If you are a cat owner or simply a lover of all things feline, you may have heard about the mystery surrounding the tortoiseshell cat. Cats have always been aloof, stand-offish, independent and pretty hard animals to read. The tortoiseshell variety takes this aloofness to a whole new level with legends of the most stubborn attitude otherwise known as ‘tortitude’ and unrivalled feistiness. The personalities of these cats are indeed unique, and they can make the most wonderful pets.
Tortoiseshell cats are special. They even look unique with their beautiful coat of rust coloured oranges, brown hues and jet black markings. No two tortoiseshells look alike, so if you are after a feline that will turn heads, then a tortoiseshell may be for you.
The law of genetics dictates that 99.9% of tortoiseshell cats are female in the same way as 99.9% of ginger cats are male. If you ask a vet if they have ever seen a male tortoiseshell, they will often say in hushed tones that a friend of a friend once knew a man who owned a male tortoiseshell feline. The legends that surround the tortoiseshell cat make the variety an even more unusual breed to come to know and love.
Just like any other variety of cat, they can succumb to illnesses. Sneezing and coughing can indicate a respiratory infection. If you suspect this, head down to the vets for antibiotics. Excessive scratching could signal the arrival of fleas. Pick up some specialist flea medicine for cats and apply it as soon as you can. The faster the treatment, the quicker you can rid your pet of the misery that fleas can cause.
Many people stereotype the tortoiseshell species in the same way as some people might stereotype ladies with blonde hair or people who wear glasses. Does the colouring of a cat really make for a fiery persona and this so called mythical ‘tortitude?’ It is fair to say that most tortoiseshell owners agree that they don’t want to get on the wrong side of their cat. Change their diet for an inferior food, and you’ll get the kitty death glare. Refuse to dangle their favourite faux bird on a string in front of them, and you’ll hear a hiss. And don’t even consider closing the door for a bit of privacy when you want to take a bath. Tortoiseshells have a way of getting their own way and ruling the roost.
However, the extreme nature of their personalities rolls back the other way and, when in the mood, a tortoiseshell cat will be on your lap for hours, enjoying chin rubs and back strokes. They will sleep with you in your bedroom and will cry if you leave the room. They are cats of extreme contrasts. One moment they are lolloping on the window sill and the next they are using your living room as an assault course. If you want a pet that will keep you on your toes, and fill your house with energy and love, then you can’t go wrong with a tortoiseshell cat.