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When it comes to big cats, tigers are by far the most majestic and royal felines in the world. While they're highly endangered now, the world has found a miniature version of them – the Toygers.

Thanks to famous breeder Judy Sugden, we now have the Toygers – a rare and unique cat breed that looks exactly like a mini tiger!

The breed came to life in the 1980s and had striking resemblances to the tigers. With their beautiful striped markings and athletic and muscular build, they do sometimes feel like a tiger at home!

However, unlike the ferocious kings of the jungle, Toygers are social, friendly, and affectionate cats that can be a fantastic addition to your family.

Which Homes Are Best

Toygers are a bunch of highly friendly and adorable cats that get along well with both older people and children. They do like another pet as a company, especially if that pet is another cat.

However, every single Toyger has their own different personality, so it’s hard to generalize their traits. That being said, homes with children and/or other pets are good for Toygers as they look for companionship from time to time.


It's difficult to estimate how long these felines can live out in the wild since they were bred and born in human households mostly. But if kept well in your house, they should live at least 10-15 years easily.

Average Size

This here is a medium-sized cat breed with a highly athletic and sturdy body. Even though they're quite lightweight, their physique is unique, and they are generally quite strong. The females are generally smaller than the males, and they have relatively more oval-shaped heads.

Both male and female Toygers have a medium-sized head with a long, deep, and cylindrical snout. They have small and round ears with deep colored small eyes.

Toygers have wide, long, and round noses and are blessed with a long, beautiful tail. They usually weigh from 7 to 15 pounds and can have a height of 9-13 inches once they reach adulthood.


Breed Background

Breed Origin

As we mentioned earlier, Judy Sugden was the pioneer of the Toyger cat breed, as she created the breed back in the 80s. She crossed a Bengal cat with a striped domestic shorthair, and together, they gave birth to the first-ever Toyger.

What’s more interesting is that the Bengal cat breed was found by Judy’s mother, Jean Mill!

Original Gene Pool

Judy Sugden was born with cats around her. For as long as she could remember, she always adored the Bengal cats around her. In 1980, she decided to experiment a bit with these beautiful felines. Her target? Creating a cat breed that can mimic the stripes of the Royal Bengal Tiger from the Indian subcontinent.

She was already a fan of mackerel tabbies, and when she discovered a unique spotted pattern in one of her tabbies – she immediately knew she had to do something about it. And she did.

Breed Founder

Sugden started off with her Bengal cat, named Millwood Rumpled Spotskin, as she mated her with a striped domestic shorthaired cat called Scrapmetal. She didn't stop right there, as she imported another street cat from India in an attempt to create the perfect tiger lookalike.

Other Breeders, including Alice McKee and Anthony Hutcherson, also helped her out on this. Their attempt was finally successful, and the first-ever Toyger was born.


If you’ve ever seen a Bengal tiger in person or in photos, you should know that Toygers look exactly like them. The same stripes, the same skin color, the same stare – they do look like mini tigers, we’re not kidding at all.


Toygers are one of the most playful felines in the world. Be it children, other pets, or even elderly people – they’re adaptable with anyone as long as they’re friendly towards them.

From playing fetch to running around chasing a ball or a feather – they love to do it all. Even if there isn’t much activity to do, Toygers somehow find a way to be active.

Perhaps the best part about these cats is that even though they're playful and love to learn new tricks and apply them – they won't tire you out by demanding more activities.

Their easygoing personality and intelligence make them a great option for any household. Give him puzzle toys, teach him tricks, reward him with treats – and you'll see that a Toyger can be the sweetest pet ever!


Toygers are one of the most playful felines in the world. Be it children, other pets, or even elderly people – they’re adaptable with anyone as long as they’re friendly towards them.

From playing fetch to running around chasing a ball or a feather – they love to do it all. Even if there isn’t much activity to do, Toygers somehow find a way to be active.

Indoors or Outdoors

In a general sense, Toygers aren’t the best option as an outdoor cat. Yes, they are strong and might survive in the wild, but they generally prefer to stay inside. You can take your Toyger outside with you, and she’ll enjoy it for sure, but that’s because you were there with her.

Yes, these felines are highly social animals and tend to spend quality time with the family members every now and then. They don’t like to assert dominance; all they need is some adoration and love.


Despite being a highly active and intelligent cat, Toyger doesn’t make a lot of noises. They’re more like lap cats, so once you give them their mandatory cuddles and affection – they’re more than fine. However, failure to do so might result in the Toyger shouting a bit loudly – but that’s rare.


Unlike Bengals, Toygers don’t prefer exploring or running around random places. They too like to go to new areas and meet new people, but only when their human is beside them.


The most appealing part about Toygers is their high intelligence and great temperaments. These aren’t cats that follow the ‘eat, sleep, repeat’ lifestyle.

Instead, they like to shower their human with affection, play with them and learn new tricks every now and then. They’re very athletic and quite strong, but they usually have a laid-back style when their owner isn’t involved in any activity.

Because of their intelligence, you’ll never get tired of having a Toyger at home, as she will constantly learn new tricks and ways to impress you. They adapt well with people and love social interactions too.


Toygers are highly playful animals, and their favorite pastime is to play different games with their human. From playing fetch to pouncing on feathers and different cat toys – they love to do everything.

Like many other felines, they also love boxes of any kind. As a matter of fact, just introduce your feline to a giant cardboard box, and you'll see how excited it gets to see and play in the box!


The Toyger cat breed genuinely loves to be around human beings. They’re known to form deep bondings with the people in the household and will adore the family members once it feels happy and adored. They are active and playful, but their laid-back nature makes them a decent option as house cats.


Toygers can be a fantastic companion for your children who have just learned to walk properly. Their playful nature will come in handy as your children will be busy running around the house alongside the Toyger!

Other Animals

Being sociable and intelligent cats, Toygers do quite well with other pets, including dogs. They like to interact with other breeds of cats and would prefer the company of one rather than staying alone in a household.

They're fine with dogs, too, as long as the dog is cat-friendly. All you have to do is not introduce them to caged pets, and you should be fine!

Breed Predisposed Ailments

Toygers are still a relatively new breed, so it's difficult to figure out exactly what health concerns are common among them. They're generally healthy, but there have been instances of heart issues like hypertrophic cardiomyopathy among them.

Apart from that, it's always ideal for checking them for common cat problems like Patellar Luxation and FIP (Feline Infection Peritonitis). Toygers are also susceptible to arthritis once they grow old and reach the 10-year mark.

  • Feline Infection Peritonitis
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Kidney Disease
  • Arthritis


For people who aren’t a big fan of shedding, Toygers are a perfect option. They’re short-haired, so you won’t have to go for any high-maintenance grooming to take care of them.


Their beautiful striped coats are a treat to watch – but that doesn't mean they don't shed! They do shed, and you'll have to brush their fur at least once a week. Weekly brushing shouldn't be an issue, as a 5-minute brush should be enough to keep your feline clean.


Grooming doesn’t just mean brushing their coats – it also means checking their ears on a regular basis since they might have debris or dirt stuck on them. It’s easier to make a grooming routine and follow it accordingly. If you see any sort of issues in the Toyger, simply contact the vet and do a checkup – it is mandatory.


Toyger as a breed is still a very rare one, so it’s only natural that they won’t come in cheap. After all, everyone wants to have a mini tiger at home, no?

Cost of Kittens

Depending on a few factors like breeder, location, show quality, and health, a Toygar kitten can cost you up to a whopping $10000! In general, you should be able to buy a Toygar kitten for $2000-$3500, but if you're looking for a fancy one that you can present in cat shows, you'll have to spend much more than that.

As of now, there aren't a lot of Toyger breeders in the US, so you might have to pay for the shipping cost, too, if you order one from abroad!

Pros & Cons


  • Easily trainable and highly active cats
  • Gets along with children, other cats, and dogs too
  • Exotic stripes and coat color resembles the Bengal Tigers
  • Highly intelligent and playful cat breed
  • Sweet, affectionate, and loving feline


  • Very expensive and rare cat breed
  • Could be prone to heart conditions
Height: 9-13 inches
Weight: 7-15 lbs
Lifespan: 10-15 years
Colors: Chocolate/Sable/Brown
Suitable For: Families, houses
Temperament: Playful, intelligent, affectionate, laid-back

Final Thoughts

Toyger cats are gradually becoming more and more popular in Europe, mostly because of their striking good looks and their docile temperament. These attentive, smart, and well-mannered cats can surely be a great addition to your household, especially if you have a child growing up.

If you have the budget, we’d definitely recommend you get these exotic cats at your place!