Is “Tortitude” A Real Thing?


If you’ve spent a lot of time around cats you’ve probably heard the phrase “tortitude” before. Tortitude refers to the spicy personality traits common to tortoiseshell cats. 

Tortoiseshell cats, also known as torties, aren’t a specific breed but rather any breed with a specific coat pattern. A tortoiseshell cat has a coat with two colors other than white mixed together for an almost marbled pattern. 

tortoiseshell cat

Cats are largely considered to be more unpredictable and less affectionate than dogs, and many cat owners claim their tortoiseshell cat exhibits these traits to an extreme.

Although there isn’t a clear scientific link between coat color and behavior, anecdotal evidence would suggest that tortoiseshells exhibit behavioral similarities with their sassy, independent attitudes. 

There are a number of factors that could contribute to this. For instance, tortoiseshell cats are almost always female. There is some evidence that female cats can be a little more standoffish and less affectionate than male cats. This would explain why these behaviors are exhibited in torties, who are almost always female. 

However, all cats are individuals and there are plenty of factors unrelated to gender and coat pattern that impact their personalities. 

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