Last Updated on: July 22, 2023 by Crystal Uys

A tortoiseshell cat

If you’re a long-time cat owner or an animal health professional, you’ve probably heard or made certain blanket statements about a kitty’s personality based on their coat color. For example, orange male cats are widely assumed to be among the sweetest kitties you’ll ever meet. On the other end of the spectrum, tortoiseshell cats have quite a reputation of their own!

The unique personality of tortoiseshell cats is known as “tortitude” and because the assumption of their attitude is so commonly held, cats of this color are likely to be judged instantly by potential owners. In this article, we’ll talk about what “tortitude” is and whether it’s real. We’ll also discuss some possible reasons for this belief about tortoiseshell cats and other factors that may be more influential in shaping their personalities than coat color.

What Is Tortitude?

Cats as a whole are often considered independent and unpredictable, less affectionate than dogs, although research disputes this theory.

Tortoiseshell cats, in particular, often seem to display these types of personality traits. Many are high-strung and dislike sharing their homes with other pets. They may be affectionate one minute and hissing the next.

Torties are sometimes called “the divas of the cat world” because they typically like things done their way and have a quick temper when crossed. Veterinary professionals, who interact with countless different cats over their careers, tend to approach dealing with torties a bit more cautiously because of their often unpredictable responses.

Cats with “tortitude” may be more independent, like to keep to themselves and display a fiery personality when they do interact with people. They are often sassy, energetic, and talkative kitties as well. Tortie owners often expect to deal with a certain amount of unwanted behavior like swatting, scratching, and even nipping.

While that may sound unpleasant, tortie cats and their unique personalities have plenty of fans among kitty owners. They love the quirks, tolerate the sass, and soak up the affection when their torties do decide to hand it out.

Is Tortitude Real?

We all know what they say about assumptions, so before we judge a whole coat color of a cat let’s find out if there’s any evidence to support the general feelings about torties.

In 2016, researchers at the University of California-Davis vet school published a study about cat coat color and personality. The study was based on the results of a survey of over 1,200 cat owners who weren’t told what the research was for but were asked to answer questions about their cat’s interactions with humans and describe their personalities.

The results of the survey support the idea that torties and similarly-colored calico cats do display challenging and aggressive behaviors more often than many other cat colors.

Specifically, the study found that these kitties were more likely to swat, hiss, chase, scratch, or bite during interactions with humans. Gray-and-white and black-and-white cats were also slightly more likely to behave this way.

Obviously, this study was based only on owner observations of a limited pool of cats so it does come with some continued questions. One question to ponder is whether the owners’ interpretation of their pet’s behavior was influenced by the general reputation of tortoiseshell cats.

No research has yet proven an actual genetic link between tortoiseshell coat color and personality. However, the results of this study, along with observations from those with a lot of experience handling cats, suggest that “tortitude” is probably real to a certain extent.

A tortoiseshell cat in a bed
Image Credit: Light Hound Pictures, Shutterstock

What Causes Tortitude?

While we wait for researchers to explore any possible genetic causes of the tortoiseshell cat’s unique personality, there is one possible option to consider.

Female cats are widely considered more independent and less affectionate than male kitties. Again, this assumption tends to be based on observations rather than verifiable facts, but it exists nonetheless, to the point that several studies have confirmed its existence.

Tortoiseshell and calico cats are almost universally female because the gene that produces the coat color is sex-linked. Female cats, like female humans, carry a XX chromosome. Coat color is controlled by genes on the X chromosome, one for orange fur and one for black.

Male cats possess XY chromosomes, so they only have one X controlling their coat color. Because females have XX chromosomes, they have two possible coat color genes. During genetic development, one gene on each chromosome is inactivated, but the process is random.

Tortoiseshell and calico cats are female cats who end up with active color genes in both orange and black. Calicos possess an additional gene change that results in white color with the black and orange. The occasional male calico or tortoiseshell is actually the result of a genetic mutation rather than normal development.

When you combine the assumption about female cats’ personalities with the fact that torties are almost always female, it’s logical to wonder whether that might contribute to their reputation for “tortitude.”

What Other Factors Influence a Tortoiseshell Cat’s Personality?

The tortie’s coat color may or may not have a verifiable impact on their personality, but there are some other factors involved as well. These causes apply more generally to all cats, not just tortoiseshells, and have more of a basis in research.


Cats inherit some personality traits from their parents, just as humans do. A 2019 study from Finland found that almost half of the behavioral differences among cats are inherited. Both overall personality and behavior traits showed genetic links among the cats studied.

The study was conducted using primarily purebred cats but did include mixed-breed house cats as well. Because tortoiseshell is a color pattern, not a breed, many purebred cats are born this color, including popular ones such as the Maine Coon. Your tortie’s personality may be shaped by these purebred cat traits, including inherited ones discovered by this study.

a tortoiseshell cat sitting on a wood
Image Credit: Julieshoots, Pixabay


Early socialization is a major factor in the development of a cat’s personality. The American Association of Feline Practitioners says that 3–9 weeks old is the most crucial behavioral window for kitten development. Kittens who interact with humans during this time are unlikely to develop a fear of them in the future, while cats who are poorly socialized at this age may have behavioral issues as adults.

Research has found that kittens who had multiple positive interactions with humans between 2–7.5 weeks tend to remain friendlier towards humans later in life. Kittens with good early socialization adapted more quickly to new humans. For these cats, it takes only a few positive interactions with a new person for them to trust them.

At the same time, kittens who were poorly socialized during that crucial early window grow up much more fearful and wary of humans. They need many positive interactions with a human before they trust them, while only a few negative experiences may trigger a fearful response.

If your tortoiseshell cat has an unknown history as a kitten, there’s no way for you to know if they received adequate socialization. A potential lack of socialization definitely could result in some “tortitude” as an adult.

A tortoiseshell cat in the nature
Image Credit: Cheryl Toepfer, Shutterstock

Human Behavior

Human behavior tends to influence a cat’s attitude as an adult as well as when they are kittens.

Socialization continues throughout the cat’s life, with studies showing connections between how often cats and owners interact and whether these interactions were considered positive. Because so much of the observations of “tortitude” depend on human interpretation of a cat’s behavior, these interactions take on added meaning.

Some of how humans and cats interact is a bit of a vicious cycle. For example, humans may be more likely to view an interaction with a cat as positive when the kitty comes to them and asks for attention. If a cat is standoff-ish—as many tortoiseshell cats are—humans may view them more negatively and interact less often.

As we learned in the previous section, cats who weren’t well socialized as kittens need extra positive associations with people to develop good relationships. If the human is less likely to give attention when the cat doesn’t seek it out, it can be hard to break through that shell.


As we’ve learned, torties may have a reputation for “tortitude,” but their personality isn’t entirely based on their coat color. If you’re looking for a new cat, don’t let the reputation of the tortie scare you away. Many owners enjoy the spunky, entertaining personalities of these cats, along with their striking coat colors.

While it’s important to be aware of the potential for “tortitude,” remember that you have some impact on how your cat behaves. Every cat is unique, no matter their coat color, and the best match for your household also depends on your own personality and compatibility with your new pet. Torties won’t be the right fit for everyone, but truthfully that’s the case for any pet.

Featured Image Credit: David Boutin, Shutterstock

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1,429 Comments on Tortitude: The Unique Tortoiseshell Cat Personality

  1. I agree to foster a tortoise. I thought I had found a forever home for her but it didn’t work out. She was brought back to me and I’ve had her for about 2 months now. She is 2 years old and very sweet. She rarely tries to bite and loves to be on your lap sleeping. She loves to have her head and under her chin rubbed. She wakes me up every morning about 6:30. She can’t wait to get her morning breakfast. She loves little treats and tuna. After breakfast she loves to race through the house chasing a ball. She loves to sit in the window sill and watch the birds. She talks to them all the time. Loud sounds freak her out. I was only supposed to be a foster but I have a feeling I have a cat now. I have become quite attached to her. And I think she to me. All in all she’s a laid-back sweet little cat and I am glad to have her.

    • 6:30? Oh please have your girl get hold of my girl and teach her the finer points of sleeping in! My girl hasn’t allowed me to sleep past 5am from the day after I brought her home and I don’t see that changing any time soon. To say that I’m a morning lark would be truth in advertising but Misteach definitely is and she seems to think that if she’s up then I should be. Also have your sweet girl convince my rowdy girl that biting whatever body part she can reach then getting the zoomies might be her version of expressing unconditional love but something a wee bit less painful and rambunctious would also work. I think curbing her tendency at attempting to play hockey with my late husband’s cremation urn in the wee smalls is probably a lost cause but a judicious application of poster putty at the base and under the lid has at least saved it from being knocked over and scattered. Yeah, she definitely keeps life interesting 😉

  2. I have two Torties. My Torti is 5 and is my best cat friend. She has Tortitude to the max she shares our home with several other cats including another tortie. She is sweet loving cuddling one minute and growling, hissing the next. I have even taught her how to box with her front paws. She is my sweetheart and we love her so much. She was a rescue cat.
    My other Tortie Willow is almost 2 and she is a total different cat than Tortie. Willow is sweet loving all the time. She is the most easy going Tortie we have ever had. She doesn’t have Tortitude at all. She two is a rescue. Like all my cats are.

    • I have a sweet rescued Tortie. She is kind and gentle she loves to make biscuits. She meows loudly on occasion but really does not have any Tortitude. She spent one year in a cage in a high kill shelter. She didn’t hardly meow for a year and mostly hid under the bed or between the towels in the linen closet. She is very tiny and can sit on a Christmas tree branch without bending the branch. It makes an adorable Christmas card. She is black and gold and they had named her Bee.
      I have another rescue cat, a chubby tuxedo cat named Inky. She can be bold to Bee but overall they sre wonderful cats!

    • Just got a rescue tortie about 2 years old. We have a cat-trained dog who wants to be friends. Any thoughts on torties around dogs?

  3. I’m something of a cat expert 😉 and I heard of tortitude, but it is only 2 days ago that I met my first tortie. Yes, they are different, I know what people mean now when they say tortitude.

    This was a diluted grey and tan cat, 4 years old and abandoned by the previous young female owner, to the owner’s parents; one of them was a coworker of mine. They didn’t want to keep her, so I asked around and found someone to adopt her.
    I was present for the adoption, got to the house some time before the new owner.

    Immediately, Tortie showed herself as very curious and sociable. I greet cats with a “mrreow” cat greeting, and all that, so cats generally respond well. She did too. She stood up on her hind legs as I was crouching down, took support on my thigh with her little front paws, to sniff my cheek.

    But, Tortie felt a change in her humans’ attitude to her, after I came in. Despite them not wanting to keep her, I could tell Tortie was quite attached to the lady of the house. After I came in, they must have subconsciously distanced themselves from Tortie, bc this was the day they were giving her away. Tortie stood in front of the couple, swishing her tail in much uncertainty, from side to side, hesitant, lingering, trying to understand what was going on.

    Then she walked back in my direction. I had one driving glove on (half-glove). I let her sniff this other hand, and Tortie hissed immediately. She then growled, meaning, “Get away from me. I’m warning you.” That was it. She didn’t like me after that. Very sensitive and moody, indeed.

    Basically, this is a headstrong cat, temperamental, sensitive but also loyal.

    It’s sad that this woman to whom she was attached, was giving her away. I worry that the new owner, an elderly lady with an older male cat, may not be happy to have her. I’m afraid Tortie will bully the elderly male cat.

    To be honest, I’m hurt by her tortitude. I know, it just highlights my currently fragile emotional state, but still.

    These aren’t average cats. I never met a cat that was so nice to me at first then switched to growling the minute later. No but seriously, weird cat! Never met such sociable but temperamental cats before.

    She was attached to the lady of the house, the mom of the previous owner, but she bit her!
    when the elderly lady came in. Drew blood. Tortie is definitely very sensitive and she could tell something bad was up that day, with all these new people showing up 🙁

    I wish her well, certainly quite a little personality, but I will never get a Tortie.
    Me too, I’m headstrong, sensitive, temperamental and loyal. She offended me with her hissing and growling, after being nice and curious with me at first.

    No Torties for me.

    • I have 2 torties and 4 other cats. One is a tortitude for sure. The other you might not believe she is a tortie. She is the sweetest, smart,gentle, cat you would ever see. You can groom her in her window seat for 30 minutes. When she wants to play or wants attention, she climbs into the window seat. When it is bath time , when she realizes it is bath time she meows one time, no fighting, sits still in the tub while bathing her. Chases little toy rats when you throw them,sometimes jumping in the air to catch them if you overthrow her. She is almost 3 years old. Sleeps in her bed beside my head, she lets you know the same time every night when it is bed time. Wish my other tortie was like that. The 2 torties were raised together and get along with each other.

  4. Hello, again! I’ve been with my Tortie, Daisy, for 3 years now and, besides never seeing her hiss, I’ve noticed something else. When she’s in close contact with me, she’s totally relaxed, almost clumsy. For instance, when she’s draped over my arm when I’m at my computer, like right now, she sometimes loses her footing and falls (subsequently digging her claws into my thighs to stop herself, before I scream in pain lol). Also, (a little TMI here) my sink is to the right of my toilet, right next to it. Sometimes, when I’m on the can, and she jumps on the sink, she head-bops me and, sometimes, right after, she just falls right off the sink. lol I think she gets in a lovey-dovey mood and just loses all judgement.

    • My Tortie is the same.. she lived with her mom side for 6 weeks .. then brought to a Pet Smart and it seemed no one wanted her until I saw her for the first time 3 months old. We adopted her and she hid under the bed until
      She could not fit… it took a long time.. now she is 6 and follow me around sleep on me.. she is very clumsy. Never jumps still super shy … hides when strangers or friends visit… it took a long time of patience and we are so in love with each other

  5. My Blue Somali, Sookie, passed away a month ago from metastatic cancer and left behind my 10 year old Maine Coon cat. After continuously looking for his companion, I decided to adopt a cat from a nearby shelter. I never had a tortie but when I met little Marlowe, I feel head over heels. She held out her left paw as If she was letting me know she is picking me for her new mom. I took her home and locked my other cat in the bedroom and let her have ROH and boy did she ever!! I think she touched everything I ever had in my house. I pick her up and she bends like a extra long slinky dog, but likes to be held. She also is very cuddly. I attempted to introduce her to my elder kitty and she immediately started hissing and vocalizing and my cat just looked at her like she was crazy. I will wait a week before I introduce them again. I have been sharing my sleep with both cats. Taking it slow. Trying treat training. wish me luck.

      • Hi I just took in a beautiful 4yr old, around about tort, and she sheds like crazy, anyone know how to keep the shedding down?

        • Well, it is spring, and my Tortie loses a lot of hair too. But if a tortie is losing big fluffs of hair, then perhaps a visit to the vet is in order. I noticed that the fleas are “up and about” early again this year, like last year. Not happy at all; I have been spraying my tortie and tabbie with a potion (Cider vinegar, green tea and water) a few times to kill off the beasties. (The jury is out on this new potion I am trying). And I already sprayed the carpets and furniture a few times (so far so good). Torties only lose lots of hear when they are stressed, have fleas and/or mites (scratching themselves silly), or they have some sort of ailment that is best for the vet to sort out. PS. Try and let the vet apply any medication the first time, then at least “it is not your fault” when you come home.

          • I’ve also used a potion of apple cider vinegar, green tea and water with good results as far as warding off fleas. The positive side is that it doesn’t trigger allergies in me but on the not so positive side, Misteach acts like it’s a fate worse than death to get gooped with it…but then, she’s the epitome of a drama queen and acts like an angst ridden teenage girl 😉

      • I just lost my Tortie to heart issues which cause a blood to the brain hence a stroke, vet said nothing can be done so my wife and I held her until the vet was finished injecting her!

        My post is about her life with me, I didn’t want a cat for a pet, so I designed a cat that didn’t exist, 1) when we first met come to me without me calling her, 2) jump in my lap at her own desire, 3) talk talk talk! Well at the shelter, there she was in all her slender, just as required, I was amazed.

        It gets better, I am a 100% Dusabled Combat Vet with PTSD, at 1 year old, Shade recognized my needs, when I was in trouble she would head butt my arm, if no response she would gently nip my arm until I responded! She was my Service Cat. I doubt I will find another as capable of helping me as she was!

        She was in charge and I thank GOD every day for such a wonderful friend!

        • I’m very sorry to read about your loss of Shade.

          She sounds like our first tortie, Kasey; I know how tough it is to loose what Ingrid refers to as a heart or soul cat.

          It sounds like you gave her a great life ans that she gave so much back to you.

      • Agreed. I have a fluffy tortie. I give her “The Brushabrush” as I say it to her (which is really just a hair comb lol) about once a week or so, and she loves it. She likes to bite it, too. Purring all the while… lol

        • Oh can your girl teach my girl how to do the purring and allowing the brushabrush thing? Attempting to brush, comb or otherwise Misteach is a guarantee that I will be sacrificing blood to the cause. My old Maine Coon (rest you, Gomez) was a brush slut. All you had to do was say ‘brush brush’ and he would stop dead in his tracks, drop to the floor, roll over on his back and assume the position and would give you about 50 years to stop. I think he learned that from my husband, rest him. Curt had this glorious, hip length mane of silver hair and any time someone else messed with his hair, he would practically do what Gomez did 😉 Misteach has a vet appointment here in a few days to get her annual vaccines and maybe the vet will be brave enough to groom her while she’s there.

    • My Tortie is the same.. she lived with her mom side for 6 weeks .. then brought to a Pet Smart and it seemed no one wanted her until I saw her for the first time 3 months old. We adopted her and she hid under the bed until
      She could not fit… it took a long time.. now she is 6 and follow me around sleep on me.. she is very clumsy. Never jumps still super shy … hides when strangers or friends visit… it took a long time of patience and we are so in love with each other

  6. I have a 10 year old Tortie who was a stray. I started feeding her because she looked like a walking skeleton. She was very shy but we finally became friends after 6 weeks. From the first time I saw her there was something different about her and I have had a dozen cats in my life. Bonnie is the first Tortie. She is tiny but fierce. She is sweet but aloof. She has piercing green eyes. We have a very special bond almost psychic. I know exactly what she wants when I look in her eyes. She has a very soft quiet voice. She makes an odd chirp noise and rarely meows. She is my protector and very territorial. She is extremely confident. She put my much older and larger alpha male Maine coon in his place on many occasions. She body slammed a raccoon trying to sneak into my garage. She kills everything. She can jump 6 feet straight up and swat a wasp and kill it. She rips mice apart. She eats all insects she kills like they are dessert. She has the softest most silly coat for a short haired cat I have ever felt. She loves me but all affection is on her terms. I don’t know what breed she is but she is definitely heaven sent you know one of those forever cats or one in a million!

    • Bonnie sounds like she has a temperament similar to our fist tortie, Kasey.

      Kasey was at one of our company facilities from when she was about a year old. Things were fine there for quite a while but they changed for the worst and I brought her home in 2008. We had her until 2013. At least the last 1/3 of her life was the best for her.

      I called her the Warrior Queen and she was not afraid of anything, in her former home, she actually liked to fight, even if it was a large dog, it would be on the run. Her hunting skills were legendary.

      She adapted to life in a house very quickly, at 10 years old. We keep our cats indoors and she she had no interest in going outside, once she was here.

      She was my constant companion and after all these years, I still miss her.

      We have two large, longhair torties now, Gigi is 14 and we got her when she was 5, Freyja is 5; she looks like, and is the size of a Norwegian Forest cat even though she isn’t one. Both of these girls lack Kasey’s aggressive nature and are quite placid.

      • Yes she is my most special cat and some day when she is gone I will miss her too. For years I have called her my ” Scottish Warrior Princess”. She is my Bonnie Lass.

        • “For years I have called her my ” Scottish Warrior Princess””

          That’s interesting, I always thought torties looked either like something from the wilder parts of Scotland, or something from a Medieval fantasy setting.

          Kasey was, and Freyja is a dark tortie and both really had/have that look to them.

          Once when we had Freyja in for her annual check up, the vet said “she looks like a wild animal”. Fortunately, she does not live up to that and is actually quite gentle.

          Funny about body slamming a raccoon. I had an incident with Kasey that was quite something. Kasey became very settled into life i a home and got quite protective and territorial.

          Early one morning, I was up before dawn and we had some windows open. Some thing came to the window that she did not like (the list of things in this category was quite long). Might have been another cat, possum, raccoon, it didn’t matter, I did not get to see it.

          I heard her scream like cougar and then she hit the screen bodily, hard with her whole 13 pounds trying to get at it. I figure whatever it was ran fast and far.

          She was a great old cat.

          • Scottish Warrior Princess would be an apt nickname for my Tortie. Her name is Misteach Pusein, “Mistcha Poosheen” and is Scots Gaelic for “Mystic Kitty” My late husband’s more enduring internet handle was Mystic Hippy, was a die-hard feline fan and would have absolutely adored her so she got named in his memory. My lineage is 97% Scot (and thanks to the nth degree paternal grandmother that just had to get frisky with some bloody Limey, the remaining 3% is British) and I come from a long line of Warrior Women. On any given day, I’m more than a wee bit convinced that Misteach channels more than a few of them 😉 Life with a Tortie is certainly not dull!

  7. I’ve been the proud roommate of many cats through the years of various breeds and mixes and never had a tortoiseshell cat until this past March, when a 6-week old little girl entered my life. Twyla is her name and she is unlike any cat I’ve experienced. She exudes confidence. I’m actually a little jealous of how confident she is. She’s definitely sassy. She tortures my other kitties and runs the dogs like she is the Queen. She also loves the dogs (the other cats, not-so-much, and the feeling is mutual). She was very affectionate as a kitten, but now that she is a teenager (8 months), she dishes out the affection in bits- few and far between, sort of like my teen boys!

    • I recently lost my 5th torti. She was the most delightful cat ever, cheeky an bitchy do not even begin to describe the beast. She had been called KitKat by my unimaginative aunt, which is probably why neither the cat or I could stand the woman. I will never get another cat unless it’s a tort.

    • I serve two torties. I too knew little about them before adopted Autumn at about 8 months, she turned 12 today.
      She is a dilute tortie and has always been most strongly bonded with me. She’s lived with at least one other cat pretty much her whole life, but would be fine, maybe ideal as an only cat. She doesn’t want to share the humans with other cats! She’s always been in charge of the other cats. Very smart and affectionate, no issues with petting or picking her up, vet, anything. She wants attention and to be a part of whatever the household is doing. She likes my wife as well, who she’s been around the last 4.5 years. She’s quite vocal with a wide range of expressions and about 11.5-12 lb. Sam was born feral to my knowledge and needed an indoor home before winter hit in St. Louis in 2016. She was maybe 6 months old and is a regular tortie. She is also vocal and chirps like a monkey. She’s between 5-6. She competes for attention with Autumn and wants to play with her, but Autumn isn’t interested. She’s very bright too and her personality has really evolved these last couple years. She’s learned things by watching Autumn and they both coexist best when they are sleeping near me. Sam constantly wants ice cubes from the freezer dispenser and wants someone to kick them to her to chase, then she plays with them on her own.

      Highly recommended for those looking for kitties with lots of personality!

  8. Lol…too funny, I have a tortie too and her name is Bella. DOB 6/23/19. She’s amazing, smart, sassy and very talkative. I adopted her when she was 7mths old. She was sleeping all balled up looking like a colorful cotton ball and knew that I had to take her home!!

    • I wish I had known about “tortitude” before getting our tortie balinese. We specifically picked the breed because my allergies were much less reactive. I researched the breed personality and was excited to learn that , overall, they are a personable, affectionate, clowning kind of cat. However, I got a moody cat whose behavior can turn on a dime with biting and swatting (no real hissing unless you want to brush her behind) and who gets super bratty if you are taking something away that she wants or is interested in (e.g. I’ve been bitten for picking up my iPad off of the bed). I couldn’t understand where we went wrong! Now I understand that it’s “tortitude”. Had I known about that, I would have waited for another litter from the breeder. She’s got a good home, she’s well cared for, and she has her moments where she is sweet and pleasant, but my husband and I are almost always in some stage of healing from teeth or claws. I made the commitment to care for her when I got her so we won’t re-home or anything, but I am really disappointed in her personality. This information has helped me understand her better which is good!

  9. Have you checked into any kind of calming color for Lucy? Using a pheromone that mimics the one mother cats produce to calm their kittens, the collars are clinically proven to reduce or eliminate stress-related behavior such as inappropriate marking, destructive behavior, clawing and anti-social behavior.

  10. I am assistant to a sweet tortie named Nicki. I have only assisted torties. For some reason I am drawn to them and vice versa. Nicki is mostly full of tortie-love, with a sprinkling of tortietude mixed in. I love my sweet baby and sing to her.. I am learning the Welsh language and writing a song about Nicki.

  11. Thank you so much for this article. I understand my cat so much more now. She is also one who read the book. I especially liked the purring in your lap then running around like a crazy kitten. SO TRUE! She is 3 months old and I got her at 6 weeks. She is a nut job and the sweetest thing when she wants to be. Very strong willed and has a temper. Only wants to be sweet on her own schedule. I love her so much. She just had her first vet appointment yesterday to get spay and her shots and she’s back to normal today! Her name is Bella and she is great!

    • I’ve just come on here to read about this feline family torties because we have just taken in a rescue female who is two and her name is also Bella. Thought that was quite funny that my first comment to read has a similar cat with the same name!

    • We have had three torties, all quite different.

      Kasey was our first, she was about 9 when I brought her home from one of the facilities that was owned by the company I worked for, before I retired.

      Things were not good for her, there, anymore. She came home in 2008 and we had her for 5 years.

      She adapted well to becoming an indoor cat and there was no doubt I belonged to her. She was gentle with people, but was completely fearless with any animal, size wasn’t a problem for her. She liked to fight and was very good at it.

      She did settle down OK with our other cats, though; its been almost 8 years and I still miss her.

      Gigi is a tortie with white; white feet and chest, ginger face. We took her in when she was 5. She is a cobby, long hair cat.

      Gigi is gentle, her main thing is to get attention through pets or brushing. She is not aggressive with other cats but will put a rambunctious kitten in their place, if they bother her.

      Freyja is 5, we got her from the shelter at about 8 weeks of age. She is big, looks like a Norwegian Forest Cat, even though she isn’t one.

      She is nice natured, non-aggressive with other cats, though she will put Timmy, our 8 year old orange boy in his place (he still plays like he is 4 months old). When she was a year old, she was already bigger than him, and kept growing for a while.

      Freyja has decided she is a mature “princess” and no longer likes Timmy’s immature play. When he gets the zoomies, she sits in a vantage point and watches him as if he is prey. The do get along well.

      Freyja is a gentle cat that loves to be around us, but is a lap cat only on her terms.

      They are all different.

    • My last old cat (rest you, Gomez) passed away several months ago and for the first time in my adult life, I didn’t have a single companion critter. I recently moved and thought that it was a good time to at least consider getting another cat. A friend of mine posted a picture of a humongous bruiser of a Maine Coon that was available at the local shelter so the next morning, I went, thinking I was going to come home with a full grown Maine Coon male. True to form though, even though I was there as soon as the door opened, he had already been spoken for. They invited me into the cat room to see if I found another one that struck my fancy and I had hardly got into the door before this tiny little Tortie kitten came running up to me, winding around my feet. I sat down and she jumped right into my lap, reared up, butted my chin with her head and started chirping like a little bird. When the other cats tried to approach me, she growled like a Rotweiller and let them know in no uncertain terms that she had claimed me. When I tried to put her down, she’d jump right back up on me and wasn’t about to let me go without her. I had gotten accustomed to a grumpy old tabby who usually ignored me unless he wanted out or I had something he wanted to eat so I was rather out of practice having a kitten around, especially a Tortie. The first couple of days, she earned the nickname of “Velco Kitty”, had something to say about almost everything and if she had her way, would be held 24/7. It’s been 6 days and we’re working on the finer points of no, as in no biting, no, tea is not good for kitties, no, you can’t go outside until you get your spay stiches out, no, on top of the stove is NOT a good place to lounge and especially, no, the computer keyboard is not a good place to tap dance 😉 This is my first time being owned by a Tortie so it’s a learning experience for us both but I do have to say, life had been anything but dull! Since she is orange and black and in honor of my late husband, who’s most enduring online nym was Mystic, I named her Misteach Pusein, which is pronounced ‘missed cha poo sheen’ and is Scots Gaelic for Mystic Kitty. She also responds to Velcro Kitty, Danged Cat and Your Highness 😉 I just thought I wanted a mellow, laid back adult cat but apparently, I need this little diva as much as she needs me. Let the games begin!

        • The ride continues to closely resemble a combination of a roller coaster and a tilt-a-whirl 😉 Her Highness is now 9 months old and as a teen-ager, she has moments of maybe growing into a semi-sane adult, immediately followed by acting like a toddler on a sugar high. Christmas decorations in general turned out to be enemies that must not only be vanquished but totally annihilated (Gorilla Glue is a marvelous invention). She’s an all-too-early bird who has not allowed me to sleep past 0530 since the day she got here, still can’t understand why she’s not allowed to indulge in Harrogate’s Scottish Breakfast Tea, since I enjoy it so much, thinks that crocheting is a team activity, especially when her contribution is to plop down in the big middle and play chase-the-hook and is a devoted adherent to the ‘girl code’ that states that girls will never let other girls go to the loo by themselves. She does her best to bring to life what my husband, rest him, said to me the day we married, which was “Life as you’ve known it will never be the same again” Oh is that ever truth in advertising! Life continues to be anything but dull with her and I couldn’t fathom life without her.

          • That is one of the best accounts of what life with a tortie can be like that I’ve ever read. Thank you for sharing, Sarah!

  12. I have a 6 year old tortie that I rescued a year and a half ago and she terrorizes and stalks my youngest cat to the point that the youngest is terrified and hides most of the time. I am still trying to figure out how to resolve whatever the issue is and get everyone to at least tolerate each other so no one is hiding in fear.
    I have 7 cats and this is the only major issue that has occured. I am totally up for suggestions that don’t include oral medication. Lucy is too fiesty for that!

    • I’m no expert but my Red Tortie-tude ridden love needs alot of playtime. Although I am in a slightly worse situation with attempting to add a backyard rescue to my 12 y.o Honey’s only-child life, she has not tolerated him yet. In 2nd months of fence isolated hiss fests, new Sweetie boy looks on confused & silent. So, although 2 play sessions a day keeps Honey from scratching the furniture, I fear she may never be open to a playmate her own size as this is my 2nd, 2 month attempt. I promised Sweetie I’d give him 3 months before giving up. Although it has’nt worked for me maybe you can tire her out without making the others jealous?

      • If you’re still wondering about this, I’d suggest looking into clicker training. I’m fostering a dilute tortie, and she’s so darn smart that she gets bored easily and then misbehaves to get attention. Clicker training is a great way to give a tortie mental stimulation, and it can also be used to work on behavior issues. I’m no expert at it, but it seems like it’s worth a try. I got a great book about it recently called “Naughty No More” by Marilyn Krieger. It explains how to do everything in detail. There’s a whole chapter on how to introduce cats, and there is also a section about intercat aggression in chapter 6. She mentions there that sometimes you need to redo the steps of introduction. And she walks you through how to do the steps that most people are used to, but with the addition of the clicker to reinforce what behaviors you want them to adopt. Plus you can use clicker training for all kinds of other helpful things – my foster is trained to go to her crate on command, and we’re working on learning to jump up on a surface or jump off a surface on command as well.

        • I took in a tortie stray about a 2 years ago and then about 6 months ago adopted a kitten and 4 year old stray from brooklyn, ny. i kept the 2 new cats in separate bedrooms upstairs with a gate up so they could see and smell each other. The kitten and tortie took about a couple weeks to a month until they were playing and my tortie didnt see him as a threat. playing the wand toy with both of them really helped. The stray was harder. took her 4 months to at least go down to the first floor! at night i would lock my tortie and the kitten in the bedroom w me and let the stray explore the house so she could get used to it on her own. I think that helped her confidence and eventually i played the wand toy w the three of them. Although my tortie and the stray are not 100 percent BFFs they are at least able to sit in the same room and be fed together w no aggression. i still have the occasional chases and hitting between my tortie and the stray but it mostly is when the stray hits the kitten bc he doesnt understand the kitten is running at her to play. so my tortie steps up to basically yell at the stray and say “dont touch my friend”. LOL. playing with them all together and having them all have treats at the same time, facing each other but with some distance have proven to be positive interactions for me. hoping the next 4 months to be down to ONE altercation a week. its a slow moving process but worth it!

    • Our son has a tortie cat that he brought in as a rescue to join his two other cats at home! Tortie immediately started attacking his other two! He gave her some calm down medicine for the first month including everytime she attacked she had to have a time out being isolated in the bedroom for a fe.w hours then allowed to come out, her time outs were less and less where both the calm down medicine and time outs were no longer needed!

  13. Freyja is 4 years old, she is a 15 pound, longhair, dark tortie that resembles a Norwegian Forest Cat.

    Although she is a very dignified lady, now, she has not lost her kitten fascination with the water dishes, basically, she picks at them until she overturns them.

    We have a number of them, now, whose design makes this impossible, but water still gets spilled.

    There was an incident when she was a kitten, this this behaviour.

    We would crate her at night in a large crate when she was little. She had the usual items, food, water, toys, bed and litter. Unfortunately, we were using clumping litter.

    One morning, I got up to find her covered in litter, some of it hardened, there was water all over. I thought she had been playing hard and feel in her water. but it was later on I happened to see her deliberately upset he water dish.

    We set about cleaning her up, no easy task, all the while hoping she had not ingested enough of the litter to cause harm.

    Fortunately, she was OK, she was switched immediately to non-clumping litter and I bought a heavy, ceramic dish, with slopped sides, which we still use. She still works on tipping it, once in a while, but there is no edge she can hook to flip it.

    She is the only cat I have seen with this type of interest in the water bowl.

    • My Dilute Tortie Lily Belle does the SAME thing.
      She has an obsession with trying to tip over the water dish and I cannot figure out why. You are not alone in this behaviour!

      • That’s funny, I guess Freyja’s behaviour is not totally unique 😉

        She just turned 5 last month and still has the water dish fixation. Its toned down a bit but I know if we used “normal” dishes, within a day, they’d be flipped over.

        • Lol well my girl is now 3 and though she has slowed down on trying to tip it over. She still tries. Which is why I’ve had to put a towel under the dish cause it was starting to ruin my baseboards cause I wouldn’t notice it tipped over until later hahaha

        • Just tried her on a different water bowl, to see if she has outgrown the water fixation.

          Literally within a minute, she was trying to turn it over.

          At least she is consistent 😉

  14. I have 3 Torties. (The mom an orange stray cat delivered them on an outside box/pad I made for her. Soon after she delivered them she allowed me to help clean them and bottle feed them for her. She had 6 kittens (3 torti / 3 Siberian Russian orange (what the vet said) and needed help. Once the kittens were 2 weeks old I brought them inside and helped the mom-kitty take care of them.)

    The 3 tortie are all very small: Rum – 5 1/2 lbs – the calm, steady even tempered one, Peeps – 5 lbs the one that looks like an anime cartoon cat and has a timid nature but a feisty attitude if you make her mad, and Ninja 4 1/2 lbs who is the guard kitty and checks everything out and reports back to us when one of the cats in doing something they shouldn’t (she is also very sneaky and stealth.). They are all 1 year old and the vet says they won’t get much bigger. (They suffer from dwarfism.) Yet with all that they have the tortitude in full strength!

    All are very loving and crave attention, (even from my shitzu). But they can also be the devil and swipe food from my dogs as he eats, even though they have their own food sitting out. They do not meow very loud, it is more like mew, mew, mew (slight sound comes out of their open mouth.)

    They enjoy wrestling with their brothers (the orange kittens that are almost twice their size – Nutty 11 lbs, Cheeto 10 lbs, and Cheddar 12 lbs.) Their brother Nutty is the most playful with them. Yet he doesn’t seem to know when they say stop, they mean stop. (They all are very versed in how to pass gas on him when they say it is time to stop playing.)
    All my kittens provide hours of entertainment, and it’s fun to watch what they are going to do or the new game they decide to play.

  15. 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.

    • Dear SiberianCat,

      So sorry for your loss. I know how you feel.

      I am wondering if you have adopted another tortie, yet, and wondering where you live. I am in Northwest Kansas and am helping a feral four-month old tortie who will soon be ready for a home.

    • Want to add that we have friends and family in the Denver area and Colorado Springs area who would deliver this little girl to her new home.

  16. 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.

  17. I had a long haired dilute female torti – she was a 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

  18. 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 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.

  19. 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*@#$^ But he’s my as*@#$^

      • 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!

    • 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.

        • 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.

          • 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.

  20. 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.

    • 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.

  21. 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.

    • “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.

    • 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

    • 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

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

  28. 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!

  29. 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.

    • 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!

  30. 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.

    • Here’s more information on redirected aggression, Dar: I would strongly encourage you to work with a feline behaviorist. I can highly recommend Mikel Delgado and Dr. Marci Koski Both offer remote consultations.

    • 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 ?

    • 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!

      • Awe, I found mine in the rim of a tire behind my garage she was approximately 6 weeks old and when I got her out she bit into both of my index fingers drawing blood from both… I immediately named her Judith (Jude, for short) from The Walking Dead… she is my little A#$ kicker.
        I have a 25 pound orange male tabby that she tortures on the daily… at bed time though she turns into the biggest cuddle bug and has to suck and knead on my blanket. She truly is a blessing. I found her on 6/13/21 and my dad (who loves cats) passed on 7/1/21. She has been my mental support buddy.

        • My condolences for your loss.

          My first tortie, Kasey, the “Warrior Queen” sounds similar.

          I rescued her from a facility that belonged to the company I worked for, prior to retiring. She was about 10 years old and I had her for 5 years, I was happy to say I made her last 1/3 of her life the bast.

          I also had a 23 pound teddy bear of and orange tabby, Taz.

          One day I was sitting on the living room floor, Kasey on one side, Taz on the other. I belonged to Kasey and she was very protective, she was what Ingrid calls a soul cat to me.

          Taz playfully made a move to nip my fingers.

          Next thing I knew, Kasey shot across my lap and rolled him then chased him out of the room.

          Apparently, it was OK for her to bite my fingers, but no one else was allowed to. 🙂

  31. 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.

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

    • My girl is 10 months old now and I have a whole new appreciation of parents with teenagers 😉 Despite being spayed as soon as she was old enough, she is currently doing a perfect imitation of a teenage human girl with whacked out hormones running amuck, complete with mood swings that will make you dizzy. Gemini’s of the cat world? The way she’s been lately, it’s more like Bipolar. I took her to the vet to ensure that nothing was amiss and she assured me that she’s a teenager in cat years and a Tortie on top of that and other than that, she’s perfectly healthy and to hang in there because she will even out. Can I get that in writing to refer to at 3am when she’s wound up like a crankster on a 9 day tweak, busily knocking stuff off shelves?

      • “…complete with mood swings that will make you dizzy” – that seems like a purrfect description of tortitude to me!

  32. 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 😉

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

      • “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 😉

  33. 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.

    • 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.

      • “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 😉

  34. As everyone knows , I had a Tortie named Stirfry. She ws a Tortie and if anyone knows cats, that meant she had a personality that was not to be messed with. Stir’s was to the extreme – a hair trigger and no cat dared to cross her. Thru a cat blog I found others with Torties and a tiny few had Tortitude that matched Stirfry’s. Bernie had Steeler in Pittsburgh, Glen had Kasey in Ontario Canada and Harry had Brooke near Falls Church VA. All these cats played hard and loved harder. Loyalty was one or their traits. They took their family seriously and would protect you with teeth and claws. The Tasmanian Devil was a kitten compared to them. Steeler , then Kasey and then Stirfry crossed the Bridge. Sadly Brooke crossed today. These cats could have never been together in life. But now all 4 are together and waiting for us. When you hear thunder you will know that Brooke was welcomed with open Paws ( claws sheathed )

  35. Chloe is my 12 year old tortie. I’ve had her since she was a month old. I think that’s where a lot of her tortitude comes from. She’s very social and thinks she should rule the house lol. That does work with my 7 year old tabby, they butt heads all the time. Chloe loves attention on her terms and she loves lap time with me. No one is allowed to touch her back near her tail, pick her up, or touch her tummy. If you put her in the cat carrier to go to the vet, you can head her from a mile away. (Yes she is that loud) I love her

  36. I have added a torti to my kitty clan.I have 2 tabbies and a calico…Torti was part of a group of outside cats I’d fed .I always felt she had belonged to someone and was dumped by the previous owner. She’s extremely talkative and affectionate but also very possessive of my husband and I. Finally calming down from that issue but we love her dearly. …All cats are beautiful in my eyes..I’ve adored them since childhood.

  37. “I had Rosie for about 2 years til she let me pet her”

    That is like Freyja, who is now 3 years old. We adopted her at about 8 weeks of age but believe she came from feral stock.

    She looks to have some Maine Coon background, large and weighing 14 1/2 pounds (not fat, just big).

    She is actually a very tame and gentle cat and wants to be around us all the time. If I go out, she will often wait and fuss at the door until I come back in. She will sit with me in a recliner, draped across my ankles. She is long haired and I have just got where she will let me brush her, a bit.

    I have also got to a point whee I can pet her, a bit, but she does not like being picked up.

  38. I have 2 chocolate torties named Rosie and Lil. .we call Lil One Paw because she is always doing something with her one paw most likely just holding it up..reaching out to touch me. Both are aloof and chatty and I had Rosie for about 2 years til she let me pet she allows my boyfriend and mom to pet her and Noone else. They are very vocal talking to me through the window even..and when One Paw wakes up from a nice deep nap she talks up a storm. I also have 5 other cats so I can definitely notice a difference in demeanors.

  39. Hello. Just wanted to share info about my torties! My first tortie I got when I was 16. She definitely had tortietude! Her name was Wednesday, like Wednesday Adams. She lived in my room and every morning she would jump on my face to wake me up. She loved me more than anyone and one time but my sister and drew blood when we got in a fight. She was awesome! My current little tortie is named Jade and she is definitely high maintenance. She gets extremely jealous of my other cat and demands to be the center of attention. She follows me EVERYWHERE and cries at the window when I leave. She even sits on my lap when I’m on the toilet! And she is a purr machine! I just have to look at her or say her name for her tail to shoot up and her purr box to start up. Love this girl!

  40. Indeed unique and wonderful. Yes, thanks for sharing your precious Siren.

    We also had a Tortoiseshell cat. Her name is Tabitha Ann. She is a force to be recon with that is for catgone sure.

    She claim my wife and daughter as her own favorite personals, (as for me)…I’m more of her personal servant, but it’s okay…we get along best doing it her way.

  41. I had 2 Torti cats one was way more Torti than the other. Here is a little story I wrote about my cat Siren. She is gone now and I still miss her everyday.

    For those of you who do not know my cat, well she is a little different shall we say. Ok total Torti is closer to reality. People are afraid of her. Most people will make a wide birth around her for fear she is going to attack. She has trapped my roommate in the bathroom. In his bedroom and even stopped him from going into the kitchen, but she likes me for the most part. So it is all good.

    Day starts off 8:05am I open my eyes and there is Siren staring me down. It is way past treat time and I have slept in. Big mistake. So in an effort to get that look out of her eyes, I reach out to pet her right behind her ear where she loves it. Not a good idea, Tortitide is strong today. Cat is now really ticked and she hisses and scratches at me. I got out of bed. Started towards the kitchen and she is howling at me to speed up. When I get to the kitchen, I smell that wonderful morning smell, cooofffeeee. I walk past the treat cupboard and head for the pot, ahhh Siren has figured out what I am doing and having none of it. Her paw comes out at my wrist so fast I drop my cup in the sink. So off to the treat cupboard I go. Her day did not start well, I will give her that.

    Now you would think kitty would be all happy now. I not only gave her treats but a little wet food to help calm her down in her anger. No, not Siren. She inhales her food and comes at me again. This time she wants to play fetch, oh why oh why oh why did I teach this cat to fetch. After 50 or so runs down the hallway she is finally ready to call it quits and my arm feels like spaghetti, but there was no way I could not throw the dang mouse, she will bite at me tell I do.

    So now it is about 9am and she is on the couch sleeping. 10:20pm It happens, a fly lands on her nose. Have you ever seen on cartoons where a cat claws themselves to a ceiling, well I got to see it right in front of me today. All I hear is this howl out of her and in a matter of a second she is stuck to the ceiling. Might be time to cut the claws was my first thought. So I go and pry her off the ceiling, poor cat is still shaking and I am laughing so hard. Not good, it is like she knew I was laughing at her and out comes the paw right to my face, but I pull back and she misses hahahaha.

    Now the fly is on the TV calmly watching Siren still twitch from her shock, and I am sure laughing as hard as I was. Siren jumps out of my arms right at the TV. Of course, fly was gone. So for 20 mins I got to watch this cat go nuts trying to catch this fly. Somehow she eventually makes contact. Fly drops to the floor. Now Siren in all her wisdom is staring at this black thing on the floor, then looks back at me, back to the fly and back to me. Very carefully she reaches out and touches the fly with her paw, it moved she ran to the edge of the livingroom and stared at it as if it were going to attack her back. She gets into full on pounce mode, like cats do. The fly, that can now no longer fly, starts walking towards her. Siren backs further away, fly is making the distance shorter, now Siren’s fur is all on end, her tail is all poofed out and she hisses at the fly. The fly will not back down, Siren hisses again, the fly makes a move closer. Siren try’s one more hiss, this seems to work on the humans around her, but the fly just keeps coming.

    Siren who has scared many people in her time takes one last look at the fly and turns tail and boots it down the hall and under the bed. I didn’t have the heart to laugh at her directly, or maybe the guts to laugh at her, she knows where I sleep. Poor thing was under that bed for about 2 hours. No amount of calling her or shaking her treats was gonna get her to come out of there.

    So in the end for those of you who have had a torti encounter with the psycho Siren, remember she scared you, but she lost a battle of nerves to a fly.

    • I loved your story about Siren immensely! I recently adopted a tortie and am getting used to her “tortitude”. I’ve had to rethink my cat mommy’s approach to her versus how I behaved with my last cat Max, who was a grey domestic shorthair and a real lover. My tortie Cleo loves me just as much but on her own time schedule.

      Can anyone comment on a particular behavior of Cleos that has me stumped? Everytime I use the toilet, she comes rushing in very close to my legs & puts her butt in the air until I pet her?! If I don’t pet her she’ll stay there until I’m done. Any thoughts?

      • My 12 yr old red torbie Honey has a thing about the shower, I find her waiting on my bathmat every time I finish, without fail, no idea why though.

      • I am a proud employee of a tortie kitty named Cleo! I adopted her after her siblings and Mom were found outside by a wood pile, so she was feral when I adopted her. With a ton of patience she has morphed into an energetic, well rounded and loving kitty! ( but still has tortitude!). I had to teach her to not bury her food for later and taught her how to take treats from my fingers. She still swats at me on occasion but that’s pretty normal I think. She’s a joy to watch when she plays, running from room to room on a wild streak, and when I Facetime with my 2 and 1/2 yr old granddaughter she always asks to see Cleo!

  42. my torti is now 11yrs old and will not lap sit and prefers head rubbed of under chin. I have 2 feral outside torties 1 is going on 16 and not touchable..all have been TNR and are happy..take your kitty to a vet for a check up and she Will come to you on her patient ..

  43. my torti is now 11yrs old and will not lap sit and prefers head rubbed of under chin. I have 2 feral outside torties 1 is going on 16 and not touchable..all have been TNR and are happy..take your kitty to a vet for a check up and she Wii come to you on her patient ..

  44. We had a Torte cat show up at our house. She looks rough. She has been here about a week and is very shy. One evening she came up to me and was very loving. Today she only wanted her head petted. I would love to give her a bath. She looks like she may have been either abused or just totally on her own. My other two average cats hiss at her and reject her. She is eating well, and will “talk” to me from a distance. Any suggestions for how to handle her? She is very small. Very thin. Some say her face looks like a wolf.

    • I would take her to your vet to get her checked out, Kathy. She’s probably just malnourished, but it’s always a good idea to rule out any medical issues. You may also want to consider giving her a safe space away from your other two cats, and then gradually and slowly introduce her. Having the other two hiss at her is probably not going to help her get over her shyness, and is making for a stressful situation for all three cats.

  45. We brought Freyja home when she was about 8 weeks old.

    Gigi is our older cat, she is a 17 pound, longhair tortie with white. Gigi is pretty gentle and laid back, the epitome of a tame, pet cat; I refer to her as the Empress Of Th House.

    When she saw Freyja, she started hissing at her and this continued for about 3 weeks. I think she saw that Freyja was an energetic little thing and did not want to be bothered with her antics.

    The difference from your post is that Gigi did not actually try to grab her, so I can understand your concern.

    After about 3 weeks, Gigi started to settle down over time and now they are companions.

    Perhaps more time will take care of your situation.

  46. I haven’t been on here for a while, so I thought I’d post something.

    I had an experience a few days ago, where Freyja awakened some sort of primal fear in me.

    Freyja, our youngest of two torties is now 3 years old. Gigi is our other tortie, the “Empress of the House”.

    Freyja has grown quite large, not over weight. She is 14.7 pounds, with long legs, tail and body. It almost looks like she has some Maine Coon or Norwegian Forest Cat lineage, due to the size, long hair and long, busy tail.

    She has a small orange marking on her face, which is otherwise quite dark; this along with piercing eyes gives her a formidable appearance, cause one vet to say “she looks like a wild animal”. However, she is a gentle giant.

    I was at my computer, sitting quietly and Freyja thought she should see what I was doing.

    I did not see her and suddenly she stood on her hind legs and put her front paws on the arm of the chair.

    It surprised me and I turned a bit to look and was looking directly, close up, at a wild looking face with fierce looking eyes. This gave me start for a few milliseconds.

    After the initial startling, I found the whole thing kind of amusing.

    • I imagine if that had been Kasey, you would have felt more than a little “primal fear”. Freyja doesn’t have that killer instinct that she did. Size didn’t matter to her. There is a reason Bigfoot has not been found in your area

      • Kasey was very formidable, to put it mildly.

        Freyja has been house raised from about 8 weeks of age and fortunately did not have the rough start Kasey did.

        Freyja, when play fighting with Timmy does show an instinctive cunning in her moves and tactics that way outclass our little orange guy.

        This just came naturally to her and she is very good at it; probably just as well she does not have the killer instinct, with her size and moves, she would be quite something to deal with.

  47. I owned a tortie, or should I say she owned me, for 14 years. We found her in a parking lot at 3 months old and decided to keep her. I knew nothing about torties at the time. She was the boss over my other 3 cats, but boy was she ever a sweetie to the humans. She would come running when you called, just like a dog. She was always in my lap and very loving. She hated the vet and would hiss at them. Unfortunately, after 14 years she got lymphoma and we had to let her cross the rainbow bridge. I know I will get another tortie, I hope soon! They are awesome cats, with HUGE personalities.

    • I think “boss” is just another word for tortie, Lois 🙂 Your girl sounds like she was very special.

    • Hi, we have a 3.5 year old tortie that we’ve had since she was about 4 months old. We rescued her from a shelter where there were tons of other kittens around her. She has been the only animal in our house since her got her. She is 110% a tortitude type of girl and never lets us forget that she’s in charge lol. She doesn’t like to cuddle or anything like that but likes to be near us and follow us around the house.

      My husband and I both work full-time jobs and we’ve noticed our tortie might be a little lonely all day when were gone. We love her and wanted to get her a friend so we adopted a black male kitten who is 11 weeks old and OMG, it is a war at our house.

      We’ve been slowly introducing, as I’ve read in articles, but our tortie adult cat will not stop chasing and stalking the new kitten. Once she gets a hold of him, she will wrap her body around him and bite him and we have to separate them every time.

      It’s been going on like this for a week which I know isn’t a ton of time, but I need some advice on whether our tortie will ever adjust to this or if I just created a whole issue in her life and endangered this new kitten. I really don’t want to have to take him back, because he’s such a sweetie, but I don’t want the kitten to get hurt.

      If anyone has any advice, I would appreciate it!

  48. Hello , I have a very sassy tortie named lily mae . She is 2 years old now 🙂 ..she definitely has the attitude and possessiveness over the household. I have had her since was roughly 4 weeks old. Very young that’s for sure ..the only one she let’s love on her is me she merely just put up with everybody else in the household lol..

  49. I have a tortie cat that was abandoned because she could not get along with other cats and i must say she is very possessive of me when another cat comes to my back door looking for food she has a meltdown but she is sweet I will be on the couch watching TV and she will jump up onto the couch and start purring away. She has a habit of jumping on my bed 2:00 am in the morning purring in my face demanding to be petted and always is licking my face, but I love her she is a good girl that is loyal to me

  50. My Tortie is sort of small, but seems to be almost full grown, judging from her teeth. She was a stray who came to a relative’s house. They called to see if she was mine. I went to investigate, and she came home with me with mud, matted fur and very thin. She got a bath first thing. I took her to the vet for shots and to get her mats shaved. That was about a month ago.
    I am pleased to report that her fur is shining, she has filled out, and has made our home her happy place. She is now obsessed with the red dot laser….lol. She definitely has that Tortitude, and we love her very much. Our tonkinese doesn’t love her, but is adjusting.

  51. We adopted out Torti 6 months ago.She’d been living as an outside cat for 2 years (was abandoned ) and I’m the Cat Lady of the neighborhood who cares(feeds, spays, neuters) these poor creatures.We finally added our Torti to the family(3 cats-red Tabby, Gray tabby and Calico) Our Torti is sweet and docile and yes, possessive of US..but she doesn’t enjoy sharing us with others so we have to put her in a separate room so she won’t get “attitude” with the other kitties.(sometimes) She just survived being bitten by a poisonous snake . Her tortitude ,meds and our love kept her alive.She’s doing great and eats like a little piglet!!! Tortitude is the perfect name for Torti’s!!!

    • I got my tortoise shell as a kitten. She’s now 2 years old and still under the impression that I’m only here to wait on her! She’s very laid back but she runs like heck when my great grandson comes. She’s very smart and lets me know she wants to be brushed by hopping on the arm of my chair and when she’s had enough she just jumps off.

      • My Torti Mona found me. Jumped in my lap sweet as pie. All a trick to get inside. Lol. Once in she rules the house. Small, but mighty. I’ve brought in 3 males since finding her all much larger than her. She has put each one in their place. Smartest, weirdest, meanest, sweetest (on her terms) little kitty I’ve ever seen. She definitely has a Tortitude.

  52. I adopted a tortie and she’s an absolute sweetheart, I’ve never heard her growl or hiss. I guess the only “tortitude” she has is stubbornness, she still insists on walking across my keyboard, getting up on the counter, etc. I love her so much.

  53. My Missy cat (tortie) has spent the day being mean. She tried to attack me for no apparent reason. I corrected her and now she hisses at me when I come near. Help, what can I do? She is the same Missy that I wrote about earlier. She was partly feral when I got her. My post was on February 24.

    • This sounds like possibly redirected aggression. Here’s more information:

    • My torti is 11yrs old and when she has an off day I get the DASNCER out and she forgets what she was mad about and loves her DANCER,,I think the key is distraction as it works every time

      • I agree totally, the feather dancer/bouncer wand is Honey’s favorite toy. It is the only one that can change her mood, but I hesitate to use it when she is in her mean feral reversion mode for fear of rewarding her bad behavior. I am now in day 2 of withholding interaction stemming from a particularly bad episode of hissy fit meanness.

    • Dar, when you said your cat tried to attack you for no reason, that sounded familiar to me. I’ve had my tortie for years, and it took a while to figure out the main reason she attacks me is out of jealousy. At first I noticed when she’d be sitting calmly in my lap or near me and I would start talking on the phone she would attack me. Also if all is calm and my husband and I start talking, and sometimes if I have company and am talking to them.I’ve learned to be much more alert when doing these things, rubbing her while I talk, even at times going out of the room to make a phone call! Anyone else experienced this?

      • YES, All of the time! My torby cat Dixie, she always hisses at me or strikes at me if I do anything that shows attention to another living thing, especially another female, or I am on the phone.

  54. My man and I adopted a 5-month old tortie a few months ago and we are absolutely in love with her fierce, sensitive, hilarious, beautiful little spirit. We named her “Latte” because I love lattes and she looks like the coffee and milt froth. Haha! =D She definitely has her “tortitide” and can be super active, claw, gets jealous if I’m on my phone or computer, cuddles a ton (which I just adore in her), but is just the best! I wouldn’t trade her for the world. Never knew we could love a cat so much. To be honest…we didn’t even know anything about torties until we looked it up. My little Latte is a mommas girl for sure!

  55. I’m not very educated on cat breeds. So for my wife’s 29th birthday I promised I’d get her a cat or a kitten, whatever she wanted. So I’m feeling good, my basketball team had just won it’s 1st championship under me, I tell my wife “get whatever one you want, baby!” We stop at the Humane Society with the hopes of finding a cute baby kitten. So we’re looking and looking, BOOM! We see a dark colored cat, poor thing stuffed in a little kennel. My wife does her cute “sad” face and goes awww “Lila? I want to see her.” So they lead us to a room and Lila comes in, I was baffled looking at her, like “omg does this poor cat eat?” She was so skinny and long! Looked like Slinky Dog from “Toy Story” with fur and unique coloring. I’m very standoffish at this point like “my wife wants this cat, not me. But cute!” She’s just rubbing her face on anything hard in the room, chair, tables, my leg, my wife’s leg. I’m thinking “aw she’s lovable!” Few weeks later I get out of work, we have a new friend in the house. Lila! First thing I noticed was after she stopped shaking and adapting to her new surroundings was her personality, she could be hot and cold. Ha! Few weeks went by, i had a bad night at work and it’s so weird it’s like she could sense I was not in a happy mood, all of a sudden..*cat roar* I feel claws and teeth digging into my hamstring! HA! I grabbed her, threw her off and I was like WTF just happened? Calmed her down, told my wife “if this happens again, she’s history!” time went on, I knew like any other animal you have to give them their space, show them affection but don’t smother them with it. Over time though she’s become my little furry best friend. I have about 1,000 different names for her. One night I was watching film and a former basketball player named Jon Koncak’s name came over the TV and my kitty was spazzing around the house and trilling A LOT! I go “Jesus, you sound like a coon cat! Raccoon like!” So I turned and pointed and said “KONCAK!” HAHAAHA! To this day, all of my friends even family members call her Koncak hahahaha! I will say this though, I fell in love with her on the day I found out a family member whom I’m close with had cancer, I covered my face crying and I was alone and I heard a trill, uncover my face and she’s right there, rubbing her face onto my hands and face. She has NEVER done that! Only time ever. But..I love my little fuzz ball! She’ll be 4 in September, I’m very grateful for this cat coming into my life. Many years ahead of us! She went from somewhat feral to a loving house cat. 🙂 I’ have 1,000 more stories but I don’t want to sound too crazy but I’m proud to say I’m the crazy cat man. 🙂

  56. I’ve had my tortie since she was 6 weeks old, and 6 years later she is still the character and trouble on four feet. I have 4 cats, and she’s about half their size but she definitely rules the roost. Even my former feral cat who outweighs her literally twice over doesn’t mess with her too much. She’s very Jekyll and Hyde as others have said. One minute she’s rolling around purring and the next you’ve got scratches all over you. But we just love her to pieces–what a character!

  57. Hi. First time poster. Adopted a tortoise kitten (6 months old) in November 2018. Have had a pet since high school. My moms kept 3 cats locked in a room, which I HATED! Seemed so cruel.

    Back to my cat, I let your room in the apartment, but she randomly will scratch rugs, chairs, curtains… or go to scratching post. No rhythm or reason. Will sometimes play with toys.

    She is spayed. Do I need to keep her entertained more to stop her scratching furniture. Sprays and pheromones are not working. Thanks

    • It does sound like your kitty is bored, Kristi. I would increase playtime. Try structured play session, two or three times a day, 10 to 15 minutes each. Use interactive wand toys, really get her tired out. For the scratching behavior, this article has some suggestions:

  58. I have a 5 year old tortie. I got Missy when she was 4 months old. Missy was not introduced to people so when I got her, she was a terrified little kitten. My vet told me that Missy was part feral and very much a tortie. Missy sure does have tortitude. She can be so sweet but the next minute she is unpredictable. If I pick her up she gets angry, she must come on her own terms. I love her so very much and would not trade her for the world.

  59. Yes Tortitude is definitely real. I have 3 torties and all 3 have completely different personalities. Cali our oldest (11) is sweet, and fearless, Sassy (10) is a super sweet loving cat gets along with everyone including the dog, Torti (almost 2) well she has not only read the book but has added her own chapter on how to exhibit the famous Totitude. She can be sweet one minute and attacking you the next. She steals the dishrags, the strainer, and anything else from the sink. She hides them along with magnets from the fridge and socks under the fish aquarium. Oh the joys of the tortitude.

  60. We were taking two of our 6 cats to the vet for their annual checkups, and the vet tech was holding this 5-week old tortie in her lap. She looked at us and said, “You guys need another cat,” and the rest is history. NIne years later, Spitfire causes more trouble than all the other cats combined. She loves to rip paper to shreds, chew pieces of my burrow’s tail cactus, leaving the little leaves all over like cookie crumbs. I can’t have any silk flower arrangements in the house, as they get totally destroyed, piece by piece. Unlike the other cats, who gratefully lap up any and all human attention, “Spitz” makes her displeasure known immediately. If she’s comfortable on a chair, you don’t dare move her… she hisses and snarls, and out come the claws. She doesn’t get along with any of the other cats (although, she tends to curl around my two dogs). But just like Jekyll and Hyde, she has her good side. When my husband towels off after a shower, she’s right there, waiting for him to “rub her down” with the wet towel. She absolutely shrieks with joy. When she wants to hop up on the counter to get to her food bowl, she will first come find you, meow slightly, and beckon you to follow, so that once she jumps up and starts eating, you can scratch her back. And when we all watch TV, she will go to the middle recliner, and no matter who is sitting there, she will curl up on their ankles. But only the middle chair, as it’s the one with the best viewing angle. Just don’t try to move your legs once she’s there. My poor husband, who really didn’t want another cat to begin with, is now her biggest fan. He alone can pick her up in his arms, and she’ll dangle her right paw out in front, and squeeze her eyes half-closed, purring. She can drive us both nuts, but we adore her.

    • My tortie (or torbie) is same. Once she is comfortable wherever she is sitting if you dare move or even worse, move her, she attacks. And she holds a grudge too and will get back at you another time if she misses the opportunity. She smart enough too to know which area of your body is unprotected by clothing and goes for that. Def a one person cat and did not like to share the attention with other cat. Very jealous and possessive. She gets into everything too. One time she somehow managed to remove the screwed on caps from the spice has and smelled like garlic and cumin for days. I also left the front door open once but with a latched security gate and somehow she was able to reach her paw underneath the small opening at bottom of gate and pin a bird that was outside and drag it back in under the gate. I still have no idea how she was able to do that. Poor bird-so basically she has to be supervised Ike a toddler but she is a very loyal, devoted and loving kitty when not using her tortitude

  61. I had a beautiful tortie named Guinness, because she looked like a pint of Guinness with nice patches of black, red, and white in her face. She was a one man cat, who hated everyone else, but totally loved me. Unfortunately, she developed cancer in her palatte. After a year and losing half of her weight, I had to make the difficult decision to end her life to avoid further suffering. RIP Guinness.

    • I’m so sorry about the loss of your wonderful cat. It is such a difficult thing to make that decision but it shows just how much you considered her suffering as opposed to your own feelings. God bless you. Your kitty will wait to join you on the rainbow bridge.

    • My condolences John. When my 17 year old cat became ill, I rescued a tortie kitten and I named her Brownie to keep him company. He passed away a year later and while she’s a regular terror, she was sweet and gentle to him in his last days.

  62. I have a torby (tortie/tabby), and well, she is downright mean. Got her about two years ago, she wandered out of nowhere when I was in west Texas, and has been with me ever since. She has followed me all over the country, living with me in my van when necessary, and sleeps by my side. We play rough, but it is play, but if anyone else touches her, she attacks. She hates females especially, of all species, when they are around me. She has been known to knock the cell phone out of my hand, and gets jealous when I am on the phone . She likes to ride around on the dashboard of my vehicle if I let her, most of the time though I put her in a carrier in the passengers seat, and she likes road trips, as long as she can watch me driving. She hates not being around me pretty much constantly, even an hour of separation sets her off. I can carry her around like she is a baby, but she wont let anyone else even touch her.

    • Oh Daniel you lucky guy she obviously absolutely adores you and I’m jealous. I had a tortie for 18 years who used to behave just like your girl – I lost her three years ago and still cry for her – I miss her so much you just cannot even being to imagine – so make the most of every second of the time that you have with her she is precious beyond words 🙂

    • My tabby is also mean. the wife named her pepper. You could be scratching her head and next thing she hissing at you. How do you others handle this?

      • That sounds like petting aggression. Please read this article for more information:

  63. Oh and another thing is that since she is high strung and anxious I thought she would lick off her fur and vomit frequently from stress but turns out she is extremely allergic to a lot of stuff and scored the highest on allergy testing (poor thing) so does anyone know if that is common with this breed? Thankfully her beautiful coat is back and no more vomiting thanks to treatment. I’m so glad I finally discovered the uniqueness of torties as before that I was encouraged by one person to get rid of her for being too difficult and temperamental (which I would never do under any circumstance) but I just always assumed she had a split personality. She is so fun and funny and also crazy and quick tempered but I love her exactly the way she is 🙂

    • “Split personality” is a good way to describe torties, isn’t it? I’m glad you are able to appreciate your girl’s uniqueness and love her for it! Allergies aren’t more common in torties than they are in cats with other colors.

    • We have a 7 yr old Tortie, Miss Callie, who is just like that. Very high strung & is constantly licking off her fur.

      • Miss Daisy licked herself a nice Brazilian one summer til we took her to the vet – it turned out that she’d been in pain from dental issues, trying to work on that and distract herself….. keep an eye out!

  64. We rescued our cat from the pound at 5 weeks old and were never told her breed and had no idea what she was. What we quickly realized was how different she was from our gentle Russian blue kitty. This newly rescued kitten took over the
    household like nobody’s business the second she walked in the door and hasn’t stopped. Very head strong, defiant, assertive, won’t back down for anything and in fact will chase you if she’s mad enough, goes from lovingly purring on your lap to suddenly hissing at you or biting or swatting you for no reason, can go from 0-60 in a milli second, can be so gentle and loving to scaring the heck out of you like a wild cougar, seats at you or attacks you depending on her vantage point any time you walk by her, talks up a storm more than any cat I’ve ever known, is extremely attached to us that leaving her alone for a day causes major stress and anxiety, most vets won’t treat her because she is so scary and aggressive with them-even scares us enough that we leave the room-as she morphs into a mountain lion the second we enter the vet and now they insist on sedating her every time. The list goes on. I have never had a cat anything like her. She’s so unique and difficult but special and loving and I wouldn’t trade her for the world. It wasn’t until one vet finally told us oh she’s got tortitude and owns you because of the kind of cat she is-a diluted torbie! Once I read up on that it all made sense and described her perfectly. The only thing I didn’t see was she is overly sensitive to noise. I can’t sing or talk on speakerphone or she gets mad and attacks me even if she’s asleep. She will wake up and attack me if I play music on my iPhone. Crazy. Like they say she can be cuddling and loving and purring so loudly on me and in a split second gets wild eyed and wants to kill me, especially if she’s comfortable next to me and I dare move and disturb her. If she was 300 lbs she def would have done that by now haha.

    • She sounds like a wonderful kitty. Torties are so full of life and personality that nothing can hold them back. I am so happy that you accept and enjoy her unique little self. Torties give you such love.

  65. Great article. It helped understand some of the personality traits of one of our cats. We have two a year and a half old Tabby named Marcus and a Year and one month old named Bella who we thought was a tabby like her big bro but it seems she may be what you referred to as a “torbie”. Kinda wondered a bit if she was a tortie when the orange fur pattern started to appear as she grew up. But now that i have read this article i have a better understanding. She def has the tortitude going on. Full on daddys girl and vocal at times. Not full on meowing but a sort of questioning and curious hmm? Kind of noise. It is difficult to explain what it sounds like really.

  66. Every cat, like every person, has its own personality. But Torties have unique personalities. They seem to be able to know their owners feelings on a higher level than other cats. I lost my little girl, Rusty, last September and lost part of my heart with her passing. She was the most loving and lively cat I have ever had. I will always love her and hope she will be waiting for me on the Rainbow Bridge. Torties are awesome!

  67. My tortis are totally different. I have 5 cats, two of them are tortis. MiYim is 10 years old, I have to admit she is my favorite. Why? MiYim is so silly and makes me laugh everyday, she knows when I am playing or teasing her and would play with me. She is wonderful with other cats, even female cats. She is great friends with another torti cat, Mimosa. They are best friends. They sleep together and groom each other. She is totally different from MiYim, Mimosa is not affectionate with people. She is just loving and sweet. I still love them so much! <3

  68. Yep know the tortitude.. My wife and I have 15 cats 3 are torties
    Gidgit, maakins, and alee-roo.. And each one has its own tortitude,
    Got mainecoons also and cali’s..but most keep there distance from the torties… Except tank my 22 lb mainecoon.. He could careless about them..he’ll get waped by one just looks at them..if he could talk he’d probably say really. That’s all ya got… Then he just walks
    But all are furbabies. Are just wonderful… My wife has a crazy gift
    She can hold a cat for a bit and if there is something wrong with it she can almost to a tee tell what’s its problems are… Freaks are vet out.. Lol
    Catitude on peeps…….

  69. Porschie-girl was the best tortie you ever hope to have. I had the most amazing 14 years with her since the day my wife brought her home to me on my birthday as a gift. She would go to work with me about once a month. She was the hit of the drive though when I got coffee. She was unseperable from me. She waited for me outside the shower and jumped on my lap the second I sat down. She slept next to me with her head if the pillow next to me (under the blankets). Her tortietude was her possession of me. I am heartbroken over her loss… I am not ready for another as I am convinced I had the best kitten in the world and I couldn’t love another. I had always told my wife if Porsche goes before me to just kill me and burry us together… But when the time came she refused and has been consoling me daily now for 2 weeks… I hope everyone finds a tortie as perfect as mine!

    • I’m so sorry for your loss, Peter. Porschie-girl (what a great name!) sounds like she was your soul cat. It always hurts to lose a cat, but when these special, one-of-a-kind cats leave us, it’s devastating.

    • Hi Peter C,

      I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of your furrbaby Porsche. Believe me, I know and understand how painful and real this kind of loss is. I suspect many on this site understand and sympathize with you as well.
      I don’t know if you are familiar with The Rainbow Bridge but it has brought comfort to me in the past (on more than one occasion). Got to: I hope you are a Christian. If so, you know that what we call “death” is only a transformation. Porsche-girl is safe and well and you will be reunited again (in God’s good time).
      One other thing I want to add: grieving over a loss is normal, even for a man (despite what some in society think or say). So go ahead and grieve. Then heal. After a reasonable time has passed and the healing is progressing well, Please, please, please take a little trip to the nearest animal shelter (‘dog’ pound, or whatever else they call it in your area). Go in and ask to the the kittens and cats. I’ll bet you will find a new love of our life there. When you do……ADOPT. You will not only be finding a new furrbaby companion but you will ALSO be SAVING A LIFE!
      God bless you in your loss and sorrow.

    • Oh Peter

      I so know how you feel. I lost my tortie almost three years ago now – she was with me for 18 years and still think about her every day and still want to cry she is/was the love of my live and no-one has ever touched me the way she did. She is buried outside my bedroom window and every few days I pray that she will just be allowed to come back to me for a few minutes – miss her dreadfully and will never love anyone human or cat the way I loved her

  70. Oh my gosh! Tortitude really IS real! I’ve had many cats in my 63 years of life ranging from Siamese to Calico (and a couple of Tuxedos in there too) but I just acquired my first Tortie just a little over a month ago. She was a stray that “found” me. I already had 3 cats (my wife does NOT like cats) so adding another to the household really wasn’t a good idea. But Princess (yes, that’s her name; I call her my Little Princess) just started showing up in the backyard. After about a month of chasing her off, I couldn’t resist and tried to coax her to me……and she came right to me. After sitting on the patio and petting her on my lap for two nights, well, my wife was just going to have to get used to a new member of the family. Anyway, Princess is 1/2 the size of the other 3 but she rules the roost. ALL THREE of the other cats are afraid of her. Why? TORTITUDE! And she is surely a Daddy’s girl too. If she’s awake, she has to either be in my lap or within touching distance on my desk. And purr? Oh yes. As long as she is getting my attention she purrs and purrs – loudly. One other unique thing about my little Princess is she loves for me to rub her tummy. I’ve never, ever had a cat that would let you do that but she loves it.

    • I know when cats find us… they make us feel the most bonded to them because of the special/unique connection… that being said, I admin a Facebook group for missing and found pets, and I just am hoping you looked for humans who might be missing that Princess of yours… I lost the only nice cat who has ever owned me, and I looked and searched and did everything possible short of taking out a full page ad in the newspaper… if someone kept my girl without looking to see if anyone was missing her… I just have no words for the devastation I still feel by not having closure. I learned a lot because of my loss. If you need any tips on where/how to look, I’d be happy to guide you!

      • I did look and I keep up with all the local lost and found pets in our area. The first thing I did after she chose me was to have her checked for a chip (she wasn’t chipped….but she is now!) I also checked with a neighbor who is the former Humane Society President and now operates a local cat sanctuary and she highly encouraged me to take Princess in. My vet says she thinks Princess was “thrown out” by a human who wasn’t prepared to be responsible for the costs, sacrifices and inconveniences of pet ownership. If you knew the area I live in, you would understand. People down here on the border are terrible pet parents.

  71. I just want to say that i liked when you said “regardless of coat color, is an individual” You are absolutely right, so we need to treat our cats the same way.

  72. Can Torties change color? My little princess found us about 2 months ago, when we first met she was true definition of a tortie, black, amber and yellow mixture everywhere except some white spot in her nose, her front paws and specks in her belly. But over the last month more white fur has come in, she looks ashen, her beautifl colors are still noticible but look a little muted. Wondering if you know of this happening to other kittens?

    • It sounds like she’s a dilute tortie. Some breeds change color as the kitten grows up. Typically this happens in Siamese and Persian cats. Maybe she has some of that lineage in her background? Color changes can be an indicator of a health issue if they’re accompanied by other symptoms.

  73. Tortitude is definitely a real thing. We have a Tortoiseshell cat, Amber and who is 2. Her personality is unlike that of any other cat I’ve had perviously. She is had strong for sure and doesn’t seem to like my husband much, which is terrible because she is supposed to be his cat, but is attached to me which drives my 17 year old Tabby crazy. She is playful with me and our other cat, but doesn’t care for others. We love her and her unique personality.

  74. Hmm, I don’t know if our tortie has any Tortitude! She’s 4 now. Her tabby sister is 8 and ginger brother is 17ish. And they are WAY more dominant. But our tortie girl is special. We adopted her when she was 2.5 pounds because she both growled, hissed and purred like an insane little thing when we were introduced. She CAN be very skittish. Doesn’t like loud noises. Growls at the mailman like a dog while running to hide. She doesn’t come out for any short term visitors though overnight guests sometimes catch a glimpse of her spying.

    The truth is, she’s not exactly smart….at all. She learned the basic rules easy enough. Pee, eat, sleep here and respond to her name, but she’s just not quick thinking. She has two modes of passing her day. Loving everything and scared to death but still loving everything. She is the sweetest and the most loving and the one that doesn’t bear a grudge. Within two days of meeting our fluffy orange ginger guy (who was NOT pleased at a new kitten) she started staring at him in wonder. SO FLOOFY. Then she followed. Then she got closer…and closer. Sometimes, they even snuggle if he doesn’t care enough. He is her golden God and she loves nothing more than to throw herself at his feet and wriggle and purr. And if she’s lucky, he’ll lick her head before biting it and smacking her away. It makes her feel so special.

    So Tortitude? I don’t know if she has it. Though I definitely believe in differences between cat coat colors. Our ginger is SUCH a ginger and we hold him like a baby. Our tabby is headstrong, judgey, calm and calculating to get her way. But maybe our tortie ended up a little touched in the head, though I wouldn’t change her at all!

  75. Thank you so much for this article it describes my little girl so much! My torties name is Juniper but goes by Juni. I got her as a 6 month old kitten as a gift from a friend. The moment we met each other it was love at first sight. As soon as our eyes met she yelled her greeting demanding attention. She follows me everywhere and we talk to each other for hours. She is my little princess she likes most everyone but despises my mom. Everytime my mom picks her up she screams and tries to push her away to be let down. She doesn’t do that with anyone else just her. She loves to chase my other two cats around and catch bugs midair, she is such a beautiful little blessing I couldn’t imagine my life now not having a tortie they are so purrrfect.

  76. Hi! I found your research very interesting. A few months ago, I took in a tortie kitten, maybe almost a year old, who was a stray that a friend took in, but couldn’t keep… It’s been a wild ride every since! She was affectionate from the start, rubbing her face on my short beard, licking me, jumping on my back, but now she kicked it up a notch, and is always where I am… She sits on my lap every chance she gets, when she’s not running around chasing who-knows-what… lol She’s very vocal, meowing at me all the time, except when she’s calm in my arms, or sleeping next to me in my bed… She follows me to the bathroom and drinks water from the sink when I’m there… She also appears at the edge of the tub when I’m taking a shower, meowing at me, as if I’m taking too much time in there… lol I’ve never seen her hiss! And, when I run the vacuum, instead of running away and hiding, she takes a stance a few feet away and just watches me… She’s such a golden-eyed treasure… Just thought I’d share… Thanks!

      • Yeah, and then some! Now, instead of watching me shower, she sits between the liner and the outer curtain and, when I’m done, and move the curtains back, she’s sitting there at my feet, meowing at me! I say, “What? Did I disturb you?” and she meows some more. Then, when I step out, she likes to dry my ankles off by licking them. lol She still has this thing about jumping on my back, when I’m bent-over… Ouch! But, she also likes to attack me, with love, when I’m least expecting it! She jumps up in my lap and reaches her paws out, and touches my chest and face with her little paws… She’s like putty in my arms, sometimes, forgetting that, if I shift one way or another, she might fall… Oh, well… I love her and she loves me… lol

          • Update! lol Well, it’s been almost 2 years since my treasure and I have been together, and I’ve never seen or hear her hiss! She’s the gentlest, yet clumsiest, creature I’ve ever known. She still smothers me with love, but she turns into a rag doll when she does, and her claws have a mind of their own… she doesn’t mean to hurt me, she just gets caught up in the moment, I guess… lol She still climbs on my shoulders once in a while and rubs my head with her head, and still does all I said in my previous post…

  77. My 15 year old male fdr died and I was heartbroken I also have a 14 year old 20 pounder teddy. My granddaughters and I went to a cat cafe and they fell in love with a little chocolate tortie. I succumbed and she exudes tortitude. She is smart learned her name in 2 weeks loves everyone,especially me. It is impossible to clip her nails so I have to burrito her. The 20 pounder lets her have her way and stopped hissing at her in 4 days. The vet said she never saw one so active and my cat sitter who has ten cats said she is something else. Tortitude lives at my house

  78. I just adopted an 8 year old Tortie. I’ve had for just a little over 24 hours. So far, she’s let me brush her a few times. And now she’s under the bed going on 5 hours. I guess I’ll learn her personality gradually, once she decides to come out again. For now, I’m giving her food, water, and plenty of space.

    • You have a scared kitty out of her comfort zone.We have a now 17 year old ginger cat with diabetes. When we first got him at 11, after a happy first home with a family who started having children to which he just never adjusted to, he found himself with us (a happily childless couple who loves cats) and a 2 year old cat that decided she suddenly wanted to be the only child. He was heartbroken about his family and antagonized by our cat and hit under the bed for so long we later realized he peed himself under there. And all we could do was sneak him treats and say his name while rubbing his nose. The more comfortable he got, the more his personality came out. Holy crap, he has SO much personality! It took about 2 months for him to really start coming out. Today, he’s a 17 year old super cute nightmare of assertiveness and personality that still plays daily, demands chest cuddles and regularly wakes up my husband two hours early for work by smacking him on the head over…and over…and over. So don’t worry for a second….there’s a personality in there just WAITING TO BURST OUT to annoy you one second and make you melt with cuteness the next!

  79. I have a tortie cat. Her name is Abby and she is a beautiful cat. I adopted her from a cat rescue group. She was found outdoors hiding under a porch. Whoever owned her beore had her declawed(all four paws). When I saw her picture on the website and read her story, I had to meet her. She was shy during that meeting. I felt that I could give her the understanding love and attention that a Tortie cat needs so I adopted her. She is a very moody 2year old girl but when she is in her loving mood it makes up for all the warning meows, growls and hisses. She does not like being picked up at all, and doesn’t like her belly touched. If you try she will swat you. I have had her for 8 months now and I think she finally realizes she is home! She recently started resting her front paws on my shoulder and rubbing her face against mine and then waits for a kiss on the head. I love my Abby and I am very happy that I adopted her. She is my baby attitude and all!

    • Hi Cindy I enjoyed your story as it is a lot like mine. I adopted my Hanukkah from a shelter a few months after she was found half Frozen on a doorstep. The girls at the shelter worked hard to save her and named her after the day she was found on Hanukkah. I was looking for a senior cat. She was 9 estimated at the time.Also had been declawed but front only. You are probably in for a true long time friend as mine is now 17 yrs old!. I have had about 15 cats mostly short term seniors I adopt and spoil until the end. Hanukkah is in my top 3 of all for sure. She has that little kitten but adult quality about her. I never planned on a tortie but definitely agree they are different from other breeds in their personality. I best describe it as the way many people from India or Newfoundland have their own defined sense of humour. It is like a more intense and exaggerated personality. I enjoy every minute with her and she spends hours happily right next to or on top of me. Since I’ve been through so many cats I realize I’ll only have her a little while longer-a few years I hope. So my message is I hope you get the most you can out of your time with Abby like I am with mine. Life is so much better with a good cat!

  80. Our beautiful Mercedes was a birthday gift from one of my good friends. That May our other cat got taken by foxes we believe and I had a hole in my heart. My friend couldn’t stand seeing me hurt, saw an ad for free cats and thought she’d surprise me. The woman we got her from was having surgery and could not take care of her 9 cats after so she wanted to find loving homes for them. She took excellent care of them. All spade, neutered, shots up to date. That December I brought home two cats!!! My friend didn’t think one was enough and she picked them out. Well, once we got home, Mercedes tortitude was on full display!!!! As soon as we let them both out of the kennels, Mercedes promptly chased Jill downstairs and would not let her come up!! Mercy! The poor kitty! We put a litter box, food and water bowl downstairs, but then I caught Mercedes laying at the top of the stairs waiting for Jill to come out for one of them just to chase her back into the corner. We would try to get to Jill to pet her and finally succeeded, but in the end had to get rid of her. We gave her to the gal who got her for me as a gift. My husband wanted to get rid of Mercedes because she used to make him so mad, she wasn’t a lap cat and she had been so mean to Jill. But the lady had a dog smaller than Mercedes and we knew she’d probably kill it as she had dented the metal strip on our screen an inch trying to get out to fight a cat in our yard! I’m glad we kept my boo boo kitty!! She will get sassy if you pet her in the wrong places at the wrong times. When she’s frappy and lays on her back, it’s not an invitation to pet her belly. It’s a claw trap! In the mornings when she does it, she loves a belly rub!! She absolutely hates my singing (I’m hearing impaired). If I’m sitting, she’ll sit on my lap hoping that will shut me up. When that doesn’t do it, she puts her paw over my mouth. When that doesn’t work, she puts her mouth up to mine and meow, meow, meow, meow. And if I’m still singing she’ll bite my cheek (nicely). If I’m standing or walking, she’ll chase me around biting my ankles!!!! She’s quite a trip. When we would go out of town, we would mostly ask this one friend to come over and feed her. Well, Mercedes would hiss at her every time. My friend finally nicknamed her Princess Hissy Whiskers! Ha! Fits her tortitude to a T! Yes, your highness! She hisses at the nicest people. If you’re a little ornery, then she may not hiss at you. My friend who has four cats came over. Mercedes hissed at her. Mary said, “Oh no you don’t!”, hissed back at her and chased her into our bedroom. Three minutes later Mercedes emerges and rubs all over Mary like her best friend!!!! Hahaha!! It was hilarious! Mary was able to pick her up and lay her on her lap, rub her belly for a long time at night!!! These were things I was lucky if I could do them and my husband couldn’t do them at all!!! All kidding aside. My baby kitty means so much to me!! She has been here for me during the last year and a half to confi comfort me when I would cry she would come sniff me and put her paw on me. It’s been a tough period getting used too a condition that keeps me home and indoors most of the time. She entertains me, comforts me, keeps me busy, sits right I the middle of what I need to do . She’s my baby girl!! Never a dull moment with her!! A couple of years ago we had to have all but 8 of her teeth pulled. She had a feline disease where her immune system attacks the bacteria in her gums and rots her teeth. The procedure was very expensive, but when my husband mentioned putting her down, I couldn’t take it. I broke down in the vets office crying for an hour and a half. I didn’t want to part with my baby girl (even though she was already 10)! I know someday I will, but I’m so blessed to have her now. God knew I’d need a companion for this time in my life, an angel and He sent one with fur and tortitude!!! I know this is long and this is just a snippet of my baby’s tude!

    • Deborah,
      I was so happy to hear that someone else could love a cat with so much tortitude! I have a tortie named Skittles with much the same tortitude as your Mercedes. She is the love of my life, next to my husband of course! LOL. My husband absolutely hates her. She will surprise attack his feet, scratching and biting. She hisses, growls, bites and scratches him if he tries to pet her. She even attacks my grandson. She is a holy terror, except to me. She doesn’t attack me and she will roll over and let me scratch her tummy. She follows me everywhere talking to me and insisting that I scratch under her chin. I am disabled also, and confined to the house most of the time. I am blessed to have her as a companion.

    • Deborah, I hope your cat lives a long, long time. She is blessed to have you as her Mommy. The pure and unconditional love we get from our furry friends is one of the best things life has to offer. God bless you.

  81. Our torti Cassie is 18 years old. She prefers our 2 big dogs to the other 4 cats.since she is thin I Offer food 5 z or more a day she eats trial and error whatever she wants. She is a cat that hOlds her own in any situation . She loves to cuddle at night on her terms of course ! A dear girl 18 years I would do anything to make her senior years pleasant. When we adopted her she was from the Humane Society she developed upper respiratory
    Disease and we hand fed her and medicated her on the hour the vet gave her a 50 50 she made it with flying colors the dear we are happy she is still part of our animal family.

    • “She is a cat that holds her own in any situation” – now that’s a perfect description of tortitude!

  82. My torty cat, TESSA, has been with us (my old guy diabetic cat) for 8 months now… the first two months she was in complete hiding between a bedspread and the closet. She didn’t know how to play and was terrified by any toy I offered to her. I think there’s been a breakthrough as I was sitting on my sofa this morning and decided to run the light play device in front of her and she pounced on it! That’s an absolute first. She look like a joyful young cat should look. I suspect it’s all upward and onward from here. I’m glad that I was able to offer her a relatively quiet home because I think she is extremely sensitive as many say their torty’s are. She often moves in a very skittish fashion and I’ve taken to calling her Twinkle Toes. The end of her tail has a white tip she will flick it with distain and dance out of the room.

    • I’ve had cats all my life but I had never met a “tortie” until one arrived at my patio door in 5 degree weather hungry and cold. She has a beautiful white tipped tail and classic markings. A few weeks later we found she was pregnant but the vet said this was her first litter because she was young. we decided to let her stay with us and have loved every minute of her unique personality. During her pregnancy she scoped out places and would use a unique voice and behavior to get me to follow her around.i thought she was looking for a safe place to have her kittens so I looked around with her. She kept going to a hallway closet but she would go in and come back out “talking” to me again in a different voice. I removed all the clutter in the bottom of the closet and placed soft blankets inside. She stopped looking after this and eventually had her 2 kittens in the closet we cleaned out. The funny thing is that she was aloof most of the time until she wanted food, attention or a nice comfy place to lay. She used her meowing noises to let me know what she wanted. One of her kittens was another tortoise shell which we kept in our home. She was loving, had the loudest purr, and possessive over me and only lays in my lap. 12 years later they are in great health and we still have both of them but their personalities have changed some over time. The original cat, Gabby, has taken over my lap and will not let her daughter come near me. When she is not on my lap, Hannah, uses it but leaves when her mom comes back. We know they will not be with us forever, so I don’t know what I will do without them.

  83. Wow! Had no idea. I adopted my girl, Lavender, from the local shelter, where she had been surrendered for euthanasia…well, I just could NOT let that be. I
    was told there had been a 2-yr old in her previous home, and Lavender had
    nearly no fur, plus scabs on her back half when surrendered, likely due to stress. She is still quick to run & hide, but is better here, her fur is coming back, she is nothing but LOVED, although she does strike if touched in a wrong spot, or when she isn’t ready. She’s here just about 6 weeks now, I will not EVER abandon her, and I have hopes she’ll settle, except for some Tortitude.

  84. My 14 week female tortoise shell manx is absolutely fearless of my 1 year old tabby manx. What she lacks in sizes she makes up for in attitude.

    • I just got me my Long Hair Torti girl kitten from the Shelter and my 10 month old Maine Coon (13 pound) Hunter was very very unhappy. After 3 days do to her playfulness he came around. One think that I saw and surprised me was, she was absolutely silent with him. He attacked her (without teeth) many times, but she never hissed back, just dived under furniture. At the end when he couldn’t hold his curiosity and she saw him softening…she turned the tie and controlled him in a playful way.

  85. I recently began volunteering at our local SPCA. It has been many years since I had a cat as a pet and I thought this would be a good way for me to get some quality feline time. Every Saturday I would spend an hour or two in the cat room and I would try to visit each cage. I noticed myself being drawn back to one cage in particular every week. I found myself thinking about “her” and feeling impatient waiting for Saturday so I could see her again. I selfishly hoped she would not get adopted so I could see her again. It was at that point that I realized that I have a serious love affair going on here and I need to something about it now or regret it the rest of my life. A bit of paperwork and a few shots later and we have been housemates for the past 3 months. I knew nothing of the tortie personality but I always thought “Caramel” had a sweet/salty disposition and a loyalty to me like no other pet. Since I’ve learned a bit about “tortitude, I now understand that I was the one who was adopted several months ago. In fact, it was not until I reviewed her adoption paperwork that I realized that she was 10 years old to the day when I took her home. Something tells me that the “tortie” in her knew it was her birthday that Saturday and she deserved a present (her forever home).

    • “Sweet/salty” is a great way to describe tortitude, Joe! May you and Caramel have many many happy years together!

  86. 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!

  87. 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.

    • 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

  88. 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

  89. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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

  90. 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.

    • 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.

  91. 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.

    • This article may help, Andrea: You may want to consider working with a feline behaviorist. If you can’t find anyone local to you, I can highly recommend Mikel Delgado and Daniel Quagliozzi Both offer remote consultations.

    • 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!

    • 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!

    • 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!

      • My main coon peed on the bed when we first brought him home. It was the only place he peed. I put rubber carpet runners with the plastic prongs face up on the bed. That was 3 years ago. Still use the runners but he doesn’t pee anywhere else but the box. Caveat, we went to the vet first to rule out any medical issues.

  92. 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.

    • I’m sorry this happened to you, Anna. Redirected aggression can be challenging to resolve, and you may need to keep your cats separated for more than just a day or two. Here’s more information, and you may also find some of the comments helpful:

  93. 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.

    • If her aggressive behavior is unusual for her, I would want to investigate the cause. It could be play or petting aggression. You can find more information here and here

  94. 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.

    • 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

    • 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!!!

  95. 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, “ 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.

      • 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…”

        • 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. 🙂

        • 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!)

      • Hi Ian

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


  96. 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.

  97. 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!

    • 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.

  98. 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.

  99. 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

  100. 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

  101. 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?

    • This article should help, Hannah: , but if you’re constantly bringing strange dogs into your home to dog sit, you may need to confine the dogs to only one section of your home that Luna can’t access to reduce stress for her.

  102. 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.

    • 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

  103. 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?

    • 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: 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 and Daniel Quagliozzi Both offer remote consultations.

    • 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.

  104. 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.

  105. 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!

    • Bless you for rescuing this girl! This article should help to introduce her to your dog:

      • 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.

    • 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.

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

  106. 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 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.

  107. 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.

  108. 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.

    • 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????

  109. 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.

  110. 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?

    • You need to introduce the new kitten very slowly and gradually, Ann – here’s how:

  111. 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.

  112. 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

  113. 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.

  114. 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

  115. 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…

  116. 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.

    • 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!

        • 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!

      • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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!

        • 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.

      • 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!

    • 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.

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

  117. 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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

  118. 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..

  119. 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

  120. 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!

    • 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…

        • 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.

  121. 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

    • 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.

    • 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?

  122. 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……

    • The episodes you’re seeing that happen when she sees something outside the window are considered redirected aggression, something that is quite common:

  123. 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.

  124. 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.

    • 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.

  125. 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.

  126. 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.

  127. 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.

    • 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 and Daniel Quagliozzi Both offer remote consultations.

      • 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.

        • 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.

          • 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.

    • 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.

        • 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.

  128. 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.

  129. 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!

  130. 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!

  131. 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.

  132. I adopted my tortie Romi when she was 8 weeks. She will be 7 years old in November and we just love her! She is definitely unique, and the complete opposite of our male Siamese cat. She doesn’t say a peep unless she absolutely has to, she loves my husband and me but has no patience for our younger children or for koichi our male Siamese. She is also pretty large. She weighed in at 15 pounds and she has a large frame & an even longer tail! She has a lot of the traits that are mentioned in the article with the exception of being talkative! She’s so independent but when she feels like it she can be the very best cuddle buddy.

    • I got my tortie at * weeks old from a county shelter kitten fair. I wanted a companion for the 1 year old I had found. The year old was very small but playful. I have had a lot of cats in my life and thought Sookie, the tortie was 12-14 weeks old. They swore she was 8 weeks and the vet confirmed that. Loony the year old, now weighs 13 pounds. Sookie is pushing 25! These cats, both female, have always gotten along after 9 years of togetherness. Sookie is even protective of loony. Sookie is very loving and calm. She likes to talk but rarely gets on a lap possibly due to size. She loves attention and joins me in bed. Loony runs wild in attempts to get Sookie to play but sookie usually just watches. Maybe tortitude is from the upbringing.

      • I’ve had a lot of rescue kitties and noticed myself that certain colors have certain traits, even within the same litter so I think it’s a combination. My Jazz was nasty for the first three years, although she came at six weeks old and never had any traumas. Calliope was one of the sweetest cats I’ve ever met in spite of a horrible kittenhood. Both showed an amazing amount of stubbornness at getting what they wanted.

        • I agree completely, there are always exceptions to every rule but after rescuing & fostering many cats myself, I find Tortie/Torbie-tude to be a very real condition, and all my fellow TNR’ers agree. Although very rare, the Reverse or Red ones seem to be at the extreme end of those traits.
          I have found the more colors, the more colorful the personality!

  133. I rescued a beautiful, sweet little pregnant tortie, who proceeded to have 6 beautiful kittens. She had medium length fur, but she was starved and plucking her fur because she was preggers, so I don’t know what she would look like in full coat. Shortly after the babies were born, my Cymrik tortie passed away at the ripe old age of 17. She was a born diva, a friend had bought her, couldn’t stand her and gave her to me. She was the meanest kitten I’d ever been around. Then at 3 years, she switched over night and became a people cat. Still mean to other cats though. She had a ton of tortietude. Now I have these kittens that are changing color. Jett, a boy, was born black, but the fur on his back is that deep auburn colors most black cats show in the sun, but his is really burnt orange. Now his tummy is getting silvery white patches. His face, tail and paws are staying black. Recently I saw a photo of a male tortie, which I had always been told is impossible. Turns out it’s extremely rare, but it does happen. He has a lot to say about life, insists on being with me even more than the other kittens, and looks exactly like a photo I saw of a male tortie kitten about his own age. He has medium long fur but all the kittens fur is changing almost daily. He has a short haired tabby sister who has “ticking” on her back, like her mother, an orange tabby brother who has the typical “Ya gotta love me!” orange attitude and two long haired tabby twins that look like baby Maine Coons. In fact, their momma in both color and personality was like a Maine Coon and an Abyssinian mix. I hope he has that personality, because I don’t want another diva, but I also don’t think I can give him up. Has any one else heard of torties changing color?

    • Some feline breeds naturally change color as they age, so if your kitten has some of these breeds mixed in somewhere along the line, that may be causing the color changes. Some kittens are born with faint tabby stripes that may fade as they grow.

      • You know how siamese are born white, then get their color points as they age? He’s like a reverse siamese, as he ages he gets lighter. One of his possible fathers is a siamese mix. Aren’t cats fascinating?

  134. Yesterday morning, I hear my neighbors pit bull barking and at the same time my neighbor calling his dog, next thing I see my torti, Jade run up on our deck with her tail puffed out real big, the dog stops short of the steps as Jade is hissing/yowling at it, the dog leaves. I am freaked as Jade has had issues with hissing and stalking my husband which is why she has become an indoor/outdoor cat. But I can’t get inside quick enough so stay in the chair thinking she is rattled but will stay under the chair to calm down as she is in her safe spot (our deck) and the dog left. She proceeds to jump on the arm of the chair, hissing/yowling in my face, it scares me so I go to get off the deck but she proceeds to chase me. I am yelling for my neighbor to help me all the while thinking Jade is going to jump on my back & attack me but she ran back to the deck when my neighbor came over to me. So, what happened is that Jade was under their shed and the dog saw her and I guess at first had her cornered so understandable she freaked but then why did she feel the need to come at me even after the dog left?

    • I am thinking just misplaced aggression. Over-agitated, over-stimulated, still in flight or fight mode, and you happened to be in the way. I’ve had non-tortie cats do this to me 🙁 After you decided to move insaide, you acted like prey and that kept her senses firing and gave chase. When your neighbor came over, it was enough of a different stimulus to break the tension and allowed her attention to be refocused on getting to her safe spot. In my opinion 🙂 I do not claim to be a cat behaviorist 🙂

    • That’s a classic case of redirected aggression, and it’s very distressing when it happens. Here’s more information:

        • Redirected aggression can be difficult to resolve – the article I linked to in my earlier comment addresses this, and reading through the comments may also be helpful for you. This type of aggression can happen at any age. You may want to consider working with a feline behaviorist. Play or petting aggression are usually fairly easy to resolve with behavioral modification. You can find more information on both on this site (use the search field in the sidebar to find information on both.)

  135. I acquired my first Tortishell Persian five years ago. She was dumped at a rescue organization after her owner died, and I was donating items to them and saw her. She was an adult when I acquired her. I find her to be very intelligent, pensive and thoughtful and very loving. I have other cats and she would watch them and wait until they ate before she went to eat, as if she was observing where her place was amongst the others and what was safe for her. I don’t find her quirky at all. Just a sweet, loving and wonderful Persian cat who happens to be a Tortishell.

  136. I just adopted my first Tortie. Zelda seems quite calm but, I do see a little bit of pushy in her personality. Especially when she wants to be petted. I’ve only had her a couple of weeks and she seems to be becoming a little more demanding you might say. She is 2yr and I also adopted a kitten grey and white I named Gatsby. He’s a terror but, the two have bonded and play together a lot so, I’m curious to see what Zelda’s personality will become as she gets used to her new furever home. At this point I’ve been calling her the demure little lady as she likes to hang back and be calm. I’m wondering if this will change. It’s only been not quite 3 wks since I adopted them so, I guess I’ll see how her personality presents it’s self when she gets used to being in her new home. Should be interesting. Did I say she is beautiful? Did I say that Gatsby is a terror on wheels? He’s just shy of 4 months old. It’s been 16 yrs since I have experienced a kitten and I’m relearning how to stay out of his attack path! LOL Zelda seems to handle him well. Some hisses here and there when she fed up with the biting and attacking but, no major battles between them since I got them. They have become very friendly with each other. 🙂

    • I had the best tortie, Chacha, sweet would be an understatement. She was cute no attitude at all but her litter mate gray & black tabby sister had tons of attitude. Not shy about hissing if she was unhappy.

  137. Hi, we adopted a two-year-old female Tortie that had been surrendered to our vet’s office close to three weeks ago. She was very sweet at the vet’s office, but at home, she has displayed very aggressive behavior with us (unprovoked biting, swiping, growling). We have a senior dog who is being very patient with it all and gives her a wide berth, but Shiva terrorizes her. We have tons of toys for her and a play with her to try to burn off some of the ‘crazy’, but we just don’t see her bonding with us. We’ve tried a pheromone collar, but no change. She is fearless with everything, and we do our best to give her her space when we see that tail begin to twitch (always the sign of impending trouble). My question- will she ever mellow or bond with us? Or is this a sign of a cat that is just not happy with us and needs to be re-homed? She came from a home with a little boy, and we wonder if perhaps she has been teased. I understand that things needs to be on a Tortie’s terms, but this seems beyond that, and I don’t want to be afraid of an animal in my home. Thanks for any advice- we don’t want to give up on her if there is hope that she will become a part of our family.

    • I would give her time to settle in, Denise. You’re doing all the right things by playing with her to tire her out, and giving her space when she’s over stimulated. It sounds like she may not have had the happiest of associations in her prior home with humans.

      • This is probably is obvious but she has been ripped from her home/ comfort zone. Put in a cage at the vets, then shipped off to a strange place. Add to that’ being handled by total strangers”lovingly no doubt”, fed different food and add in a dog. It’s going to take a while! Give it lots of time! Also from what I have experienced and read, mostly on this sight, torties seem to prefer bonding with one person that they will choose. And if you handle her make it quick and affectionate, if she likes it she will let you know and maybe surprise you by jumping in your lap from time to time. I think this will take like four to six months then she most likely will have you in her control, I speak from experience. Good luck

  138. I have a 16-year old tortie named Bojanka. She is the sweetest, gentlest kitty in the world, who loves cuddles and most of all seems to love me because every time I enter the room she’s in and sit somewhere she’d get up and come to me immediately, then cuddle next to me and start purring loudly. No exceptions. She always does that, even if she was asleep when I entered. She is also unspeakably stubborn kitty – when Bojanka wants something, she will get it. The whole universe will move, but she will not. And last but not at all least – she’s the smartest cat I’ve ever had. I’m mid-30s, I’ve had cats all my life, but never as smart a kitty as her. <3

      • She IS wonderful. My mother took her in years ago and brought her to me. She was a malnourished, exhausted creature that had clearly not been fed well as a baby because she clearly had had rickets, her feet are visibly curved and her spine has an obvious hunchback. She can’t move the left side of her face at all, can’t move the ear, can’t close her eye fully, can’t even move that side of her mouth as much as the right one and the vet said that it was a result of someone (has to have been a human, because another cat wouldn’t have the strength for it) hitting her with such strength that they crushed her facial nerve on that side. I still can’t wrap my head around the idea of people doing this. Just why.

        She’s my angel now, she’s fed, cared for and loved. She bosses the dog around and sleeps in his bed while he sleeps on the floor LOL. But her sheer fortitude never ceases to impress me. I think that’s how she survived back when she was homeless, she got what she wanted no matter what.

    • To Gia bread my Hanukkah is also a 16 yr old petite tortie. I’ve also had several cats over the years and yours sounds a lot like mine. I notice mine “talks” more intently than any other. Sure most cats do but there seems to be much more emotion and “enquiry” with her. Not that she’s more intelligent but I feel torties have a great inborn talent for “expression” and it gets more pronounced with age. I’m so use to it it’s like everyday nothing to me but when someone is visiting and they hear it they are in awe!

      • I haven’t had a tortie before Bojanka so I have no basis for comparison. When we first got her Bojanka was incredibly quiet – she wouldn’t meow, she’d just open her mouth but no sound would come out, she didn’t even know how to purr.
        Apart from her at the time we had one other cat, a big male colour point named Chuni, who was the loudest creature you can imagine. He meowed loudly, purred loudly, walked loudly lol. He was that guy who’d sit in the middle of the room and yowl just because he felt like it. I think she learned to purr from him eventually, though the sound was nowhere near as impressive. RIP Chuni, he passed away at 19 last year.

        As time went by she actually learned to vocalize more, now she can actually meow and she “talks” and talks a lot.

        • My one year old Moriah, is very chatty, especially when I come home, or when starts running around anything from a shrill meow to low gutterral tones when she wants to play.

  139. I have a tortie I ” rescued ” last summer. Her name is Rebel Girl ( I named her after an old song by the band Survivor – the ones who have the song ” Eye of the Tiger ” ). She was a stray I was feeding outside. I kept working with her, and eventually she decided I was okay, and started allowing me to pet her. Soon she was craving my attention, and not leaving at night. I live on a busy street and always dreaded turning the corner to see she had not made it across the road successfully. So, I took her into my house. After a clean bill of health, although in the early stage of being pregnant, I allowed her join my other two cats. I had her spayed before her pregnancy advanced further. Before any of you attack me, I feel there are already too many homeless cats. I didn’t want to add the the problem. To me, it was the right, and responsible, thing to do. She has been an endless source of joy!! I love her so much. She purrs like a diesel engine. She will allow me to pet her forever, but, will not lie in my lap. She is also extremely intelligent. Almost scarily intelligent. I still feed my neighborhood strays, and there is another tortie that’s been coming around. She has the almost exact same mannerisms as my Rebel. And is tiny like my Rebel. They could be siblings. I call her Esme. I have been working with her. Yesterday was the first time she let me touch her. It was just her tail, but, it’s a start. I want to gain her trust, and hopefully get her to the point where I can get her off the streets, too, and get her in a loving home. I can’t keep her, as I’m already over my lease limit. She has a kitten that I saw only once. He’s a ginger. The day I saw him he looked to be around 8 or so weeks old. She hasn’t brought him around to my feeding station to my knowledge, so I don’t know if he got lost or just decided he was old enough to leave momma.

    • Rebel is such a perfect name for a tortie! Thank you for taking her in, and for trying to do the same for Esme.

  140. I have a Tortie that will be 3 years old in October. Her name is Autumn. She is headstrong and has let our other cats know that she is the alpha of our family. She has a sister that doesn’t have the tortie markings like Autumn has. She wants to be near me a certain times and then there are times when she wants nothing at all to do with me. She has a personality all her own that’s for sure.

  141. We have a Dilute Tortie, Muffin. She is as sweet as can be and is a lap cat. We love her so much and she has a loud purr. Our son rescued her from the middle of a highway where he worked at a gas station. We advertised her, but no one responded, so we kept her. We are so blessed to have her. Our son also has a Dilute Tortie, Gracie, and she is very sweet and very vocal. She is good with the granddaughters and loved sleeping with them at night. She was good at alerting the parents at night if anything was wrong. Torties are great cats. ♥

    • God bless you all. Torties (and all cats) are great.
      We have a Tort, Charlotte, and she is amazingly beautiful with a swett, excellent personality.

  142. Jade, our 2yr tortie started hissing and would follow me while hissing a month before turning 2. Up to that point, the most lovable and playful cat. I became scared as I did not want to be attacked and know that she then became alpha. She will be loving one minute and then hiss for what we conclude to be when she wants her own way but sometimes for what seems like no reason. She has also followed up hissing with growling and yowling like she is ready to attack. We let her outdoors to see if it would help after trying so many suggestions, the calming sprays, diffusers, treats, etc. she has been to the Vet and is healthy. Any other tips to prevent the hissing episodes? She does love being outside and seems a bit better as she is very curious and nosy.

    • That is a bit of an odd behavior. I suspect that Jade needs a lot of stimulation. If you’re not already doing so, try structured playtime with her. Play with her for 10-15 minutes, two or three times a day, and really get her tired out. Use interactive wand toys. Also, make sure she has plenty of stimulation when she’s inside: window perches or cat trees near windows, toys she can play with by herself, etc.

      • Thank you. Yes, she gets plenty of attention and play time, she is the center of our house. She has so many toys, 5 scratching posts, a dozen wands and balls,etc. I will line her balls along the steps and she knocks them down, also we will play catch throwing balls up the steps for her to get, we play hide and seek, just to name a few of things we do. I am hoping her being outside is helping.
        Please help if anyone has anything to offer.

          • We have often thought there was something mentally wrong as well. We did try an anti-depressant but it made her worst. We have a script for a different one to try but am afraid to. Fingers crossed, her being outside just about full time is so far working. What do you do when your tabby starts acting crazy? Any tips are helpful. thank you.

          • I have one year old tortouse named Moriah. She tends to scratch a lot and I noticed today she had small sore by her ear. She doesn’t have ear mites or fleas. What can I put on the sore to give it time to heal?

          • If the sore is truly from scratching, I’d let it heal on its own, Don. However, if she’s scratching a lot, I’d take her to your vet to find out what’s causing it.

          • I think my tortie named miesha, has separation anxiety from me. Any suggestions n very over protective of me

    • This may sound odd, but there are anti-depressants for dogs and cats.
      I don’t advocate doping them into a coma, but sometime meds, along with behavioral changes / therapy, a la Jackson, can help.
      Maybe she needs more playtime / attention as well.
      Be a bit more attentive, even keep a journal of her behavior adn when she exhibits certain moods.
      Best of luck!
      In love of all cats, and theo great owners,

    • She may actually be Schizophrenic (yes, cats can have that too). The most notable characteristic is being happy one minute and then, with no warning, taking a lump out of you. Schizo-cats aren’t able to deal with overstimulation well and find it difficult to let you know they’ve had enough of that. Steroids may help, so take her to the vets and ask if they can diagnose, have a list of her behaviour to refer to as it’s easy to forget something, just in case it’s another condition that doesn’t react well to steroids. Btw, Steroids don’t have the same effect on cats as they do on humans, so don’t worry about her being on those. The best thing to do is take a note of when she reacts badly and what is going on at the time, try and see if there is a pattern and if you can limit the triggers (i.e. playtime goes on for 10 mins at 11 mins she attacks you, slow play down sooner and stop sooner). You might also find she mellows with age. At 2 she is just becoming an adult so hormones will be rampaging causing her condition to become more obvious. Give her and you time to settle into her new mentality. Schizo-cats are still very rewarding and worth the occasional flaying.

      • The behavior you’re describing may be caused by feline hyperesthesia syndrome

        • Hi Ingrid, it’s the same thing, it can be called either. Our Neeps had it with all the issues you noted as well as other symptoms like absence seizures – staring at vertical things for prolonged periods, and unrelated to her Schiz she also had FAD, and food allergies resulting in digestive issues. She wasn’t unusually vocal though. We never saw her have fitting seizures until the one that killed her. She was a rescue and we think her unknown/inconsistent change of personality and health issues was why she was given up, she was around 11 when she died, and worth the experimentation and time it took to get everything right for her as much as possible. She was a very loving cat in her own way, and it was so much more rewarding when she came for attention or greeted me when I got home with the signature shaky tail-meow hello. We also have Tali who was rescued with a broken jaw and had a very squiffy face when we first got him, his face is almost normal now but he still has a floppy-twitching ear and twitchy whiskers on his left side. He has luckily stopped drooling and doesn’t get grot-mouth after eating quite so much. I always encourage people looking at rescues to never overlook a wonky-donkey, they can be so much more rewarding than a ‘normal’ cat.

      • Much appreciation for the comment. Yes, we have thought more bi-polar. She does seem to be doing well outdoors, hoping she is getting it out of her system stalking birds and rabbits and then when she is with us just wanting love and attention. We play with her outside, she likes us to throw the ball in the yard and then she runs after it.

      • I’ve noticed that kittens who are teased a great deal or who learn to play very roughly by humans playing roughly with them when they are little, because they look “cute” when tiny and being aggressive, generally become rather maladjusted, mean, and aggressive adult cats, no matter how well or gently treated they might be later in life. They are still worth the human time, patience, and effort required for living with a difficult feline, but they seldom fully recover from the trauma of being played roughly with or teased often as kittens. They learn how to deal with the world and humans as kittens, so if they frequently feel unsafe or “attacked” in play as kittens, it will carry into their adult personalities, too. Cats played roughly with as kittens often display the same sorts of traits that some abused cats do, and can lash out unexpectedly at times or become suddenly aggressive for no discernible reason whatsoever. I don’t know whether it’s a feline version of PTSD, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it were, or they might simply have been conditioned by rough play to perceive ordinary things as being potentially more threatening than most other cats would. In any case, kittens with safe, calm, gentle environments tend to become calm and gentle adults. It’s sad that not every kitten gets that kind of start in life, and some become more difficult cats as a result, but it’s a real privilege to provide such a cat with a safe home, better care, and a better life than it had as a kitten.

        • Oh, that would be sad! It’s not my experience at all though. We play rough with all of our kittens and they gradually realize that their claws hurt so they keep them in, and they start to soften their bite for the same reason. I was just agitating my tortie last night (she is now 14) and she swatted and snapped and had a great time but I never felt anything except her velvety soft paws. Maybe we’ve just been lucky but I think ptsd from playing might be a stretch.

          • I agree Stacey. Having had one clearly abused cat (abuser was a woman) who couldn’t have been gentler when playing – closed paw and biting with just enough pressure to pinch. We have 2 boys who love being rough sometimes and we’ve modified their behaviour to allow them to be rough, but so that we don’t get (too) injured and we can actually ask them if they want to play rough so that it’s always them that decide not us. Wynn, remember that cats skin is tougher/thicker than ours, what we see as rough and breaks our skin, wouldn’t even get a flinch from another cat. Rough play to a point is normal for cats. Some cats will not enjoy it, but I’d also say PTSD from that would be very rare and it would be from abuse rather than what we would class as rough play. Cat’s have very good memories though, and they clearly do get PTSD like any other animal can. Lucy, our abused cat, clearly had issues with women and not men. She absolutely distrusted my feet, she was a conniving, vengeful cat who loved serving justice a few minutes cold… an absolutely fantastic tell btw! I’ve never had a cat go away, plot, come back and attack before or since! Also the look of sheer hatred she could give was just out of this world. Beautiful, loving cat… until you vex her. We have 2 other cats who were neglected (poor household, many cats), they still act like they are in their old house and we just can’t get them to modify so we just work around them and do what works for them. Unlike dogs where play is a social construct, play for cats is very much a hunting/killing skill, so i’d be intrigued this was the case for most cats.

          • You all are talking about relatively normal play. If you look back, you may note that I had intentionally put the word play into quotation marks to indicate I’d been discussing so-called “play.” I’d been describing what for some individuals often passes as “play” with kittens as young as 6 to 8 wks old, that in its excesses, fundamentally amounts to personality-damaging torment. I’m referring to those young children whose parents don’t monitor and inform their treatment of animals carefully enough and also of both adolescents and adults who seem not to understand the difference between playing and teasing kittens or cats to a point where it crosses the line of excess into tormenting and traumatizing them. Sadly, such cats often get dropped at shelters or are left on the streets by the time they are a year old, once their aggressive behaviors are no longer viewed as being so funny and “cute,” or they start attacking their tormentors regularly without warning.

            Kittens that young which are virtually forced into having to become very aggressive to fend off an excessive degree of frequent teasing, almost invariably become wary, mean, and intensely aggressive adult felines. There can be a relatively fine line between teasing play and tormenting abuse, and it is a line often crossed by those who either simply do not know any better or those who should know better, but find it somehow amusing to frighten, traumatize, and/or excessively tease small creatures. One need only spend a little time on YouTube to view some prime examples of that, and most people can likely recall even while growing up of having encountered insensitive children or adults who’d cruelly teased their own pets, or other animals at random.

            Our families have rescued scores and scores of cats for more than 5 generations (and also a fair number of dogs, and the occasional parrot, ferret, goat, horse, pony, gerbil, bat, lizard, snake, bunny, & c.), and often have found the “play”-tormented cats to be some of the ones whose difficult behaviors have been the most difficult to truly modify or overcome completely. Even physically abused and injured cats often respond more readily to persistently gentle and loving care than many of the “play”-tormented ones have been capable of doing.

            Unsocialized adult strays, de-clawed biters, adult strays who’ve reverted to feral, feral-born adult cats and kittens, and colony ferals all present their particular rescue and domesticating challenges too, of course, but it has mainly been the “play”-tormented ones who have bordered on being vicious and required the most patience and caution concerning their aggressiveness. Physically injured & abused cats and feral cats may exhibit the most overt fear initially, as far as rescued cats are concerned, but I’ve seldom found them to be as aggressive or had need for concern that any of those might launch a completely unprovoked and surprise attack, which most “play” traumatized cats have been especially known for doing. Some can be regular little terrorists, in fact, but given time they all improve a bit, at least eventually.

            Anyway, playful kittens are fine, but kittens becoming aggressive are not, and need to have their stimulation reduced and how they are being played with modified accordingly, unless one wants to live with a fresh and aggressive cat of somewhat unpredictable temperament.

          • I don’t know how you could possibly know these kind of details about rescued cats! I’m lucky if the vet agrees with the shelter’s age estimation. It’s ok to have a theory but it’s just a theory and shouldn’t be defended so resolutely. Kittens enjoy play that involves claws and teeth and potential adoptive parents shouldn’t be scared into believing it will cause life long emotional damage. Besides, every animal deserves a chance at
            rehoming/rehab and I think most of them are capable of turning around even real and legitimate trauma.

          • It’s ok with me if you choose to believe it is nonsense. I have no problem with that, particularly since we don’t even know one another. While growing up, I’d known a few families who had been that way with cats–getting kitten after kitten, teasing them until they became very aggressive or even vicious, and getting rid of them for that reason, one after another, after another. My family (and some extended family) had taken in as many of the cats being abandoned for that reason as they could, so I had both witnessed many of those sad situations in the making, as well as the aftermath of specifically caring for cats having been seriously traumatized that way. We have also been brought a number of cats over the years reputed to have been treated that way, also, and there are challenges unique to those cats that I have not witnessed as decidedly in any other cats, whether abused, stray, or feral. I’m only relaying what my decades of experience with such cats has been, not promoting some kind of theory for everyone else to buy into. If it is useful or of benefit to anyone else, fine. If not, that’s fine too. We are at the point where rescued felines possibly out-living us is apt to be of concern, and finding it might be difficult to make truly suitable arrangements to provide for any that would, so the formerly ferals we presently have must be our last, unfortunately. We are shifting now to focus more on helping fund the efforts of other individuals and groups helping homeless cats.

        • Socializing kittens properly is a crucial part of their development, and while I think it may be a stretch to suggest that rough play results in a feline version of PTSD, it can create petting and play aggression, which is why it’s never a good idea to play with kittens with your hands.

  143. I have a 10yr old Torti named Hazel that we refer to as Hazel-nut or Hazel-butt depending on which mood she is in. Hazel-nut chases her own tail or wrestles with an elbow pad that I gave her for chewing on. Hazel-butt runs through the house and terrorizes the other cats in the house. When she’s at her calmest she talks a lot and follow’s me around the house waiting to sit in my lap. That’s when she’s just plain Hazel. Of course her eyes are hazel color and we thought she looked like a cup of hazelnut coffee with a dollop of cream in it so came the name Hazel.

    • Love the name! I have a 13 year old tortioseshell named Pickles. She seems to have the opposite personality of most tortioseshell. She has a super gentle demeanor. She was more than 10 years old when she hissed for the very first time! The older she becomes the more dependant she seems. She is so attached to my husband. When he leaves the house, she will cry for awhile. She travels with us in our 5th wheel and never ventures further than a few feet away.

    • I named my tortie Mocha because I thought she looked like coffee. She has a white-tipped tail that looks like she dipped it in cream

    • Apparently just one Tortie was not enough for our household. Last year around this time we adopted another Tortie, about 2.5yrs old, from a local pet store and appropriately named her Tori. Now she and Hazel are the bobbsi twins. Where one goes the other follows. The only challenge with homing Tori is that she doesn’t quite understand that bopping other cats on the top of the head is not considered affection in this household. The other felines are slowly teaching her what acceptable behaviors are and those behaviors that will get you pounced on and banished to another room until they decide she is forgiven. She pretends that she doesn’t need human affection and yet whenever I call her there she comes, and of course she sleeps on the bed every night come bedtime.

      • I love it! Hopefully, Tori will catch on that her head bopping technique does not endear her to her housemates! 🙂

  144. My wife and I rescued a short haired tabby, Kismet, about a year and a half ago. After about 6 months, she seemed less energetic. We thought she needed some companionship, and we rescued another kitten from our local no kill shelter, Brother Wolf Animal Rescue here in Asheville. She was a long haired Tortie. We named her Moon Shadow. She truely is a shadow, as she is locked at my side, following me not just from room to room, but from one part of the room to another. Wraps herself up like a burrito in throw rugs, under
    under table cloths and loves crawling under the sheets in bed with us, being petted, purring loudly. She plays fiercely with the laser light. She squeaks,more than mews. Sleeps at my feet in my recliner, as well as in bed. Moon Shadow is the dominant cat in the house, dominating the scratching post.
    She plays well with Kismet, chasing each other from room to room. They clean each other. But Moon Shadow plays catch/fetch several times a day with those cat toy balls. moon Shadow is 9 months old, still a kitten, but is full size
    (12 lbs.). Kismet is a year and a half old, also 12 lbs. I’ve had several cats over the years, but these two are special. So much of what I’ve read here is spot on with Moon Shadow. Not so much with Kismet.

    • Hello, I recently replaced my 19yr old Tortie Annie (pass Away) with a tortie kitten Ginger…who is as you say,full of beans.. she is exactly as you said, petting and purring one minute, then running from room to room.. I have also taught her to fetch, sponge balls are her favorite and little bows.. She also grooms her fur sister my 28lb Coco bear and beats up my other cat Twig.. she too sleeps only at the end of the bed not very cuddle as my old girl Annie was..I just wanted to share the similarities . Ottawa Canada

    • I have a 3 year old tortie named Isa. Her nickname is Tasmanian Devil. She likes to play fetch with her favorite toy and follows me from one room to another.

      • My one year old Moriah is a tazmanian devil. She loves to play fetch her favorite toy is the laser pointer, she is very loving, is perpetual lap cat. But has plenty of tortitude, she back sasses me a lot verbally especially with the hissing.

        • Isa loves the lazer also. She cones running whenever I rattle the keychain part looking down waiting for the light. she’s in her Taz mode now.

          • Moriah knows the sound of the lazer chain pointer, akso she keeps trying to get the refrigerator,and kitchen cabinets I have to keep the bathroom door as she loves to tearup the shower curtain

          • Are you offering her plenty of appropriate scratching surfaces, Diana? Since she’s scratching the walls, she’s probably a vertical scratcher. I’d offer her plenty of scratching posts. Place them near the areas where she’s scratched the walls.

  145. Our present long-haired tortie had been ear-tipped as a feral kitten by a trap-spay-release group in the area, and had been feral several years before being seduced with food and a shelter onto a deck for several months, then tricked into coming indoors by being presented with a fragrant and warm litter box during a brutal period of subzero weather. It can take a very long time for ferals to adapt to living with humans and being indoors, but she has been well worth all the time and patience involved. She is no longer as timid as she had been for a long time, but has retained her sweet and gentle nature, and sometimes likes to cuddle now and then too. She’s not the typically assertive tortie, but is more on the quiet little fuss-muffin spectrum. She purrs a lot, but purrs softly too. The same feeding method and cozy litter offering trick had worked just as well to capture a young, ear-tipped feral young Maine coon-mix just 2 years ago during another deep-freeze too. Ferals can be quite a handful to deal with, compared to regular strays, but it doesn’t take quite as long to convert ferals less than a year old, so he’s become the one with all the attitude around here. He’s become a surprisingly good natured cat also, but he’s very large and can be a right little hellion when it suits him to go tearing around the house and he gets plenty loud and mouthy if he wants something too. Our tortie is the sweet and easy-going one, but seems to outsmart the rambunctious young male at every turn, regardless.

      • Thanks, Ingrid. It pretty accurately describes our little tortie. She’s dark with a lot of creamy pale apricot and some dark apricot. I’ve noticed with the long-haired torties and torbies I’ve had over the years, that their lighter colors seem to become more pronounced when they’ve shed for warmer seasons, and they seem to darken up a bit more again when they fluff up and get their winter neck ruffs for the colder seasons. I’m curious whether people notice if that occurs with their short-haired cats too, and might have mentioned it.

        • I have not noticed this in any of my torties, but I’ve never had a long hair tortie. I’d be curious to hear if anyone else has noticed this.

  146. I have a tortie as well as a Maine Coon. She is possessive of me at all times. She never meows but squeaks when I pick her up. My dad stepped on her tail once and found out that she could meow. She can grow at times. My brother’s Doberman is scared of her. She gets along with my dog only and tolerates the other two just like my Maine Coon.

  147. Last year I got my first kitten after a friend found a litter out in a storm.

    Having never been a cat person before, I didn’t really know what to expect and was largely out of my element with this cat owner business. Like any new pet owner/mom, I freshened up on some articles, YouTube videos, and took little kitty Cleo to the vet within the first couple of weeks to make sure she was healthy.

    It was only then I realized what I’d signed myself up for.

    A brilliant, loud, snarky, high-tortitude tortoiseshell with kitten-energy levels and excessive sass.

    The vet laughed in my face and I went home feeling happy Cleo was healthy, but wondering if I was equipped for what I assumed was a “high-maintenance” type of cat.

    I still don’t really know the answer?

    She is beyond sassy.
    She is very vocal.
    She has more personality in her tiny paw than a number of humans I’ve met.

    I’m convinced she is smarter and loves more deeply than any other pet I’ve ever seen. Within the first few weeks of me having her, Cleo learned how to sit for treats. She was only a month or two old at the time.

    Her limitless curiosity drove her to go outside and explore (a trait which she refuses to let go of no matter how much I would prefer she be indoor only).

    Though she is not always outwardly affectionate and won’t purr loudly or rub on strangers – she loves to be around people and will always be in the same room with a group. I find myself loving how “human-esque” these tortitude behaviors make her. She always talks to you when you come into a room – a formal greeting (with different inflections depending on how long you’ve been gone and how frustrated she is with you as a result). She is rambunctious and knocks things around when she feels attention-starved. But she is affectionate and makes it very clear that she has more capacity for love than other cats I’ve met. Basically, I wouldn’t have picked a tortitude cat by my own devices… But I absolutely wouldn’t want a regular cat now that I’ve learned/fallen in love with the tortitude way.

    • I have a one year toryie named Moriah who us anabsolutely lunatic. She has abundant energy goes avpbso,utely nuts when I come home. Likes to be chased around and chase me in return. She is addicted to the laser pointer. She very loving to everone but is very sassy and will hiss when you try to discipline her. She is very vocal, makes the weirdest gutterel sounds when playing eating or grooming purrs really loud. she has no fear of water if you can believe that. I have raised cats for 40 years I have never seen anything like Moriah.

  148. My Luna is a 2 years old Tortise. I’ve had her for only 6 months, but we are allready unseparable.
    She’s my very first cat and one of the most ADAPTABLE cats I’ve ever met in my life: for a while because of personal issues I had to travel back and forth from the town i live currently to my hometown (and I’m gonna go back definitely in a couple of months) and she allways came with me as I couldn’t leave her to anyone.
    The result? She’s super sociable, she loves to explore whenever we go, and she got very calm while we travel. To be honest, I’m super shocked xD
    She’s also very loving, in winter she allways sleeps over me, and now in summer near my bed or near my legs, just to be sure we’re in the same room. Even if I’m using the ‘ignoring her’ in the morning when she starts mewing, it’s becoming difficoult: she’s SO demanding, sometimes she doesn’t even want food, just to be stroked. She has a very distinct ‘voice’, sometimes seems like she talks more than mewling. She’s NOT afraid of the vacuum, but she is afraid of the mop and the soap bubbles for some reason, and I laugh my ass off when I have to clean the house xD
    My conclusions? She has LOTS of tortitude, more on the ‘possessive on their owner’ side. I really hope she lives for many years to come, she’s the best cat I could ask for : )

      • I have the most wonderful Torti by the name of Moriah. I need some advice she us one year old, and for the past several days has barely moved her bowels. I called my vet and they won’t give any advice only to bring her in and I just had major surgery and stripped for cash at the moment can anyone give some advice.

        • Since you left that comment Friday night, I’m not sure how long she’s gone without a bowel movement by now – hopefully, you took her to the vet. You can try giving some canned pumpkin (plain pumpkin, not the pie filling) with her meals – it helps some cats, but if she has no bowel movement at all for more than a couple of days, she needs veterinary attention immediately.

    • Haha that’s funny I have the same cat my first cat as well she is 8 week old tortoise shell and her name is Luna as well

      • Same here! Her name is Luna and she is a nervous eater. She will meow at me until I go with her to her bowl of food and pet her while she eats. She will sit on the bathroom counter till I come in then give me a little chirp greeting and want me to turn the tap on a trickle for her to drink

  149. We adopted our dilute tortie, Bowie, about 3 months ago. She’s about 6 months old and has the funniest personality I’ve ever seen in a cat. I swear she is part human! She doesn’t meow, persay – she YOWLS. When we first got her, she yowled night and day, and hated – I mean hated – being touched/stroked – she recoiled from our touch, she only wanted love on her terms. She’s warmed up quite a bit since then, but still reserves early morning and late nights for her cuddle-up sessions, where she head-butts me and purrs like a motorboat for about an hour, then curls into my arm to sleep (divine!). By far the funniest trait she’s got right now is her abhorrence of my iphone. If she’s around me and I pick up my phone, she will jump up and paw at it, try to bite it, headbutt it, etc. It’s the weirdest thing! She’s a smart cookie, for sure, and beautiful to boot. I love her and our tabby dearly, and they couldn’t be more different. Thankfully, they adore eachother. When they aren’t playfully wrestling, they are just laying with their arms around eachother, or grooming eachother – swoon! Cats are the best.

    • That’s too funny about your iPhone, Kristen! It’s like she knows that it’s competition for your attention!

  150. My daughter & I each adopted Torties in Oct. – hers is a Persian,mine a Himalayan. We got them from a purebred rescue group who rescued them from Egypt. They are the sweetest cats ever. Mine was thought to be a Blue Point, but her speckled brown & tan legs & dots of orange here & there turned out to be a Tortie. They are only 18 mos. old, so we still see a lot of kitten antics – absolutely delightful.

    • Oh my goodness, I bet they’re both stunning. Feel free to post photos on our Facebook page, we’d love to see them!

  151. I was owned by a ‘tortie’ once. I had difficulty deciding which of us was human or cat.
    When my wife went to Saudi Arabia for 2 years, she’d creep under the blanket, her head on the pillow, and a paw on my shoulder.
    Early Sunday mornings, she’d walk with me to the shop, and sit outside while I bought my cigarettes and the Sunday Times. Then walk back. If there was someone walking their dog, she’d jump onto my shoulder like a pirate’s parrot.
    One day she was out and injured her leg. She came back to our bedroom, woke me up (usually by biting that bit between the nostrils!), turned around so I could see the damage. Fortunately, the vet. fixed it quickly.
    Miishievious, but never naughty.

  152. We just rescued our first 3 mo old torti named peaches. And omg we are so in love. She is so playful, loving, energetic, talkative, feisty, definitely fearless and all around crazy!!!! She really fits in lol. She does bite and she likes to crawl up people’s legs but we are trying to correct the behavior and I feel like this will stop as she gets older. I really hate to say it cause I’ve loved all my animals…… But….. I think she’s my favorite she’s awesome. Even since the day we brought her home not one potty accident. Whoa lol.

    • This sounds like play aggression. This article will explain how to correct and prevent it:

      • Spicy, the toritude I live with, is the most gentle higher intelligence. She was the only positive distillate of a human relationship of mine, and she’s never betrayed or done anything but try to help me find my higher self. I’d never bonded like this with any animal before, but it is a real trip.

  153. My Tortie is Missy who just appeared at our house one day. She is just over a year and is the prankster. I use to hide just barely out of sight then peek around saying boo. Now she hides and when you least expect it jumps out and meows. She used to be very affectionate but over the last few weeks she just seems to want to be left alone. I’m not sure what has changed with the exception of a new male cat who seems to come by. They don’t fight and she seems to like him. My husband and I joke she is a teenager and don’t have time for us.

  154. My tortie of 17 years just passed yesterday. Her name was Patches, we are absolutely heartbroken. I never researched her breed and I’m enjoying all the info and comments. I knew that she was special, the way that she talked to us just like a person. She gave us so much love, always ready to comfort us with her purring as soon as we held her or were near her.
    We got a new bed a few years ago that was quite high. She was unable to jump up on it which was disturbing for both of us as she purred me to sleep every night. We found a basket that she loved and she then slept downstairs but she cried every night when I went upstairs to bed,this broke my heart.
    She was our baby and could never be replaced but if I ever got another cat it would definitely be a tortie.The loyalty and beautiful personality is like no other(and I’ve had other cats)

    • I am so sorry for your loss. I have a tortie girl for ya! She’s a hell raiser and is worse than a 2 year old!!! Be careful what ya wish for as mine…well…little Miss Josie Outlaw….will do things just to do it!!! Grrrrrrrrrr!

  155. I just had a torti who had to babies and they are chocolate tortis as well. They are about 9 weeks old and one is a boy hes also long hair so cute. I did not know how rare they are to have boys i was gonna get rid of him but now im second guessing myself lol. I just wanted to share my story to all you cat lovers out there!

  156. The torti stories are great!
    Our torti, Meeko, came from several hours away. She followed my daughter home (she lived in a big city). My daughter took her in, had her fixed & shots. Meeko seemed mostly happy, until one day, she got out of my daughters’ apartment, went down into the basement, and caught a mouse! My daughter concluded that Meeko would rather be outside. So…we took her. We live in the country. After spending days exploring, Meeko decided we were her humans, and stayed. She is a great hunter, and gets along with the other cats…except when our Nebelung kitten tries to play! (the “kitten” is a year old, we are told Nebelungs aren’t grown up until 2 years old).
    Anyway, Meeko is a very nice, loving cat, but don’t get on the wrong side of her…she can be fierce!

  157. I have a female torti who is about 3 years old. When I first got her, even though I knew she couldn’t possibly be a feral cat– we use to joke around that she was feral just because she was so full of energy. She ran like a horse, she was so loud going up and down the stairs. She would sit with me when she felt like it, but it really took her to be about 1 to really start wanting to sit and cuddle and stay still for more than a couple of minutes. She is such a sweet heart. She knows her name. She didn’t seem to mind car rides. If you look at her and just randomly talk to her she will talk back– she talks a lot. She is very persistent. She is kind of possessive- of me and I think the house. If she sees someone out the window she might growl at them. Once in a blue moon she will growl or hiss at me if she isn’t happy- but she won’t normally do anything. Sometimes she get’s too playful and will bite me… but that’s rare. I would say she hardly ever does that. She loves to sleep with me, and seems to sleep with me for a little while every night. She loves going under the covers and luckily she doesn’t bite my feet because I know I move around a lot. When it’s time to go to work in the morning sometimes she will block the door and we will play the back and forth game… eventually, she lets me leave. Sometimes I can just throw her a toy to distract her. She talks to me all the time. I talk to to her a lot too. I won’t lie, the first year I got her… I was very.. what have I gotten into with her- she was so energetic… and she acted like she was feral, just by how fast she ran around. She has turned into such an amazing cat. I also love, how when I get home– she always rolls on her back, kinda like a dog, and wants her tummy pet. She is very attentive. I can tell she is very smart.

    • She sounds wonderful, Katie. What you said about her first year reminds me a little bit about my Allegra – I had never had a “wild” kitten like her before. It took a couple of years for her to mellow out a little.

      • My Honey Bunny is at least 10 now and I’m still waiting for that “mellow out.”
        Feral for around 1.5 years before TNR rescue seems to negate that so far.
        Reverse Torbies are the best. Very smart, hard to have, but so worth it.
        My most loyal animal partner ever.

  158. After 40 years of cat ownership I have to say I have never found a more gentle and relaxed cat as my current toirtoishell Maggie. She is quiet and affectionate and extremely gentle. She can be persistent when she wants attention but she’s sweet with young children and other cats. I also had another tortoishell call Mali for 19 years. Mali was independent and did not seek attention but she was very gentle and motherly in her nature.

      • Awe, your Maggie, sounds just like my Moxie Girl. She is the sweetest most gentle kitty! She is only 1 years old,
        we adopted her from the shelter when she was just a kitten. She can have her crazy moments. But she is the sweetest. Very independent and greets everyone with leg rubs. She also loves to get our attention when she wants something! Could even be as simple as just a neck rub. But she lets you know when she wants something! I’m just learning about her and I love it! She is the easiest and most gentle cat I have had, other than my Main Coon.

  159. My 8 month old tortie, lylah, is an absolute pistol. She is very independent and only lets me touch her when she wants it, and if she doesn’t want to be touched she makes it very clear that she dosent like it. She is also very vocal when i leave her in a room alone and screams until I come let her out or join her. She thinks all food is hers and steals some every chance she gets, even the dog’s food. She is very dominant with my other animals and makes sure everyone else is in their place. Also, she is extremely smart and picks up on things very quickly. Although, she is also very skittish and doesn’t like new people coming in the house or near her, she ends up being curious and comes out to see who is here but as soon as they make a wrong move she is gone. When I took her to the vet to get her spayed I was afraid she was going to be very temperamental and try to attack the vet when he touched her, because she doesn’t even like me touching her, but instead she was absolutely frozen in fear. Even though she is a brat most the time I love her to death and she is extremely playful and entertaining, definitely a strong personality.

    • “Brat” is a word I often hear when people describe their torties 🙂 Iylah sounds like a real character!

    • That’s so interesting! My kitty, Faelen, who is a long haired tortie, sounds very similar to Lylah. She’ll will let you touch her on her own terms only and makes it very clear when that is. I took her to the vet today for a check up and her rabies booster and she acts the exact same way…totally freezes up when she’s there and she tried to bury herself into me…if I have a jacket on, she tries to crawl into it! She acts all tough at home and picks on her sister, but she’s actually really quite timid in the “real world”

    • My one year old Moriah is a piece of work. She is hot tempered. But more than makes up for it with her funny behavior and her I LOVE EVERYBODY personality. This cat will actually jump in the shiwer with me. She goes bananas when I take out the laser pointer.

    • My “Shelly” is a 5 year old Tortoiseshell kitty. She was rescued at 2 weeks old by my son-in-law and has been staying with us, and grandma, ever since. Grandma can no longer take care of her, she would love to find a new home for kitty. Shelly has all her claws and has always lived indoors. She fits the unique personality of a Tortoiseshell: strong-willed, hot-tempered, independent and feisty. Please let me know if you are interested in giving a new home to this little cutie

  160. I have two cats, Rosie and Dill Pickles. Rosie is a big fluffy black cat of 6 years, and Dill is coming up on a year and is a chocolate torti. We got Dill from an old roommate of mine who found her abandoned in a Starbucks parking lot. She was probably about 4 weeks old, 0.9lbs. Now she runs my house! Rosie is very polite, has a quiet and raspy meow, and is just a very well behaved cat all around. Dill, on the other hand, steals socks from my boyfriend’s drawer and leaves them in her water bowl. She gets up onto any surface no matter the height (like the top of my fridge) and messes with everything. I love her so much but boy is she a handful. She chews up any paper left out, digs in trash cans (all of which now have been switched out for ones with locking lids), and has destroyed two wallets and countless cords for iPhones, etc…She also loves to do the bait and switch of the cat world: she lays on her back and shows me her belly and then immediately clamps down with teeth and claws if I dare to give her a pet. Aside from her belly, she loves being pet! She was spayed in January and her behavior has not changed! She is still a baby though! We have a petcube (pet camera with a motion activated laser game) and she’s so smart she’s figured out where the laser comes from and goes right to the source rather than chase it on the ground. I do feel bad because she bullies Rosie quite a bit. Rosie is pretty patient and sometimes they play, but many times Rosie just runs and gets up on the highest perch to get away from Dill. Regardless of her insanity (I’ve only hit the tip of the iceberg describing it here), we love Dill and Rosie so so so much!

    • Hi Sarah,

      I too have the tortitude, although I tuned myself in with Josie Outlaw who just turned a year old on April 7th. I’ve noticed that she wants to be close, even if that means being on the kitchen counter, bathroom counters, etc. She gets into anything and everything and I have stopped running when I hear loud crashes as it’s already done and she doesn’t understand what she has done in the first place.

      What I have noticed is that she is highly intelligent and needs more interaction than what I can give her even with my other 2 cats and 4 dogs. She needed something to stimulate her brain and keep her out of trouble. (This will never happen!) I got her interactive toys and it has helped tremendously! She plays with them at all hours of the day and night and it has helped stimulate her and has kept her away from trouble! Go to and type in interactive cat toys and you will see a racetrack and other things. I hope that this will help as it has helped me immensely. She is so much happier and so am I!

    • Sarah,
      Sounds like your Dill and my Skittles have the same tortitude personalities! My Skittles is a black tortie and she is the smartest cat I have ever had. She also likes to tip trash cans over and tear anything up she can get her paws on, including my husband’s arms when he is sitting in his recliner! She gets into and onto everything she can reach. If I open a drawer, she crawls in it. If I put an empty tissue box on the floor, she will squeeze herself into it. I have purchased many interactive toys for her, but she soon becomes bored with them. The only one she still likes is the feather wand toy, which she will chase and leap high into the air for until she is literally panting! If I’m cooking something, she will jump up onto my shoulder to see what I’m cooking, and see if it’s worth begging for a taste. Even with all of her tortitude and quirks, I love her very much. She makes me laugh every day, and I wouldn’t give her up for the world.

    • Hi I have a chocolate tortoise who just turne one. Her name is Moriah, my fiance said I should of named her Terror. She is high energ, plays constantly. Her davorite game is chase me and tear up daddys papers. She is high spirited and constantly tries to get outside I have had to replace my blinds in my bedroom several times. She is very strong willed when she gets a mind to do something she is going to no matter what I do. She is very vocal and purrs really loud. I have been raising cats for 40 years and Moriah is the most active cat I have ever had. She likes to lick me constantly, and every night when I go to bed she curls up beside me. Even though I have her on a weight control formula she is still 13 pounds. Is that unusual for a tortouseshell?

      • Moriah certainly sounds like she’s all tortie! And no, the weight issue is not unique to tortoiseshell cats, unfortunately, more than 50% of America’s cats are overweight. And weight control formulas usually don’t work, or even make the problem worse. Here’s how to help your cat lose weight:

        • My girlie Gypsy was laid back but full of playfulness and mischief. Two and a half weeks ago she had a trauma injury to her head. Emergency vet said probably a car tho she never normally went out of the front garden. She is more subdued now and not as playful and mischievous. I do miss it. It was so much fun. She’s recovered very well but I want the real full of fun Gypsy.

          • I’m so sorry about Gypsy’s accident. Best wishes for a complete recovery and may she gain back her tortitude!

  161. Describes my Amber to a tee, she is a calico tortie based on your description. Great article and what a lifetime journey of love and discovery you have been been on.

  162. Last August I adopted Rosie, a calico who was a year old and Gypsy her tortie daughter, 5 or 6 months old. I love them both dearly. Rosie is very gentle and silent apart from purring. She’s been such a patient mum. Gypsy is homeloving but full of mischief. She is a almost a silent cat like her mum, she has a quiet squeak occasionally but when awake all she wants to do is play. If I play with her mum Gypsy charges in. She robs her mum of treats and isn’t satisfied with her own food dish, she has to try and “rob” her mum. There are spats now but they do love each other. Rosie will lie on my legs and gently chew my toes. Gypsy doesn’t like my lap but will indulge me and let me scoop her up and snuggle my face into her. She never gets tired of playing even tho she’s no longer a kitten and if she’s on my bed I daren’t even twitch and she’s diving on the covers. She is a bit slow upstairs lol. She still hasn’t worked out how to get in and out of a door left ajar and has shredded the carpets by the doors. I love both my girlies so much and equally but there’s something about Gypsy.

      • Oh they are. They give me plenty of exercise throwing polystyrene balls outside for them to chase. Gypsy the Tortie especially likes me to throw screwed up paper down the hall and she runs so fast that she slides sideways. She carries a small model dog around by its head for some reason…a present to me from grand daughter. Rosie catches mice and Gypsy takes them to play with. Never harming them. It’s such fun having them

  163. Ingrid,

    I’ve written in previously that I got Josie Outlaw from the local humane society and that she is different. I have been finding out how different and trying to figure her out, I think I might have it. She is definitely a rebel and does everything that she is not supposed to….then their are those moments that make you smile and you try to understand better!

    She is coming up on a year on April 7th, 2017 and since having her right before Thanksgiving to now….she makes things crash, has an infatuation with rubber bands and goes into my range bag to get every single one. She will take her nail and a tooth and stretch them. It’s the funniest thing I’ve ever seen! She has to be right next to you doing whatever and follows you more so than her canine friends. When I’m done in that location, all I have to do is say…Ok, Josie lets go..and she’s right there with me constantly following me.

    She is definitely a rebel and I named her right. In the middle of the night I hear loud crashes and have stopped getting up to find out what they are…to just find Josie looking at me like…”what….I didn’t do anything!!!!” She is a cuddler, although on her own time and when it is her time, she wants to be held close with tons of kisses. She has for the past few weeks been snuggling in bed, which is nice…she is definitely feeling extremely comfortable.

    Josie plays with all 4 dogs, although her and Pixie Prissy Pants are besties. Them two are for the most part inseparable. The way that they play has me in continues laughter and I wouldn’t want it any other way! She has even gotten Charles Dickens whom has the personality of….it’s another family member…it’s another cat as he is just a chilled little guy, she has him playing with her and it is just so funny to watch!

    Although on Sunday, it wasn’t so good and I was in hysteria. My husband was doing the yard work for most of the day and she somehow slipped outside with him. I think he left the garage door open and she slipped out. I thought she was cat napping on my bed and when I went to go find her, she was gone. She always comes running when I call her, more so than the dogs. I panicked and was outside for hours calling her in the dark.

    We live in the country and my mind went to the worst. I put my pillow case on the front door step, then her kennel she came home from the shelter and after another 20 minute yelling spree outside I came in and was just crying my eyes out. My husband was trying to console me, although I’ve never lost a baby in my life and I wasn’t planning on it now. I went in my bedroom and sat there for a few minutes and told him I was going to get her kitty box and put it on the front porch for her scent. Pixie, Prissy Pants, her bestie went to the front door and was scratching on it. I opened it up and there she was….I saw her silhouette. I screamed for my husband to come get the fuzzies and for him to shut the front door so I can sit on the step and call her. She came right to me and now she is grounded for life!!!!

    Even though we have 2 other kitties and 4 American Eskimo dogs, she livens up this house with her antics like no other. She scared the living day lights out of me and I gave the husband and Josie got a what for!!! She is not an outdoor baby and never will be.

    The husband doesn’t care too much for her antics, although I caught him last night holding her and telling her that we love her so much that she just can’t go outside, ever. It was cute and now I think he realizes even he loves her more without realizing how much she does mean to all of us that live in this large house. I don’t know how she knew where she lived, or how she got here, but I would of been devastated if she didn’t come back and the wildlife got her. I thank God every day for my little Outlaw cuz that is what she is!

    • Oh my goodness, what an awful experience that must have been – every cat guardian’s worst nightmare. I’m so glad she returned to you!

      • You and me both. I couldn’t ever imagine life without her. Even though I have 4 Eskies and 2 other cats, she brings life in this house. The Eskies all adore her and she is puuurfect with the other 2 cats, its just a match made from heaven. My heart would have been lost as we are truly bonded together.

  164. My tortie came to my attention as a stray, or so I thought. I found her, very thin and meowing, when I was out for a walk one day. Her front paws were very small, unlike her back feet. Later I discovered she belonged to a neighbor several residences away and I asked him about her. He told me he had to put her outside because she attacked his other animals constantly. I asked if he would give over custody to me and he readily agreed.

    Once inside my home I discovered her small front paws were due to declawing. Imagine, the man had put outside a declawed (but spayed) kitty unable to defend herself in an area with many cats roaming around! My vet said she was malnourished but otherwise in good health.

    I’ve had her for about five years now. Her only downside is that she bites. Other than that she is loving and friendly to visitors and family. They just have to be warned that she may give them a tortitude nip on occasion. She’s quite a character.

    • It’s been my experience that most declawed cats do tend to bite, and who can blame them! What an abhorrent practice de-clawing is. It should be outlawed everywhere.

  165. I am glad to read about tortie personality traits finally. Have had a tortie (Jewel)or or she owns me,and her all black brother (Lucian) for two years now. Her brother is fat, a little skittish but affectionate and happy. However, my little Jewel seems to own the house and all that dwell in its walls. I have three dogs (one is a 200 pound great dane)who for quite awhile gave her a wide berth but are fine now. She wasn’t aggressive, just wanted to play with them. She shied away from most human contact for the first few months but since she seems to attached to me like a lost puppy. She follows me all over the house and when I stop she does, she want s to be picked up but has to be put back down. Its kind of hard not to pick her up when she runs in front of you and rolls over and begs.Or if I am sitting at my desk or (online, paper work)in the bathroom(toilet shower ect, dont matter), she is there. Hell when its time to go bed she follows and half the time she stops on the stairs and asks me to carry her but then she will only stay for attention briefly then stations herself on one of several perches within sight all night except if she thinks I am awake. Then she comes, stairs me in the face then goes back to her perch. All this stuff she does is a little off for any cat but the one thing she does the we just dont understand and that is when your tortitude must come into play, (or she is just bat crap crazy), she for no reason, will come to attention then run at full speed all , and I do me all around the house growling, snarling and talking a mile a minute. When she does this(like every other day) no one or no thing dares go near. It can last twenty seconds or ten minutes and if it wasn’t so damn funny it might be scary. From what I have read today I think most of you know exactly what I am talking about too. TORTITUDE, I guess we have been tortified. I have had lots of cats and loved them all b, but she is just different.

    • My boyfriend brought home a stray gray kitten last September, a coworker found them abandoned in a box on the side of the road, so him and a few others brought them home. Well, this kitten was very different. She ended up not being solid gray, but had lighter patches throughout, and a cream colored spot running from her chin to her tummy, looking like she spilled milk. I had never seen a gray cat with splotches like her so I did some research, she looked like a tortie but I’d never seen one in gray…but sure enough, they do come in gray and cream. So we’ve got a dilute tortie, and she is a handful. She meows for attention, makes chirping and trilling sounds when running full speed through the house, she loves her two big brother ginger tabbies. Her personality is vastly different of my two big boys though, but she’s quite entertaining.

  166. I was given a stray tortie that I bottled fed for weeks, she was maybe 10 days old when I took her in she was so tiny and sweet, now she is about 4-5 months old and is mean she bites scratches and only will let you hold her when she is sleepy she will crawl in my lap and purr and let you love on her.I love her but when anyone comes over or other dogs are around she is vicious biting and scratching everyone even me she gets along with my 2 small dogs they play together, will she out grow this I plan to have her spayed very soon and thinking of declawing her she is destroying the house .

    • Please do not declaw your cat, Carol. Declawing is an inhumane procedure that is banned in 25 countries around the world. It involves amputating each toe at the first joint, and not only causes tremendous pain after the procedure, but can actually make any existing behavior issues worse. For more information about declawing and why it should never be done, please visit The Paw Project

      It sounds like your kitten is just being a kitten, with a lot of energy, and she needs appropriate ways to burn it off. Try structured play sessions, two or three times a day, 10 to 15 minutes each. Use interactive wand toys. Really get her tired out so she can burn off some excess energy. Make sure she has plenty of stimulation even when you can’t play with her: perches to look out the windows, toys, various scratching posts, etc.