Above: Toyger Cats – All photos are copyright Helmi Flick.
|Here’s a little more about that all important appearance plus a bit on character and movement of the Toyger cat. Firstly, the founder Judy Sugden says that for the cat to be a Toyger she/he must give the “impression” of a being a toy tiger. If not the cat won’t be a Toyger. She refers to the body color as golden to dark orange as a background to the dark stripes.Buck, above, certainly has strong hints of the dark orange color of fur and plenty of vertical stripes and the stripes are nicely delineated against the background.
Unlike the Bengal, this breed of cat must not have a throwback to the Asian Leopard Cat (ALC). This is possible, of course, as the Bengal has ALC in him and the Bengal is crossed with the DSH to produce the Toyger. The ALC head is too small. While the tiger’s head is very solid and large.
The coat should have what is called “glitter”. The same term is used for the Bengal coat and is prized. Read about Bengal cat coat glitter.
As this breed if cat is said to be intelligent (this is probably inherited from the Bengal as wild/domestic hybrids tend to be intelligent cats – see cat intelligence) this cat should also be relatively active and alert. Once again wild/domestic hybrids are like this. Some, it could be argued, might be too alert for some cat caretakers. Although the Toyger should be highly domesticated and of course socialized.
This is the first time that I have seen a breeder refer to the movement of a cat. Perhaps as the goal is a toy tiger and as Tigers have a particular kind of gait, it is not surprising that the Toyger should move gracefully and “with purpose”.
It is important to remember that Toyger Cats are very much “designer cats”; interesting looking and modern in concept. As mentioned on other pages, this cat’s appearance has been almost mapped out in advance, and the selective breeding program thought through carefully. The founder of the Toyger has stated that a part of the intention of creating the breed is to inspire people to think more about the conservation of tigers in the wild. They allow you to have the “look of the wild” in your home. Personally, I doubt that this objective has been met.
One final point, and this is my view as it has not come from any other source, it would seem that the concept of “designer cats” has reached a limit. They were very fashionable about 10 to 20 years ago but the modern economic climate (mid 2010) has changed the mentality of people it could be said. Toyger cats are not mainstream, still being very much on the fringes. It was recognised for TICA registration in 1993.
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