The Toyger Facial Markings
One of the most exciting and certainly one of the most RARE features of the Toyger is their tiger like facial markings, or "temple" markings. I say rare because there are currently VERY VERY few Toygers in existence with these tigery facial stripes and markings. No other domestic breed in the world can lay claim to tigery facial and temple markings!!!!
A bit of history......Toyger breed creator, Judy Sugden has been working on this very special Toyger feature since the 1980's. With excruciating patience and a keen eye for details, Ms. Sugden has moved forward steadily in her selection process, building the facial stripes and temple markings one hair at a time to resemble the tigery face stripes. Now, some 20 years later we are seeing the spread of these facial markings in our breed that were selected for and put into our breed. Although lightly pigmented, we know that it is genetic and it's being duplicated slowly. There are still many very exciting years ahead in this development but we are seeing strides being made with each passing year and each new litter. Again, very few breeders have this special Toyger trait as this time (2012) but in the future we will be seeing ALL Toygers with facial stripes when we achieve our ideal Toyger.
RomanToygers has been very fortunate to have several facial/temple marked Toygers in our breeding program. With each new selectively bred litter we are seeing more and more markings emerge. Several of our home bred Toyger cats are also passing on this trait more consistantly, such as CH. RomanToygers Palatium, RomanToygers Jupiter, our silver boys RomanToygers Totti of Toygerland and RomanToygers Faccia, RomanToygers Rayban of Whitestripes. A few of our girls are also passing this along.
Cheek Markings and Mascara
One of the differentiating facial markings that the Toyger has in abundance at this time that other domestic breeds do not have is the circular cheek markings and circular mascara patterning.
Most, if not all domestic cats have mascara lines that radiate horizontally from the eye. (the black line from the corner of the eye). In Toygers, this marking tends to curve down and toward the muzzle connecting to the cheek pattern and/or to the chin strap (line pattern that goes under the chin), thus giving the cat a beautiful circular formation of pattern, very similar to the tiger.
Typical domestic tabby cat showing mascara and cheek markings radiating horizontally from eye and across cheek. These are the typical patterning for domestic cats.
| Toyger Kitten:
A very young RomanToygers kitten clearly showing circular mascara marking and cheek markings. Note also the second "row" of markings from the chin strap going up and around the primary mascara pattern. One day we hope to continue that pattern all the way up to join the temple markings between the ears and eye.
Circular cheek markings many times will be independent of the mascara lines. Mascara lines are being selectively bred to curve UP and through the temple area (between ear and eye), as well as to curve down. Chin straps at times will connect with a second "row" or "ring 2" of mascara markings that run horizontal to the primary mascara pattern. *see photo above This trait is present in many Toygers but to date they are few and far between. We are selecting for this patterning and one day we will see this joining the temple markings (markings between ear and eye) to create the full on tiger facial pattern.
Please note that a Toyger does not necessarily have to have any of these markings present to produce these facial markings on it's offspring. Many times, litters from non-facial marked parents will produce a random kitten with beautiful facial markings which surprise the breeder. We do not yet understand the inheritance of this pattern trait as it does not behave like a simple recessive. Most likely it is polygenic and will need to be "pooled" and selected for over many years to see consistant results. We do see an increase in facial markings and temple markings with each passing year in our breeding program.
RomanToygers Jupiter above shows several things happening. First we note that his mascara line is connecting with his cheek markings. Though not completely circular, it's well on it's way. We also can see that there are rudimentary "2 ring" markings behind the primary mascara line. Note also the curvatures of the lines rather than being straight and radiating from the eye and cheek as it would in a domestic tabby cat.
MORE INFORMATION AND PICTURES COMING SOON!
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We are a TICA registered cattery #18554
We are a TICA registered cattery #18554