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Tiger Cats: Is There A Domestic Tiger Cat Breed?

“Tiger cat” sounds like an exotic breed, such as the Savannah cat. Many people may think tigers can be crossbred with domestic cats to make a striped, exotic tiger kitty.

Tiger cats of that nature do not exist in the domestic world, but there are some breeds and patterns of cats that earn them the nickname tiger cat.

Here’s what you need to know about domestic cat breeds that look like tiny tigers, but aren’t!

Is The ‘Toyger’ A Domestic Tiger?

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Los Angeles based breeder Judy Sugden started aiming to make a domestic tiger cat breed in the 1980s. She wanted a cat that resembled a tiger, and the result is the adorably named Toyger.

Toygers began with the breeding of domestic shorthair cats with striped tabby patterns and Bengal cats chosen for their fur patterns.

The mix of the tabby stripes and the Bengal’s spots capture the glistening pattern of a striped tiger. TICA already recognizes the Toyger as a championship breed.

If you like the idea of a tiger cat minus the actual lineage of a wildcat like a tiger, then the Toyger is a breed to consider! Make sure to check your local shelters or rescues, and you can also look for adoptable cats in your area with CatTime’s adoption page!

Tabby Cats: The Original Domestic Tiger Cats

tabby cat with stripes
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There’s little doubt that many striped tabby cats have been named Tiger. Tabbies often get the nickname “tiger cats” because of their striped fur patterns.

Tabby cats are not their own breed of cats, but rather a type of pattern that can emerge on the fur of many breeds. An orange tabby cat would be one of the closest things to having your own tiger cat!

Large Cat Breeds That Resemble Tigers

orange striped maine coon
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There are many larger breeds of domestic cat that resemble tigers. If a Toyger is out of the question, then a Bengal would be a good option for someone looking for a tiger cat.

Bengals tend to be a bit on the larger side and are said to be very intelligent. The pattern of their coat can be reminiscent of a leopard, which is what domestic cats were originally bred with to create the Bengal cat.

But don’t confuse Bengal cats with the much larger and wild Bengal tigers.

Other cats that can be large with striped tabby patterns include the Maine Coon, the Savannah Cat, and the Abyssinian.

Can A Real Tiger Be A Pet?

tiger running in water
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It should go without saying, but keeping a tiger as a pet is incredibly dangerous, as tigers are wild animals. Tigers are not domesticated cats, and even some of the most “tame” tigers have attacked their humans.

Most states do not even allow for individuals to keep tigers as pets. These big cats are meant to stay in the wild where they belong or in the care of competent, trained caretakers at proper tiger sanctuaries.

If you’re really craving a tiger cat, then try adopting one of the domesticated variations listed above. You’ll be giving a cat in need a home, and you’ll also have your own mini tiger to snuggle.

Do you have a cat who looks like a tiger? Do they act anything like their big cat cousins? Let us know in the comments below!

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