Tortoiseshell Cats

Welcome to the wonderful world of tortoiseshell cats and kittens! Tortoiseshell cats are growing in popularity as pets, thanks to their beautiful coats and their inquisitive personality, which is often referred to as tortitude’.

Tortoiseshell cat

Their coats are made up of a rich tapestry of autumn colours, resulting from a complex genetical pattern which also means that the vast majority of torties are female and a male tortoiseshell cat is very rare.

What we would usually refer to as a tortoiseshell cat will have a brindled coat with patches of orange, red chocolate and white. The sizes of the patches can vary greatly from large areas of colour to fine flecks, although the areas of white are usually very small on a tortoiseshell.

A mainly white cat with larger patches of red and brown is a ‘tortoiseshell and white’ if you are here in the UK, or a calico, if you are one of our visitors from the USA or Canada. The patches of colour are larger and more distinct on a calico than a tortoiseshell. There are also other variations such as a Blue Tortoiseshell Cat.

Tortoiseshell cat

Most cat owners will bring their pet into their home as a small and fluffy kitten, and you will find that the patches of colour develop as your tortoiseshell kitten matures. She will probably be mainly black when she is very young, with the patches developing over time.

The orange, white and black colouring can give your cat the appearance of a mini tiger – it is quite common for the patches to be more prevelant around the legs so you will probably notice them when she settles down for one of her major cleaning sessions!

This site will bring you all that you need to know about Tortoiseshell cats and kitten, including tips on looking after your cat, some advice on names, some comfy furniture, recommended cat scratching posts for her and plenty more! We would also love to hear about your examples of tortitude as this is what sets tortoiseshell cats apart and binds their owners together. Also make sure to check out all of the tortoiseshell cat pictures that we have already been sent - we would love to see some more!

Folklore suggests that torties bring good luck to their owners, and we think that they make the perfect pets – bringing bundles of love, fun and enjoyment to your home. Please also check out some of our product reviews which include guides to the best cat litter, the best cat water fountain and treats for your cat such as luxury cat beds and  and  for when it gets chilly at night!
All About Torties

All About Torties

Everything you needed to know about tortoiseshell cats including articles on Tortitude, their beautiful colours and tortoiseshell cat folklore.

Cat Bed

In The Home

Your tortie needs to feel comfortable at home so we have reviewed everything they will need from cat beds to scratching posts!

Cat Fountain

Dinner Time

Make sure your cat is well fed and watered with the best cat food and a good quality cat water fountain.

Cat Carrier

Out and About

Keep your cat safe while they are out of the house. Reviews of cat carriers, cat trackers and more

Grooming and Health

Grooming and Health

Advice on how to keep your cat in the best of health with articles on cat flea treatments and cat shampoo.

Cat Litter

Cat Litter Guide

A comprehensive guide to the best cat litter and cat litter trays available.

21 thoughts on “Tortoiseshell Cats”

  1. I have a Gray muted tortoise shell cat and she’s a beauty. I would love to post a picture but don’t know how to do it on your website no information

  2. What is your email address? I would like to send a recent photo of a tortie cat I adopted last year. I am having difficulty with forwarding my information.
    I would appreciate your help. I love your web site.
    Thank you,
    Almerinda Kamykowski

  3. I have two tortoiseshell cats, not related, but both rescued from outdoors. One I was feeding in my my backyard several years ago and immediately understood she was rescued once I got her into the house. The other one was quite wild and a stray from the grade school several blocks away. The new addition is long haired and so very shy. She has taken time to get to trust me. Chloe is short-haired and was rescued several years ago and is as bright as a cat can be, and also very vocal. I love them both. Considering they resemble each other quite a bit, they are very different in temperament. I was hoping for another Chloe but its okay that my new addition is shy and sweet.

  4. My torty is14 years old. Her name is Nefertiti.. That’s ancient Egyptian for the beautiful one has come. And she is beautiful.

  5. My tortie is a 2 years old named Hazel. She was spayed a year ago. She did great and fully recovered. Her belly has gotten bigger and she’s shaped more like a pear. Is this normal for this breed?

  6. I have 2 beautiful toise shells,,they are both 1 year old now,,,,Foxy loves to go outside,,,and callie is a complete housecat,,,but we keep foxy inside a lot to but she she run out every change she gets….we are cat people,,,these are my first toiseshells….

  7. My tortie CoCo is a rescue cat. She was not used to being handled. Everything scared her. She is now 1 year old and a sweetie. Getting used to noises now

  8. My three-year-old Amber is a tortie. She came into my mom’s and my life in
    October 1st 2017. My mom’s other cat Brownie was a tortoiseshell that passed away
    on May 4th; 2021. Amber has to go for surgery next Thursday. I’m praying that
    she has a miraculous recovery and continue to live a long and healthy tortoiseshell
    life.. I did not expect this to happen to Amber. But it did.

      • Thanks a lot. Amber made a complete recovery than what happened a
        year ago. Amber been running around since the growth was removed a
        year ago.

  9. Until two years ago I was the proud owner of two beautiful tortoiseshells (mother and daughter), sadly the daughter was killed by a fox, and I don’t think I’ll ever get over that. I apologise for the non-PC names, though it was actually my sister who named them – Halfcast (Daughter) and Mummy Halfcast (Mother). The daughter was the real show-stealer of the two, whereas her mother was much more reserved and perhaps a little jealous of her daughter. Ironically, after her daughter was killed, the mother became more of a livewire herself – she’s a great believer in using my legs for scratching posts, climbs right up my legs and perches on my shoulder.

    In short she is absolutely gorgeous, as was her daughter. I would certainly be happy to share some lovely photos of them. I sincerely hope everybody else has cats just as beautiful.

  10. My Torti, Portia, is a biter. From the start, I would say “no” in a very stern way. I wouldn’t use that harsh tone in any other way. Even if she scratched me. I also used it for hot things she would come close too. 90% of the time she will stop. I also keep her nails clipped every other month. Since she grabs you when she wants to nip, it slows her down a little. We love the little 9 month old devil and yes she is the ruler of the house.

  11. My tortoiseshell is the same way, she’s a year and a half and my hands and arms still look like a meat grinder. It’s just the way she is, I think she thinks she’s playing but it hurts, but when she wants to be loved she is a cuddle bug. I don’t know what to do about the biting as I tried everything. I read to try to ignore her when she bites, but she just comes right after me. It’s just that tortitude, and I believe that 100%

  12. My cat is wild and crazy she stalks me and attacks me my hands and arms look like they have been in a meat grinder. She loves my husband and twin boys. I feed and try to love her. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I can do to gain her trust? She is 12 weeks old I hate to think about what she will be like at a year…

    • My tortoiseshell is the same way, she’s a year and a half and my hands and arms still look like a meat grinder. It’s just the way she is, I think she thinks she’s playing but it hurts, but when she wants to be loved she is a cuddle bug. I don’t know what to do about the biting as I tried everything. I read to try to ignore her when she bites, but she just comes right after me. It’s just that tortitude, and I believe that 100%. If anybody has any suggestions for me what to do about this wild tortoiseshell I could use some advice. Thanks

    • Keep trying pick her up and pat her head and side of her face. Every day try picking her up to pay her. My Coco was like yours as a kitten. But I was persistent and now she great with me. Be patient and gv her love every day.


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