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Home > Cats > Toyger Cat Health Problems: 4 Concerns & Vet Approved Advice

Toyger Cat Health Problems: 4 Concerns & Vet Approved Advice

toyger kitten wrapped in a towel

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Dr. Tabitha Henson

Veterinarian, DVM

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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The Toyger has taken the world by storm, charming cat lovers with curiosity and a wild-like appearance. If you’re interested in this special feline, we can’t blame you! They are wonderfully adorable and super cool. But before you make any final decisions, it’s nice to know what sorts of things to look for when you own one of these beauties.

Do they have any common health issues associated with the breed? Luckily, there is only one known issue specific to the Toyger breed, and the rest are ailments all cats can suffer from. Let’s learn more.


The 4 Toyger Cat Health Problems

1. Heart Murmur

  • Pale gums
  • Weight loss
  • Appetite loss

According to the VCA Hospital, a heart murmur is turbulent blood flow through the heart. Heart murmurs are the most common health condition in Toyger cats. Murmurs can be completely harmless or incredibly dangerous, depending on the type of murmur it is. And yes, various types of murmurs can range in severity, graded on a scale by veterinarians.

The innocent, or physiologic, murmur is barely detectable. On the opposite end, the more severe the disease is, the more likely it is to cause an underlying structural or extracardiac disorder.

Treatment for heart murmurs depends on the underlying cause. Some will require monitoring, while others might need a detailed care plan. But, all in all, the condition is typically manageable.

2. Dental Disease

  • Bad breath
  • Gingivitis
  • Tooth decay
  • Gum irritation
  • Painful eating, poor appetite

Dental hygiene is an aspect that sometimes doesn’t get the attention it deserves for our feline buddies. After all, they are such hygienic neat freaks that keeping a clean mouth might seem like it comes with the territory.

But like us, cats need the plaque removed from their teeth ideally every day. Whether they eat dry kibble or wet cat food, mouth health is a daily goal. There is some speculation on which cat food is the prime trigger for tooth-related issues, but nothing definitive.

Common dental issues in cats include:

  • Tooth resorption
  • Periodontal disease
  • Endodontic disease

Treatment greatly depends on the issue and severity thereof. If your cat has an advanced build-up of plaque on the gum line, it might require professional cleaning. If there is any decay, they might need surgery to remove the affected teeth.

cat getting teeth brushed
Image by: New Africa, Shutterstock

3. Kidney Issues

  • Weakness
  • Weight loss
  • Depression
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Excessive thirst and urination

Kidney diseases can plague cats of all breeds. One major issue with any kidney disorder is that it takes quite a long time for signs to show up. That means your cat could be sick for quite some time before you pick up on the symptomatic clues.

Typically, symptoms don’t show until at least 70% of the kidneys have already failed. Since this can make treatment extremely difficult, getting ahead of the issue is imperative. The best way to do that is to ensure you’re getting your cat in for their annual vet visits.

Your vet will run routine blood work and other necessary testing methods to ensure that your cat is at optimal health with normal levels. If they notice an elevation or some other problematic results, they can look into the problem further and develop a treatment plan depending on the underlying issue.

Acute kidney disease usually develops as a secondary problem to the main issue. Some reasons might include trauma, toxins, infection, dehydration, and urethral blockages. Your vet will be able to determine the root cause after a series of tests.

4. Obesity

  • Weight gain
  • Trouble breathing
  • Trouble grooming

Sure, chubby cats are cute—especially pudgy little mini tigers. But the reality is that obesity is a real problem among cats. Being obese can inevitably lead to a broad spectrum of health issues, including diabetes and shortened lifespan.

What can we say? Toygers love to eat. So, you have to be especially careful with this breed so that you don’t overfeed, free feed, or pay no mind to the amount of food your cat consumes. These cats are especially susceptible to weight gain after they are spayed or neutered and increase in age.

Promoting healthy exercise and sticking to strict diet portions are crucial. Annual checkups really help in this area to monitor your cat’s weight and adjust your lifestyle accordingly.

As an adult, your Toyger should weigh approximately 10 to 15 pounds.

toyger cat playing outdoors
Image by: Kutikova Ekaterina, Shutterstock


About the Toyger

The Toyger was named by using the combination of toy and tiger. That’s because, for obvious reasons, they look like miniature tigers. Their markings are extremely wild without having any feral traits in their DNA. People love this gorgeous inquisitive breed because of its intelligence, appearance, and curious personality.

It’s best to buy your Toyger kitten from a reputable breeder that is able to give you a health guarantee. You are covered if anything were to crop up genetically—though they are confident it won’t.

toyger kitten with collar
Image by: stockelements, Shutterstock

Keeping Your Toyger Healthy

You know your cat better than anyone. To protect your Toyger, behavioral, physical, and professional monitoring are all incredibly important to keep their health in check. You might notice what signs to look for right off the bat.

But some illnesses aren’t as noticeable or don’t have as many symptoms associated with them. It is crucial to get your cat to the vet for their annual checkup, so any developing problems can be nipped in the bud.

Also, remember to look for a breeder who offers a health guarantee for each kitten.


Final Thoughts

The Toyger is a surprisingly healthy breed that is impeccably attractive and smart as a whip. They have so much to offer families—and would love to be around as long as possible. So, as long as your Toyger is cleared of a heart murmur and keeps up with annual visits, you should be golden.

The Toyger is definitely not a breed with many issues. So, if you’re looking for a hardy cat with a favorable lifespan, we think you should look for breeders near you!

Featured Image Credit: stockelements, Shutterstock

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