This is a neat photograph of a Toyger in a tree by Michelle Groskopf of the New York Times which I have taken the liberty of publishing on my website. I hope that she doesn’t mind. It is nice to write about the exotic cat breeds from time to time.
The Toyger is quite a rare cat but perhaps less so nowadays. The intention for the breeders was to create a cat which looks like a toy tiger, hence the name. The person who created this cat breed is Judy Sugden who is Jean Mill’s daughter. Jean Mill is famous for creating the Bengal cat. So there is quite a pedigree in the family if you will excuse the pun.
It must have taken a lot of selective breeding to end up with a cat like the one you see in the picture. And, as I understand it, this is a work in progress. I cannot say that I am overly enthusiastic about trying to mould a domestic cat into the appearance of a tiger. But, as Judy Sugden says, the public does have a fascination with exotic cats including the wild cat species. If you combine the two in one animal you should have a commercial success.
Some associated pages:
A cat breeder and a former protégé of Jean Mill, Anthony Hutcherson, who owns Jungletrax in Maryland, USA, said that people want to look at a cat and think “wild”. They like high contrast patterns and a dramatic colour together with physical proportions which remind them of leopards, ocelots…or tigers.
In 2007, The International Cat Association (TICA) awarded the Toyger championship status. Ironically toygers can cost the same as a real tiger: $5,000. If tigers are probably less valuable and certainly far more common in the USA than toygers.
There are other examples of breeders creating domestic cats with a wild appearance. The wild cat hybrids are good examples such as the Bengal and Savannah. The Ocicat is a good example of an entirely domestic cat i.e. no wild blood looking a bit like a wild cat. The Serengeti is another example and quite a rare cat. There are others. The breeders of these cats are all tapping into a natural human desire to bring the wild into their homes in a manageable way through the ownership of a desirable companion animal, in this case a small feline.
SOME MORE PAGES ON THE TOYGER: