With their long and muscular bodies and their tiger-like appearance and instincts, Toygers have won the hearts of cat lovers across the world.
They’re known for their amiable temperament and for being capable of making fast friends with anyone, which has made them a popular cat breed in the past two decades.
But like any others, the Toyger cat has specific needs, some of which depend on the potential health problems that one can develop.
Read on to find out almost everything you should know about this breed.
|Weight||7 to 15 lbs / 3.6 to 6.8 kg|
|Physique||Medium sized and muscular|
|Lifespan||10 to 15 years|
|Coat||Short and soft|
|Temperament||Very friendly, playful, and intelligent|
|Comparable cat breeds||Bengal|
Toyger Cat History
The Toyger is a relatively new cat breed, as it was registered by the International Cat Association in 1993 and it got its full championship recognition in 2007. However, this is the only association that currently recognises Toyger as a cat breed.
The first Toyger cat resulted by mating a Bengal cat with a striped domestic shorthair.
The breed was created by Judy Sugden toward the end of the 1980s in an attempt to raise awareness about tigers and their endangered status.
Toyger Cat Appearance
Most Toyger cats come with branching straps and black, orange, or brown colouration that resembles that of a tiger.
Furthermore, these cats have a muscular and well-built body, despite their size, which makes them look like tiger cubs. The difference, of course, is that your pet is not going to grow into an adult that will potentially endanger your health.
Compared to other breeds, Toyger cats are equipped with shorter legs, which makes them have an overall lower height. Their feet are elongated, which makes them capable of a gait also similar to that of a tiger.
With their long bodies, big bones, and high shoulders, they seem quite athletic even though they’re not the biggest cats in the world.
Toyger Cat Temperament
One of the best things about the Toyger cat is its personality and the way it relates to its human and feline counterparts. Most cats are friendly and outgoing, and if they are socialised when they’re young, they will get along with most anyone.
Moreover, they have an affectionate temperament even toward children, although they do tend to get a bit moody if they are bothered when they want to be left alone.
This is an active and very intelligent cat breed, and for this reason, you have to devote at least 15 to 20 minutes to playing with your feline companion every day.
A Toyger cat does not thrive in a small environment that lacks entertainment opportunities.
Many owners refer to them as being ‘lap cats’. These pets enjoy lazing around with their owners in front of the TV or while their human companions are reading a book.
Variety should be part of a Toyger’s life in order for him or her to remain happy and healthy. They are capable of playing fetch and other games for hours on end, so if you do not have the time for this activity, this cat breed might not be the right one for you.
Toyger Cat Health
Unfortunately, when it comes to all mixed breeds, there is always the possibility of the individual to inherit some of the health issues of their ancestors.
In a Toyger cat’s case, this usually happens with the genetic material coming from their Bengal side.
As such, Toygers are prone to developing the following health problems:
- Progressive retinal atrophy
- Pyruvate kinase deficiency
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
While it might be impossible to prevent any of these diseases if your Toyger is genetically predisposed to one or more of them, you can at least treat them in due time by taking your pet to the vet clinic for regular check-ups.
According to some breeders, the Toyger cat is also exposed to developing a side effect to the feline leukaemia vaccine, but there have been no studies performed to back this claim as of yet.
It is also worth noting that most Toygers have a high risk of becoming obese, so feeding them the right diet and the right amount of treats can be paramount.
Also Read: Chausie Cat: Breed Guide
Caring for a Toyger Cat
A very important detail about this cat breed is that it doesn’t tend to do well when being left alone for many hours at a time.
As such, if you live by yourself, and you tend to be away from home for more than eight hours each day, the Toyger might not be a good option.
In fact, some cats can suffer from separation anxiety in such cases and if they are left with sitters or at cat kennels when you go on vacation.
You also have to keep in mind that Toygers are highly intelligent, which is why they need constant mental stimulation. Providing them with a variety of toys or switching between them so that they never get bored of them is a great idea.
Toyger cats love the outdoors and exercise, in general, and since they can be trained, you might be able to teach your cat how to walk on a leash.
If you want to make sure that your feline friend remains as healthy as possible, you can restrict outdoor exposure by going out on occasional walks (once they’ve learned how to walk on a leash).
Indoor-only cats are typically healthier than their outdoor counterparts, and they get to live much longer lives as they are not constantly exposed to parasites, infections, harm from other animals, predators, or car accidents.
Feeding a Toyger Cat
As previously mentioned, Toygers are predisposed to becoming obese. Therefore, you should try to keep their diet as lean and clean as possible.
Compared to dogs and other animals, cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they get most of their nutrients from animal protein.
For convenience purposes, you can feed your Toyger kitten a diet composed of wet and dry cat food, but you should be adamant about picking the best and healthiest varieties out there.
Needless to say, due to their requirements, Toygers cannot be vegetarian and should never be fed a vegan or vegetarian diet.
Selecting the right diet for such a cat breed, considering its activity levels, can be a little tricky. The point is to stick with grain-free, high-quality alternatives, that are free of preservatives, artificial colours, binders, or any other such additives.
Most of these chemicals have been linked with cancer cases in pets, so feeding your Toyger a better quality (or even a homemade) diet can effectively increase your cat’s life — although it might be expensive.
If you are a dog owner and you are looking to get a Toyger cat, you should know that dog food is not appropriate for your cat’s needs.
On top of being full of grains, dog food often contains substances that improve its taste, such as antifreeze, for example, which can be deadly for a cat.
Even if these risks do not exist as you perhaps get your dog high-quality food, too, feeding a carb-rich diet to your cat will eventually lead to them developing diabetes.
Believe it or not, that is a best-case scenario as there are many other health complications that might arise from this.
Most cats, whether they are Toygers or not, should not be bathed at all.
However, if you feel like your cat has become unusually dirty from spending a lot of time outdoors, you can give him or her a bath no more often than once a month.
Giving your cat baths more frequently than that can create a disrupture in the way their sebaceous glands function, which can lead to your pet suffering from dermatitis.
Since a Toyger cat’s coat is soft and relatively short, you aren’t going to spend a lot of time grooming them.
Most cat owners note that brushing your cat’s coat once or twice a week is enough and can minimise some part of the shedding that you might notice.
Other than this, the rest of the grooming that you will have to ensure for your Toyger ranges from cleaning their ears if they’re dirty to trimming their nails on a regular basis.
Doing the latter is especially recommended if your Toyger does not spend any time outdoors and doesn’t need their nails to climb up trees or defend themselves from animal attacks.
Keeping your pet’s nails well-trimmed can also help you prevent some furniture damage, although given how alert and energetic Toygers are, you might have to invest in protective covers.
Like any other cats, Toygers enjoy grooming themselves.
This behaviour should always be part of a cat’s daily routine, and if you fail to notice it at all, something is wrong, and you should take your cat to the vet.
Finding a Toyger Kitten
Getting a Toyger cat is easier said than done, and that’s because they are considered a very rare cat breed.
According to the Toyger Cat Club, there are only three registered breeders in the United Kingdom, and all of them are in England – one in Shropshire, another in Lincolnshire and the last in Suffolk.
In the United States, the place where this breed hails from, there are only approximately 20 registered breeders in the whole country. Other registered catteries are available in Canada, Australia, France, Belgium, as well as Malaysia.
As you can see, the task of finding a Toyger cat can be challenging.
It can be a costly process, not only due to the kitten’s price per se but also because you’d have to pay for it to be shipped in excellent conditions or you’d have to travel to the cattery location to get it yourself.
How much does a Toyger Cat cost?
While in the United Kingdom, you might be as lucky to find a Toyger for as little as 1,000 to 1,500 pounds, it’s quite different in the United States.
Most cats are priced at anything between $1,500 and $5,000, although the sky’s the limit when it comes to how expensive they can be.
There have been cases where some Toygers were put up for sale for as much as $50,000.
Toyger Cat Names
If you’ve become a Toyger guardian and you don’t know what you should name him or her, here are several suggestions you might want to pick from, especially based on their specific personality.
For males, people seem to prefer the following:
For males, here are the top favourites of Toyger owners:
As their name suggests, Toyger cats have an amazing personality, and they will keep you entertained for at least a decade (if you take good care of them).
Since they are prone to developing certain heart conditions, you might have to ask your breeder to provide you with a health certificate of your future kitten’s parents, according to which they have not suffered from any heart issues in the past 12 months.
Toyger cats make excellent pets for everyone, including families with children.
They do need their share of exercise and daily play, though, so you should assess your expectations and schedule and decide whether you are ready to take on the responsibility of caring for a Toyger cat.
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