There's No 'Tortoiseshell' Cat Breed, But They're Thought to Bring Luck

Posted by Christy Caplan

There are so many fun facts about Tortie cats!

The Tortoiseshell cat is not a 'breed' but a cat made up of a combination of multiple colors and patterns. Tortoiseshell refers to the pattern in a cat's fur coat and is a result of a combination of genetic and developmental factors. According to Nationwide Pet Insurance, this cat's feisty personality is linked to the cat's coat pattern!  

"Experts are saying that the personality traits are linked to the unique pattern of the cat's fur coat. In a bi-colored tortoiseshell cat, the two genes intermingle and produce the characteristic two-colored brindled effect (commonly orange and black), represented by diffused softer spots of those same colors."

The attitude is what cat owners love about this cat! They're also referred to as 'money cats' and known to bring their owners good luck.

Tortie appearance, personality and 'tortitude'

You can see why Tortie cat owners are such huge fans of their feline friends.

Catster explains that Tortoiseshell cats have a combination of two colors, usually black and red.

"There are variations of the black and red, too -- black can be diluted variants of brown or grey and the red can be diluted to cream, gold or orange. Torties are called tortoiseshell because the coloring of their coats looks like tortoiseshell."

They're stubborn, strong-willed and divas of the cat world.

What about their life span? One Tortie lived to 21-years-old. They live to about 14 years.

Good luck charm

Many believe that the white, or calico tortoiseshell cat brings good luck. Some refer to this cat as the 'money cat'.

What about male Tortoiseshell cats? 

It's all in the genes. Just like Calico cats Tortie cats are almost always female. Isn't this crazy?

Catster explains that the chromosome linked to coloring in cats is the X chromosome. Females have two X chromosomes, carrying the orange and black codes. Males have a tiny percent chance of displaying orange coat color. And to further confound things, female cat heterozygous display a combination of orange and black, aka tortoiseshell.

Male tortoiseshell cats are sterile due to the imbalance of chromosomes (they have an extra X chromosome) which have in turn created his tortie markings.

What's a Torby? 

Do you live with a Tabby? Tortoiseshell coat coloring can mix it up in beautiful ways when combined with tabby patterns. These types of tortoiseshell cats are called torbies.

Weight and size?

According to Certa-Pet, the Tortie cat can weigh as much as 10 pounds.

The weight and size of a tortoiseshell cat will depend on their breed, or combination of breeds. On average, domestic mixed breed cats weigh around 5.5 to 10 pounds.

The average height of a domestic cat is 8 to 10 inches (20 to 25 centimeters). 

Cat lovers may also enjoy living with a specific breed like a Siamese, Tabby, Cornish Rex, Persian, or Maine Coon. All are known for their feisty personalities.

Every cat has a distinct personality regardless of their color pattern, color combination, or patches of color. If you're looking for a specific breed of cat you should head over to your local animal shelter or animal welfare organization and you'll find what you're looking for and there will most definitely be a Tortoiseshell kitten waiting for you.

Cat owners love Tortie cats so if you have your heart set on a cat with the infamous Tortoiseshell pattern or Tortoiseshell markings and a black cat just isn't the cat color you want for your feline friend then call your shelter and ask them to reach out to you when they see one dropped off. Save a Tortie cat!

Do you live with a Tortie Cat? Please let us know what you love about them in the comments. 

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There's No 'Tortoiseshell' Cat Breed, But They're Thought to Bring Luck