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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31 Comments on Rare male tortoiseshell cat is looking for a home

  1. I have a Blue Tortie she is super smart! Loves to be talked to and sang to as long as you put her name in each verse. She is terrified of strangers. But very loving to me I was teaching her the high five and now every time I come home from work she throws up that paw to say hi or walks into a room there goes the hi paw. She loves to play get your belly we play chase and hide and seek she loves every minute of the attention. She has more of a talk than a meow she is a bit OCD doesn’t like things moved around the house makes her nervous until she gets brave and checks it out. Diffinitely a unique personality. Cali is diffinetly my best friend!!

  2. hello tortie lovers
    what a nice messages.
    we also have a tortie. a female. named Maori.
    we looking for a tortie male. we searched for other males…but no…torties still have our preference.
    if someone in Canada (Ontario) knows a male tortie who is searching for a nice house and tortie girlfriend…we’ll be so thrilled to buy him and give him so much love.

    • Hello everyone, I came accross this by accident. We have a dark tortie kitten, she came to us from cat’s Protection league ( In the UK). Poor little thing had a bad start in life, she was feral, had suffered cat flu, and eye infections, and was undernourished. Thank Goodness CPL managed to catch her and several other feral litters from a farm in the middle of nowhere. She has been with us for three weeks now, and is a bundle of joy, very affectionate, vocal, and bossy :-). We have called her Alice, she is very quick to learn things too. Alice is staying indoors for now as she is only 4 months( or thereabouts), and the weather is lousy. If she wants to, and i suspect that she will, we will introduce her to the garden come March/April time. I have not had a cat for about 17 years, just due to circumstances, and never had a Tortie before. We are smitten, although I do wish my Husband would stop referring to Alice as ” The gremlin”, lol.

  3. I have a female tortie named Paisley. She has plenty tortitude! I love her so much, even though she is not a demonstrative loving cat. I have found great pleasure in reading all the blogs, etc.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

    • 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? 🙂

  6. 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..

  7. 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?

  8. 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

    • 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

    • 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.

    • 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….


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