At CatsLovers, we enjoy and we love our daily dose of cat facts. So, if you’re looking for facts about totally awesome tortoiseshell cats, you are in the right place!
So, here are some facts about tortoiseshell cats that you may not know.
1- What Does ‘Tortoiseshell’ Mean?
Tortoiseshell cats are so-called because of their unique and distinctive two-toned coats. Their coats look like tortoiseshell, which is an ornate material made from the shells of tortoises.
Tortoiseshell cats are known also as “torties”, they have coats that blend two colors other than white that is generally in wide patches or closely mixed. Many torties have ginger and black fur, which may vary in shades and patterns.
Tortoiseshell cats are not their own breed, but there are some special characteristics that make a tortie a tortie.
2- Are all Tortoiseshell Cats Female?
Torties are almost always female, so it’s very hard and rare to find a male tortoiseshell kitty. Like calico cats, Tortoiseshell cats get the distinctive coat color from the “O” gene that is carried on the X chromosome.
The “O” gene is responsible for the cat’s ginger hue. Since male cats have XY genetic makeup, only one “O” gene is required to be ginger cats. Female cats have a genetic makeup of XX, so to be ginger cats they need to inherit two “O” genes. Therefore, if only one “O” gene is inherited by a female cat, she becomes a Tortoiseshell cat.
Males may grow with a genetic makeup of XXY in some rare cases. In these rare instances, they might be tortoiseshell or calico cats. However, male Tortoiseshell cats are almost always sterile because of their genetic makeup.
3- Tortoiseshell Kitties Appear In Folklore
Since the time of the Pharaohs, cats are part of many cultures’ folklores, and especially tortoiseshell cats that have a few standout appearances.
- For instance, in Southeast Asia, it was once said that young goddess blood produced the first tortie.
- In England, it was believed that the tail of a Tortoiseshell cat would help cure one of the warts if it was rubbed on the ailment.
- In Japan, tortoiseshell cats were used to ward off ghosts.
- Even today, torties still have a place in superstition. Torties are known as “money cats” in the United States and are thought to bring good luck.
4- ‘Torti-tude’ Is A Real, And It Is Backed By Science!
A lot of tortie lovers may find that tortoiseshell cats and calicoes tend to have a bit of cat-itude. In fact, this sass has been encountered by so many tortoiseshell-loving people that they’ve even given it its own name: torti-tude.
To prove that torti-tude is not just in the imaginations of torties owners and parents. Veterinarians from the University of California, have published research claiming that cats with calico and tortoiseshell fur tend to challenge their humans more often than all other cats with other patterns.
Tortoiseshell cats are also highly energetic kitties. All tortie owners are going to tell you that their cats have bursts of spastic and wild energy. And it will almost always be at the most inconvenient moments.
Tortie’s parents know that their cats have a bit of a ‘tude and demanding nature, but we still love them anyway.
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