Tortoiseshell cats are named for their distinctive
coloring a combination of patches of black, brown, amber,
red, cinnamon and chocolate. The size of the patches varies from
a fine speckled pattern to large areas of color. The term tortoiseshell
is used for cats with brindled coats that have few or no white markings.
Cats of this coloring with larger areas of white fur are called
calicos. Sometimes, these colors present in lighter versions such
as lilac or cream. Torties with this lighter coloring are called
dilute torties. Occasionally, the typical tortoiseshell colors are
also seen in a tabby (striped) pattern, and these cats are sometimes
referred to as torbies.
Tortoiseshell cats are almost exclusively female.
Tortoiseshell and calico coats are the result of the interaction
between genetic and developmental factors. The occasional and very
rare male tortoiseshell cat is the result of a genetic mutation.
In addition to their distinctive coloring, torties also have a
reputation for unique personalities, sometimes referred to as tortitude.
They tend to be strong-willed, a bit hot-tempered, and they can
be very possessive of their human. Other words used to describe
torties are fiercely independent, feisty and unpredictable. Theyre
usually very talkative and make their presence and needs known with
anything from a hiss to a meow to a strong purr. These traits are
stronger in tortoiseshell cats than in calicos it seems as
though these traits are somewhat diluted with the addition of more
white to the color scheme.
breed standard describes the
blue cream persian as follows: