The Toyger: The Ultimate Guide to their History, Types, Characteristics, Temperament, and Care


Do you love the look of a Bengal cat, but aren’t sure if you want a cat that is quite so large? Another option to consider is the Toyger, which was created by crossing a domestic striped shorthair with a Bengal cat.

This is a completely domestic cat, but has the look of a wild cat just waiting to pounce. This is a muscular cat that has a gentle, loving personality and makes a wonderful family pet.

You can even train this cat to walk on a leash, as well as play a variety of interactive games, including fetch.

Origin and history of the breed

The original breeder of the Toyger created this breed in the hope of bringing awareness to the plight of the tiger, which may be slipping toward extinction.

This is a medium-sized cat that has the coloration and pattern of a real tiger, but in a much smaller, and much more domesticated package. The Toyger is a mix of a Bengal and a striped house cat, and is a great family pet that loves people as well as other animals.

The first Toyger came to be when a Bengal breeder Judy Sugden noticed tabby markings on the temple of his cat. Then, Sugden decided that she could create a breed that looked a lot like the tiger.

Check out more information about Toyger cats in the short video below: 

She created this breed in her home, and other breeders have also added to the breeding program to create a domestic cat with a large body, tabby markings, circular head markings, and rosettes that stretched outwards. The Toyger was registered by The International Cat Association (TICA) in 1993, and was advanced to new breed status in 2000.

By 2007, it had received full championship recognition. Today, TICA is still the only cat association that recognizes this breed.

Physical standards of the breed

Toyger cat

Let’s take a look at the basic physical standards for the Toyger, including size, weight, appearance, and health issues.

Health and possible diseases

Any cat can develop genetic health problems, no matter what the breed. For the most part, Toygers are healthy cats, but they are known for sometimes having heart murmurs.

It is important that you buy from a breeder that will provide a written health guarantee. Regular vet care will also help to ensure good health.


There isn’t much involved in grooming a Toyger. They need to be brushed or combed weekly to distribute skin oils and get rid of loose fur, which is going to keep the coat healthy and shiny.

They should also have their nails trimmed and ears cleaned weekly.

Height and size

The Toyger is a rather tall cat, but not as tall as its ancestor, the Bengal cat. You can expect your Toyger to stand around 12 to 15 inches tall at the back. This is a medium-sized cat that that is also quite muscular and large boned.


Toygers tend to weigh between 10 and 15 pounds. The males tend to weigh more than the females, which usually weigh in at around 10 to 12 pounds. Because this is a medium-sized cat, weighing more might make it overweight.


Toygers have lots of energy, yet they are sweet and calm at the same time. This friendly cat loves to play games, and fetch is always a favorite.

It can be trained to walk on a leash, and it will play with other animals, including dogs. This is a great cat for children, because it is active and friendly.


While there are no truly hypoallergenic cats, there are cats that are easier on people with allergies than other breeds. The Toyger is one of them, since it has a short coat and is relatively easy to groom.

The trick is to make sure that you keep pet hair in the home to a minimum. Brush your Toyger regularly, and keep up with regular vacuuming in order to eliminate a lot of pet hair.


Typically, a Toyger can live 10 to 15 years. But, with the proper environment and care, your cat could live to be much older.

Of course, this also depends on whether or not your pet has any genetic health issues. Make sure that your cat receives regular vet visits, not only to treat any existing conditions, but also to make sure that any new health problems can be treated as quickly as possible.

Caring Difficulty

One of the best things about having a Toyger is that they are so easy to care for. These cats require a weekly brushing, which distributes skin oils so he doesn’t end up with dry, flaky skin. Again, regular vet visits are extremely important, as well as a healthy diet so your cat doesn’t become obese. Plenty of exercise is also necessary, both for weight control and to keep your pet from becoming bored.

Where to get a Toyger

When looking for a purebred cat, the best option is to seek out breeders of the type of cat you want. But, in the case of the Toyger, this could be a lot easier said than done.

This is not one of the more common breeds of cats, so you will be hard-pressed to find a breeder in your area. It may be necessary to seek out breeders outside of your own state.

You should also start checking out local animal shelters. While there is no guarantee that you are going to find a Toyger, or any other purebred cat, it doesn’t mean that it can’t happen.

The best part is, if you do find your Toyger, you are saving a life because you are taking it from a shelter and preventing euthanasia for the animal if it isn’t adopted.

How much does a Toyger Cat cost?

While many purebred cats can cost as little as $600, you are going to spend a lot more if you want a Toyger, but it is well worth it.

Toyger cat prices typically start at around $2,200, and if you want a show cat, you can expect to spend at least another $1,000, if not more. The prices will depend on whether or not the cat meets the Toyger standards.

Choosing the right type of Toyger

Luckily, you don’t have to worry about whether or not you are choosing the right type of Toyger. These cats all have similar markings and patterns, so really, there is only one type of Toyger.

What you really need to check out is the personality. Every cat, just like every human, is different, and you will want to choose one that suits your own personality.

Responsibilities to consider in the care of a Toyger Cat

When you bring a pet into your home, it is your responsibility for the life of that pet. Your responsibilities as a pet owner include regular veterinary care, providing a healthy, well-balanced diet, providing plenty of fresh air and exercise (without letting your pet outside unattended), and lots of loving.

When you properly care for your pet, you can expect to have many years of love, loyalty, and companionship.

Characteristics of Toygers

Toyger cat sitting

Now it’s time to take a look at some of the most common characteristics of the Toyger.


This is a playful, energetic cat that loves attention, and is extremely friendly with everyone.


The Toyger pattern is random, and the vertical stripes are unique to each different cat within the breed. It also has spots or rosettes, and markings are dark on an orange background.


This cat makes a great house pet. It loves to be affectionate, and will cuddle with just about anyone.


If you are looking for a cat that behaves well around children, as well as dogs and other cats, the Toyger is a great choice.


The Toyger is highly intelligent, and can be trained to play various interactive games, walk on a leash, and more.


Here is a cat with an abundance of energy. If you want a cat that loves to play, this is the cat for you.


The Toyger is a low-maintenance cat that requires minimal grooming, along with regular vet care and a healthy diet.

Types of Toygers

As we already mentioned, there really is only one type of Toyger. These cats have the striped pattern that we think about when we see a real tiger, but the personality of a loving housecat.

They tend to have the look of a wild cat, but they are not wild at heart. Again, the best way to choose the type of pet you want is to choose one that has a personality that meshes with your own.

This could take a while, but it is well worth it in the long run.

Toygers compared to other Breeds

If you are among the many people who would love to own a wild cat, but know that you can’t due to regulations and the fact that it is cruel to take a wild animal out of its environment, the Toyger is definitely a cat for you to consider.

This is a cat that was bred to resemble a tiger, but it has none of the characteristics of this wild cat. The Toyger is affectionate, and small enough to be a great lap cat.

You get the look of a wild cat, with all of the benefits of a lovely house pet.


Making the decision to get a purebred cat isn’t something to be taken lightly. In fact, this can be said of any pet. The Toyger is a wonderful pet, but you need to make sure that you are ready for this kind of responsibility.

If you have made up your mind about owning a Toyger, it is time to start seeking out reputable breeders. It may take a while to find the pet you want, but if you have your heart set on this breed, it is definitely going to be worth the wait, because it is going to be a great family pet for many years to come.