The Tortie Cat – What You Need to Know

The Tortie Cat - What You Need to Know

The Tortie Cat

The Tortoiseshell cat or tortie cat refers to a coloration in some cats that makes them look like the color of tortoiseshell. Basically, the pattern is made of two distinct colors, sometimes with a white spot here and there.

When it comes to genetics, these cats are overall interesting. Let’s take a look at what you need to know about the tortie cat.

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Fun Facts About the Tortie Cat

Tortoiseshell is not a breed

A tortie cat designation refers only to his coat color, not his cat breed. So, there is no such thing as a tortoiseshell breed of cats. Several cat breeds actually exhibit tortoiseshell. Examples are British Shorthair, American Shorthair, Persian, Maine Coon, and others.

Most Tortoiseshell Cats are Female and Males are Extremely Rare

If you own a male tortie cat, take special care of him because he is, well, special and rare.  The gene that codifies for coat color is located on the X chromosome, not the Y, which is the one that determines male. So, female cats have two X chromosomes. The code for coloring is in both of them. The kitty embryo then decides to shut one in every cell, resulting in a co-dominance of both colors. Since males have only one X chromosome, they only color their coat in one color or the other.

A male tortoise cat would mean that he is an XXY, which is a chromosome mutation. This results in these males being sterile and with a rather shorter lifespan than their female counterparts.

You can make “torbies” out of them

You are wondering what in the world a “torbie” is. It´s pretty simple, really. A torbie is the result of the crossing between a tortie cat and one with tabby stripes. Again, a torbie is not a breed.

Now, go ahead and hug your tortoiseshell cat if you are lucky to have one. In Dogalize we have plenty of resources to help you take good care of your feline companion. Visit us and check out all the amazing resources we have in store for you.