“Tortitude” – The Unique Personality of Tortoiseshell Cats: Fact or Fiction?

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Last updated August 2019

In August of 2009, I wrote a post titled Tortitude: The Unique Personality of Tortoiseshell Cats. The post describes some of the unique traits that many of these beautifully colored cats seem to share: they tend to be strong-willed, a bit hot-tempered, and they can be very possessive of their human. Other words used to describe torties are fiercely independent, feisty and unpredictable. They’re usually very talkative and make their presence and needs known with anything from a hiss to a meow to a strong purr.

The post still gets hundreds of views every single day, and has generated more than 14,000 comments to date. It has become more than just a source of information for cat lovers looking for more about cats with these distinct orange, tan and black colors: it has become a place for people to share stories about the torties in their lives.

As someone who has been owned by four torties at this point, not counting my first office cat at the animal hospital I managed, I feel that I’m somewhat of an expert on these special cats. And while Virginia, Amber, Buckley, Allegra and Ruby all had or have some degree of tortitude, their personalities were and are also very different. This appears to be true for the torties whose guardians have commented here on the site as well.

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What is a tortoiseshell cat?

Contrary to what some people think, tortoiseshell cats are not a breed. They are named for their distinctive coloring – a combination of patches of black, brown, amber, red, cinnamon and chocolate. The size of the patches can range from a speckled pattern to large splotches of color. Tortoiseshell cats have have very few or no white markings, as opposed to calicos, who are tri-colored cats with larger areas of white fur. Sometimes, the colors are more muted. These torties are known as dilute torties. Very dark torties with a lot of black in their fur are often affectionately called “chocolate torties.” Occasionally, the typical tortoiseshell colors are also seen in a tabby (striped) pattern; these cats are referred to as “torbies.” Tortoiseshell is not a breed, the distinct markings appear in many different breeds.

The unique genetics of tortoiseshell cats

In addition to their unique personalities, torties also have unique genetics. A cat’s main color is determined by a primary coat color gene. The tortoiseshell pattern is determined by two co-dominant genes, in other words, two genes that are expressed at the same time and affect each other. In a bi-colored tortie, these two genes comingle to produce the characteristic brindled tortoiseshell pattern. In dilute torties, these genes are modified by a recessive gene, which results in softer coat colors. Black becomes grey, orange becomes cream.

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.

A tortoiseshell cat may have a distinct tabby pattern on one of its colors. This pattern is driven by yet another gene. Tabby cats, also referred to as tiger cats, are cats with a coat featuring a pattern of distinctive stripes, lines, dots or swirling patterns. These cats are known as torbies, and, like all tortoiseshell cats, are predominantly female.

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Tortoiseshell Cat Folklore

Tortoiseshell cats have a mythical folklore in many cultures, much of it centered around the rare male tortoiseshell. The Celts considered it a good omen if a male tortoiseshell stayed in their home.  English folklore has it that warts could be healed if rubbed by the tail of a male tortoiseshell’s tail during the month of May.  Japanese fishermen believed that male tortoiseshells protected their ships from storms and ghosts. A Khmer legend in South East Asia has it that the first tortoiseshell arose from the menstrual blood of a goddess born of a lotus flower.

Torties are thought to bring good luck in many cultures. They are sometimes referred to as the money cat.

Tortoiseshell cats were believed to have psychic abilities and see into the future. It is said that those who dream of a tortoiseshell cat will be lucky in love.

Are tortoiseshell cats really different from other cats?

Speaking from personal experience, it appears that no two tortoiseshell cats display the exact same amount of tortitude. Virginia had definitely read the book on tortitude. The first time I met her, during my interview for the hospital manager position, she greeted me by walking over to me, looking up at me, and then digging her claws into my legs to use them as a scratching post.  Amber was the “anti-tortie” – she was a gentle, calm, almost shy cat, but she was a bit headstrong. Buckley’s tortitude manifested in her exuberance. She loved everything and everybody. Allegra is highly sensitive to the world around her, and often quick to react to something that she perceives as a threat. Ruby is the most high-spirited cat I’ve ever had. Of all my cats, she is the one with the highest dose of tortitude.

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The experts weigh in on tortitude

I decided to check with some other experts to get their thoughts on tortitude. “I often tell clients that torties are the redheads of the cat world,” says feline veterinarian Dr. Fern Slack, who owns Uniquely Cats Veterinary Center in Boulder, CO. “They are beautiful, but short-tempered and quick to wrath. Of course they are not all like that, any more than every redhead is – but I always approach a tortie with a tad more circumspection than any other coat color.” While Dr. Slack takes a cautious approach to her tortie patients, she adds “I’ve always thought that the price you pay in tortitude, you get back tenfold in love.”

“There is no evidence that there is a link between color gene and personality,” says Dr. Elizabeth Colleran, a former president of the American Association of Feline Practitioners and owner of two cat hospitals, Chico Hospital for Cats in Chico, CA and the Cat Hospital of Portland in Portland, OR. “It is true though, that almost all tortoiseshell cats are females, and some people perceive females as being more headstrong than male cats. However, the real determination of personality is naturally a combination of genetics and environment.”

Jackson Galaxy has worked with his share of tortoiseshell cats in his decades of helping cats with behavioral challenges. “In my experience, tortitude is a very real thing,” says Jackson. “And now that there is a a study correlating coat pattern with behavior, our characterizations have been validated. Of course, anyone who knows me, knows I try not to talk about cats in generalities.” Jackson feels that torties and calicos are more energetically sensitive. “I think that’s part of the reason why their personalities are always on full display,” he says. “I’ve always said that cats are energetic sponges. Torties, however, just seem to soak up more, which is why they’ve got so much to say.”

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Tortoiseshell cats are special

Those of us who love torties embrace their unique personalities. It is important to remember that every cat, regardless of coat color, is an individual. Not every tortie will exhibit the traits attributed to these beautifully colored cats, but the majority seem to live up to their reputation. As far as I’m concerned, tortitude is real. And while torties may, at times, seem like they have split personalities, going from purring away in your lap to suddenly racing around the house like a crazy kitten, those of us who love them wouldn’t want them any other way.

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1,365 Comments on “Tortitude” – The Unique Personality of Tortoiseshell Cats: Fact or Fiction?

  1. siberiancat
    September 1, 2020 at 4:47 pm (3 weeks ago)

    We had a Tortie cat who came from a feral litter. Got her at the age of 7 months.

    She was unbelievable. Not only looked like a live piece of jasper, but was wickedly smart, and so loving. She would come to our bedroom, announse herself, jump at the bed, and talk to us. Only then would go eat. A very talkative and social cat, almost dog-like in attachment to humans.

    The poor deer was hit by a car last week. We’re totally devastated, but determined to find another Tortie.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      September 1, 2020 at 4:55 pm (3 weeks ago)

      I’m so sorry about your tortie.

      Reply
  2. Glen
    June 12, 2020 at 4:36 pm (3 months ago)

    Freyja is our 4 year old, long hair, dark tortie; she is 16 pounds and has a close resemblance to a Norwegian Forest Cat. She is smart and very quick.

    Freyja like plastic items and will play with them, though I am concerned about this and confiscate them as soon as I see her with something. She doesn’t seem interested in eating them, but I am concerned.

    Last week, she got up on the table and took a clear plastic strip, the one’s they use to seal pill bottles.

    I saw her take it on the floor where she dropped it.

    She knows I will take these away from her.

    I got 1 1/2 steps towards her, she picked up the plastic in her mouth and ran at blazing fast speed and took it down the basement, I could not find it by the time I got there.

    The next day, it showed up in the middle of the basement floor. It had teeth perforations but was otherwise intact; it when in the trash, very quickly.

    Reply
  3. Melanie Brooks
    June 10, 2020 at 7:16 pm (3 months ago)

    I had a long haired dilute female torti – she was a devil..lol I’ll never forget..the first time I met her was at the SPCA and she scratched my hand when I reached to pet her and I got her. I didn’t know she was in heat – the SPCA didn’t tell me, and when I got her home I was she kept me up for 3 nights..then got stomach sick.I had to get my mom to come take her for a day to give me a break and I immediately got her in to the vet to get fixed. Oh..I thought she’ll be calmed down abit now from the drugs of the operation..well, wasn’t I mistaken, when the vet receptionist brought her out in the kennel she was sitting up like nothing ever happened. I said did you operate on her? lol

    Yupe..a different personality all together..she was a little devil from day one, and she used to wake me up in the night by clawing the wall by my bed like chalk on a chalkboard..I could have killed her..we butted heads from day one but I still loved her 🙂

    I’m looking for another cat and the SPCA called me today to say they had a beautiful female dilute torti..I laughed..if she srubs me when we meet..forget it..lol

    Reply
  4. Andrea
    April 22, 2020 at 4:06 pm (5 months ago)

    I had a female tortie, Sophie, that passed away in 2018 at almost 20 years old. She didn’t jump very high, mostly squeaked and was hard to hear her purr, and she had the oddest habit of loving to suck on clothes. I think she may have been separated from her Mom at some point, as she was a stray. And she definitely had the TORTITUDE. Sweet as can be, if I played by her rules. But if I tried to pet her other than the head/chin area, she’d rip my hand off. And when I had to cut her nails or she was at the vet, you’d think I was trying to kill her. Hissing and sounds like she was possessed..lol. But she also loved to groom my other cats and loved to carry around her favorite mouse toy everywhere. And most of the time, sweet and loving – just remember your tortie’s rules and all will be ok.

    Reply
  5. Kelli M Silva
    April 10, 2020 at 12:06 pm (6 months ago)

    I have a male he is a complete jerk there is nothing friendly or sweet about him he is only sweet when he is asleep. Most vocal cat I have ever had thought he might be part siamese until I read this article. Named him Diablo. What can I say? He’s an as*@#$^ But he’s my as*@#$^

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      April 10, 2020 at 12:23 pm (6 months ago)

      Male tortoiseshell cats are really rare – how did you get him?

      Reply
      • Sheila
        June 30, 2020 at 2:42 pm (3 months ago)

        I just got two 2mo old kitties, brother and sister. Mojo, the boy is a beautiful peach colored semi-long haired loverboy and Saucy, the girl, is a precious tortie. They’re inseparable, yet so very different by nature. I feel like I hit the jackpot with these two! Two weeks ago I was depressed and bored out of my mind… now I’m a happy camper! I look forward to every day with my new babies! Wishing you and all of your furbabies the very best!

        Reply
    • Glen
      April 10, 2020 at 4:07 pm (6 months ago)

      We have had 3 torties, all female, (since the odds of a male is around 1 in 3,000). They were, or are, big cats, 15+ pounds.

      It may be coincidence but none of them have or had that melodious “meow” voice.

      The first tortie was Kasey, who we lost in 2013 made noises that seemed to come from a horror movies, or another planet, except when sh challenged another animal, then she made a wailing sound like a cougar.

      She was a dark tortie and her ears and legs did look like a pointing on a Siamese Cat. She was definitely not a Siamese, though.

      Our present torties are Gigi and Freyja. Gigi is older and is quite vocal in asking for attention, she makes a series of squawking sounds.

      Freyja is 4 years old, fairly quiet but makes mostly small mostly squeeks; which is at odds with ther appearance; she is 15 1/2 pounds and looks like a Norwegian Forest Cat. Freyja also has the dark ears and legs, like Kasey had.

      Reply
      • Liz
        April 10, 2020 at 6:02 pm (6 months ago)

        I swear my torti sounds like a chicken squawking. I’ve never heard a cat sound like her.

        Reply
        • Jerry
          April 11, 2020 at 12:39 pm (5 months ago)

          In addition to the normal Meow, when she wants me to refill her bowl or go for walkies, My Honey makes a chattering noise I would describe as Bird-like.

          Reply
          • Tim Allen Basham
            May 20, 2020 at 4:45 pm (4 months ago)

            My tortie has a very weak meow, like she was strangled by someone/thing. She’s a friendly cat–with me–but she hates the calico my niece gave me a few months after giving me Sheba. I think Callie was approaching Sheba with the intent of being friends, but Sheba blew at her, and ran back downstairs. Now, when she does get upstairs, she goes straight to my bedroom, and lies on my bed. She won’t leave, and I don’t mind, because it’s the only chance I get to spend time with her. I always have to put her back in the basement before Callie is let back in, or I’ll end up having to force her out from beneath the bed. I wish they would get along, so I could pet both at the same time.
            My best friend had a cat that was a cross between tortie and Persian. That cat was MEAN. The only people it liked were him, his wife, and his roommate. The first time, I met her, I was petting her, and talking to my friend. His eyes widened, and he said: “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.” I looked down at Bootsie, and she was blowing like a hurricane. She never did take a liking to me.

  6. Cherish
    March 14, 2020 at 1:19 am (6 months ago)

    We got a female tortie. And she’s got the full on tortitude. One minute she’s chill, the next she’s gone after the other two for no reason, to zooming around either after using the litter box or not. We do love her but she can be such a big brat. Our other two are Russian blue. Had a kitten once but just could not handle her so we had to give her to a good hole that would be able to. Love her still of course and constantly wonder how she is if she’s still alive or not. I know not all torties are the same. Our tortie is named lizzy after the show and since my fiancé mom passed last year and then his stepdad this January lizzy been super attached to me.

    Reply
    • Samantha
      May 25, 2020 at 2:40 pm (4 months ago)

      Do your blue cats have papers that document their breeding?

      Not all dilute black cats are “Russian Blue.” In fact, very few are.

      Other requirements of the breed are emerald green eyes and a silver-tipped plush coat.

      Reply
  7. Patrick Herdener
    February 28, 2020 at 8:30 am (7 months ago)

    My wife and I have two torties, mine..precious is very territorial when it comes to my lap, and if you’re sitting she will jump in your lap without giving you a choice. She is a constant talker when I’m home. My wife’s Eve is as laid back as it gets. She won’t let anyone but my wife actually hold her though she seems to want my lap as well.. these two ladies will tear through the house like tornadoes. Quick question. Are torties especially good mousers? Both our cats are mouse assassins.

    Reply
    • Glen Bowley
      February 28, 2020 at 2:29 pm (7 months ago)

      “Are torties especially good mousers?”

      My first tortie, Kasey, the “Warrior Queen” was an excellent mouser, also deadly on anything close to her size.

      She lived at one of the facilities owned by the company I worked for prior to my retirement. It was in a rural area and sh used to go out beyond the plant fence and drag things back there. She also liked to fight other animals and was very good at it.

      She lived there for 10 years, finally, I took her home for the lat 5 years of her life, she had a great “retirement” as an indoor cat. In spite of her fierce reputation with other animals, she was a very friendly cat with people. She was a great companion, who has been gone for almost 6 years, I still miss her a lot.

      The current torties are both longhair. Gigi is 11, a ginger face tortie with white, she is indoor, fortunately we don’t have mice, so its hard to judge by her quiet personality.

      Freyja is 4, she is what I call a dark tortie; she may have some Main Coon or Norwegian Forest Cat lineage. She is 15+ pounds, not overweight, just big.

      I think Freyja would be quite the mouser, she is very aware of her surroundings and watches birds and even the TV if a nature show has rodents on it.

      Our vet is directly quoted as saying “she looks like a wild animal”, even though she is very gentle with us.

      Reply
    • Audrey Lince
      March 8, 2020 at 4:22 pm (7 months ago)

      My Torti was adopted from a shelter. She’d been abandoned and left on the hottest day of the year, when the shelter was closed. She had just given birth, the kittens, we just have no heart to think of what may have happened. When we adopted her, she was very aggressive, and mistrustful, and we couldnt get near her. It has been two years now, and she rules the house, even bossing around the other two cats we’ve had for many years. She is the most loving, and vocal cat, and she can open the front door, by turning the handle, standing on her hind legs, when she is ready to come in. She also will not let any other animal near the house, even so far as jumping on the back of a Husky that had wandered into the yard. God made the best when he created the Torti.

      Reply
  8. Ginger Porter
    February 21, 2020 at 9:57 am (7 months ago)

    My puddin was found by my black lab two years ago. She was alone in the bushes and Diezel found her and was carrying her around in his mouth. When I finally chased him down (she wasn’t hurt just wet with spit spikes) we tried to adopt her out because I am very allergic. Two years later she rules over my two labs, my husband and myself. She is the queen with two body guards and two royal taste testers to all her meals. She has her own throne which allows her to keep an eye over her entire domain. Plus I’m not allergic to her! Don’t know how that happened but I can snuggle with her (when she allows it), sleep with her (when she commands) but never a wheeze or a sneeze or a sniffle. She is the purrrfect cat for me and I feel so blessed to have my little tortie with the tortitude of a greater ruler.

    Reply
  9. Regina
    January 18, 2020 at 3:47 pm (8 months ago)

    I have had 2 Torties, both babies. My Meesha is in heaven was a talker and gentle as can be.
    My current tortie Bee named at the shelter were I got her for her black and gold colors . She is very shy, hides from strangers but is very loving and wonderful to me.

    Reply
    • Falima Richardson
      January 20, 2020 at 10:44 am (8 months ago)

      My tortie little girl, Coko Miah has been with me since she was 3 weeks old(she is now 14 yrs old in human years) My baby is the sweetest, gentlest and most loving cat I have ever had. She follows me everywhere and LOVES to snuggle up next to me. We are completely devoted to one another. She is extremely shy and hides from EVERYONE but my Mother when she visits. I feel so blessed to have my furbaby! Although, she does not exhibit any of the strong “TORTITUDE” described, she is VERY verbal, lol.

      Reply
  10. Glen
    December 21, 2019 at 3:38 pm (9 months ago)

    Our Freyja is from feral stock.

    She is a very gentle, 15+ pound long haired, dark tortie. She usually follows me around and wants to be near, but does not like being picked up, so I don’t try unless there is a need to.

    Its only this year that she lets me pet here and brush her.

    She will drape herself across my ankle when I am on my recliner and will stay there for a whole movie; she does get too warm and usually winds up on her back with all 4 legs in the air, but does not leave.

    I doubt she will ever like handling but there has been progress in being able to pet her. When I was younger, I would have tried to force a cat to be pet etc. but as I got older, I learned this will not work, so I let them come to me in their own time.

    For cuddly cats we have our big old gentle torti, Gigi and a 7 year old 9 pond orange guy that can’t get enough attention; seems they are all different.

    Reply
    • Glen
      December 21, 2019 at 8:22 pm (9 months ago)

      This was a reply to Dee’s post, not sure how it wound up where it did.

      Reply
  11. Dee
    December 21, 2019 at 2:52 pm (9 months ago)

    I have a 2yr old Tortie and she is full of tortietude, you can’t pet her, she is very independent and doesn’t want anything to do with anyone at all. I am at my wits end with her sadly and don’t know what to do. she scratches everyone that comes near her and doesn’t let anyone love on her or snuggle her for that matter. I Love her but dont know what to do.

    Reply
    • janet
      December 21, 2019 at 3:06 pm (9 months ago)

      It has taken my 11 yr old tortie to finally curl up in my lap.I still would never attempt to pick her up.they do things on their own time so just be patient with her.

      Reply
    • Liz
      December 21, 2019 at 3:23 pm (9 months ago)

      Dear Dee

      Don’t worry about it. If she doesn’t want people touching her that’s her business so long as she loves you that should be enough. I’ve got a tortie (one of several) who hides under the duvet as soon as anyone comes into my home and stays there until they’ve gone – I’d love to show her off to my visitors but has made herself clear – she does not want to interact with them. She is fine with my other cats and that is all that matters. So please please please don’t worry about it – give her a hug and kiss from me.

      Reply
      • Jerry
        December 21, 2019 at 10:34 pm (9 months ago)

        Yes Dee, Progress can be slow & erratic with the headstrong.
        My honey started out the same, but now sleeps on my feet & lets me hold her long enough to weigh her fat 15 lb frame monthly, for a treat.
        Still as my 2 y/o TNR together now for 11 years I only get a few mins of loving before she protests. It has to be enough since she will allow no other cats in her home. Hang in there, tort-loyalty may amaze you.

        Reply
      • Deb
        February 15, 2020 at 1:18 pm (7 months ago)

        My Furbaby is named Frida de Calico, she was a birthday gift from my daughter who rescued her. I had just recently remarried and my husband is allergic to cats or so he said, anyway he really does not like cats so was not happy that we had a new pet. A few months went by and we had the ugliest cat ever, he used to tease saying “what is this catastrophe, she looks like the only thing that survived the atomic explosion.” And truth be told she really was a hideous looking creature. But I loved her anyway, she has this attitude and presence she is so regal. She knows she a queen and demands to be treated like one. She does not like being held or cuddled unless she comes to you for your love and affection. She is bilingual and understands Spanish. Our guest think it is so funny that she does what we ask in either language. After a few months Frida has won the husband over and although he won’t admit it I’ve caught them snuggling all the time. Turns out he is her human Im just her servant. I love her and always tell my daughter she was the best gift ever.

        Reply
    • Liz
      January 21, 2020 at 3:36 am (8 months ago)

      It took me over a year to get my torti to stop biting and scratching me every day. She will still bite and scratch sometimes but not as hard as she used to. She will however, viciously attack anyone who comes in the house including people that are frequent visitors. Most people won’t come into my house until I assure them that she is locked up in the bedroom.

      Reply
  12. DONNA CASSEL
    November 22, 2019 at 3:16 pm (10 months ago)

    I suspect she is grateful to you for rescuing her .. GOD BLESS..!!

    Reply
  13. Roy
    November 19, 2019 at 10:19 pm (10 months ago)

    When I moved to a new home in southern Nevada, my home came with a tortie, the neighbors said that she was thrown out of a passing car one day and the couldn’t catch her to see if she was okay. She lived under this house for 5 years before I moved in eating whatever she could catch. After 5 months of coaxing, she came to me and has been an indoor car ever since. Her name is Puddin. The vet said she was in remarkably good health given her circumstances. She has put on 6 pounds, I had her spayed and microchipped, her teeth cleaned and a good oatmeal bath.
    She is sweet, very affectionate, and vocal when she wants something and loves the electric blanket. She’s allowed to go out on the screen porch to sunbathe but not allowed on the property as there are many coyotes and large owls and hawks looking for a meal.
    I have owned and rescued many animals from exotic birds, dogs, cats, snakes and lizards and have loved and cared for each one until the end of their lives, but she has touched us deeply and is so much loved.
    She’s our little Puddin and is full of joy, love and affection and is oddly devoid of Tortitude.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 20, 2019 at 5:54 am (10 months ago)

      Bless you for giving this little girl a proper home!

      Reply
  14. Marci Schmidt
    November 14, 2019 at 11:25 am (10 months ago)

    My tortoiseshell, Lucy, is beautiful, sweet, gentle and affectionate…only to me! I am her person! Very few visitors ever see her as she hides when the enter her home! When I brought her home four years ago, I had a sweet Yorkie. They were fast friends. When he died, she moaned and cried for days on end so, I got her a friend…a beautiful Bombay kitten. He loves everyone including Lucy…she puts up with him! Love them both dearly.

    Reply
    • Liz Lucero
      November 15, 2019 at 1:49 am (10 months ago)

      I know animals morn the loss of their loved ones. When we lost my kitty-boys’ little sister he was depressed for weeks.

      Reply
  15. Samantha Hatley
    October 23, 2019 at 1:02 pm (11 months ago)

    Honestly I’ve never had a problem with my girl, Chloe, biting me or anything. If she does she feels bad and will lick me afterwards. She has two brothers and she did growl at them at first but now they all get along. The only time I get tortitude is when I don’t give her treats in time. She loves me more than my husband but she’s never been mean to anyone ever. She is so sweet and cute. I don’t know what I would have done if I never adopted this sweet girl from the shelter that was about to put her down! I’m so happy I saved this sweet babies life! She also has saved mine in her own ways. If you are thinking of getting a cat, I firmly suggest one of these cats! Very loyal and will sleep right next to you every night!

    Reply
  16. Liz Lucero
    October 17, 2019 at 3:03 pm (11 months ago)

    I got my kitty from a rescue place. I’ve had cats all my life (66 years) but somehow in all those years I’ve never interacted with a torti. Needless to say, I knew nothing about them especially the “tortitude”. My SugarBear (they named her Sugar) has a triple dose of tortitude and she was so vicious everyone I knew said to send her back to the shelter. She drew blood every single day between biting and scratching for several months in the beginning. I think this voice message I got from the apartment manager says it all. …
    “We are going to have to reschedule your maintenance work. Your cat will not allow us to go into your apartment.” LOL
    Things have improved. She doesn’t attack me quite so viciously every day now. She still attacks everyone else though.

    Reply
    • Samantha Hatley
      October 23, 2019 at 12:54 pm (11 months ago)

      I have a tortie, a tuxedo, and a full grey cat and the sweetest one to me is my girl tortie. Shes gray and looks like she fell in bleach! She’s 6 years old and honestly she’s made my life better by being in it! She’s very protective of her mommy. When she wants or needs something, she isn’t shy to tell me!

      Reply
  17. Dar
    October 16, 2019 at 3:24 pm (11 months ago)

    I love my Missy cat so much. She is a tortie. My vet has said that she has “redirected aggression”. She is doing better with that BUT when I go to bed, Missy will often attack. Last night she came in to bed and I thought all was well, then she bit me on the hand. Can anyone give me any answers? If I sleep in my recliner then all is well. Once the initial bite is over, then she calms down and goes to sleep. Closing the bedroom door is not an option because that is the only place that I can put her cat pan (I live in a small apartment) Thank you for any help you can give.

    Reply
    • JR EISENPRESS
      December 5, 2019 at 9:53 am (10 months ago)

      I saved my jenny at a rescue , no one wanted her , that was 14 years ago . She meets me at the door every day , sleeps near me but not close . She’s very special , what is her life expectancy around ?

      Reply
    • Kitten
      February 16, 2020 at 2:34 pm (7 months ago)

      My baby girl when she comes to bed with us wants to bite and scratch for 5 minutes before snuggling up to sleep. We have figured out this is her playful time so we wrap our hand in the blanket and sneak up to her and let her play. Hope this helps. Our baby is now 5 months old and has done this since we rescued her from being abandoned at three weeks old. Love her!

      Reply
  18. WENDY EALING
    October 10, 2019 at 10:36 am (12 months ago)

    Never having had a tortie before, when I got Lola and she started to run round the house growling she sounded more like a dog than a cat. I have got used to it now but it still surprises me when it happens in the middle of the night.Purring can change to hissing in a split second and you need to move pretty quickly or else.I would not change her though but sometimes !!!!! typical tortie attitude.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      October 11, 2019 at 5:16 am (12 months ago)

      “Change in a split second” seems to be the tortie mantra 🙂 Your Lola sure sounds like she’s got tortitude and then some, Wendy!

      Reply
  19. Gin
    October 6, 2019 at 12:46 am (12 months ago)

    Torties are the Gemini’s of the cat world

    Reply
  20. Glen
    October 2, 2019 at 5:05 pm (12 months ago)

    Time for a Gigi story 😉

    For those that don’t know her, Gigi is our senior “tortie with white”. We took her in when she was about 5 years old when her owner passed away. She is long haired and 18 pounds, looks like a stuffed toy.

    As much as Kasey was the Warrior Queen, Gigi is the most docile, domesticated cat I have ever seen.

    However, she does not like the attention from, and activity of, young animals, as our young Shih-Poo pup found out.

    Gigi was sitting in the sun room, looking like the Empress Of The House that she is. All was serine and dignified, as it should be. The pup ran up, got in her face and started barking at her.

    Faster than I could see, she came around with a front paw and hit the little dog on the nose so hard I heard the impact from 20 feet away. There was no more barking and Gigi was left alone. It was over before it got started, Kasey would not have left it there and pursuit and greater punishment would have followed.

    There has not been a repeat performance. You know you are the Empress Of The House, when you can stretch out and sprawl on your back on the kitchen floor and the normally energetic young pup goes out of their way to avoid you 😉

    Reply
    • Jay
      October 6, 2019 at 8:19 am (12 months ago)

      Once a Tortie teaches a lesson. A follow up is usually not needed. Unless it’s an orange kitty/They need constant reminders.

      Reply
      • Glen
        October 6, 2019 at 9:38 am (12 months ago)

        “Unless it’s an orange kitty/They need constant reminders”

        Yes, right on time this morning, Timmy came to Freyja for his butt kicking appointment.

        It followed the predictable format; he initiated it, she was like “I don’t really want to do this, but if you insist”.

        Freyja wend on the floor on her side, he kept trying to attack her, only to take a beating each time.

        He is a nice cat, and smart in many ways, but sometimes does not make good choices.

        Good thing its all in (rough) play. Luckily for him, she does not follow Kasey’s attitude, she did not understand the concept of a play fight 😉

        Reply
  21. Glen
    September 29, 2019 at 8:03 pm (12 months ago)

    Tim, our 9 1/2 pound orange guy has been choosing to play fight with Freyja in the morning lately.

    Perhaps its the cooler air that is stirring him up.

    Freyja does not particularly like this and responds accordingly.

    Freyja is a 3 year old, long hair, dark tortie. I think she is part Maine Coon because she is 15 pounds, and not over weight for her size.

    She is actually quite quiet and docile, unlike my still missed Warrior Queen, Kasey. She is a strong , calculating and skilled “scrapper”, though.

    Tim initiates, she goes immediately on her side, I believe he see’s as a sign she is submissive and he is winning.

    Actually, she does this so she can bite and use all 4 legs/paws. He lunges at her, she grabs him, kick and bites. He retreats, then tries again, getting pummelled in the process.

    Once he has had enough, the retreats and Freyja is left in peace, in possession of the living room floor.

    Did he learn from this?

    No. 😉

    There’s a good chance of it being repeated tomorrow morning.

    Reply
    • Jay
      September 29, 2019 at 8:31 pm (12 months ago)

      Orange kitties are cute, cuddly and kinda slow. Freyja put him in his place and kinda gently for a Tortie. Kasey would not have been that kind.

      Reply
      • Glen
        September 30, 2019 at 9:42 pm (12 months ago)

        “Kasey would not have been that kind.”

        Quite right.

        Taz was our 23 pound orange guy, Kasey was 15 pounds; a fairly bit tortie.

        Every once in a while, for reasons only known to him, Taz would come up behind Kasey and sniff her.

        Words cannot do justice to the result, which was quick, and not pretty.

        I’d just say to him, “how’d that work for ya last time, big fella?”

        He never did seem to learn from the experience though but that’s a typical orange boy. He was a friendly, good natured cat, he just didn’t make good choices sometimes 😉

        Reply

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