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Home > Cats > Cat Breeds > Toyger Cat Breed: Info, Traits & Pictures

Toyger Cat Breed: Info, Traits & Pictures

Toyger cat in a tree

Bred specifically to resemble a tiger, the Toyger cat breed is a fairly new and rare breed of cat that was created by breeding the Bengal cat breed with domestic short hair. As companions, they are laid-back and friendly. They are a great choice for those looking for a more Bengal-like cat breed without the typical challenges Bengal owners face.

Breed Overview


9-13 inches


7-15 pounds


10-15 years


Brown, reddish-brown, deep orange, with dark tabby stripes

Suitable for:

Families, seniors, children


Sociable, affectionate, intelligent, playful, athletic

These cats are athletic and typically have a more muscular appearance with a coat color varying from brown, reddish-brown, and deep orange with dark tabby stripes (that resemble a tiger’s stripes) all over the body. The Toyger typically weighs anywhere between 7 and 15 pounds and reaches up to 13 inches in height.

Toygers are very social cats that form close bonds with their humans and love to show affection. In addition to being a loving pet, they are also very intelligent and do well with training, unlike some other breeds. They are a great balance between laid-back and playful, making them great family pets.

Toyger Cat Characteristics

High-energy cat will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy cats require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a cat to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train cats are more willing and skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Cats that are harder to train are usually more stubborn and will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some cat breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every cat will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds' potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some cat breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other animals. More social cats have a tendency to rub up on strangers for scratches, while less social cats shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your cat and expose them to lots of different situations.

divider-catToyger Kittens

toyger kitten in white background
Image by: Kutikova-Ekaterina-Shutterstock

Bringing home a new cat is a huge commitment. A Toyger cat will typically live anywhere from 10 to 15 years, so you mustn’t just purchase on a whim because you like the way they look. Not only are you committing to your cat long-term, but the expenses that come with cat ownership such as healthcare costs, litter, food, water, and other supplies.

Toygers do best living indoors, they may enjoy playing outside supervised, but they should not be kept as outdoor cats. They are a very social breed and will want to spend quality time with their owners, they are not aloof like some other cats and will thrive in families that can give them lots of love and attention.


Temperament & Intelligence of the Toyger Cat

The Toyger breed is well-known for its wonderful temperaments and high intelligence. These cats are social, alert, affectionate, and easy to train. These cats are athletic and playful but also have a very laid-back demeanor. They make wonderful indoor house cats that fit into just about any lifestyle.

Toyger cat outdoors
Image by: Kutikova Ekaterina, Shutterstock

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

The Toyger is a very friendly and outgoing breed that will genuinely enjoy human company. They will form close bonds with their families and will likely shower them in love and affection. Though they can be playful and active, they do have very laid-back personalities that make them a wonderful breed for families with children.

For the safety of your pets and children, it is always best to supervise young children around any animal to prevent any accidents or injuries.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

This highly intelligent and sociable cat breed does excellent with other pets. They will enjoy interacting with other cats and even dogs, providing they are cat-friendly. It’s always best to be cautious of smaller, caged pets around any cat. Properly introducing new pets is important to establish a happy and healthy multiple pet household.

divider-catThings to Know When Owning a Toyger Cat

Food & Diet Requirements

Your Toyger should be fed a high-quality diet that offers the right balance of nutrition that is appropriate to their age, size, and activity level. They should always be provided access to clean, fresh water.

In addition to buying food according to your cat’s age, size, and lifestyle, you may have to consider any potential health conditions or food sensitivities they may acquire. It’s always best to discuss your cat’s diet directly with the veterinarian to ensure they are getting everything they need. A proper diet is key to overall health and well-being.

toyger cat in the grass
Image Credit: Ekaterina. Shutterstock

Exercise 🐈

The Toyger breed is active and will typically get all their needed exercise naturally through play. It’s a good idea to have a variety of toys for enrichment and stimulation. They will enjoy having scratching posts and cat trees to add to their daily activities.

Training 🧶

Toygers are very friendly, outgoing, alert, and intelligent, making them much easier to train than some other cat breeds. This is no surprise considering that the Bengal cats are also well known for being easily trained. Toyger owners have reported that they have had great success in teaching them how to play fetch, perform tricks and even walk on a leash with a harness.

As for litter training, most kittens will have been introduced to this concept before coming home but it’s a good idea to put it in a comfortable, private, quiet place and introduce them to the location as soon after being brought into the home.

Grooming ✂️

Toyger cats are a short-haired breed that does not require any high-maintenance grooming. They do shed regularly so a weekly brushing should do just fine to help remove loose hairs and help reduce excess shedding.

Since cats are great at self-grooming, you should only bathe them as needed. Though it’s a good idea to get them used to baths at a young age to help them acclimate and prevent any future struggles. You can trim their nails as needed but it is always best to have scratching posts available for claw maintenance.

Make sure to check their ears regularly for any dirt or debris and clean them when necessary. It is a great idea to maintain a regular grooming routine and if you ever notice anything out of the ordinary, make sure to contact your veterinarian for further guidance.

toyger cat playing outdoors
Image Credit: Kutikova Ekaterina, Shutterstock

Health and Conditions 🏥

Since Toyger cats are a rare breed with fewer numbers, we still have a lot to learn about them. Considering they are mixed with Bengal cats; they can inherit some genetic health conditions of the breed. Some Toygers have been noted to experience heart murmurs, which can be indicative of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy that has been noted in Bengal cats.

They are also susceptible to dental disease and parasites, like any other cat. The best ways to ensure the proper health of your Toyger is to purchase them from a reputable breeder that does genetic health testing, feed them a well-balanced, high-quality diet, and ensure they get regular checkups, preventative care, and parasite prevention.

Minor Conditions
  • Parasites
Serious Conditions
  • Heart murmur
  • Dental disease


Male vs. Female

Toyger males tend to weigh between 10 and 15 pounds, while females are typically a bit smaller and weigh between 7 and 10 pounds. There are no distinct differences in appearances, other than the possible size difference.

Female Toygers will begin their heat cycles around 6 months of age and some male cats may begin spraying, or urine marking when they near sexual maturity.

If you do not plan on breeding your Toyger, it is a good idea to get them spayed or neutered to prevent any unwanted litters. Spaying and neutering also have overall health benefits so it’s a good idea to discuss this with your veterinarian so that if you choose to do so, you can get it done before any problematic behavior begins.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Toyger Cat

1. This Breed Is Rare

The Toyger is still a relatively new cat breed, and they are much rarer than you would think. As of 2020, there were fewer than 500 Toyger cats and only 19 TICA registered breeders, 7 of those being in the United States.

2. Toygers Were Created by the Daughter of the Original Bengal Cat Breeder

The Bengal cat breed was established by Jean Sugden Mill, a cat breeder based in California that bred the Asian leopard cat hybrids with domestic cat breeds. Her daughter, Judy Sugden then created the Toyger in the 1980s by breeding the Bengal with a striped domestic shorthair. She did this to try and create a cat that closely mimicked the look of wild tigers. Sugden also admitted that the creation of the Toyger was also to help raise awareness for the conservation needs of tigers in the wild.

3. Toygers Only Have TICA Registration Thus Far

As of 1993, The International Cat Association, or TICA accepted the Toyger for Registration. In the year 2000, they were advanced to the new breed exhibition classes and finally received full recognition as a championship cat as of 2007. They have yet to be recognized by any other organization.divider-cat

Final Thoughts

If you have always dreamed of having a pet tiger but want the peace of mind that you won’t be eaten, the Toyger cat may be a great breed to consider. This rare breed was created specifically to resemble a miniature, house-sized tiger. They are very social, intelligent, and loving cats that bond closely with their owners and take well to people and other pets.

They are hard to come by, as they are only recognized as an official cat breed by TICA thus far and there are not many breeders as of yet. We do not doubt that this unique, and well-mannered cat breed will not only grow in popularity due to its tiger-like looks but their genuinely wonderful personality.

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Featured Image Credit: Kutikova Ekaterina, Shutterstock

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