Toyger vs Bengal Cat: The Key Differences

Written by

Amy Sawy

Veterinarian. DVM


Joseph M. Plummer

Veterinarian, DVM, MVZ

toyger vs bengal cat

In the enchanting realm of feline companions, picking between the Toyger or the Bengal breed can be a tough decision. Both have the allure of the wild, yet they cater to different personalities and lifestyles.

The Toyger shows a tiger’s sociable and regal demeanor, while the Bengal embodies a curious and spirited nature with its leopard-like spots.

To know which breed suits you best, delve deeper into the cat showdown of Toyger vs Bengal cat!

Toyger Bengal
  • Short, thick coat
  • Cat colors: warm brownish, orangey hue with bold black stripes
  • Short, glossy coat
  • Cat colors: silver, rust, orangey brown, and ivory with distinctive spots
  • Rounded
  • Rounded tiger-like eyes
  • Broad and elongated
  • Almond-shaped eyes
Average Length
8-11 inches 10-16 inches
Average Weight (Adult) 10 to 15 pounds 10 to 20 pounds
  • Sociable
  • Friendly to kids and pets
  • Takes time to warm up
  • Indifferent to pets
Shedding High Low
Care Requirements & Health Generally healthy breed
  • More prone to health problems
  • Susceptible to progressive retinal atrophy and cataracts
Lifespan 10-15 years 12-16 years
Cat Price $1,500 to $5,000 $1,500 to $2,500

Overview: Toyger vs Bengal

1. Toyger


“Toyger” is a term coined from the words “toy” and “tiger,” which means a mini tiger cat. July Sugden developed this breed in the 1980s by crossbreeding a Bengal cat with a striped domestic shorthair.

Aside from the goal of achieving a tiger-like appearance, Sugden’s main purpose when creating the breed was to promote wild tiger conservation.

Now you know that Toygers are cousins of Bengal cats!

2. Bengal


The first recorded instance of this breed can be traced back to the 1990s, making it a relatively modern breed. It was created by crossing short-haired felines with Asian Leopard Cats.

The goal of mixing these breeds was to produce offspring replicating the striking markings of the leopard. Although the Bengal cat originated in the USA, its primary hybrid characteristics are influenced by Southeast Asia.

Differences: Bengal vs Toyger

1. Coat


Toygers have warm brownish-orange coats adorned with bold black stripes—circular on the cheeks and necklace-like around the neck. Their coat is distinctly short and lacks the glossiness commonly seen in Bengals.

Meanwhile, Bengal cats are characterized by their glossy and thick coats that are accentuated by distinctive spots in hues of rust, black, or chocolate brown. Unlike Toyger, Bengal cats don’t always sport stripes; if they do, they usually resemble swirls.

2. Face


With rounded and tiger-like eyes of light gold to dark brown, Toyger indeed resembles the majestic big cats (although much smaller in size). Their face is also noticeably round.

In contrast, Bengal cats have a more elongated face and higher cheekbones. This breed’s almond-shaped eyes tend to be gold or silver in color.

3. Cat Size


Compared to Toyers, Bengal cats are quite big. Whereas the former only measures 8 to 11 inches in length once it reaches full maturity, the latter can be up to 16 inches long.

With the difference in size comes a clear disparity in body weight. Toyer cats are much lighter, weighing at most 15 pounds. As for Bengal, the breed can tip the scale at up to 20 pounds.

4. Temperament and Behavior


Toygers are social tiger cat breeds that thrive on human interaction and benefit from mental stimulation through puzzle toys and games, given their intelligence. As they are of Bengal descent, they are also smart enough to learn tricks.

Meanwhile, Bengal cats often exhibit certain characteristics that stem from their wildcat lineage. They tend to be smart, energetic, and ever-vigilant. Aside from these, they share the Asian Leopard cat’s fascination with water.

5. Shedding

Although both species have short coats, their grooming needs drastically differ.

Despite having a thinner coat, Toyger sheds a lot, so you’ll likely find fur everywhere if you have this cat in your home.

Bengal cats, meanwhile, have moderate shedding. So, as long as you brush your pet regularly, you don’t have to worry about constantly cleaning fur.

6. Health and Lifespan

In general, both Toyger and Bengal cats are healthy breeds. That said, the latter is more prone to certain health problems, with the most notable issues being progressive retinal atrophy and cataracts.

To avoid complications for Bengals, they must be fed a healthy diet, immunized, and regularly brought to the vet for check-ups. With proper care, these cats can even outlive Toyger—up to 16 years, whereas most Toygers don’t last longer than 15 years.

7. Price


As both are considered “exotic”, Toyger and Bengal cats are among the most expensive feline breeds.

A purebred Bengal, for example, would cost at least $1,500. Realistically, though, most people would have to pay $2,000-$2,500 for a kitten of this breed.

If you think a Bengal is expensive, wait until you hear how much a Toyger costs—$1,500 at the very least, but a price this low means the cat may not show breed quality. You’d need $2,500-$5,000 for a purebred, healthy, and “quality” Toyger.

Which Cat Breed is Better: Toyger or Bengal?


Ultimately, which is the better cat breed hinges on your preferences, budget, and how much care you can give them.

If you prefer house cats that look like tigers and don’t mind the higher price, the Toyger breed is the purr-fect match for you. In addition, Toygers are known as social cats, meaning they immediately get along well with kids and pets.

Meanwhile, those wishing to have a miniature leopard at home will find Bengal cats a better choice. Aside from their lower price, these cats are playful and energetic. However, note that they can take time to warm up to certain family members and are indifferent towards other pets.

You can also consider getting a Bengal Toyger mix, which boasts a stunning coat with both spots and stripes. Bengal Toyger kittens inherit a playful, spirited temperament and smartness from both of their ancestors.


Toyger vs Bengal cat: which breed won your heart? Is it the Toyger’s striking elegance or the Bengal cat’s wild allure? If you can’t choose between the two, you can always merge the best of both worlds by opting for the Bengal Toyger mix.

Using this comprehensive comparison guide, may you find the purr-fect feline friend that best aligns with your lifestyle and preferences.

In the end, the choice is entirely up to you!

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