What is tortitude? In short, it's a tortoiseshell cat's personality. It describes a very specific personality trait that some tortoiseshell colored cats have. Tortitude is a combination of toughness and attitude, and it can be a real asset for your cat. If your cat has tortitude, it means that he or she is not afraid to stand up for himself or herself, and this can be very helpful when dealing with other animals or people.
Tortitude is used to describe the personality of torties, not of a tabby cat. Torties are mostly female -- tortie male cats are extremely rare. Tortie cats are the best for any cat lover (like you) -- so let's chat about them!
Tortitude meaning: a sassy cat who will definitely scratch you if given the opportunity. Tortitude is a feature of "tortie" style calico cats.
What is a tortoiseshell cat?
Have you seen a cat with fur that resembles a mosaic of orange and black patches? This unique pattern is known as tortoiseshell, and it tends to occur more often in female cats. While true chimeras are rare, torties are as close as most folks get. There is a difference between torties and calicos, too!
Tortoiseshell cats have a special combination of genes that produces this distinct coloration, and they are highly loved for their beautiful coats. However, unlike cats with pointed patterns (like Siamese) or easily distinguishable tabby stripes, tortoiseshell cats can sometimes be difficult to identify when they're kittens due to their mixed colors.
So if you see a lovely tuxedo or calico kitten, keep an eye out for those orange and black patches as they grow - they just might turn out to be a stunning tortoiseshell cat!
Why do cat lovers love tortoiseshell cats?
In the cat world, "tortitude" is a well known trait of tortoiseshell cats. Tortitude is a combination of toughness and attitude, and it's often said that tortoiseshell cats have more of it than any other type of cat.
While all cats have their own unique personalities, tortoiseshells are known for being feisty, independent, and sometimes even a little bit sassy. But their strong wills don't take away from them being a lap cat, and as a result, cat owners go crazy for the pretty, slightly bitchy torties that they find.
Are all tortoiseshell cats female?
Almost all tortoiseshell cats are female, but there are a small percentage of males that also have this beautiful coat color.
The reason for this is because the gene that produces tortoiseshell coloring is located on the X chromosome. Females have two X chromosomes (XX), while males have one X and one Y chromosomes.
Generally speaking, you need two X chromosomes to produce the tortoiseshell coat. Male tortoiseshell cats are rare, but will often have trisomy - two X chromosomes and a Y chromosome - to create the fur pattern. So, while almost all tortoiseshell cats are female, you can definitely find a male tortie here and there if they have two X chromosomes.
And if you're a cat person, you love them no matter the gender. Two X chromosomes in a male tortoiseshell cat may cause sterility, but shouldn't cause any serious problems for cat owners.
Does the tortoiseshell pattern just mean that they're a crazy calico?
Nope! A tortoiseshell cat is not the same as a calico. Calicos are tri-colored cats with distinct patches of white, black, and orange fur. The pattern occurs when there are two different alleles (genes) for coat color - one for black and one for orange - on each sex chromosome.
That being said, your tortoiseshell cat may just be a crazy kitten. Cats take on all personalities, so your female tortie might be a gentle cat or a raging hell machine that will murder you for offering belly rubs. It really just depends on the tortoiseshell cat that you get.
Are tortoiseshell cats considered "money cats"?
In some cultures, tortoiseshell cats are considered to be good luck and they are often called "money cats". In some places, for example, it is believed that having a tortoiseshell cat in your home will bring you wealth and prosperity.
We also see this relationship between money and black cats, which are similar to the tortoiseshell coat as kittens. While black cats are considered bad luck in some cultures, I believe that black cats are just as cool as tortoiseshell cats. Then again, I have many cats.
Is there anything that cat owners need to be aware about with tortoiseshell cats?
No. Unlike all white cats, chimera cats, or other cats / special cat breeds, there's nothing medically special about tortoiseshell cats. Cat owners can relax and know that their tortoiseshell cat will be perfectly healthy and happy.
My tortoiseshell cat is a special needs cat, but it's because she doesn't have a tail. Despite that, she is fiercely independent and definitely a little diva. Cat lovers should definitely keep an eye out for tortitude in all tortoiseshell pattern cats, but it's not something to fear. It's something to celebrate!
Is my rescue tortie a specific breed?
Probably not. While the cat world loves its breeds, most rescue cats are domestic shot hair cats. No, your large tortie isn't necessarily part of the Maine Coons: she might just be fat.
That being said, there are some tortoiseshell cats that have a mix of Maine Coon and other long-haired cat breeds. However, unless you got your tortoiseshell cat from a breeder, it's unlikely that she is a specific breed.
If you're really convinced that your indoor cat is some fancy breed, you can always get a DNA test. But, in the meantime, just enjoy your beautiful tortoiseshell cat - mixed breed or not.
Do all tortoiseshell cats have green eyes?
No, but a majority of them do. Like I said before, the gene that produces tortoiseshell fur is located on the X chromosome. Most cat eyes are either green or yellow, and seem to be linked to the coat color. So most torties tend to have green eyes alongside their feisty attitude.
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