Designed to be a tiger for the living room, the Toyger should represent its larger counterpart in all respects except temperament. It is a medium sized cat, with females weighing 7-10 pounds and males 10-15 pounds. The head should be medium in size; long, broad and deep with all contours well-defined, muscular, and rounded. Ears should be small and rounded, set as much on the sides as the top of the head, thickly furred and without furnishings. The eyes of the Toyger should be small to large, circular, and with a gentle hooding of the upper inside. The eyes should be rich and deep in color.
The body of the Toyger is medium in build, with long and muscular rolling contours. It is strong and robust but not blocky. Legs should be medium in length, as long in the back as in the front, with feet that seem large and are well-knuckled. This breed was designed to replicated the look of the tiger in a cat for the living room, and this intent should be well-showcased in both body and coat.
The Toyger coat should be short, the only exception to this is slight length to the darker markings as compared to the lighter. Longer fur in the jowls and temples is preferred as well. It should be thick and luxurious, unusually soft and plush while resilient. The markings are those of a modified mackerel tabby and must be extreme and distinct with clear, sharp edges. Body stripes should be vertically aligned with encircling marks on neck, legs and tail. Facial strips and markings should be circular around the face. Ears should have dark backs and a light thumbprint towards the top is desirable. The trade marks of the tiger face, black mascara, lipstick and whisker spots with white spectacles are highly desirable.
The Toyger is a friendly cat that loves being with and around people. It is highly intelligent and interactive, getting along well with other pets. It is easy to train, can be taught to walk on a leash and play fetch.
The Toyger is easy to care for and requires only routine care. The unique coat and rarity of the Toyger makes it attractive for thieves so it is best to keep your toy tiger indoors.
A tiger for the living room is the mark of the Toyger, and it meets this calling without one drop of exotic blood. The history of the Toyger can be traced back to the 1980's, when Judy Sugden had the idea to create a tabby cat with the distinctive and beautiful markings of the tiger. The two cats which provided the foundation of the breed were a striped domestic shorthair named Scrapmetal and a large-boned Bengal named Millwood Rumpled Spotskin. Later, Ms. Sugden imported a cat from the streets of India with unique banding around the ears.
The Toyger is a cat of the modern era. Breeders use computer programs to track stripe progress, plotting where they have been and where they desire to go as they develop the beauty and unique look of this cat. The cat is now recognized in the Champion category of TICA.