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Toyger cat breed

Toyger cat breed

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Toyger cat breed information and advice

Toygers are a designer breed of cat originating from California, USA in the 1980s. The breed was developed by Judy Sugden to look like wild tigers but with the nature of domestic cats. This has been achieved by crossing several breeds. The Bengal (created by Judy’s mother, Jean S Mill) was one of the breeds chosen along with other breeds. Judy noticed that one of her cats had two spots of tabby markings on her temple so she realised that this feature could be used to develop a cat with the circular tiger face pattern. She also imported a street cat from India that had spots between his ears rather than tabby lines to develop the breed. The resulting short-haired cat has a striped coat and looks like a ‘toy tiger’. Toygers can be expensive but that doesn’t stop them from increasing in popularity.

Toyger cat facts

Lifespan 12-15 years
How much £600-£1500
Size medium
Weight 3.6-5.4kg (female); 4.5-6.8kg (male)
Grooming low
Temperament intelligent, friendly, outgoing
Exercise high

Toyger cat insurance

Toyger cats are generally healthy but unforeseen health problems can still arise. Although cats land on their feet, it’s always a good idea to have pet insurance to help cover vet bills for your cat.

Sainsbury’s Bank Pet Insurance

With Sainsbury's Bank Pet Insurance we can insure your Toyger cat from as young as 8 weeks of age. Once your cat is insured, we can cover it up to any age – as long as you keep renewing the policy without a break. We also cover older cats, if you take the policy out before their 10th birthday.

How to care for a Toyger cat

Bengal cats are easy to care for. They’re very clean, and kittens will quickly learn to use a litter tray. But, as with any other cat, make sure that they have a balanced diet and lots of exercise.

Feeding and nutrition

When you bring your new Toyger kitten home from your breeder, make sure you continue their feeding routine with the same food type and meal times. Toyger cats don’t have any special dietary requirements but if you do want to change food, check with your vet first. Giving your Toyger cat a nutritious diet will keep them at a healthy weight and prevent health problems.


Toygers are a low maintenance breed of cat but will still need grooming. Their short, thick coats will shed and need a weekly brush or comb to keep their coat in good condition. And they won’t need bathing unless they get particularly dirty. Your cat will need their claws clipped regularly and you should also brush their teeth with a vet-approved toothpaste to prevent dental disease.


With long, low-slung, muscular bodies, Toygers move like big cats. They’re athletic, enjoy playing, and are happy to be kept as indoor cats. They just need enough space and mental stimulation to keep them occupied. If you let them outside, make sure they’re in an enclosed area to keep them safe. Keep them entertained with a cat tree or perch and lots of interactive toys.


Toygers are intelligent so should be easily trained, they also can be taught new tricks such as fetch or walking on a lead. There shouldn’t be a problem toilet or litter training your Toyger cat, just provide them their own litter tray, keep it clean and they should take care of the rest.


Temperament and behaviour

Despite looking like a wild tiger cub, Toygers have sweet and quiet personalities. Balanced in their behaviour, they love cuddles and enjoy plenty of interactive play with their owner.

Common health problems

As Toygers are a new breed, it’s unclear if have any health problems that have been passed on. It’s been reported that they may have a higher risk of heart murmurs. And it’s possible that they could be affected by conditions such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and pyruvate kinase deficiency that affect Bengals. Breeders should screen their cats for these conditions, but taking out pet insurance will make sure any treatment costs are covered.

Heart murmurs

A heart murmur or abnormal heart sound can indicate heart disease. It can be a sign of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, but it can also be caused by other conditions. If your Toyger cat has a heart murmur, your vet will want to do more tests to establish the cause. Treatment will depend on the cause of the heart murmur. If your cat isn’t showing signs of heart disease other than the murmur, your vet may just monitor them and give treatment if further signs develop.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM)

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or HCM is a serious heart condition that can affect Bengal and possibly Toyger cats . In HCM the heart muscle becomes abnormally thick and prevents the heart from working properly which can lead to heart failure. Many cats do well with long-term medication to slow the disease down but there’s no cure. Cats with the condition should not be bred from.

Pyruvate kinase (PK) deficiency

Having descended from Bengals, breeders of Toygers should have their cats screened for PK deficiency. This is an inherited disease and affected cats will develop anaemia. However, the incidence of PK deficiency in Toyger cats seems to be lower than in Bengals.


So, is a Toyger cat right for you?

Toygers are easy-going and make great family pets. They’ll get along with children, other cats and cat-friendly dogs. They're affectionate and enjoy having lots of playtime with their owners. They like to have company so may not be happy if they’re left alone for too long.

Frequently asked questions

What is a Toyger cat?

A Toyger cat is a new designer breed created specifically to have the coat markings of a tiger but with the temperament of a domestic cat. However, no wild cats have been used to create the breed. Bengal cats along with domestic cats were used to achieve cat with the desired markings and calm personality.

How much is a Toyger cat?

The price of a Toyger kitten varies from £600 to £1500. Cats used for breeding can cost considerably more. There are only a handful of breeders in the UK.

Are Toygers hypoallergenic?

No, Toygers aren’t hypoallergenic. All cats produce the protein (Fel D1) in their saliva along with dander (dead skin cells) that is responsible for cat allergies. Toygers have short coats, but they still shed a lot, especially during spring and autumn.

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Content provided from Vetstream’s Vetlexicon Felis

Leslie A Lyons, Vetstream Ltd (online) Toyger. In: Vetlexicon Felis. Vetstream Ltd, UK. Website:

Serena Brownlie, Peter Darke, Phil Fox, Mark Rishniw (online) Cardiac sounds: overview. In: Vetlexicon Felis. Vetstream Ltd, UK. Website:

Vetstream Ltd (online) Heart murmurs Owner Factsheet. In: Vetlexicon Felis. Vetstream Ltd, UK. Website:

Serena Brownlie, Phil Fox, Philip K Nicholls, Penny Watson (online) Heart: hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. In: Vetlexicon Felis. Vetstream Ltd, UK. Website:

Vetstream Ltd (online) Cardiomyopathy in your cat Owner Factsheet. In: Vetlexicon Felis. Vetstream Ltd, UK. Website:

Michael Day, Urs Giger (online) Pyruvate deficiency. In: Vetlexicon Felis. Vetstream Ltd, UK. Website:

Vetstream Vetstream Ltd (online) Pyruvate kinase deficiency Owner Factsheet. In: Vetlexicon Felis. Vetstream Ltd, UK. Website:

Terms and conditions

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