Tortoiseshell cats gallery

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  • 01 of 40

    Coco Bear, an Impish Tortie

    Picture of Coco Bear, a Plush Tortoiseshell Cat
    Coco Bear, A Plush Tortoiseshell Cat. © Pat Wolesky

    Tortoiseshell cats have coats with the lovely autumn color palette in shades of brown, black, and orange. Like calicos, tortoiseshell cats, also called torties for short, are almost always female. Rare male torties are almost always sterile. These anomalies happen due to the breed's complicated genetic patterning of chromosomes and genes. Torties also share a common personality trait so unique to these multicolored cats that it's called tortitude. Tortie fans, such as Coco Bear's owner, describe their cats as having over-the-top personalities that are humorous and naughty, but always delightful. Coco Bear's impish, playful character captured her owner's heart, and she was quickly named for her plush, thick teddy bear-like coat.

  • 02 of 40

    Patches, Part Manx and Part Tortie

    Picture of Tortie Cat Patches
    Picture Of Tortie Cat Patches. © Deborah Ferraro

    Patches is a tortoiseshell kitty with a lot of personality. She's also part Manx. Her owners adopted her from a no-kill animal shelter. Patches is lucky because before she landed in the no-kill shelter, she was living in a regular shelter where she was a day away from being euthanized. She's always on the go, especially when it comes to playing her favorite game of fetch. Patches chases after her favorite little ball then carry it around in her mouth for safekeeping.

  • 03 of 40

    Muffy, a Chatty-Kathy Cat

    Picture of Tortie Cat Muffy
    Tortie Cat Muffy. © Mary Palmer

    Muffy is a talkative tortie and she's always sharing stories with her owners. She always wants to be the center of attention, and this helpful tortie is always around to give her owners a helping hand. Every person in the household knows that Muffy rules the roost. There's never a dull moment with this unique tortie around because everything she does makes her owners laugh.

  • 04 of 40

    Starburst, the Kitten Warrior

    Picture of Starburst, a Rescued Tortie Cat
    Picture Of Starburst, A Rescued Tortie Cat

    When the owners moved into their first mountain home, it was apparent there was a large feral cat population. They began to trap, neuter, and return, also called TNR. Results were successful, but one beautiful black queen still left behind a litter of six kittens in their yard. Though most of the litter disappeared in a little over a week, two wild and woolly kittens remained. The two remaining kittens, a tortie and a tuxedo cat, soon tamed down. Now Starburst the tortie and Tuck the tuxedo have turned into the sweetest cats in the neighborhood.

  • 05 of 40

    Niki, a Shy Tortie

    Picture of Niki, a Tortie Cat
    Niki, A Tortie Cat With Tude. © Antje Woelbern

    Niki came to live with her owners when she was eight weeks old. She's affectionately called by her nickname, Snickerdoodle. She's a shy tortie, and choosy about with whom she shows affection. Niki has a diluted tortoiseshell coat with less intense coloring.

  • 06 of 40

    Bailey, the Tortie With a Toothache

    Picture of Tortoiseshell Cat Bailey
    Tortoiseshell Cat Bailey. © Laurie Landry

    Bailey was abandoned by her previous owner. The lucky tortie was taken in by a foster family with loads of patience. Bailey wasn't exactly the kindest cat when she arrived in her new home. She was a prickly, untrusting cat, but her new owner had much patience with her. It turned out that some of Bailey's teeth were severely decaying, which contributed to her growly mood. Once the teeth were removed and her dental health restored, Bailey became one of the most loving, affectionate torties around.

  • 07 of 40

    Havoc, the Mighty Huntress

    Picture of Havoc, a Tortie with "'Tude"
    Havoc, A Tortie With 'Tude. © Nancy Pilsch

    Havoc is full of tortitude with her siblings, but sweet and docile with her owners. Havoc is also one mighty mouser. She walks around her home between hunts with her beautiful bushy tail standing straight up in the air and her tail's tip waving ever so slightly. Havoc is so good at what she does that she's earned the nickname Mighty Huntress.

  • 08 of 40

    Pif, a Playful Cutie

    Picture of Pif, a Tortoiseshell Cat
    Pif, A Tortoiseshell Cat. © Geanina Jinaru

    Meet Pif, an extraordinary male tortie. His favorite activity is playing with a paper ball, which is exactly what he was doing when this photo was taken. Male torties can have fur that is dominated by either black or orange. Apparently, Pif prefers to wear black.

  • 09 of 40

    Sadie, the Squeaking Tortie

    Picture of Sadie, a Tortoiseshell Cat
    Sadie, A Tortoiseshell Cat. © Paula

    Sadie is a sweet tortie with a squeaky little voice. She's an affectionate lap cat who became even sweeter after she had major ear surgery to remove her ear canal. Still playful, Sadie loves to play with string. She also prefers to sit next to her owner for loving petting sessions.

  • 10 of 40

    OOT, a Fearless Tortie

    Picture of Tortie Girl OOT
    Tortie Girl OOT. © Chris Cunningham

    OOT showed up to her owner's home in the middle of a summer night and invited herself in for some food. She was once a scrawny little cat. But don't let that sweet and innocent face fool you because she's grown into a beautiful companion full of hiss, spit, and OOT-titude.

  • 11 of 40

    Isabelle, a Loving Tortie

    Isabelle, a Tortie Cat
    Isabelle, A Tortie Cat. © Kelley

    This young Tortie, named Isabelle, lives with her owner and an orange tabby named Little Harry. Isabelle was adopted when she was a feral kitten and Harry was a rescue cat. Though it was a rocky road learning to get along when they first met, they're now adjusting well.

  • 12 of 40

    Ivy, Adopted Into the Family

    Picture of Ivy, a Tortie Cat
    Ivy, A Tortie Cat. © Bobbie J. Polk

    Ivy got her name because she was discovered in a patch of ivy right after she was born and abandoned by her mother. Ivy is lucky because she was found within three minutes of her birth, and quickly adopted by her adoring family.

  • 13 of 40

    Misty Lee, a Blue Persian Tortie

    Picture of Tortie Cat Misty Lee
    Tortie Cat Misty Lee. © Cindy

    Misty Lee was just five weeks old when she first fit in the palm of her owner's hand. Now, this blue Persian tortie and has grown to over 20 pounds. Misty Lee is an unusual mix of tortoiseshell and Persian. Persians come in many color varieties, divided into divisions. Misty Lee fits into the parti-color division, which consists of a mix of muted pastels with undertones of lilac and cream.

  • 14 of 40

    Mudpie, a Slice of Sweetness

    Picture of Mudpie, a Tortoiseshell Cat
    Mudpie, A Tortoiseshell Cat. © Samantha L. Smith

    Meet Mudpie. She acquired her name because she looks like she rolled around in a slice of mud pie. She arrived as a September baby, a perfect time for a tortie to usher in the autumn. Notice Mudpie's striking copper eyes.

  • 15 of 40

    Allie, a Fearless Kitten

    Picture of Allie, a Tortie Cat
    Allie, A Tortie Cat. © Heather Elliot

    Allie and her owner are completely fearless. The little tortie was found abandoned when her owner went skydiving one summer. Both Allie and her owner have larger than life personalities. This tortoiseshell cat lives in a home with four other cats, and keeping in tortie fashion, she's the courageous leader of the entire clan.

  • 16 of 40

    Baby, an Active Senior Feline

    Picture of Baby, a Tortoiseshell Cat
    Picture Of Baby, A Tortoiseshell Cat

    Baby was rescued from a shelter with a grim prognosis from the vet due to her many ailments. Her owner was determined to nurse her back to health. Baby grew into a healthy and active senior feline. She's a loving, talkative, and funny tortie that loves to sit in baskets. Baby and her owner also love to snuggle together under the covers while watching television.

  • 17 of 40

    Chloe, a Laid-Back Cat

    Picture of Tortie Cat Chloe
    Tortie Cat Chloe. © Keli Kane

    Chloe is a long-haired tortie. She's naturally inquisitive and has found herself shut inside closets and the attic. Her owner never knows if she's into mischief because she rarely meows and is unusually patient for a tortie. Instead, Chloe will take a nap until she's found.

  • 18 of 40

    Sonsy, the Birthday Girl

    Picture of Sonsy, a Tortoiseshell Cat
    Sonsy, A Tortoiseshell Cat. © Rosemary Browne

    When Sonsy turned five years old, her owner gave her a delicious treat for her birthday. This fortunate tortie received the gift of a birthday candle squirted with soft cheese in a can. Sonsy spent the rest of her special day celebrating by eating cat treats and napping.

  • 19 of 40

    Patch, the Queen Tortie

    Picture of Tortie Cat Patch
    Tortie Cat Patch. © Kelly E. McGee

    Patch, shown here at four years old, was rescued when she was a nursing mom living on the streets. Her owners found homes for all of her kittens and then had Patch fixed. Now she leads a comfortable life indoors, just where a queen should be.

  • 20 of 40

    Piper, a Long-Hair Burmese

    Picture of Tortie Cat Piper
    Tortie Cat Piper. © Jennifer R. Kerr

    Piper's full name is quite unique. Prudence Raven Maru Phoebe Dandelion Paige is called Piper, Pipey, or Pipe, likely to honor that little striped nose of hers. She's a long-hair tortoiseshell Burmese with tortitude, and getting into trouble is her favorite past-time. She loves to lay around the house, especially on clothing just taken out of the dryer. She drinks water straight from the faucet and chases bugs of all kinds.

  • 21 of 40

    Normal, a Halloween Kitty

    Picture of Tortie Cat Normal
    Tortie Cat Normal. © Leslie

    There's rarely anything ordinary about a tortie. But, meet Normal. Shown here at 16 months old, she's dressed up as a princess for Halloween. One of the best things about dressing up a cat in a costume for Halloween is watching its face for a reaction.

  • 22 of 40

    Kiwi, the Sun Worshiper

    Picture of Tortie Cat Kiwi
    Tortie Cat Kiwi. © Crissy Passiglia

    Kiwi loves to sunbathe in the window. Luckily, her owners know they can always find her there when the sun is shining. They found this beauty as a kitten at the front door of a local restaurant and decided to take her home.

  • 23 of 40

    Natasha, Full of Tortitude

    Picture of Tortoiseshell Cat Natasha
    Tortoiseshell Cat Natasha. © Vanessa

    Natasha has an overabundance of tortitude. She's a little rascal around her siblings, which includes a dog and a chubby orange tabby cat. But, they've learned to live harmoniously with an impish and mischievous tortoiseshell cat.

  • 24 of 40

    Hayley, the Mathematical Cat

    Picture of Tortoiseshell Cat Hayley
    Tortoiseshell Cat Hayley. © Pamela Murphy

    This is Hayley, a beautiful and shy long-haired tortie. She loves to be pet on her terms, which means she doesn't like to be picked up. She also enjoys watching television with her pal, a stuffed animal named Boots. Hayley may be a closet mathematician. She's most fascinated with watching children's public television shows that teach math.

  • 25 of 40

    Autumn, the Hiking Tortie

    Picture of Tortie Cat Autumn
    Tortie Cat Autumn. © Pamela Murphy

    Autumn and her owner were hiking in the woods separately when they met. This tortie was walking around on the trail's rocks and meowing at everyone who passed. She'd obviously been abandoned in the wilderness. Her new owner scooped her up, brought her home, and introduced her to a large family of 14 cats. Autumn immediately became the alpha female feline of the brood.

  • 26 of 40

    Eartha Kitty, the Blanket Expert

    Picture of Tortie Cat Eartha Kitty
    Tortie Cat Eartha Kitty. © Zenzele T. Bell

    Eartha Kitty is a tortie full of personality. The thing she loves the most in life is to lounge around on a blanket. Her owners like to give her a blanket of the month for a treat. Eartha Kitty prefers chenille to scratchy wool any day of the week.

  • 27 of 40

    Macy, the Trailblazer

    Picture of Tortie Kitten Macy
    Tortie Kitten Macy. © Taryn Dismang

    Macy is an inquisitive little kitty. Photographed here at one month of age, Macy would always follow her owners around the house and blaze new trails for her brother and two sisters. She's sure to be an entertaining and loving member of the family for a long time.

  • 28 of 40

    Turtle, the Hiding Tortie

    Picture of Tortie Cat Turtle
    Tortie Cat Turtle. © John McCann

    This tortie named Turtle is super-shy kitty and prefers to hide all the time, just like a turtle disappearing into a shell. When she's out and about, she loves to chase laser lights. She also carries a plastic top hat around the house. In this photo taken when she was four, she came out of her shell for a while to sit on the speaker. Here, she's trying to figure out where the sound of the music was coming from.

  • 29 of 40

    Muffy, Eternally Youthful

    Picture of Tortie Cat Muffy
    Tortie Cat Muffy. © Anne MacDermott

    When a cat is over 15 years of age, it's considered geriatric. Muffy, photographed here at 19 years young, is still as soft as she was the day her owner brought her home when she was six weeks old. Muffy stays in good health though she's deaf. Muffy's owners think she gets her youthful feline looks because she eats a lot of chicken, which is her favorite food.

  • 30 of 40

    Harley Davidson, the Purring Machine

    Picture of Tortie Cat Harley Davidson
    Tortie Cat Harley Davidson. © Marilyn Howell

    This long-haired tortie is named Harley Davidson because she has the loudest purr you've ever heard. She was adopted from a local Humane Society when she was three months of age. She's gentle as a lamb, except when she goes to the veterinarian where it takes three assistants to hold her down. Although at first reluctant, she's become an affectionate older auntie to a new kitten in the house, named Lucy.

  • 31 of 40

    Milagros, a Clever Cat

    Picture of Tortie Cat Milagros
    Tortie Cat Milagros. © Maja Hranisavljevic

    Milagros is one smart kitty. She knows how to open doors and she uses a toilet seat for her private business. Her owners never trained her how to use the toilet, Milagros just figured it out all by herself.

  • 32 of 40

    Mallorie, Loves Laps and Naps

    Picture of Tortie Cat Mallorie
    Tortie Cat Mallorie. © Sandi Bostian

    Mallorie was adopted from a rescue center. She shows her owner how grateful and happy she is every day by napping on her lap. When she's awake, Mallorie likes to play ball on the stairs of her home.

  • 33 of 40

    Fluffy, the Fluff Ball

    Tortie Fluffy. Photo Credit: © Kim Walantus

    Fluffy is a high-spirited tortie that loves playfully sneak attack her owner. When she was six-weeks-old, Fluffy's owner thought she would be a striped cat. But the family veterinarian realized she was actually a true tortoiseshell kitty.

  • 34 of 40

    Kit, a Mysterious Irish Kitty

    Kit, A Tortoiseshell Cat. Photo Credit: © Margaret O Sullivan

    Kit was rescued from Galway, Ireland. She loves playing with flowers, butterflies, and bumblebees. Her owners named her Kit because she looks like a character of the same name in the feline detective book series, called The Joe Grey Mysteries by Shirley Rousseau Murphy. Like her namesake, Kit the tortie is surrounded by mystery.

  • 35 of 40

    Rocky, a Boxer at Heart

    Photo of tortie cat Rocky
    Lovely Tortie Rocky. Photo Credit: © Michele Bohmke

    This owner's dog Roo found Rocky underneath a bush in their backyard and brought her up to the house. Rocky was barely able to walk or see as her eyes were just opening at the time. Now, she's an affectionate and happy tortie. She was named Rocky for the way she'd stand up on her hind legs and box like Rocky Balboa with Roo and others when she was a kitten.

  • 36 of 40

    Scud Muffin, the Resilient Tortie

    Photo of tortoiseshell cat Scud Muffin
    Scud Muffin. Photo Credit: © Lindsey Smith

    Scud Muffin is a resilient and beloved tortie with a sad beginning, but a happy future. Her mother gave birth to a litter just after she was rescued from starvation and near death. Scud Muffin was the only survivor of the litter and lives a comfortable life with another rescued cat, named Jonny. They love to play and wrestle with each other, just as true siblings would. When Scud Muffin isn't playing, she's running laps in her hallway, napping, gazing out the window, and sleeping next to her owner who's finishing up homework.

  • 37 of 40

    Luna, a Hurricane Survivor

    Photo of tortie cat Luna
    Lovely Tortie Luna. Photo Credit: © BellaKelly

    This is Luna, a nearly all-black tortoiseshell cat. She was rescued from a shelter in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. She's a bit moody around people, but she's happy around her owner. She loves to play with toy mice and candy (non-chocolate) wrappers. Her owner loves her and is grateful they'll be together for a long time.

  • 38 of 40

    Mama Cheetah, Fiercely Independent

    Photo of tortoiseshell cat Mama Cheetah
    Mama Cheetah. Photo Credit: © Susan Litton

    Mama Cheetah, or M.C., fended for herself as an outdoor cat for a long time. But, she chose to visit a family that already had a cat, so she didn't immediately become part of the family. In fact, it took two years. One summer the temperatures soared while M.C. was pregnant. The family began to leave her food and water so she wouldn't be stressed. M.C. brought her two surviving kittens to the house and that's when everyone became one big family. M.C. and her kittens went to the vet for appropriate care. Only one of M.C.'s kittens survived, growing up to be a strapping kitty named Harry the Bear. M.C. stays indoors most of the time, but she heads outdoors when the weather is just right. Otherwise, she's content to nap in the middle of the guest bedroom, which she's claimed as her own room.

  • 39 of 40

    Melinda and Keeko, Neighborhood Celebrities

    Photo of tortie cats Melinda and Keeko
    Tortie Ladies Melinda & Keeko. Photo Credit: © Kinley MacNutt

    Melinda and Keeko are two cuddle bugs that draw attention wherever they go. The two torties often go for walks on a leash to visit pet stores, parks, church, and other kitty-approved spots. They were community celebrities from the beginning. Melissa, a tortoiseshell tabby, was adopted at a SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) adoption event held in a pet store. Keeko was later adopted at the local animal hospital after she was given up. Keeko's former owners thought she was too much of a handful to keep her. But, with some TLC, Keeko calmed down and became a valued member of the family.

  • 40 of 40

    Molly Ann, a Talkative Tortie

    Molly Ann
    Molly Ann. Photo Credit: © Rev. Dr. Kaye E. Skinner

    Beautiful Molly Ann is one of the most chatty torties you'll ever meet. Though tortoiseshell cats are thought to be more vocal than other types of cats, some felines seem to want to have a deeper conversation with their owners, like Molly Ann. But if you're an owner of a talkative cat, sometimes it helps to understand what they're trying to tell you.