This short article focuses on the breed standard. This is a part of the Pictures of cats.org website where I like to present the best of photographs in large format. That means they can’t go on the main site as it is too small. Here is a fine photograph by Helmi Flick. The picture is her copyright — please respect it — thanks.
Here is an abbreviated look at TICA breed standard (in my words) focusing on areas of interest. The full breed standard is on TICA website.
The head should be of medium size. The head should be “oval” and the muzzle “cylindrical”. Toyger Cat breeders are looking for what they call “headlights”. These are patches of white fur around the eyes like the Tiger. Ishah (the cat featured above) doesn’t have these but they are in development in the program generally.
A Tiger’s ears are small in relation to the animals body and in comparison to the domestic cat (except for the contemporary Persian). So, Toyger Cat breeders are looking to make the domestic cat’s ears rounder and smaller and wider set than is usual. Of course, Lynx tipping (hair strands coming out of the top of the car as seen on the Maine Coon for example) is not good as the Tiger does not have Lynx like ears.
A deep color is preferred for the eyes, which should be wide apart and almond shaped. Breeders refer to “natural makeup”. They are referring to “white spectacles” (headlights or white fur around eyes) and “black mascara” (dark lines like mascara around the eyes). They even refer to “lipstick”, which should be around the mouth.The nose is an area which I think is of particular interest. A Tiger’s nose is quite broad and solid The average domestic cat just doesn’t have that kind of nose, it is more delicate. This is an area that requires development. The breed standard says that the nose should be as wide at the end as the eyes are apart and that it should be “muscular”.
Breed standard wording is initially a little confusing. I would like to see breed standards illustrated. That is why I am writing this with a picture of a cat of this breed on the same page.
Ishah is a long way off the standard in respect of the nose (but she is gorgeous). The Toyger should be ideally, a solid big boned cat. It is not surprising that the breed standard demands very large boning (to mimic the wild Tiger’s solid look).
The Toyger cat should be muscular, strong and robust. I think Ishah above is a little “delicate” looking to be ideal.
Toyger breeders like a bit of a ruff (the Maine Coon often has a long ruff). The color of the fur should be “bright pumpkin”. The mackerel tabby markings should be vertical, extreme and distinct as per the real thing. Any white (for example the “headlights”) should be as clean as possible.