toyger cat with stripes playing in grass outside

Top Facts on Toyger Cats and Kittens


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Ever fancied having your own little wild cat? While Bengal cats look a bit like leopards, the Toyger cat is – as the name suggests – a bit like a miniature tiger in your own home. Really miniature, that is.

And you don’t have to worry about them being too fierce either. Though they might think they’re big and scary, the Toyger cat breed has been bred over the years to look like a cuddly toy tiger but act just like a regular cat.

The first Toygers were imported from the USA and UK into Australia around 2007, and now we just can’t get enough of them. Seriously, what more could you want? Except maybe a Bengal and Toyger combo. Just imagine the photos of those two in the garden ❤️

What do you get if you cross a toy and a tiger? A Toyger!

Don’t be fooled by the stripes. There’s no actual tiger DNA in these cats. But the stripey Tiger-esque Toyger and the spotted mini leopard that is the Bengal cat actually have quite a bit in common.

Aside from resembling beautiful big cats, that is. These two cat breeds actually share some genes, with the Bengal cat appearing as part of the Toyger’s family tree. That is, modern day Toygers descended in part from Bengals.

But it isn’t just that. The woman who created the Bengal cat is Jean Mill. Her daughter, Judy Sugden, is the one who created the Toyger cat breed. Yep, Toyger kittens and Bengal kittens galore in that household!

toyger cat with two toyger kittens standing in front of brown wall

What is the Toyger cat like as a pet?

Toyger kittens and cats are beautiful…but you already knew that. In terms of personality, you’re in for a treat.

Toyger cats are very friendly to both people and other pets, so they fit in well with busy families of any size. They’re also super intelligent and are highly trainable. Though they’re nowhere near the same size, Toygers are a bit like the Maine Coon in the sense that you can teach them tricks.

If you’re planning to get a stripey miniature tiger for your home, it’s important to know they’re active cats. As in, very active. After all, they’re basically tiny tigers! But seriously, if you’re hoping to teach your cat to walk on a leash and go on adventures with you, you could be in luck with this breed.

And if you’re planning on leaving your cat home alone for a few hours or a day, make sure to give them plenty of toys and ways to keep them stimulated. Otherwise, you can kiss goodbye to your curtains and furniture. You should make plenty of time to entertain them and be present with your Toyger kitten or cat – they’re affectionate and loyal, but also like to be the centre of their human’s world.

Physical traits

Toyger cats have short, dense coats which appear a lovely deep orange colour. In reality, the base coat can be brown, reddish brown, or orange. Their legs and bodies have thick dark stripes all over, and their heads feature circular markings. Both their feet and the tips of their tails are black. To maintain the shine of their thick, silky coats, these cats need to be brushed on a weekly basis. 

Just like real tigers, each Toyger cat has unique markings. They also have quite big and high-set shoulders, which is why they pad along like wild cats on a hunt.

Although they often look bigger than the average cat, they’re actually considered medium cats who typically weigh between three and seven kilograms. Their life expectancy is around 10-15 years, though like all purebred cats, this depends on the individual.

The Toyger was first registered with TICA in 1993 and granted full recognition for championship status in 2007. Because it’s such a new breed, not much is known about whether they’re prone to certain genetic health problems or not.

a Toyger kitten looks hesitantly at its surroundings

How much does a Toyger kitten cost?

Designer dogs and purebred cats don’t come cheap. If you want a mini tiger in your home, you’ll have to take a chunk out of your savings. To the tune of about $1000 to $2000 for the initial purchase of a Toyger kitten. Of course, prices vary – you can get an idea by visiting one of the registered Australian breeders.

That’s a serious investment! But really, all cats are an investment, regardless of their breeding. If you’ve got a kitty you love, they’re worth millions. So, ensure they’re protected with a reliable (and affordable – more so than the cat itself!) cat insurance plan.

And if you take your policy out online with PD, you could get one or more months of free insurance.

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