It seems animal breeders will stop at nothing to create animals that will make them a lot of money and bring about an entirely new breed of business (pun intended). It might seem true of all breeders, but it’s not. Some, of course, love to find new breeds by creating matches between different cats that they’ve never paired in the past, but it’s not all that common for this to occur. One of the most popular hybrid cats, a cat that was created by breeding two different species together for the sole purpose of creating a new breed, is the Toyger. Ever heard of this cat? Probably not, since it’s such an uncommon animal, but it’s one you should get to know.
The Toyger is a cat that was designed by breeders to give people the option of having a “toy” tiger. The cat looks just like a tiger, but on a much smaller (and much less dangerous) scale. The Toyger is so rare and so special that you simply cannot find it anywhere. There are approximately 35 Toyger breeders in the world, with just about 20 of them located in the US.
The Toyger was created by a breeder by the name of Judy Sugden. The long story turned into a much shorter and much more interesting story is that the Sugden decided she’d found a common tabby that had very interesting markings. This was back in the early 1980s. She began her quest to breed this very tiger-ific cat with other cats to see if she could create a cat that looked just like a tiger, and she didn’t stop until she did. She even went so far as to import tabby cats from the streets of foreign countries to do this. The breeding created many failures before it created a cat she felt was perfect. Today, there are about 40 specially selected tabby cats in the entire world that have the ability to generate litters of Toygers.
Sugden says her purpose for wanting to create this cat was to create one that would remind people that the tiger population of the world is very important and that we should care more about it. The breed was said to be started specifically to bring awareness to the world about conservation efforts to keep tigers in the wild safe and cared for.
What’s Great about the Toyger
There are a few things that are great about the Toyger. The most entertaining of all is the fact that you will enjoy endless shocked expressions when you first introduce your cat to strangers in your home. The sheer look of terror and wonderment on the faces of your friends and family when they see your large cat with its tiger stripes walking proudly around your house is going to be enough to have them wondering whether or not you actually have a tiger. Did you mistakenly pick up a stray kitten thinking it was a cat, but it’s going to grow up into a tiger that’s probably going to eat the neighbor’s dogs for lunch? This by itself is going to provide you with endless entertainment.
The other good thing about the Toyger is that it has a very minimal issue with shedding. Brush the cat periodically to minimize shedding even further and you’ll find that you have little to no cat hair in your home. This is great news for people who want a cat, because cat hair is definitely the downfall of animals that make it their business to climb on your furniture and everywhere in between.
Finally, these are cats with very few health issues. That’s not to say yours will never get sick; everyone is prone to health issues. This cat could come down with just about anything, but the chances of this happening are very low. This is good news considering the cat is so expensive. Depending on the kind of Toyger you want (just a family pet or a show pet) the price can range from $750 all the way up to $3500 or more.
Are Toyger’s Good Family Pets?
The simple answer is yes. These are great family pets. They are very large cats; they can sometimes become as large as 18 pounds, which anyone will tell you is big for a cat. However, this makes them a bit bolder, especially in homes with children. The other good thing about the Toyger is that it’s very friendly. It loves kids and strangers, it’s very affectionate, and it’s the kind of cat that really does enjoy attention. It’s a cat that will not hesitate to greet people as they come through the door rather than hide in an effort to feel safe and secure. This is a cat that will come sit on your lap and revel in your attention.
The Toyger is very intelligent, which makes it easy to handle. It won’t have problems differentiating where it’s allowed to go in the house and where it’s not. It won’t have any issues with finding the litter box or understanding the rules. It’s also a dog-friendly cat. Not many cats care for dogs, but the Toyger has a longstanding reputation for being very friendly with other pets, including dogs. Perhaps their large size makes them less weary of large animals such as dogs.
The one thing you’ll need to look out for with a cat of this nature is the fact that it’s one that has a long standing history of being a very energetic cat. This is not the kind of cat that wants to sit around and sleep 24/7. Of course, it will sleep a lot, but chances are good that you will find the Toyger up and about and enjoying a few games throughout the night; and they might not be quiet games. These are very playful cats that love attention and love to run around. Don’t be surprised to see it jump up for no apparent reason and go for a quick run around the room or house. It’s just something these cats like to do to burn energy and find enjoyment in their day. Basically, it’s a friendly, affectionate, and energetic cat that makes a great pet if you can afford the steep price.
Photos by Animal Photographers