Rare ‘Toygers’ Port and Dover blend Bengal tiger and housecat

Lynda Davis with Port and DoverBy Heather Walters
Lynda Davis has recently welcomed two new additions to her feline family.
She had two male kittens born on Friday, December 13th, an auspicious date for her very unique breed of ‘designer’ cat known as the “Toyger”. She immediately associated Friday 13th with the town of Port Dover and fittingly named the two new arrivals “Port” and “Dover”.
Port and Dover are both male Toygers, and are now about five weeks old.
The Toyger is a rare and still evolving breed of domestic house cat that sports the soft thick glittered coat of its much larger relative, the Bengal tiger.
This breed is the result of nearly 30 years of selective breeding that has taken many physical characteristics of the tiger and recaptured them in a much smaller, much cuddlier version of the housecat.
Lynda, who has been breeding for about seven years says she got started in this business “by accident”.
Originally, she was looking for a “Bengal” cat (a domestic breed descended from the Asian Leopard Cat). She heard about a breeder in California named Jean Mill, founder of the Bengal cats.
She flew to Los Angeles to meet Jean and through her, met Jean’s daughter, another cat enthusiast who had been developing another breed that would resemble a cross between a stuffed toy tiger and the real thing.
After nearly 25 years of doing so, she had come up with the Toyger.
It was love at first sight. Lynda ended up buying one Bengal from Jean and two Toygers from Judy and has not looked back since.
She is one of only two recognized breeders in Canada. The other is in Edmonton. There are only 40 such breeders worldwide.
Lynda admits that the hardest part of breeding these cats is letting them go.
“I cry sometimes after I sell them. I never let them go before they are 12 weeks old, so I have spent a lot of time with them. My customers remark that they are very “human-like” and I’m not surprised because I spend every waking moment socializing them.”
The payback for Lynda is seeing the joy on her customer’s face when they come to pick up their “baby”.
“One customer of mine sent a photo to me capturing the moment he gave the kitten to his son. The joy on that boy’s face is the reason I do this.”
Port and Dover will go to their new homes once they are 12 weeks old.
Anyone interested in learning more about these interesting felines can visit – eyeofthetoyger.com

Photo: Lynda Davis, of Simcoe, holds two of her ‘designer’ kittens born on Friday 13th. Known as “Toygers” these kittens are the result of nearly 30 years of selective breeding. Since these two rare beauties were born on such an auspicious date she has named them “Port” and “Dover”.

Posted: January 23, 2014

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