History of the Toyger:
The name Toyger is a combination of toy and tiger, which aptly describes this cat to a tee. The Toyger is a relatively new "man made" breed which came about when in the 1980's, Bengal breeder Judy Sugden of EEYAAS Cattery (daughter of Jean Mill, the founder of the Bengal breed) crossed a striped domestic shorthair with a Bengal to produce a stunning cat with a striped appearance. This came about when she noticed two small spots of tabby markings on the temple of one of her cats, named "Millwood Sharp Shooter". Realising this could be the beginnings of developing a breed with circular tiger markings on the head.
Two cats were to become the founders of the breed. A mackerel tabby by the name of Scrapmetal who had uniform stripes and a black dorsal stripe down his back and a Bengal by the name of Millwood Rumpled Spotskin. In 1993 a street cat was imported from India, this cat named Jammu Blu had spots between his ears. Judy wanted to use this as a foundation and eventually turn the spots into stripes. Carefully selecting suitably marked cats
Other breeders became involved and in the early 1993 TICA accepted the breed for "registration only" and then awarded them "new breed" status in 2000. Full recognition was granted in 2007.
The breed is still being developed and breeders are still working to create a breed that resembles a miniature tiger. Computer imaging is used to help breeders determine exactly the type the Toyger should be.
Appearance of the Toyger:
The Toyger is a stunning cat with a short, sleek glittered (gold tipped hairs) pelt, like their Bengal cousins. Darker stripes are more desirable on a "pumpkin" orange coloured background.
They are a medium to large sized cat with large bones & a muscular body. The tail is long and held low, the legs are medium length and strong.
The head is medium sized, with a heart shaped face, small, rounded ears that are set wide apart, eyes are small and round with gentle hooding on the upper inside. The muzzle is strong and broad, nose long and broad, widening towards the end.
Temperament of the Toyger:
The Toyger is one of the most intelligent breeds of cat. It is said that they are easy to train and will happily walk on a leash and play fetch with you.
They are an extremely energetic breed of cat, love to be up high. Like their Bengal cousins, many Toygers are not bothered by water & most are easy to bathe.
They love to be around people and get along with other animals & children and make a fantastic family pet.
Do you have any photos of Toyger cats you could contribute to this article? If so, we would love to hear from you. Email me.