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    Toyger Cat - Facts, History, and Health Problems

    While the Toyger cat breed is relatively healthy, it commonly suffers from heart murmurs and other illnesses. Read on to learn more about this unique breed, including its history and what makes it a desirable house pet.

    Quick Facts about Toyger Cats

    As one of the newer cat breeds, there’s still so much we don’t know about these beautiful felines. They’re a highly energetic breed that will get along very well with other pets and sometimes children, too.

    Other Quick Facts

    • This breed was initially known as the ‘’ Californian Toyger’’ as a play between the words toy and tiger due to its uncanny resemblance to real tigers
    • Toygers were the result of cross-breeding a domestic striped shorthair with a Bengal to enhance the physical characteristics such as its color and circular head markings, much like that of the Sumatran tiger
    • These cats are highly affectionate and will enjoy curling up in their owner’s lap
    • The Toyger, otherwise known as ‘’toy tiger cat’’ has a muscular, long body. Males are typically larger, weighing between 10 pounds and 15 pounds, compared to females, who usually weigh around seven to 10 pounds


    Judy Sugden is responsible for the stunning Toyger cat breed. She wished to create a domestic feline with a strong resemblance to a wild tiger and accomplished this feat by breeding a domestic shorthair with striped markings, with the more widely known Bengal cat.
    In 1993, Judy took it a step further by importing a cat from India with distinctive spots between his ears, different from regular tabby markings, all of which contributed to the Toyger breed we know today.
    Currently, the Toyger is a champion breed in The International Cat Association, with the potential to grow even further in popularity.

    Common Health Problems

    While these cats are relatively healthy, some health problems may afflict them at some point.

    • Heart Murmur: This refers to an abnormal ‘’whooshing’’ sound heard in-between heartbeats. The condition is the result of turbulent blood flow within the heart. Unfortunately, the Toyger cat commonly suffers from this issue, but most of the time, it turns out to be benign given heart murmurs in cats are quite common
    • Peritonitis: The feline Infectious Peritonitis is often a fatal viral disease that invades a cat’s white blood cells. It’s best to provide your pet with regular checkups to avoid this condition
    • Progressive Retinal Atrophy: While not a very well-known one, this illness affects all breeds and ages. It causes the photoreceptor cells to deteriorate, leading to partial or full blindness

    It’s safe to say that Toyger cat health problems aren’t as frequent as with other breeds. However, it’s still vital to bring your feline for regular check-ups to ensure that they are healthy and don’t have any hidden illness.
    For moments like this, it’s recommended to review cat insurance plans given the savings they can deliver while ensuring that your pet gets the best care possible.


    How big is a Toyger cat?

    Toyger cats are relatively long in size, with a muscular build and long legs, roughly around 18 inches long.

    Is my cat a Toyger?

    If you aren’t sure if your cat is a Toyger breed, look at its markings. This unique breed features vertical orange stripes narrowly bordered with black or very dark brown hair. Their head also has distinctive circular markings, helping them stand out from other domestic cat breeds.

    Are Toyger Cats expensive?

    Yes, the cost of Toyger cats ranges anywhere from $500 up to $5,000.

    Are Toyger cats hypoallergenic?

    Because this breed has a short coat, this makes them relatively hypoallergenic.

    Are Toyger cats good pets?

    Overall, the Toyger cat’s character is amiable, affectionate, lively, and energetic, making them good pets.

    Where do Toyger cats come from?

    Initially, this breed came from California, with origins in India.

    Toyger Cat care

    As with most breeds, they require regular care to ensure the cat’s optimal health and well-being. Their coat requires weekly brushing, and their ears also need to be checked and cleaned often. Also, pay close attention to their teeth. Brush them regularly to prevent any dental issues.

    The character of the Toyger cat is friendly and curious. Therefore, they require a lot of space to exercise and must be played with often to provide intellectual stimulation. 

    They’re quite adaptable, generally getting along well with other pets and children, and will happily spend time on your lap. Moreover, Toyger cats are trainable, so it’s possible to teach them to walk on a leash.
    In terms of nutrition, Toygers, like most breeds, are prone to obesity. Accordingly, it’s essential to feed them a high-protein diet while avoiding excess carbohydrates and salt.


    This breed is generally feisty and loves attention. These cats are highly energetic and will gladly accept affection as well.

    Here are some key personality traits:

    • Friendly - They’re generally friendly towards strangers
    • Intelligent -Toyger cats are highly intelligent and require mental stimulation
    • Energetic - This breed comes with a  ton of energy to run and play
    • Pet-friendly -  These cats typically get along with other pets
    • Playful - Make sure they get plenty of space as they’re very playful
    • Vocal - Toyger cats are often verbal, much like the savannah cat
    • Highly trainable - If you wish, Toyger felines are intelligent enough to be leash trained
    • Affectionate - They love affection and will often jump in your lap
    • Adaptive - Because of their playfulness and sound temperaments, they're highly adaptive to new pets and environments
    • Kid-friendly - Toyger behavior is well-suited for larger families with kids. Just be sure to check on your felines when around kids

    Pros & Cons


    • Very friendly, they’ll get along with everyone
    • Since they’re very adaptive, you don’t need to worry about your other pets
    • A Toyger cat’s lifespan ranges from 12-15 years, which is pretty long


    • Difficult to find and expensive
    • While generally healthy, they’re prone to heart murmurs
    • Toyger cats are quite vocal