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Toygers?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Have you guys heard of these? They had a blurb about them in Women's Day....

http://www.toygers.org/

I think this is horrible, just like designer dog breeds, but I don't know too much about cat fanciers so maybe it's a good thing.

Please discuss, I'm curious as to everyone else's opinions.



post #2 of 14
This was discussed awhile back in a couple of threads.

I'm curious why you think it's horrible? At first I wasn't convinced this was a good idea for a new breed, but I have since talked to some toyger breeders and have seen what they are doing and I feel much more comfortable with it.

Especially since the breed I work with is being used to develope the Toyger. I had some issues with that at first.
post #3 of 14
I personally think they're beautiful, and as long as they go to a good home with people who love them and realize they are animals and not an accessory I think it's fine. I wouldn't pay the kind of prices they are probably asking, but if I was given one I would be ecstatic!
post #4 of 14
We have been to a number of TICA shows where Toygers have been represented. (Many of them have been with our friends Nial & Teri who posted earlier). The Breeders of Toygers seem to have a clear vision of what they are trying to accomplish with the breed. As long as they stay true to what they are doing, I have no problem with them. Designer Cats? It's OK with me. Seems like every purebred animal is the result of hard work and effort by breeders trying to produce and exploit certain traits for one reason or another. The Toyger has been accepted as a new breed by TICA so we have no real issue with it. As a Bengal Breeder (www.DiCaprioBengals.com), our perspective is what so many others have stated: "Toygers are basically Bengals with rib bars." The trait that Bengal Breeders are trying to get away from is the very trait that the Toyger Breeders are trying to achieve. Go figure. Thanks for everyone's comments...we've enjoyed reading other's perspectives. Have a great day :-)

Greg
www.DiCaprioBengals.com
post #5 of 14
I don't think there is anything unethical about it - they want to acheive a cat with a particular tabby pattern. This is not going to compromise health, nor is it altering the 'catness' of the animal iyswim! As long as the genes for that pattern don't end up getting bred back into for example Bengal lines, which ethical breeders won't allow to happen anyway. It's no less ethical than the origin of any other modern breed.

I have to say that I don't like the name 'Toyger' though - it's a bit cutesy and does seem as though it would appeal to people who may get a pet as some sort of fashion statement. But that doesn't make the breed itself unethical.
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by abelgd View Post
As a Bengal Breeder (www.DiCaprioBengals.com), our perspective is what so many others have stated: "Toygers are basically Bengals with rib bars."
So does that mean that the Toyger has essentially the same temperament/personality as a Bengal?
post #7 of 14
I see nothing wrong with it, I think its awesome that we can crossbreed like that.
post #8 of 14
I've been looking at pictures from various breeder sites and thinking this over for a couple of hours now. Certainly these are beautiful creatures, and although I agree with Epona about the cutesy name and its implications, I guess this is no more wrong than any other kind of breeding... although from what I read, it appears that a tremendous number of "extra" kittens are produced in the course of developing the characteristics they're looking for in this new breed, which is very different from breeding an established cat like Maine Coon or Abyssinian.

I just have doubts about breeding in general. On the one hand, I can think of nothing more wonderful than having a houseful of kittens all the time, so being a breeder must be a joy! But for every kitten deliberately produced, there's an accidental kitten who won't find a home, and that disturbs me.

On the other hand, I would hate to see existing breeds disappear, and they eventually would if they were not maintained. However, some of those breeds are weak or prone to illness (like those with little foreshortened faces), and it seems cruel to keep producing them.

It's fascinating to see genetics at work in such beautiful animals. But it's also upsetting to observe the industry that has grown up around "the cat fancy," and the pervasive sense that (no matter how loved they may also be) these cats are merchandise to be assessed for value and profited by. The whole industry serves to encourage what I consider an elitist attitude on the part of people for whom purebred and "designer" animals are a status symbol. That worries me a lot.

If we had our animal overpopulation problem completely under control, that would change things a bit. But as it is, and with the other issues, I just don't feel quite right about breeding... even when the results are so spectacular as these tiny tigers.

(I mean no offense to any of our members who breed... as you can tell, I'm still a little uncertain where I come down on this myself, so I certainly don't hold your choices against you.)
post #9 of 14
Great so now not only do little chihuahas become the favourite of dimwits like paris hilton for decorative purposes, but now people want a certain coat and temperement, they aren't happy with the wide range of breeds that are ALREADY here on this earth???? It's like having a bonsai plant. You keep trimming and moulding it to what you want instead of it growing gracefully (not that i dont like bansais, just grabbing an example)
post #10 of 14
I see nothing wrong with it. Its fun to experiment, as long as nobody is getting hurt. If we have the power to do something, why not do it? Its not hurting anyone and its certainly interesting.
post #11 of 14
I promised not to talk about my opinions on breeding except that one time, so all I will say is that this particular new breed does not seem any different than any established breed at the time it was new.

People who just won't get their cat fixed for no good reason are what we should really be worrying about. Even this entire breed has produced no more new kittens than a single irresponsible owner-- and these kittens are all well-cared for and wanted... so... even if were a designer it's less insidious than people who are too stubborn/ignorant to spay and neuter.

Obviously that's from a perspective of someone who has nothing to do with cat fancy, I can see exactly why designer breeds are such a huge problem there. But to me, someone starting a designer breed and someone who lets their cat have kittens after kittens are equal.

Toygers are adorable, I agree about that 'toy' in the name though.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Well, let me explain.

I'm definitely not against breeding animals to better a certain breed, i.e., breeding, say, german shepherds to create a more athletic body, or less prevelance of hip displaysia, or something of that sort. Even just to better temperaments I'm ok with.

What I don't like about toygers is the fact that it's mimicking the designer dog industry, by creating pets with cutesy names to entice people to buy them, just to say, "I have a toyger!"

Picture this, for just a second. If you're somewhere, say, I don't know, a fair or something, and you get to talking about your cats, and you say "Yeah, I have a bengal," then the average Joe isn't going to really know what you're talking about, they may nod politely like they understand, or they may ask what that is. However, if you say "I have a toyger" then there's that possibility that average Joe is going to say "Is that like a mini tiger! I would love one! They're so cute! Can't you just imagine having a little mini tiger walking around! OMG!"

I guess what I'm saying is I've seen this with the Labradoodles and the Puggles and the Boggles and all of those other dog breeds. People just want them because they look cool, or because they have a cute name. The average Joe doesn't research the breed, they don't think about personality when choosing a cat (necessarily), and certainly not if they're thinking just about color. People will start collecting the cats, then breeding them to sell off the offspring for hundreds of dollars, just because of the color.

That's what I'm worried about.

You see this with horses too, the dreaded "Color Breeders." They breed not for the betterment of the horse, not to correct faults, not for conformation, and certainly not for personality. No, these people think that by producing a colt/filly with spots will mean big bucks, and they don't care if the horse breaks down from horrible conformation within three years, as long as they have pretty spots. It's just really sad that in the beginning, people weren't breeding paint horses to create spots, they were breeding them for specific tasks, but greedy, money hungry people have turned a beautiful breed of horse with a fantastic history into this industry that just pops them out by the thousands, just to go off to slaughter because nobody wants to buy them anymore. It's starting now with the Gypsy Vanner horses, just wait a few more years, and those horses too will be littering the slaughterhouses with nobody to care for them, because of neglectful owners.

I'm not saying the people currently breeding the Toyger are like this at all, I think that people have a great idea, and build upon it. My problem is when Joe Public gets ahold of that precious toyger, and destroys the breed.

Whew, sorry for the long response....
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrouchingCheese View Post
Well, let me explain.

I'm definitely not against breeding animals to better a certain breed, i.e., breeding, say, german shepherds to create a more athletic body, or less prevelance of hip displaysia, or something of that sort. Even just to better temperaments I'm ok with.

What I don't like about toygers is the fact that it's mimicking the designer dog industry, by creating pets with cutesy names to entice people to buy them, just to say, "I have a toyger!"

Picture this, for just a second. If you're somewhere, say, I don't know, a fair or something, and you get to talking about your cats, and you say "Yeah, I have a bengal," then the average Joe isn't going to really know what you're talking about, they may nod politely like they understand, or they may ask what that is. However, if you say "I have a toyger" then there's that possibility that average Joe is going to say "Is that like a mini tiger! I would love one! They're so cute! Can't you just imagine having a little mini tiger walking around! OMG!"

I guess what I'm saying is I've seen this with the Labradoodles and the Puggles and the Boggles and all of those other dog breeds. People just want them because they look cool, or because they have a cute name. The average Joe doesn't research the breed, they don't think about personality when choosing a cat (necessarily), and certainly not if they're thinking just about color. People will start collecting the cats, then breeding them to sell off the offspring for hundreds of dollars, just because of the color.

That's what I'm worried about.

You see this with horses too, the dreaded "Color Breeders." They breed not for the betterment of the horse, not to correct faults, not for conformation, and certainly not for personality. No, these people think that by producing a colt/filly with spots will mean big bucks, and they don't care if the horse breaks down from horrible conformation within three years, as long as they have pretty spots. It's just really sad that in the beginning, people weren't breeding paint horses to create spots, they were breeding them for specific tasks, but greedy, money hungry people have turned a beautiful breed of horse with a fantastic history into this industry that just pops them out by the thousands, just to go off to slaughter because nobody wants to buy them anymore. It's starting now with the Gypsy Vanner horses, just wait a few more years, and those horses too will be littering the slaughterhouses with nobody to care for them, because of neglectful owners.

I'm not saying the people currently breeding the Toyger are like this at all, I think that people have a great idea, and build upon it. My problem is when Joe Public gets ahold of that precious toyger, and destroys the breed.

Whew, sorry for the long response....
I understand your point, but this same argument was made when breeders made the public aware of the bengal cat, over 30 years ago.
Even though the bengal cat is the most popular cat in the world now and the most registered cat in TICA, there are still people who have no clue what one is and have never seen one.
They equate the name "bengal", with the tiger, and assume we're producing tiger cubs.

It's completely up to the toyger and bengal breeders to make sure they carefully screen each kitten buyer. That way, joe public, who is just in it for the status symbol or other shallow reason, will be much less likely to acquire one of these gems and we can keep our kittens in the hands and care of people who will love them and appreciate their beauty.
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
I agree that it's the responsibility of the breeders now to ensure good owners for the kittens. I guess it just makes me wonder, why would they give such a "cutesy" name to a breed if they didn't want the entire public to know about them? I mean, they could've called a Labradoodle a North American Retriever or something of the sort, but of course, that's not as marketable, nor as a cute, as the word Labradoodle.

It just makes you wonder, you know. I mean, how many people here know of the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever? Not many, I reckon, even though they are a fairly popular breed (nowhere near the labs, for sure, but still, dog fanciers will know what they are). Now, if you had given them a cute name, or showcased them in a family movie (i.e. 101 Dalmations), they'd be a hugely popular breed.

I don't know, I guess I just don't see the point in breeding to create a breed, or to build upon and better one, just to go and give it a name that the public will hear and say "Awwww, I want one!" Like I said, most people don't ask for a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, they want a Schnoodle! It's just like people wanting a black arabian stallion, just because they saw one on the tv in a movie.

I guess some publicity is good, but when you go and give something a cute name, and promote in on yahoo news (which is where I first heard about them), I guess it just doesn't seem very responsible to me.

Let's just hope that Joe Public doesn't get his hands on a pair of toygers, because then all hope of "bettering" the breed is gone out the window, and bring on the color breeders!
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