Many fur-bulous felines are referred to as tortoiseshell cats, but the term actually refers to a specific coat colour combo of red - commonly referred to as orange or ginger - and black, not a distinct kitty cat breed. Tortoiseshell cat coats can occur in some of our fav-fur-ite cat breeds…
Cat coat genetics is a complex and compelling topic. Curious? Get lost in your cat’s hair with our guide to the world of cat coat colours and patterns here.
The majority of tortoiseshell cats are lovely ladies. Why? It’s all thanks to the female sex (X) chromosome. Huh? Strap yourself in for some Cat Science! The X chromosome carries the coat colour code for either red or black coat colours. The male sex (Y) chromosome does not. Female cats have two X chromosomes, so they can have a combo of red and black hair, the classic tortoiseshell look. However, male puddas have an X and a Y chromosome, so they can only be red or black, not both.
Clockwise from top left: Calico, torbie*, tricolour and bicolour cat patterns. *flickr/lambj
There are certain types of cat coat colours and patterns that are often mistaken for tortoiseshell. So what makes a tortie, a tortie? It’s all in the fur, hooman. A true tortoiseshell cat has two coat colours, red and black. Nothing more, nothing less. But there are some cute and curious kitties that can pass for a tortie after a few catnip wines...
Do not be mistaken by tortoiseshell cat imposters, no matter how adorable and boopable their noses are.
Have you fallen in love with a tortoiseshell cat? Puddas of every pattern, colour, cat breed and personality can live their best 9 lives with a secure, spacious and super fun outdoor space to call their own. Have a cheeky peek at our cat enclosure and accessories range here to keep your kitty purrin’ and purr-fectly safe as they explore the great outdoors.
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