Ever wished you could have a small pet tiger that won’t grow up and turn on you one day? If so, you can get yourself a toy tiger, better known as a Toyger cat. So, what exactly is a Toyger?
A Toyger is an exotic cat breed that has a striking resemblance to the Tiger. The Toyger was developed by crossing the striped domestic shorthair cat with a Bengal cat. The reason behind the creation of this hybrid was to raise awareness about declining wild tiger numbers.
If you are thinking of keeping a Toyger, it is good to know everything pertaining to this cat breed, including their personality and temperament, their care requirements, their exercise needs, lifespan, common health issues, grooming needs, and so on. In this guide, we will go over all this information. Before we get to that, however, let’s start by looking at where Toyger cats originated.
Where Do Toyger Cats Come From?
Toyger cats originated in the United States, where they were first developed by Judy Sugden. Sugden developed the Toyger from the American domestic shorthair cat, the Bengal, and the Mackerel Tabby.
When creating this breed, Sugden hoped to create a cat that looked as close to the tiger as possible. Toygers are a very rare breed, with less than 500 Toygers in the whole world.
So, what does a Toyger cat look like, and how do you know if your cat is a Toyger? The most striking feature of the Toyger coat is the tiger-like pattern on their coats, which consists of branching and interweaving dark stripes against a gold or brown background.
The Toyger cat’s body is sleek, muscular, and low-slung, just like a tiger’s, with high set shoulders. They also have short feet and long paws that give this cat a gait that closely resembles that of a tiger.
Their eyes are either green or yellow, while their tail is thick and long. You’d be forgiven for mistaking the Toyger cat for a tiger cub.
Another thing you will notice about the Toyger coat is that they have a luxuriously soft and dense coat that makes petting and cuddling the Toyger cat a great pleasure.
How big do Toygers get? The Toyger is a large-sized cat. Male Toygers will weigh as much as 15 lbs, while females will get to about 10 lbs. A fully grown Toyger cat will grow to a height of about 8 inches at the shoulders.
How Long Do Toyger Cats Live For?
Toygers are hardy cats, and with proper care, you can expect your Toyger cat to live for about 13 years or more.
Despite having the advantage of hybrid vigor, Toyger cats are still at risk of developing some of the health issues that are common to other cats. Some common health problems among Toyger cats include:
This is a condition that is caused by the turbulent flow of blood within your cat’s heart. When a cat has a heart murmur, their heartbeat will be closely followed by a whooshing sound. Heart murmurs could also be a symptom of feline cardiomyopathy.
Fortunately, heart murmurs are a benign condition in most cats and will not lead to any additional problems. However, in cases where it signals another underlying heart problem, ignoring the condition can ultimately lead to heart failure and death.
Feline infectious peritonitis is a serious condition that is caused by a viral infection of the white blood cells and organs like the abdomen, kidneys, and even the brain. Symptoms of this condition include loss of appetite and lethargy.
Left untreated, this condition will eventually result in death. While the condition can be treated, treatments are very expensive.
It is advisable to take your cat for regular checkups so that this condition can be identified and treated early enough before the infection spreads to multiple organs.
Other Common Health Problems
Some other feline health issues you should keep an eye out for include progressive retinal atrophy, pyruvate kinase deficiency (PKDef), and a flat chest cage.
How To Take Care Of Toyger Cats?
Unlike other animals, cats get the majority of their nutrients from animal protein, and therefore, you want to make sure that you are feeding your Toyger cat with feed that contains animal protein, without any grain. You should never feed your cat any vegan foods.
We recommend Nom Nom Cat Food, which is made using real chicken and does not contain additives or artificial preservatives.
Toyger cats are heavy feeders, and if you don’t watch their portions, they can easily get obese. Therefore, you should ensure you’re giving your feline buddy the recommended amounts of food.
Supplementing food with vitamin supplements is a great way to boost your cat’s health and immunity.
For this, we recommend Vetri Lysine Plus Immune Support Supplements. These supplements are free of grain and abalone and contain lysine, which is great for your cat’s immunity and eye health.
- IMMUNE SUPPORT – Vetri Lysine Plus is an immune support chew for cats of all weight ranges and contains L-Lysine, an...
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Toygers are energetic cats, and therefore, they need regular playtime to help them release some of this energy. A good way to get your kitty active is to buy them a toy like the Cooway interactive cat toy.
This toy provides your cat with something to chase around the house, and the best part is that it is made out of durable material that is unlikely to get damaged by your cat.
Aside from getting them a toy, you can also get your Toyger cat a scratching post, or take them out for walks, since Toygers can learn how to walk on a leash.
Are Toygers Lap Cats? Temperaments Of Toyger Cats
Despite the tiger-like looks, the Toyger is in no way related to tigers, and neither do they have any wild blood. This means that Toygers are not an aggressive breed.
Here’s what you should expect from your Toyger cat.
Toygers are amiable cats who are very good at making friends with everyone, from humans to other cats. They will even get along well with dogs if both have been properly socialized.
When your Toyger is not playing around in the house, there’s nothing they’ll want more than curling up on your lap for a cuddle.
Toygers are also friendly with kids and won’t mind goofing around with them, but there are moments when your Toyger will prefer being left alone. All in all, Toyger cats are very good pets.
Another thing you will quickly notice about Toyger Cats is that they are very intelligent. Their high level of intelligence means that you can even teach your Toyger how to walk on a leash, or how to play agility sports.
However, their intelligence also means that they can get bored easily, and therefore, you need to provide them with constant mental stimulation. A good way to do this is to provide them with puzzles and multiple toys.
Toyger cats are also very energetic, which means they need lots of physical activity. Fortunately, they can get lots of exercise just by walking and running around the house. However, you should also set aside about 15 minutes to play with your Toyger kitty every day.
Are Toyger Cats Hypoallergenic? Grooming Tips For Toyger Cats
Toyger cats have soft, short-haired coats that don’t need lots of grooming. These cats are moderate shedders, and therefore, one or two brushing sessions in a week are enough.
The best tool for brushing your Toyger cat is the FURminator Deshedding Tool, which is designed for medium and large-sized cats that weigh 10 lbs or more.
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- FUREJECTOR BUTTON: Releases hair with ease, making deShedding easier than ever
Having a feline companion in your home also means you’ll have to clean pet furs every now and then, which is why we recommend that you invest in the iRobot Roomba i3+.
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What we love about this vacuum is the fact that it has a highly effective filter to trap all cat allergens. You can also command this vacuum to start cleaning right from your phone, or through your voice-enabled smart speaker.
Like most cats, the Toyger cat is adept at self-grooming, and unless your feline buddy has gotten unusually dirty, you should not give them a bath. Bathing your cat often will mess up the functioning of its sebaceous glands, and can ultimately lead to conditions like dermatitis.
When it is absolutely necessary for you to give your Toyger a bath, use cat-specific grooming products like John Paul Pet Oatmeal Shampoo For Cats.
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- Relaxing Scent - Sweet almond oil conditions fur and leaves a pleasant almond fragrance
This shampoo contains ingredients that are designed to soften and soothe your kitty’s coat and skin without causing any irritation.
Other Grooming Requirements
Other things you can do to keep your feline companion hygienic include regularly cleaning their ears with a soft cloth, and keeping their nails well-trimmed.
How Much Is A Toyger Cat Worth? Since they are very rare, Toyger cats can be very expensive. Depending on the breeder, you should expect to pay anywhere between $1,500 and $5,000 for a Toyger cat kitten. There’s really no upper limit when it comes to the price of a Toyger cat, considering that some kittens have sold for as much as $50,000.
Do Toygers Like Water? While most cats hate water, the Toyger cat likes water and just like a wild tiger, these cats will often be seen playing with water. Toyger cats’ liking of water can be attributed to the fact that they are descendants of Bengal cats, which are also known for their love of water.
Are Toygers Illegal? Unfortunately, Toygers are illegal in some states. This is because they are descendants of the Bengal, which is a cross between a domestic cat and a wild cat. Owing to their wild ancestry, Bengals are illegal in many states, and Toygers are sometimes classified as illegal by extension, while owners require a special permit in other states.