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6 cats that look like tigers (and other big cats)

Ginger cat advice
© Pixabay

Want a bit more tiger in your tank? While dog-owners who want to make a certain kind of impression tend to choose the bulldog, Dobermann, or pitbull, cat-lovers face a tougher challenge.

By G. John Cole

The irony is that while dogs are usually much lovelier than they look, a cat’s personality really isn’t reflected in its appearance. Even if moggo is known to take a claws-worth of flesh from her human companions from time to time, she probably looks like a little angel. So let’s find some breeds that have a bit more jungle about them.

Cats that look like tigers #1: The Toyger

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Ok, so by switching up it ‘tiger’ for ‘toy-ger,’ the inventors of this stripy breed really haven’t succeeded in creating a fearful prospect. It doesn’t help that they’re relatively kind, affectionate cats, either.

The Toyger is part Bengal, so it has tiger heritage. But it’s much smaller, and with tall, wide ears. It’s a sleek, muscular beast with a broad chest, adding to the feeling that this cat could tear out the throat of an innocent safari-goer. But it probably won’t.

Cats that look like tigers #2: The Orange Exotic Shorthair

The Exotic Shorthair. ©Pixabay

If you’re aiming less for ‘tiger’ and more for ‘stuffed tiger toy,’ a ginger exotic shorthair could be the way to go. It may not have the tiger bloodline, but this regular shorthair-Persian cross has a blend of short but fluffy hair that makes it resemble both a tiger and a teddy bear.

With its short-legged body, wide neck, and massive, goggly-eyed head, nobody is going to mistake your daft-looking luxurious cat for a predator of anything much bigger than spiders. But what it lacks in ferocity (and dignity) it more than makes up for in character.

Cats that look like tigers #3: The Egyptian Mau

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The Mau is a very special creature, at least as far as cats are concerned. Unlike the cats above, it is a genuine purebred moggo known to humankind for over 3000 years.

And it still has a touch of the wild about it. The Egyptian Mau is not a cat that likes to be cooped up indoors. It can run at speeds of 30mph or more when hunting prey, so if you drop a bit of cheese you need to be quick.

And importantly, it’s a striped and dotted fellow, right down to the hoops on its tail. War stripes on its cheeks give it a particularly exotic look. And it has a peculiar set of markings on its forehead that give it a sense of being not just tiger, but a space-tiger beamed down from a wild desert planet.

Cats that look like tigers #4: The Ocicat

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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I know what you’re thinking: that looks like an ocelot, not a tiger! Even its name looks like ‘ocelot’!

Okay okay. It looks like an ocelot. Especially the spotted version. That’s how it got its name. But did you know these cats (which weren’t, incidentally, bred from ocelots) also come in ticked, classic tabby, solid, and pointed editions? So you can get that wildcat look in your favourite pattern, whatever that may be. Who wants a boring old tiger, anyway?

Cats that look like tigers #5: The Maine Coon

The Maine Coone. ©Pixabay

The Maine Coon is distinctly fluffier than the average tiger. And that big bushy tail would be an absolute liability in the jungle. But in fact, this is a snowscape creature: its big tufty paws are designed to help it cruise across the snow.

And it is enormous. El Maino is the biggest domesticated cat, in fact. Maybe not as big as a tiger, but it makes an impact. No wonder it's a feared hunter among the mouse community!

Cats that look like tigers #6: The Tiger

The tiger. ©Pixabay

Believe it or not, with the right paperwork it is legal to keep a tiger at home in the UK. Of course, it’s pretty tough to convince the authorities that you should get that paperwork. And it’s not very kind to the tiger.

But a news story that broke in 2013 revealed there are 13 tigers kept legally on private grounds in the UK. Plus other outlandish beasts such as “wolves, alligators, caiman crocodiles, black widow spiders, venomous snakes and short-clawed otters” – and that’s just in Central Bedfordshire!

There are also six pet camels in Scarborough. So tune in next week for the top six cats that look like camels.