A toyger owned by breeder Jenifer Santee poses for a studio portrait.
Toygers don't actually have any tiger genes. They're bred using traditional techniques to closely resemble the wild cats' characteristic markings. Santee said that public demand for the tiny tiger replicawhich can cost about $3,000 (U.S.)is extremely high.
Meanwhile Kirsten Kranz, of Specialty Purebred Cat Rescue, said her animal rescue facility is overwhelmed right now with Bengalsthe spotted housecat first used to create the toyger.
Kranz and other animal welfare workers say that creating new breeds will only add to the growing glut of unwanted purebreds crowding shelters.