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

tortoiseshell cats

Five years ago, 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 gets 200-300 views every single day, and has generated close to 14,000 comments to date. It’s 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, who was also a tortie, 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 on the post as well.

torties

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 markings appear in many different breeds.

The unique genetics of tortoiseshell cats

In addition to their unique personalities, torties 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.

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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.

tortoiseshell cat

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 Crist, who practices at Just Cats Clinic in Reston, VA. “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 Crist 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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1,199 Comments on “Tortitude” – The Unique Personality of Tortoiseshell Cats: Fact or Fiction?

  1. Nicole Musfelt
    June 17, 2018 at 12:03 am (1 week ago)

    We have had our tortie for a year and a half now. We got her when she was 12 weeks old. I’ve had cats growing up all my life but I’ve never had one like her! She was amazing when we had our son and she still is great with him, has never attacked him or anything. She’s very cuddly,loving, and definitely possessive over me. The tortitude is a real thing though haha I’ve never been able to keep her off the counters in the kitchen.She just doesn’t care. Tried many different things. She goes wild at night, very unpredictable and attacks our feet if she see’s them move (over and over) and I will lock her out of the room but she doesn’t like to be away from us so then the meowing starts. Our dog, who is 12 has a lot of patience with her. She picks on him a lot but he’s pretty good with it. All in all, she is an amazing cat and I love her to death but she keeps us on our toes!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 17, 2018 at 5:40 am (1 week ago)

      I think keeping humans on their toes is part of the tortitude rule book, Nicole. 🙂

      Reply
  2. David Hart.
    June 14, 2018 at 2:26 am (2 weeks ago)

    We got our tortie when she was maybe 8 weeks old from the humane society, and they were a little concerned because our son was only 2 years old. They were worried he might be too rough with the kitten. But we told them our son was easy going. We took the kitten home. One problem– what to name her– I being the father / dad said Coco because of her colors. The children said no-no ” Fluffy ” For 17 years we had Fluffy! Our son grow up with Fluffy. She would go outside only with a leash–walk up the sidewalk with my son and younger daughter. People driving by would slow down or stop to see 2 kids walking their cat. When my son went to bed he would call the cat and she would go upstairs to sleep on his bed. At 17 we had to put her down. Not a dry eye in the vets room. . We all loved her and she loved us but she loved my son most of all.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 14, 2018 at 5:48 am (2 weeks ago)

      Kids growing up with cats is such a wonderful thing. Fluffy sounds like she was an amazing cat.

      Reply
  3. marvin martian
    May 24, 2018 at 12:47 am (1 month ago)

    I have a torie kitten she loves me so much

    Reply
    • Michael
      June 16, 2018 at 1:00 am (1 week ago)

      you are so lucky or I should say Blessed as they are a Blessing . I was Blessed with Callie for 11 years . lost her to heart failure the 2nd of this month I still cry when I think of her which is every day

      Reply
  4. Susan Ritchie
    May 23, 2018 at 10:34 am (1 month ago)

    i have a 6 year old, and a 1 year old. Neither one of the have ever ‘meowed’ but make a throaty sound. Is is a trait of tortie or do I have to 2 sweet oddly girls

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      May 23, 2018 at 11:45 am (1 month ago)

      That’s not a tortie trait, Susan – you just have two “sweet oddly girls!” 🙂

      Reply
  5. Carla
    May 8, 2018 at 7:47 am (2 months ago)

    I was given a 3yr. old tortoiseshell about 6 months ago. She adjusted very quickly and in general a very good cat. Lately however she has been running through the how during the overnight hours and of course keeping me awske. She also seems not to be as friendly anymore. Is there any suggestions to help straighten this out because I need to sleep and not worry about her stratching and biting my grandchildren.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      May 8, 2018 at 7:50 am (2 months ago)

      It sounds like she needs help burning off excess energy, Carla. Make sure you play with her frequently. Structured play sessions are best, 10-15 minutes, two or three times a day. Really get her tired out. Do the last play session of the day just before bedtime.

      Reply
      • Nina
        May 15, 2018 at 7:44 pm (1 month ago)

        I’ve had my tortie Pumpkin for 9 years I adopted her as a stray Halloween night back in 2009 I knew from experience that she wasn’t even 8 weeks old and my cousin who’s a vet tech confided she was only 5 and a half weeks old and. Me and my husband call her the ghost cat because some how she managed to make it up 5 flights of stairs in a secured building! Me and my husband stayed up late that night watching horror movies but I had to keep pausing the movie cuz I kept hearing a cry of some sort but every time I turned the tv volume down there was nothing until I finally got up and opened my back door to see this tiny beautiful Kitten sitting there. The second I opened my door she walked in purring up a storm! To make a long story short I’ve had her ever since.. And I LOVE her unconditionally My point is way !before I even heard about tortitude that’s what I’d refer her as…she also has a split face that I love and absolutely no white at all

        Reply
        • Nina
          May 15, 2018 at 7:47 pm (1 month ago)

          I mean my cousin confirmed not confided

          Reply
        • Ingrid
          May 16, 2018 at 5:41 am (1 month ago)

          What a great story, Nina!

          Reply
  6. Mary
    April 26, 2018 at 2:40 pm (2 months ago)

    I’ve been adopted by a little tortoise shell cat with large paws about a month or so ago. She showed up in my backyard one day as a shadow, watching the birds. She purrs after I give her canned food. Unfortunately I’m allergic, but so far only a few sneezes. I tried putting a paper collar on her asking her owner to call me and let me know she has a home. Well she disappeared for a few days than showed up again, no collar. No one called. I think she ripped it off. I leave the garage open for her to sleep if needed. Only a cat could fit in the small opening. I tried to take her inside with me and my four little chihuahua mix dogs on a cold night. She bounced off the kitchen counter and walls then sat under the coffee table growling at them even though they just wanted to sniff butt. We decided that was not going to work. She was relieved. She seems quite happy to show up as I come home, expecting a little food and lots of pets. I call her “Shadow”. We live on Houston Drive in Thousand Oaks, CA. I do hope she has a good home. She isn’t feral.

    Reply
    • janet
      April 26, 2018 at 8:00 pm (2 months ago)

      Please take her to a vet to see if she has been spayed. I have 2 feral torties outside and all mine were TNR and very happy in their heated dog houses..they are both about 7-8 yrs old.

      Reply
  7. Andrea
    April 8, 2018 at 7:40 pm (3 months ago)

    Anyone’s tortie pee on the bed?! Been to vet numerous times and it’s nothing medical. She’s the only pet in the house.

    Reply
    • Anna
      April 9, 2018 at 8:32 pm (3 months ago)

      Sometimes cats pee when they see or smell other cats outside. Territorial insecurity. You might see if other cats are around or try Feliway cat pheromone to calm her or stop peeing. There is also cat attract litter if perhaps it is a litter issue. Good Luck!

      Reply
    • Katrina
      April 21, 2018 at 6:10 pm (2 months ago)

      Could also be something as simple as litter and litter box preference. My youngest cat has anxiety issues and peed on the carpet for years. I tried behavioural meds, feliway, cat attract litter, etc. Then I thought maybe with her anxiety she didn’t like to be in enclosed spaces. So I removed the hood from her box. No problems since then. Definitely one of those “why didn’t I think of this before” moments. Also something to think about: is your car declawed? Declawing is essentially the same as cutting off the end of a finger and can cause permanent damage to a cat’s paw creating long term issues such as litter box aversion because the litter hurts their paws. Try different boxes and different litters. Hopefully you’ll find a solution. Good luck!

      Reply
    • Carolyn Lavender
      June 4, 2018 at 9:04 pm (3 weeks ago)

      Jackson Galaxy covers out of the box peeing better than any place else I have found in his newest book “Total Cat Mojo”. I think it will help if you read it. Good luck!

      Reply
  8. Anna
    March 27, 2018 at 9:07 am (3 months ago)

    I have two cats. My male tabby who is almost 12 and my female torbie who is 5 now. They use to play together and clean each other. Now they are going through redirected aggression due to the raccoon that comes around our house. They did well last night after being separated all day but this morning the growling and hissing started all over again. I know they want to be together. Please let me know how I can take control over the situation better. I hate separating them.

    Reply
  9. Jenna
    March 26, 2018 at 7:01 pm (3 months ago)

    I’ve had my tortie since she was 3 months old, she’s almost 11months now. My assistant fostered her (due to “over crowding”?) from an animal shelter. After about a month, I offered to take her, and she’s been the sweetest, most loving, and attentive cat I’ve ever experienced! When I’ve researched tortie cats and read about “tortitude”, I found it very odd bc she’s never been sassy or temperamental! But recently, she’s been a little aggressive. She hissed at me the other day for the 1st time ever, and she’s been swatting and biting at my hands. Is this normal? Is she just now developing her “tortitude”?? I’m not sure how to feel about it.

    Reply
  10. Pandora LiVecchi
    March 19, 2018 at 2:32 am (3 months ago)

    Tortie cats are the best! I have 2 Nala and Nadia. They have the tortitude. Nala is a dilute tortie a little over a year and Nadia is the black and gold a little older a few months. They play all the time and they get along so well. It’s hard to believe they are not from the same litter. I love them so much they bring me happiness every day.

    Reply
    • Damien
      March 23, 2018 at 9:37 pm (3 months ago)

      Sassy we named her has tortitude she was a kitten at the prison I work at we had to capture her in a trap and then brought her home she was very young at that time.. it was about 8 weeks ago.. Sassy lives up to the tortoiseshell name ((( I am the one )) they say like a bird torti’s pick there human and that’s it she also plays with the 6 week old pup we just got

      Reply
      • Ingrid
        March 24, 2018 at 6:07 am (3 months ago)

        I’ve always felt that Sassy is such a purrfect name for torties, Damien. 🙂

        Reply
    • Tina
      June 8, 2018 at 6:52 am (2 weeks ago)

      I have a Tortie and and a muted Calico which are sisters. I work at a Landfill and the Momma cat had them in a construction dumpster. To make a long story short, they were found in the Landfill and brought to me. They were only a week old or so, they didn’t have their eyes open. So, I bottled fed both of them, its been 2years now. The Tortie has the FULLTortitude, she is a handful always getting into stuff, she fusses at me all the time when she knows she’s doing something she’s not sopposed to be.She has the split face and very long hair(gold&black) The Muted Calico she is the sweetest I call her my social butterfly she loves people. But that being said I love them both to the moon and back! I have 2 others that I have rescued and love them as much. Nala, Sable, Maddie, and Abby!!!

      Reply
  11. Ian Brown
    March 16, 2018 at 7:25 am (3 months ago)

    I just heard about the concept of “Tortitude” when a friend mentioned the term. After I looked it up and found your articles, I laughed my ass off. That’s my Java to a “T”, from the first moment I met her. I met her when I heard my sister’s horse trainer’s barn cat had a litter that was finally on their feet and romping around. Being a “cat guy” and a sucker for any pile of rambunctious fluff, I plopped right down in the dirt to say “HI!” and join in on the play. As I rolled and taunted the kits, one particular floof decided to claw her way up my back to perch on my shoulder and started her rattled purring non-stop, nuzzling in for a good snuggle long after all her littermates split. I was marked, and she made her choice. Every time I came back to the barn to drop off my sister, I got a shadow. The trainer remarked that it was funny that she hung with me because she avoided everyone else, to the point of acting feral and biting often. She asked if I wanted to take her home, and looking over at the growth on my shoulder, my comment was “I don’t think I have a choice.” I named her Java because her tortie coloration reminded me of cream as you begin to stir it into coffee.

    Unfortunately, as I waited for her to wean, Java picked up an eye infection that suddenly turned so quickly that her eye couldn’t be saved. It turned out that she was FeLV+ and that her body couldn’t fight off the infection on its own, so I took her to the vet, we scooped out the bad stuff and kept her on enough antibiotics to let her heal, and then I took her home.

    I have no local family now, and no kids, so Java is my baby. People remark that she’s a spoiled, attention-seeking bitch who only has eyes for me. She nips at people who don’t pet her juuuuuuust right, and yet I can roll her around like a ragdoll and playfully manhandle her without retaliation. When we play, we play ROUGH (at her insistence), and folks that don’t understand are shocked at how rough and bitey she gets with me, and then suddenly grinds to a stop with snuggle-cuddle time. They’re also floored by how much abuse the scratching posts on her tower get, and that she’ll never accept food or treats from anyone but me, and then, only in her bowl. The knowledge that furniture and buffets are safe from anything other than her passing interest confuses people, but they also delight at seeing us talk with each other. Never one to meow normally, Java chooses to vocalize in chirps and chitters, leading a friend to nickname her “The Raptor”, because, he says, “..one moment she’s chirping away like a parakeet, and the next moment shes trying to bite my arm off!”

    It take a special person to understand these special souls, and to know you belong to them just as much (if not more) than they belong to you. I’m glad “Tortitude” is a thing, and I’m grateful that Java has stayed as asymptomatic with her disease as she has. I can only hope it allows her to stay with me for many years to come.

    https://i.imgur.com/UAJ461q.jpg

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 16, 2018 at 8:38 am (3 months ago)

      Java definitely sounds like she has major tortitude – and she’s gorgeous!

      Reply
      • Ian Brown
        March 16, 2018 at 8:40 pm (3 months ago)

        Thanks! Java got a Furminator for Christmas, and I can’t recommend it enough. Being a med/longhair, she really floofs out for the cold weather here in Iowa (though she never goes outside). It really helps to keep her looking sleek and gorgeous.

        On another note, Java loves invading my showers. I’m curious if proclivity for water is also a Tortie thing like it is with Turkish Vans. Have you noticed similar tendencies with your horde?

        Last thing… As I said, I spoil her rotten, but I like to make my own life easier as well. She gets really picky about litter conditions, often refusing to do her business if a single incident exists from a prior visit. I know it’s $500, but a certain spherical rotating automatic litterbox has been a Godsend for her. I’ve watched her make water, sit in front of it waiting for the cycle to complete, and then hop back in to “make another deposit.” I’ve never seen other cats do that.

        More and more I keep looking at the things she does and think “Maybe it’s just a Tortie thing…”

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          March 17, 2018 at 5:45 am (3 months ago)

          I haven’t noticed anything about torties having a thing for water, Ian. I don’t recommend the automatic litter boxes, but it sounds like it’s working for your Java! I’ve never heard of a cat with her litter box habits, either. 🙂

          Reply
        • Morgan
          April 19, 2018 at 4:03 pm (2 months ago)

          Hello! I have 4 torties, but Binx is the only one who has the “tude.” She is EXTREMELY stubborn. It’s her way or no way. She loves me and my mom and that’s it. She doesn’t like men at all (I’ve had her since she was a few days old so no idea why). She tolerates my dad and brother and that’s it. She decided the shelf above my bed was to be her bed and she sleeps there every night. Any time I would put something on the shelf she would quickly knock it down, so she won lol. She is very in tune with me. If I don’t feel good she curls up next to me and won’t let the other cats near me. If she’s sick she cuddles up with me under the blanket. She acts like she doesn’t like other cats when I’m at home, but I’ve secretly catch her playing with them. She loves to play fetch with the balls with the bells in them. She is a great cat at home. At the vet she turns into the spawn of satan. She has to be sedated because she goes insane if anybody other than me or a particular doctor touches her (I’m a vet tech). I found a doctor she tolerates and so sedation is few and far between (unless she needs diagnostics). However, Binx LOVES water. She will jump in the bathtub with you. One summer I didn’t have air conditioning and it was sooo hot. So I would put rubber ducks in the sink with cold water and she loved that. She would splash in the water and pick each duck up and drop them onto the floor and make me do it all over again. She is a handful, but she’s my handful. I love her more than anything and she loves me too some days lol. Even with her attitude she is still my favorite (shhh don’t tell the others!)

          Reply
          • Ingrid
            April 20, 2018 at 5:40 am (2 months ago)

            Binx sounds like quite a character, Morgan!

      • tim
        March 16, 2018 at 11:41 pm (3 months ago)

        Hi Ian

        My torte jumps in the shower to, i did not expect it the first time but now its almost a normal thing.

        Tim

        Reply
  12. Jolene
    March 15, 2018 at 5:25 pm (3 months ago)

    About 15 years ago we found a very sad kittenvat the humane society. She was hunched down in a box when my daughter saw her. So…she picked her up and started to scratch under her collar of tape. And boy did she purr! We decided to add her to the family! The funny part was my daughter was wearing bib-overall shorts with a pocket on the front…guess where the cat went and fell asleep. They made us put her in a box…but she didn’t stay there…just on the other side of the door my daughter put her back in her pocket! Snickers is just amazing! She used to meow after you sneezed and would continue until you told her thank you. She can be a bit of a goof at times and standoffish at others. But recently she has been amazing…you see my Maine Coon kitty went over the rainbow bridge 2 1/2 weeks ago. And Snickers has become my shadow..she comes and sits on my lap or chest when I sit down. They truly are amazing kitties.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 16, 2018 at 5:44 am (3 months ago)

      Snickers sounds wonderful, Jolene.

      Reply
  13. Janelle
    March 14, 2018 at 12:19 pm (3 months ago)

    Oh my word! I was just googling to show a friend how torties/calicos have special personalities — I didn’t expect to end up crying! I have a calico named Amber – we adopted her while living in Florida to give our then 15 year old kitty named Allegra a companion. I’ve never heard anyone else name a cat (or child or anything else) Allegra! I miss her dearly. And Allegra fit the description of a black cat perfectly as well – she had a more demure personality and was very sweet and loving. Amber (our Calico) is very independent, is the alpha cat over our 2 orange tabbies, is very vocal and feisty (but also sweet when she wants to be). Anyway, I just loved that some of our cats share names!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 14, 2018 at 1:10 pm (3 months ago)

      Wow, you have an Amber and had an Allegra – that is so cool! I can’t take credit for Allegra’s name, she came with it when I adopted her and it suited her bubbly personality so well, I kept it. Amber was named for the amber-colored spot on top of her head.

      Reply
  14. Katelyn
    March 13, 2018 at 9:31 pm (3 months ago)

    I got my first tortie when she was 4 months in February 2018. She smacks us and my dog for no reason when walking by, but cuddles when she is ready. She is very unpredictable. She loves to bite my dogs tail, our toes and run laps around the house. She sweet sometimes, but sassy most times.

    Reply
  15. Kelly
    March 13, 2018 at 1:12 am (3 months ago)

    We got my tortie 8 months ago. She had obviously had a litter of kittens beforehand but is now fixed. She is temperamental at times and can claw the carpet in her race around the house. She loves to sit in my lap
    Though and dive under the covers. She sleeps in a ball at the foot of the bed under the covers most nights. She requires exactly 3 bell rubs and will then bite.or bite when I pick her up
    To move her off my lap. Overall though we are quite pleased with her because she likes everyone in the house. Even the dog

    Reply
    • Lili
      March 13, 2018 at 2:42 pm (3 months ago)

      Yes my tortie loves everyone also, humans and animals alike. Torties are extroverted cats compared to all other cats who are introverts!

      Reply
      • jerry
        March 14, 2018 at 12:32 pm (3 months ago)

        Yes, and it’s no coincidence that I know 4 tortie/torbies named “Sassy” yet all their humans are unrelated!

        Reply
        • Lili
          March 14, 2018 at 12:35 pm (3 months ago)

          The pound named my tortie kitten Bonkers! I renamed her Hula 🙂

          Reply
  16. Kim
    March 8, 2018 at 11:00 am (4 months ago)

    I the human of a 16 yr old matriarch. She’s been bossing me and the rest of the family around for the last decade and a half. Reading all these comments Is like looking in a mirror. I thought it was just me that had a head strong opinionated diva ruling the house. I got her when she was 4 wks old after she was found abandoned in a box and it’s been an amazing journey with her and her unique personality. I had no idea about tortoise shell at the time but loved her beautiful colouring straight away. It been a roller coaster ever since. Xxx

    Reply
  17. Hannah delrae
    February 4, 2018 at 6:04 pm (5 months ago)

    Hello! My cats name is luna She visits once in a while and will be part of my family soon. But she wont stop hissing at my dogs! This is bad because i sit dogs for theyre owners. What do i do?

    Reply
  18. Karen
    January 25, 2018 at 2:08 am (5 months ago)

    Three years after losing my beloved Siamese, I adopted a beautiful longhaired torti from the local shelter. I named Chloe. She was a year old at the time and emaciated. They had found her as a pregnant stray and spayed her shortly after she was taken to the shelter.

    Prior to going to the shelter for her, I had looked over the various cats available for adoption at the shelter. I was surprised to learn that week they were giving away cats due to a population explosion. Though I was looking for a black cat, preferably a male, I spotted this forlorn torti. I normally don’t get along well with female cats, but something about this one tugged at my heart.

    I headed out to the shelter and was greeted with a ton of people in line ahead of me to adopt cats. Thinking she would be gone by the time it was my turn, I still hung around to see what would happen. Lo and behold, about 15 minutes before closing time, it was my turn, and the lonely torti was still there. We were destined to be together.

    Upon bring her home, Chloe immediately found refuge under my bed for several days, coming out when I was gone or asleep, then returning to her sanctuary.
    Several days later when I returned home from work, Chloe came running out into the hall in front of my apartment and began a conversation. I looked down at her and asked if she wouldn’t mind continuing what she had to say inside, gave her a gentle bump in the rump with my foot and headed her back into the apartment. As soon as the door was closed, she was back at it.

    I later left town for a week to see my youngest daughter who lives in another state. While I was gone, my daughter who lives here agreed to stop by daily to check on Chloe, clean her litter box and make sure she had fresh food and water. I returned home 6 days later and was stunned at what I saw. Stretching from the apartment door threshold into the apartment about 10″, the carpet was nothing but strings. Chloe had torn out all of the carpet. I questioned her and asked, “Chloe, why did you do this? You’re going to get us thrown out.”

    Next morning I went to the manager and explained what had happened, stating I would pay for the repair. The manager was understanding and said not to worry. When I returned home from work a couple of days later, I noticed from a distance that my apartment door was open. Immediately I’m thinking, “Who’s in my apartment and where’s Chloe?” As I approached the door, I discovered the complex’s carpet man was sitting on the floor replacing the missing carpet. Sitting off to the side was Chloe, intently supervising.

    Over the four years we’ve been together, she has been a true companion and comfort to me. Many times when I return home from work, I find her in the bedroom window looking for me. By the time I get to the door, she’s waiting to greet me, then makes a bee-line for the bed for the welcome-home ceremony. When I go to bed at night, she joins me. Once I’m situated and comfortable, she hops up on my side and starts to purr. A short time later, I’m sound asleep.

    Some time back I learned about ‘tortitude’ and heard it stated the tortoiseshell is considered the ‘red-head of the cat family’. I thought that was kind of unique, given the fact I am a redhead. Hearing that, I immediately understood why she and I were chosen for each other.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      January 25, 2018 at 6:41 am (5 months ago)

      Thank you for sharing Chloe with us – you two are clearly meant for each other!

      Reply
    • Jeanne
      March 14, 2018 at 2:51 pm (3 months ago)

      I have my Tortie for 4 years now and she still will not sit on my lap. she loves to be combed and snuggles up to me in bed.
      After a long weekend away from home my neighbor told me he fed my cat while I was away. this was strange since I did not have a cat. He told me he was feeding her and leaving water for her to drink. When I opened my front door she ran upstairs and hid under my bed. Soooo! we became a family me and my little orphan Annie

      Reply
      • Ingrid
        March 15, 2018 at 6:06 am (3 months ago)

        I love how Annie became part of your family – too funny!

        Reply
  19. Tortoiseshell-cutie
    January 11, 2018 at 1:28 pm (5 months ago)

    i need help! My tortoiseshell hates my other pets and i’m worried she might attack one and get hurt. My little kitty is extremely territorial and short tempered i’m afraid for my other pets do you have any tips on what to do?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      January 11, 2018 at 4:42 pm (5 months ago)

      Multi-cat aggression is a complex topic and it would be impossible to offer you tips without knowing more about your situation. You can find information on different types of aggression here: https://consciouscat.net/?s=aggression as a starting point. You may also want to consider working with a feline behaviorist. If you can’t find anyone local to you, I can recommend Mikel Delgado http://www.felineminds.com/ and Daniel Quagliozzi https://gocatgosf.com/ Both offer remote consultations.

      Reply
    • Lissa
      January 11, 2018 at 11:59 pm (5 months ago)

      My tortie is territorial and aggressive in general, but particularly to second cat. The BEST thing I did was to buy 2 cat beds. She is calmer and less territorial now.

      Reply
  20. Matthew Perkins
    January 5, 2018 at 9:33 pm (6 months ago)

    As I write this, Sophia is curled up on my lap. Which is where she has been since I sat down after work. When I head to bed she will be waiting for me to get comfortable so she can curl up next to me. She is the most loving cat I have ever had in my life. She is new to the family, a Xmas rescue. She is gradually getting to know the other two cats in the house. Two males that are really confused about losing their “alpha” status. She is everything that is said about torties. Loving and possessive, vocal as no other, and the most dominant creature in the house. My wife learned quickly that Sophia claimed me and wants no competition. If you have a tortie, you are blessed.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      January 6, 2018 at 6:01 am (6 months ago)

      “If you have a tortie, you are blessed.” So true, Matthew!

      Reply
  21. Aarin
    January 4, 2018 at 12:40 am (6 months ago)

    We just rescued a diluted tortie from a farm. We think she was dumped there. She had obvious signs of a fight. It was -15 degrees outside when we brought her home. She has been so grateful ever since. She comes when she is called and purres like she has a motor. However, she does NOT like our dog. We are keeping them separated for the time being, and introducing them gradually, but so far it is not going well. My dog is a bit of a spaz, but would never hurt her (a black lab/ golden retriever mix). Any advice?? We’ve only had our tortie for a couple of days, but hate keeping her confined to the basement! She is seriously so sweet. Loves all 3 of my kids and purres when any humans are present!

    Reply
      • Aarin Schnackenberg
        January 4, 2018 at 3:32 pm (6 months ago)

        Thank you! We have been keeping the dog on a leash and gradually introducing them. Hopefully the cat learns to like him soon! Keeping them separated is tough.

        Reply
    • dano312
      January 4, 2018 at 2:06 pm (6 months ago)

      My tortie took over the house fast. Ruling with an iron claw. If your dog wouldn’t do more than spaz, I say let them mingle for as long as it takes. Your puppy dog will do its darnedest to antagonize a friendship by spazzing, but should wind down, as time goes on. Neither should get hurt seriously.

      Reply
      • Aarin Schnackenberg
        January 4, 2018 at 3:30 pm (6 months ago)

        My dog wants to be friends so bad! He gets so excited and can’t help himself. Hoping he calms down soon!

        Reply
  22. Jara
    January 3, 2018 at 2:33 pm (6 months ago)

    I have a tortoise and she’s around 4-5. We got her when she was around 9 weeks. She’s was so loving, they couldn’t keep her cause of a new baby. She insists on laying on me, under my neck, on an arm, across a book or phone, she has to have attention. She became an adoptive mom to three kittens 3 yrs ago. The even nursed until they were fine about a month or so old, even though the 2 females were weaned and litter mates and the little boy, an orange little surprise on the front porch from a lost stork, all nursed. He is almost 3 times bigger now, and she still plays momma, but she’s finally got them weaned. It took 2 years and a move.to a bigger house but only having one female left and my big boy Louie, my little tortoise, callie, lays next to me, on and purrs loudly. She can have a momatude if it’s needed, but she’s sweet, almost sufficatingly so. I wouldn’t change her, except laying on my neck, wish that would stop.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      January 3, 2018 at 6:04 pm (6 months ago)

      She sounds wonderful, Jara!

      Reply
  23. Karla
    December 25, 2017 at 1:17 am (6 months ago)

    I have been in “Purdy”‘s possession for 14 years now, she is one of the most unique cats I have ever lived with through the years. In my earlier years I have owned other domestic short hair cats of a variety, but Purdy is the only Tortie I have had the distinct pleasure of being owned by! She came in to my life at about 9 months old. After a year or so I thought she might be lonely while I was work and tried more than once to introduce another kitten into the household. That is about the time I learned this girl did not have a mothering bone in her body! Vicious tantrums and sneak attacks were the daily order so I discovered really fast it was to be just her and I. She does have a snuggle side; on her terms of course, mostly at night. From an early age she prefers to sleep perpendicular to me with her head in the palm of my hand no matter which side I happen to be on she prefers me on my right! It was a month ago my back went out severely for 6 days. I couldn’t go to work, couldn’t leave my home even to check my mail. To my amazement my Purdy little nurse did all she could to take care of me in her way. When flat on my back she would get on my stomach and just lay and softly purr trying to ease my pain. When I was able to move about she would follow me every step or crawl. She took good care of me. I guess after all these years she’s become a mother after all.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      December 25, 2017 at 6:38 am (6 months ago)

      What a good nurse kitty! I hope you’re fully recovered, Karla.

      Reply
  24. Chantal Laverdiere
    December 18, 2017 at 10:51 am (6 months ago)

    I have a Tortie and a Tabby. My Tabby loves to play and still has her crazy moments even though she is 8, but Mishka (my Tortie) hates to play and hisses and growls without fault every time my Tabby wants to play with her. Mishka does not tolerate my dog either and will not let it approach her. She hisses at it whenever it gets too close. My Tabby is more friendly and relaxed. My Tortie is high strung and VERY vocal. She insists that I fill her bowl even though there is still food in it! However, Mishka is also very affectionate and loves to cuddle on my lap.

    Reply
    • Nanci
      December 20, 2017 at 12:58 pm (6 months ago)

      Hello everyone… i have 3 cats i’ve adopted… they all get along.. a sweet tortie showed up on my porch a couple of weeks ago and we took her in – she has a clipped ear which means community cat.. but she was friendly… i kept her separate from the other 3 for 3 days till i could take her to the vet. She is fine. So i’ve introduced them.. well she is def. feisty…. she hisses at my other cats even when they are trying to be sweet to her, which my one boy is so sweet… my oldest cat chases her around some… but no Real fighting… just hissing and hiding. Now she mostly sleeps in the basement… comes up sometimes.. was sitting on my boyfriends lap a few times… but is pretty antisocial – i’m sad about it…. when she was in my room separated – she would sleep with me on the bed – not real close – so will it just take time????

      Reply
  25. Irene
    December 3, 2017 at 11:44 pm (7 months ago)

    I have a pair. They are not necessarily happy with each other, but they do tolerate. The interesting part is that they both love me. I wake up in the morning with one and the other sleeping on either side.

    Reply
  26. Ann
    November 27, 2017 at 9:01 am (7 months ago)

    I have a torte with lots of attitude. My daughter has a little female kitten that needs a home. She brought her here to test the water with my Lola. Lola totally stressed out. She wanted nothing to do with the kitten. She hid out for a day while the kitten was here and took almost another day to readjust after the kitten left. The kitten is so sweet and I would love to give her a home but not at Lola’s expense. Any suggestions?

    Reply
  27. garret
    November 21, 2017 at 5:05 am (7 months ago)

    Fantastic friends to have. Very emotional, they don’t take any BS.

    Reply
    • M. Smith
      November 24, 2017 at 1:37 am (7 months ago)

      I just rescued a tortie. One year old obvious female, man she is my shadow and I love her to death!

      Reply
  28. Dani
    November 20, 2017 at 2:50 pm (7 months ago)

    I have two beautiful sisters 10 years old. One is Tortie colored, the other Dilute Tortie. Two totally different personalities. One is more feisty, stubborn, and vocal. The other is more laid back, and quiet. Both follow me around everywhere, sleep snuggled in.

    Reply
  29. Ashley
    November 15, 2017 at 5:23 pm (7 months ago)

    I have had my tortie since she was 3 months old, her name is Tigger and she is my world. She is now 11 and is still my world. When I first brought her home she meowed so loud when I left for work the first time that I could hear her from the third floor to outside. The only thing I was able to do to calm her down was to go back where I got her and get her a friend. So I took her sister home to her and she was ok. Unfortunately I no longer have her sister but she does now live with my husband and I and our three other fur babies. She is the only tortie in the house and she definitely lets the boys know that. She is very vocal and we have discussions all the time as crazy as that sounds. I will say that she definitely has the tortie attitude and is usually stuck to either mine or my husbands side. She is my little protecter and guard cat of the house. At one point she was staying with my grandmother as it was the safest place at the time and she became best friends with her chihuahua dog Rockey. He taught her how to bark and she taught him how to meow it’s so funny. She is the best cat in the world just don’t tell her brothers that lol

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 15, 2017 at 5:39 pm (7 months ago)

      She sounds wonderful, Ashley!

      Reply
  30. Ryan
    November 10, 2017 at 6:17 pm (8 months ago)

    I have a dilute tortoiseshell. She is ery cute but also sassy.She is very attached to my mom and likes to sleep next to her.

    Reply
    • Ryan
      November 10, 2017 at 6:18 pm (8 months ago)

      Very not ery

      Reply
  31. d
    November 8, 2017 at 6:51 pm (8 months ago)

    my tortie earned the name Princess the day I got her. It’s Princess Buttercup in full. My Tuxedo Male, Short Round, walked up to the box the SPCA sent her home with me in, sniffed, then walked away. She hoped out and instead of following after him, mewed at him untl he cam back for a proper intorduction. They were the closest of the colse after that, until Shorty passed

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 9, 2017 at 6:26 am (8 months ago)

      What an amazing introduction – they were clearly meant to be together.

      Reply
    • Anna
      November 11, 2017 at 5:25 pm (8 months ago)

      Glad you still have Princess, sorry about Shorty passing. Sounds like they were good friends.

      Reply
  32. irma
    November 4, 2017 at 8:09 pm (8 months ago)

    We adopted Maya..boy does she have personality..likes to be held.she thinks shes a dog. can can sit pretty and catch objects with her paws…i love her a lot…

    Reply
  33. Pam
    November 3, 2017 at 5:51 pm (8 months ago)

    Last Friday morning as I was about to leave for work, I heard this horrible yeowling outside of my apartment door. It made me so sad to hear! However, when I opened my door to leave, a tiny kitten, soaked and bedraggled, ran into my apartment. I grabbed it, dried it off, fed it from my 13 year-old’s food supplies, made a make-shift litter box, and left. When I got home, I was greeted by the loudest purr baby ever! A week later, we visited the vet and I found out that 1) she’s a girl, and 2) she’s a tortie. She is sweet, loving, and crazy! I’m trying to give her an appropriate name, but nothing pops up. In all the years I’ve had cats (which is more of them than not), naming a cat has never been a problem, until now. Some idiot apparently tried to drown her (and if I find out who, there will be heck to pay), but she has a forever home, now. She’s beautifully marked with an elongated orange diamond on her forehead and an orange splash on her chest, and the rest of her seems to be much like other torties. She loved everyone at the vet’s office, and purred even when her temperature was being taken. (Such an indignity for a sweet little lady.) My only reservation is that I have a very private 13 year old male tabby that I rescued five years ago, and he is anti-social with other people and pets. So far, he just cries and leaves when he sees her, but I’m hoping he will will make peace with this new interloper. This will be quite the adventure, according to this post, with a young tortie who is about 8 weeks old, Tigger and me. I’m so happy to have her, but what to name her? She’s sleeping quietly, for now, after all of the prodding and poking and treatments today. Fortunately, she seems to be very healthy, although I would keep her regardless, so I’m hoping for a long companionship with my two very different fur children.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 4, 2017 at 5:09 am (8 months ago)

      Bless you for rescuing this baby, Pam! I bet the purrfect name will come to you after she’s been with you for a bit so you can get to know her personality. I hope your boy will come to accept her quickly!

      Reply
      • irma
        November 4, 2017 at 8:13 pm (8 months ago)

        thank you for taking her in…it is love at first sight like my Maya…

        Reply
        • Pam
          December 2, 2017 at 2:23 am (7 months ago)

          Everyone who meets her loves her. She is a purr baby, loving and inquisitive. I can only take her out of her playpen when I give her the antibiotics, but I hold her until she gets too crazy. Then she has to go back to her pen. You’re so right. Love at first sight! Your Maya sounds so special. I can feel your love in your words. We’re so lucky!

          Reply
      • Pam
        December 2, 2017 at 2:07 am (7 months ago)

        I named her Miss Kittie after Amanda Blake’s character on Gunsmoke because she definitely owns the place! Tigger still does not accept her, but she’s been very sick, so I hope he will change his mind after she gets out of confinement.

        Reply
    • Diane
      November 6, 2017 at 3:40 pm (8 months ago)

      Bless you for taking her in! We did the same with a bunny who got dumped on our vet’s doorstep with a lump on his neck which they took off. I believe the right name will come to you too. She sounds so sweet! Best of luck with her and your other kitty too.

      Reply
      • Pam
        December 2, 2017 at 2:16 am (7 months ago)

        Miss Kittie got ill, so I took her to an emergency vet on November 11. She has Pyothorax in the entire right side of her chest. She’s had a tough time, and has been in two hospitals for several days each. She’s home, but the followup visit Thursday evening showed she still has some infection. She’s taking antibiotics three times a day, so I hope the remainder clears up. Oh, and my vet had suggested TruPanion since she was so young and we had no knowledge of her history. I can’t tell you how grateful I am that I did that. The medical bills for my part are over $1300, but TruPanion has paid 90% less my deductible after I only had the policy three weeks! They have been amazing!

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          December 2, 2017 at 6:13 am (7 months ago)

          I’m so sorry about Miss Kittie! Best wishes for a quick recovery. And I’m glad you got pet insurance for her – I think it’s a necessity these days.

          Reply
    • Beatrice
      November 8, 2017 at 1:44 am (8 months ago)

      Since she is a female, your male cat will probably accept her, eventually.

      Reply
      • Pam
        December 2, 2017 at 2:19 am (7 months ago)

        He has been living in my bedroom since she came home from the hospital the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Tonight he actually come into the living room for the first time. Miss Kittie is confined to a very large soft playpen, which is supposed to keep her calm. A calm tortie? Not happening! But at least she isn’t climbing the furniture!

        Reply
    • Mike
      December 23, 2017 at 10:31 pm (6 months ago)

      My wife and I were adopted by our first tortie last May when the 4 week old kitty was heard crying in the wheel well of my wifes car. I named her “Camo” (short for camouflage) after my wife took a pic of her curled up it was impossible to identify her head due to the mix of colors and stripes. She is also impossible to see in the woods. She is now almost 8 months old and is a real character. If my wife and I go to any room in the house, she will join us. She loves to sit next to us and get her head scratcted — but she does NOT lap sit or cuddle in bed. She’s allowed to go outside of our rural home “on her own” during the daytime. She asks to do this regulary but is very shy and typically asks to get back in within 10 minutes which is fine .. She has been a zero defect litter box user since we adopted her but we wish she would use the great outdoors when she can… but sometimes she knocks on the door to get back in and goes straight to the box.

      Reply
      • Ingrid
        December 24, 2017 at 6:24 am (6 months ago)

        It sounds like she’s decided while the great outdoors may be fun for a little while, it’s also highly overrated, Mike… 😉

        Reply
  34. Diane
    October 23, 2017 at 7:51 pm (8 months ago)

    We had to put our 21 year old Chocolate Tortie to sleep this past August. She threw a clot last October and recovered but started going downhill in July. Usually fiercely independent, she allowed me to baby and spoil her in her last few weeks. I went with her to be put to sleep and it was devastating but couldn’t let her go through it alone. We had a special bond. I had her for half my life and she was born before my children were. There will never be another one like her but I’m hoping some time next year I can find another special tortie to spend the next 21 years with.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      October 24, 2017 at 5:06 am (8 months ago)

      Oh Diane, I’m so sorry! Even though 21 years is a long time, it’s still never long enough.

      Reply
      • diane
        October 24, 2017 at 9:08 pm (8 months ago)

        Thank you Ingrid. It was like we were kindred spirits. Both very independent but sweet as well. I think she stayed so long because I understood her so well. You’re right, it was a long time but didn’t seem like it.

        Reply
    • Anna
      October 24, 2017 at 5:11 pm (8 months ago)

      So sorry about your pretty girl. I was heart broken when my tortie ChaCha died, she was the sweetest cat!

      Reply
      • diane
        October 24, 2017 at 9:10 pm (8 months ago)

        Thank you Anna. Oh I’m so sorry to hear about ChaCha. It’s a double edged sword-they give you so much love and then rip your heart out when they go.

        Reply
        • Anna
          November 4, 2017 at 4:11 pm (8 months ago)

          You are right! Wish they stay with us forever. We hold them tightly in our memories.

          Reply
  35. Arizona
    October 18, 2017 at 10:22 pm (8 months ago)

    I got my tortie as a foster. She was found in a trash bag as a new born. She was the only one that survived. My daughter (8 years old) loved bottle feeding her and helping to care for her. She is almost three months old and is a feisty little girl. She seems to really come alive during the night. Follows me foot to foot-she doesn’t like to be left alone. Vet visits are so funny never know what she is gonna do! We absolutely love her…my children adore her and she is good with them as well.. now only if she will stay out of all the yarn..

    Reply
    • Anna
      November 11, 2017 at 5:29 pm (8 months ago)

      Lucky kitty, lucky you!

      Reply
  36. Angela S
    October 9, 2017 at 12:18 am (9 months ago)

    was posting a pic of my maine coon then posted a pic of my babygirl I thought was a calico. A lady pointed out her markings and said she was a tortie…she is very attached to me, her fur feels like chinchilla fur. She’s also very smart, she likes to play on youtube where they have games made for cats…she’s very persistant when she wants something from me, normally to turn her computer on for her lol

    Reply
  37. Dan
    October 8, 2017 at 1:46 pm (9 months ago)

    I have a 3.5 year old named Domino with the perfect amount of tortirude. What joy to find this post and know that I’m not the only one lucky enough to have a cat like this.

    I’m curious, do your torties love bottle caps as much as mine does? They’re her life’s blood. An army left under any closer door or furniture!

    Reply
    • Jake
      December 8, 2017 at 3:13 am (7 months ago)

      Hey Dan, we have a 1 yr old tortie named Gemma (aka: Gemma-No) that loves socks. She takes them off the dresser, out of the clothes hamper, out of shoes or wherever they are left. In fact it got to the point she now has her own socks that I roll up and play catch with her…. I toss them up in the air and she runs, leaps and catches them in mid-air and brings them back to throw again…

      Reply
      • Ingrid
        December 8, 2017 at 6:16 am (7 months ago)

        That’s so cute! No need to buy cat toys for her!

        Reply
        • Dan
          March 8, 2018 at 5:14 pm (4 months ago)

          Domino plays fetch with the bottle caps now. Ridiculously cute. Came out of the bathroom yesterday and there was a bottle cap right outside the door waiting to be thrown.

          Reply
  38. Mitch
    October 7, 2017 at 1:00 pm (9 months ago)

    I have a male tortoise. His name is Adam and he’s a joy to have. I didn’t know they were gender specific like calicos until my vet started getting excited. Haha

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      October 8, 2017 at 5:08 am (9 months ago)

      How fun that you have one of those rare male torties, Mitch. I’d be curious whether his temperament fits the “tortitude profile,” or whether he’s more mellow than the average tortie.

      Reply
    • Jerry
      October 8, 2017 at 3:28 pm (9 months ago)

      I’m very curious about him, is he sterile? Do you know if he has Klinefelter syndrome (XXY Chromosomes)?
      Does he have Tortitude?
      I’ve always heard male cats are generally better adjusted and mellow. Maybe the tri-color attitude comes mostly from being girls.
      Is there anywhere we can see a picture of him?

      Reply
  39. Laurie
    October 1, 2017 at 1:44 pm (9 months ago)

    I’m back. Been a while. My Tortie, Angelina, is one of those with a real attitude. She goes into complete hissy fits for no seeable reason. She even turns on me once in a while. She can go from sweet cuddle poo to evil devil cat in a split second. I even filmed it on my phone for my vet. I have found that sometimes its caused by something that happened quite a while before the fit, such as a cat or other critter outside the window. She knows when shes moody and usually hides out in the rafters in the basement. I’ve come to accept that and she usually emerges her sweet rather demanding self when she’s ready. Her personality is really unique among the many cats I’ve had and I find her fascinating. She’s watching me type this hoping I’ll print something — she loves to watch the printer work. I’d love to hear from other tortie owners with hair trigger personalities……

    Reply
  40. April
    September 27, 2017 at 2:49 am (9 months ago)

    I was raised with my beloved tortie and she loved me and was always kind to me, but not to anyone else. Pure tude to others, but the bond I had with her was like no other. My friends tortie was also full of tude, only she was flat out mean to everyone and everything. So when my perfectly sweet gray haired cat gave birth to her one and only tortie kitten, I expected a sassy queen from her. 5 months later and she has grown to be the sweetest, friendliest, and least sassy cat ever. She is practically rag doll in her personality, going limp when you pick her up and purrs for anyone. I believe tortie tude is a thing, but clearly not for all of them. I am so surprised and pleased to have such a wonderfully sweet kitty, even sweeter than her already perfectly sweet mommy.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      September 27, 2017 at 5:22 am (9 months ago)

      Just goes to show that even though torties may share common traits, each cat is ultimately an individual.

      Reply
  41. Stephen
    September 26, 2017 at 10:36 am (9 months ago)

    I found one of these critters in early August under a pickup in a parking lot away from anybody. She was about 2-3 weeks old. Abandoned or lost from its litter or got out of someones car. This was at an airport so being a pilot I naed her ace. She definitely fits the descriptions I a reading with a dfinitely Dr Jekyl and mamma hyde personality. She is sweet and and wild, one personality at a time. I can usually tame her back to purring by holding her and giving lots of attention. When that doesn’t work I jusk have to put her by herslf for alittle while till she tames down. I have been a cat care person all y life. But never had one of these. All of my cats have been completely unique annd presios friends. She will also fall into this CATegory as well. y sister has a full grown one. She only shows affection and no wild tendencies. She needs complete attention at all times. She would go home with anyone and be happy. Probably would not even miss you as long as the next person gave her attention.

    Reply
    • Bethlyn
      October 6, 2017 at 7:27 pm (9 months ago)

      My tortie is temperamental little girl. I never know what to expect.She will ignore me all day and at night she’s on me or by my side. I love my girl. & wouldn’t change her 1 bit. She’s my 1st tortie & I don’t know what I’d do without her.

      Reply
  42. Pam Carter
    September 24, 2017 at 7:48 am (9 months ago)

    Hi I just my first Tortie in August 2017. I had lost 2 cats within 3 months that I had for 13 and 16 years. It took me a few months to look for another cat; but I went to the pet store one day and this little girl caught my eye! She came up to the glass and started meowing and rubbing her face, I knew I had to have her. Unfortunately I was leaving for Seattle to visit my daughter. I was there 2 weeks and I called the store to ask about the cat and they said she was still there, will I figured it was meant to be! With about a week and a half to go on my trip, I called one more time and asked about the cat, they said she went to Foster Care. I was so upset on the phone, the girl on the other end said let me give you the number to Feline Underground, you can probably fill out an application. Well from Seattle to California I did, they accepted me! I got home, three days later I went to pick her up; and it has been like heaven sent an angel down. Callie was really shy at first, but boy did she come out of her shell!! She follows me everywhere, talks to me, loves the laser light and is just so adorable!! The only thing, she is a little shy with my husband!! I guess all in time.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      September 24, 2017 at 4:10 pm (9 months ago)

      Sure sounds like it was meant to be, Pam!

      Reply
    • Anna Rome
      September 25, 2017 at 4:49 am (9 months ago)

      How wonderful for you! My cats have all been rescues & the friendliest have been a tortie & a calico, they loved everyone & were very easy going!

      Reply
  43. tim
    September 21, 2017 at 10:47 pm (9 months ago)

    Like some of the other posts i found my Tortie in my wheel well of my truck. She jumped right into the cab of the truck and rode home on my lap.

    She was 2 years old when i brought her home. She meet 5 people that day and those are the only 5 people she will allow touch her. She is a one family cat, she will come like a dog when called. She hates other cats but loves dogs regardless of there size.

    My Tortie is a big cat she is over 36″ long (nose to tail) and tall to, she weighs 22 pounds in the winter months.

    She is a great family cat and keeps the springier spaniels on there toes.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      September 22, 2017 at 5:16 am (9 months ago)

      Wow, she is a big girl! And what a great rescue story.

      Reply
  44. Jennifer
    September 21, 2017 at 11:23 am (9 months ago)

    Hi, I have a seven year old tortoiseshell cat. I found her about three years ago. Two years ago she finally started coming out from hiding. She likes to stay to herself and doesn’t like other cats or lots of people. She mainly stays on my bed every once in awhile she will come and explore. She likes to purr and knitting on me and sleep on top of my head and on my chest. She doesn’t like to be picked up or loved on for to long. She is declawed in the front only. She is an indoor kitty. In two years I have had to replace two couches, one recliner a couple of rugs. Because when I’m gone or in the shower or asleep or I guess make her mad she’s peed and pooped several times. IDK why she does this please if you have any suggestions please share them. I have googled and asked our veterinarian for help nothing us working to stop her. Besides me putting stuff on my couch so No one can sit on it every night. Sometimes I do forget to put toys or whatever I find to block my couch. When I forget everytime I come back to sit down I sit down in pee.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      September 21, 2017 at 4:00 pm (9 months ago)

      Cats don’t pee because they’re mad, Jennifer. That’s one of the biggest misconceptions people have about feline behavior. I suspect that what’s happening may have something to do with the fact that she was declawed – sadly, it’s not uncommon for declawed cats to exhibit behavioral problems. I would recommend working with a feline behaviorist to help you get to the root of this problem and to solve it. If you can’t find anyone local to you, I can recommend Mikel Delgado http://www.felineminds.com/ and Daniel Quagliozzi https://gocatgosf.com/ Both offer remote consultations.

      Reply
      • Jennifer
        September 21, 2017 at 8:37 pm (9 months ago)

        Thank you so very much for replying back. My family and friends has told me to get rid of her. I tell them I can’t do that.

        Reply
        • Julie
          September 24, 2017 at 10:42 pm (9 months ago)

          I have one declawed in front. Got her as a kitten. She wakes me every morning to go outside at 4:30 am she comes back in at 7. Back out at noon or if too hot then 5 then back out til bed. She does NOT use a litter box. If she needs to go she goes to door and lets me know. I keep a box for just in case but never uses it hardly ever. I would let your cat outside if you have a yard. This cat couldn’t be owned by someone who kept her in and she could live outside just fine. Maybe your cat did. My cat hints and lays mice or moles on front step an a present. Please let that cat outside if you can because i think the cat wants out. My cats throughmy whole life NEVER ran away. Plus they can get the natural needs to eat better grass etc. for their upset tummy’s. I have had many cats and they didn’t leave the yard but my tortoise shell loves to explore more than anything and isn’t afraid of anything.

          Reply
          • Ingrid
            September 25, 2017 at 5:25 am (9 months ago)

            I can’t in good conscience endorse advice to let a cat outside. I realize it’s a controversial topic, with most people coming down firmly on one side or the other of the debate. I’m a firm believer that all cats should be kept indoors, but I respect the fact that there are not only different points of view, but also cultural differences. In the United States, most cats tend to be kept indoors, whereas cats are allowed outside in most European countries. However, the the fact is that indoor cats live longer and healthier lives, and contrary to what outdoor cat proponents believe, indoor cats can be perfectly happy as long as cat guardians provide a stimulating environment for them.

    • Anna Rome
      September 21, 2017 at 4:18 pm (9 months ago)

      It sounds like your kitty is insecure and is trying to mark the area with her scent. Cats do not pee or poop when they are mad at you. Also scratching leaves her scent. You might try more cat beds & trees that can soak up her scent. And maybe Feliway pheromones spray or dispersers that may calm her. Just suggestions. Also play helps confidence.

      Reply
      • Jennifer
        September 21, 2017 at 8:43 pm (9 months ago)

        Thank you so very much for the reply. I will trying anything to get her to stop.

        Reply
        • Sue
          September 29, 2017 at 3:18 pm (9 months ago)

          Hi Jennifer, just read about your torte, sounds like mine. Definitely try the pheromones for awhile and if you must deny access to the living room were she is peeing. Also for every 1 indoor kitty have 2 litter boxes.

          Reply
  45. Karen Rowe
    September 16, 2017 at 2:05 pm (9 months ago)

    I just got mine yesterday. I do believe she is about 4 weeks old. My co-worker was driving to work and kept hearing a meow, once she got to work she kept hearing it and started looking for it. She climbed under her truck and this little girl was found riding on the spare tire. So of course we named her Hitch. She slept with me all night all curled up on my arm and I have been giving her her kitten milk and food. She is the sweetest thing I have ever seen. We think she got lost during Hurricane Irma here in Florida. But she is a survivor and will be a spoiled rotten mess.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      September 18, 2017 at 5:48 am (9 months ago)

      What a lucky girl that you took her in, Karen!

      Reply
  46. Cindy LaMar
    September 14, 2017 at 4:52 pm (9 months ago)

    I have a little 3 week old Tortie, rescued from a wheel well in Hurricaine Harvey, nearly dead and flooded out. She is now here in Colorado, and is a spit fire! How this kitten lived, is remarkable. She was so sick.

    Now at 1.5 pounds, she is ruling the roost!

    Her Tortie colors are remarkable!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      September 15, 2017 at 5:16 am (9 months ago)

      Oh my goodness, what an amazing rescue!

      Reply
      • B
        September 15, 2017 at 7:51 am (9 months ago)

        Thank you for giving her a good home and love after everything she went through. Give hugs from all of us.

        Reply
  47. Ivy
    September 8, 2017 at 5:30 pm (10 months ago)

    I have a blue tortoiseshell kitty! I just adopted her in July. She’s barefly three months old and she’s very affectionate. She’s chill and she enjoys playing a lot. She may be nice but she also has tortitude which is one of the best things about her. She’s my first kitty and she’s the absolute best. I love her very much!

    Reply
  48. John
    September 4, 2017 at 8:08 pm (10 months ago)

    My mom brought home a tortoise shell kitten in July of 1997. She lived until June of 2017. She was born in April so she was over twenty years old when she died. When I was at the vet with her, I had people tell me they owned a tortoise shell that lived to be 19 years old. I don’t know if that’s coincidence or if there is something to it genetically.

    She was the best cate we ever had. People who don’t like cats told me she was the “coolest” cat they had ever been around. Whenever I took her for her check ups at the vet, I just carried in her in my arms and she sat in my lap while we waited. None of the other animals bothered her at all no matter how loud they were. She just looked at them with a curious, “What’s your problem? Chill out.”

    She was in good health her entire life. She required daily thyroid medicine the last two years and then her kidneys began failing—which was her ultimate cause of death. The vet said that was common with the thyroid condition. I said to the vet, “Well she has lived longer than a lot of cats.” The vet said, “She has lived longer than 99% of cats.” They called her a “wonder”.

    I think her hearing was worse the last couple of years but her eyes were great, her teeth were great, and her activity level was like a kitten.

    So, from my experience, a tortoise shell is an awesome cat. She brought us twenty years of joy.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      September 5, 2017 at 5:07 am (10 months ago)

      She sounds like she was an amazing kitty, John. Thank you for sharing her with us.

      Reply

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