looking for fun, so if you are considering a Toyger you want to be sure prepare an enriching environment that allows your Toyger kitty ample opportunities for mental and physical stimulation. Toygers are also known to do well with leash training and can be taught fun tricks, such as playing fetch!

Toyger Common Health Issues

The Toyger breed is generally health with no tightly associated genetic conditions. However, heart murmurs do occur in the breed that may be associated with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), which is the most common feline heart condition. This condition can be managed but has no cure, so early monitoring is key to supporting a higher quality of life should a cat be diagnosed with the condition. There are also studies on the neurological condition known as holoprosencephaly that has been seen in some Toyger cats that are selectively bred for a short ear phenotype. This disease is linked to a deletion in the gene GDF7.

Toyger Fun Facts

  • Known as the 'miniature' or 'toy' tiger. Through her selective breeding program, Judy Sugden's goal was to create a domestic shorthair cat with dark, bold vertical striped patterns against brilliant hues of brown and orange, with the circular head markings of a tiger that complete the Toyger's signature look. However, these cats are in no way descended from tigers. Looks can be deceiving!

  • Accepted into the International Cat Association (TICA). While not accepted by the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA), the Toyger was accepted by TICA Registration in 1993. In 2000, TICA allowed the breed into its new breed exhibition classes, and in early 2007 allowed them full recognition as a championship cat.

  • Every Toyger likes a good puzzle! This breed truly enjoys a challenge, so be sure to pique their curiosity with interesting cat toys and puzzles and see how quickly they learn!

Toyger Cat Characteristics

13+ years
Good with
Children (older), Dogs, Cats, Families
Shedding amount
Affection level
Activity level
Tendency to vocalize
Exercise needs


The International Cat Association (TICA) “Introduction to the Toyger”

FETCH by WebMD "What to Know About A Toyger"