The title should read “domestic cat that looks like a tiger” because officially there is only one domestic cat that looks like a tiger (or is meant to look like a tiger) and it is a purebred cat called the Toyger, the “toy” “tiger”. I guess nowadays a lot of people have heard of this rather rare cat breed. It has been around quite a long time (over 20 years) but has not really caught on in popularity probably because it does not look much like a tiger (as yet)! I say “as yet” because the breeders of this cat are still developing it.
However, to be honest it is a bit of a waste of time, in my opinion. A really nice looking tabby cat that looks like the wild cat ancestor of the domestic cat (North African wildcat) looks just as impressive if not more so.
In fact you will see some random bred domestic cats that will have some of the features of the tiger by pure chance.
I don’t want to get into too much of a philosophical argument but it does strike me as a bit odd trying to turn a domestic cat into a miniature tiger. It is a bit commercial and it a bit Frankensteinesque; moulding a tabby cat into the shape, coloring and even having the gait of a tiger.
Perhaps the breeders noticed that people love tiger cubs and as tiger cubs are in short supply, the only option was to create a tiger cub from scratch. It is a bit like using chipboard or MDF wood and putting on a veneer for use in furniture manufacture. It all turns of creating a “product” which just happens to be a living creature.
Some facts about the domestic that looks like tigers:
- Creator: Judy Sugden (an American living in America)
- Inception of idea for a toy tiger 1980s?
- Judy imported street cat from Kashmir to beef up the breeding programme 1993
- Initial registration with TICA 1993 (TICA are more open to new breeds than the competing and more conservative CFA)
- Full recognition of the Toyger by TICA 2007
The wild cat hybrid breeds such as the Savannah and Bengal cats don’t look like the tiger because (a) the Savannah is far more rangy in conformation than the stocky, powerfully built tiger because the breed is based on the Serval while (b) the Bengal is based on the domestic cat-sized leopard cat which is similar to the domestic cat in conformation.
The tiger is heavy-set; much more so than the typical domestic cat. Although there are breeds which are stocky.