Did you know that Toyger cats were developed to raise awareness about the decline of tigers in the wild? Toygers are a breed of domestic cat that has been bred to look and move like a tiger, but to be friendly and loyal like a tiny dog. The developer, Judy Sugden, wanted to increase cat owners' awareness of wildlife conservation by introducing these 'tiny tigers' into their homes. Toyger cats have quickly become one of the most sought-after breeds in the world, with a price tag to match! Here's why everyone wants a Toyger, and what you might have to fork out in order to get one.
Only 400 Toyger Cats Exist So Far
Despite the breed having its beginnings in the 1980s, there are only around 400 Toyger cats in the world today. The breed standards are incredibly detailed. For a cat to truly be considered a Toyger by The International Cat Association it must pass 14 different checks including a robust but not ‘blocky’ torso, a circular pattern of markings around the face (like a tiger) and random, vertical stripes on the body. This means that Toygers are fairly difficult to breed, and this makes them rare and expensive.
The Toyger was bred from around 40 domestic cats from all over the world, including Bengals and standard tabbies. The unusual resemblance between Toyger cats and tigers has won the hearts of cat lovers all over the world. Toygers now range in price from $500 to $5000, depending on whether the cat is considered ‘pet quality’ or ‘show quality’. This price is unlikely to drop any time soon, while Toygers are so rare and difficult to breed.
Toyger Cats May Have Wild Ancestry
The Toyger is designed to emulate the predatory grace of the jungle tiger. With its rolling gait and low-slung shoulders, it prowls around your home like a miniature wildcat. But could this very domestic and sweet-natured animal actually have real-life wild ancestors?
As mentioned, one of the cats involved in the initial breeding program of Toyger cats was the Bengal. The Bengal is another domestic cat designed to look like an exotic cat, but with actual wild roots. The Bengal is a hybrid of the Asian Leopard Cat, a wildcat commonly found on sugar plantations in the east. So even though there is no tiger ancestry in the stripy Toyger cat, there could very well be a touch of the wild running through your tiny Toyger’s veins.
Toyger Cats are Loyal and Playful
One of our favorite things about Toyger Cats is their sweet and amiable personality. Toygers are easy going and very friendly, making them the perfect pet. They have innate self-confidence, which means they will usually get on well with other cats, and even other family pets such as dogs. They are generally good with children, although of course, interactions should always be supervised just as with any animal. They can be taken for walks on a leash. Imagine that; it would look just like you were taking a tiger cub for a walk! What a great conversation starter.
Toyger cats are extremely intelligent and playful, and can even be taught to play interactive games like fetch! They become extremely attached to their humans and make for a very loyal, devoted feline friend.
Would you like a tiny tiger slinking around your home? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
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