Conscious Cat

March 9, 2012 24 Comments

Rare male tortoiseshell cat is looking for a home

Posted by Ingrid

male tortoiseshell cat

Those of us who love tortoiseshell cats already know that they’re unique when it comes to their personalities, also known as tortitude. They also have unique genetics. The vast majority of tortoiseshell cats are female, because two X chromosomes are required to produce black, gold and orange coloring. Male cats only have one X and one Y chromosome, so technically it’s genetically almost impossible for a male to inherit the tortoiseshell coloring. A male tortoiseshell has an extra X chromosome, making it an XXY.

According to a study by the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Missouri, only 1 in 3000 tortoiseshell cats is male.

Given the rarety of male torties, I’m always excited when I hear of one. I previously profiled male tortie Doodleburg who shares his home with Conscious Cat reader Sharon in Lousiana.

Earlier this week, Jocelyne from Cat Rescue of Marlborough and Hudson in Hudson, MA, introduced me to M Butterfly. He is about 6 months old and was surrendered from a home in Worcester. “He clearly was cared for,” said Jocleyne, “he’s a very relaxed boy with a sweet tiny meow.” He is friendly, easy going and well-mannered. Jocelyne, who does all intakes for the rescue group, told me that he quickly integrated himself into her household, even spooning her 14- year-old Devon Rex, who usually hates the foster cats.

M Butterfly, who was named after the 1988 movie featuring a soprano who reveals herself to be a man after 20 years of performing, is now in a foster home charming the adult boy cat and the children.

For more information about this unique and beautiful boy, please visit his Petfinder page. And if you adopt M Butterfly, I want to hear from you!

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24 comments to “Rare male tortoiseshell cat is looking for a home”

  1. Jay says:

    Can you ship him to me ?????

    • Ingrid says:

      I figured you’d be all over this one, Jay. I don’t know if they’ll adopt out of state – you’ll have to contact the rescue directly.

    • jonii hagene says:

      I have a VERY CLEAN multi furry child home…. i stress the CLEAN part, due to the bad reputation most multi families recieve from such sources as tv shows, etc.
      I also could provide many references as to this including remarkable veternarian records for my children…..and would welcome a visit from his foster family to verify these statements.
      If M Butterfly has not been adopted yet, Id love a chance to welcome him to join our family! I believe in lifetime commitments and have even plans for emergency care if anything should happen to me.
      My children come first and foremost and they are valued and loved each and every one….


  2. Beckey says:

    My mother is very interested in adopting this fur baby. If. You have any information on him as far as adopting please let me know.

  3. Pam says:

    He is so cute … may he find the most wonderful and loving forever home!

  4. Jocelyne says:

    He is up for adoption still – being met today, though. You can learn more about him at

  5. Jocelyne says:

    M was picked today – thanks for the interest in him! He is definitely a Best Cat, and being a boy torti was just the icing on the cake!

  6. Elizabeth says:

    Aw as soon as my Two Face saw his picture she rubbed her face up against my screen haha. I’m so glad he found a home! He’s just so adorable!

  7. Tracy says:

    Im looking for a male tortoise for my cat kahlan shes a tortie can I have him hes sooo cute they would look so cute togther im trying to breed her with a male tortoise to keep the tortoiseshells breed going maybe if im lucky I would get a male tortoise kitten

    • Ingrid says:

      M Butterfly already found his forever home, Tracy. Please consider getting Kahlan spayed. It’s the best thing you can do for her health. I also don’t think it’s a good idea to breed cats when there are so many cats, torties and others, lingering in shelters waiting for their forever homes.

      Torties are not a breed, they’re just named for their distinct coloring. The tortie coloring appears in domestic cats, and in many purebred cats. Male tortoiseshell cats are almost always sterile.

  8. Gerry Ciulla says:

    I recently adopted Jasmine, a tortoiseshell 3 yr. old. She had been in two different shelters over a period of 1 to 2 years and had all 4 paws declawed. Thankfully, she never goes near my exit doors. She runs under the bed when someone comes in the doors. She was very skiddish and very scared for a while when I brought her home. We are now good friends, but she won’t sit in my lap. She sleeps at the foot of my bed, but won’t stay with me when I pick her up. She loves it when she’s petted and groomed. Are all Tortoiseshell Cats this stand-off-ish?

  9. Ok i just adopted two of these two days a go from a kill shelter omg..i have a male an female ..i call my male halfstash and the girl i call frickles ..i love them..

  10. Jay says:

    All these male Torties out there and I still can’t get one.

  11. Debbie Paterson says:

    I have a male tortiseshell cat. I have read so many things about them being so rare but his father is male. I read that males will be sterile so what if the owner of the male tortiseshell thought her cat was sterile and hadn’t bothered having him neutered ? I don’t know what to do he is one of 5 and all the others are re-homed but I need to be sure there are no health issues before I let this special wee guy go.

    • Ingrid says:

      I’m not so sure anymore whether they’re really as rare as previously thought, Debbie. And I’m assuming you meant to say that his father is a male tortie? :-)

  12. Jay says:

    Debbie, there are quite a few Male Torties it seems. I was luckily enough to have been adopted by a male Tortie. My little guy is named Diver. He was a cat with a home that was tossed out because the girls father did not like cats. Luckily he was taken in by a shelter and no one seemed to want him till they said this male cat was a Tortie. My girlfriend Bernie saw the ad and knew I would take him. I have 3 other Torties along with a Tuxie and Russian Blue. Diver is gentle and huge. No Tortitude at all. And I have a Tortie that is known for her Tortitude – Stirfry.

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