This particular breed of Persian Cat called Tortoiseshell (or Torties for short) is valued because of the many variations in coloration and banding throughout their fine silky coats. The classic colouring is, of course, the darker Tortoiseshell blacks, browns and reds – though all other variations are acceptable. The only object to consider when breeding Tortoiseshell cats is to create the perfect balance of the blend. For example, it would be desirable to have a black/red persian, or a blue/cream, or even a lilac/cream. Really the possibilities are endless and no two cats are ever the same.
So what in the felines chromosomes causes this blend in coloration? The configuration of the colour blending on the kittens depends heavily on the genetics of the litters mother. If the female has two red XX Chromosomes, the kittens will be red, however if one chromosome is red and the other is not, the blend will be more pronounced. Generally it has been seen that the pedigree Tortoiseshell offspring will be almost entirely of a percentage female, with possibly no males produced, due to the makeup of genetics. Female Tortoiseshells are often mated with Black Persian and Red Persian males, rather than other Tortoiseshell males, in an aim to produce the most fiery combinations of colours in their litters. It is said that due to the difficulties in producing perfect pedigree in Tortoiseshell Persians, these cats are more rare and highly valued.
Its interesting to note what is considered the most desirable mix of patterning on Tortoiseshell Persian cats actually differs between the British and American Standards for Pedigree Cats. In the British Standard, when looking at a show cat, they are judged better cats if their coat is more of a softer blend of colours. However, in the American Standard it is the opposite, preferring a more vibrant crashing of colours instead. Both Standards seem to prefer if the cat has a blaze of colour down the centre of their face though.
In many Cat Fancier Associations, this breed of cat is referred to in the category of “Particolour Persian”. The first Tortoiseshell Persian officially entered in a competition was a cat named Molly Bond in 1906. Sadly, this breed was not considered so highly of and it did not manage to attain the rank of Grand Champion in any recorded competition until 1960. To date, no chocolate tortoiseshells or lilac-creams (sub-breeds of Tortoiseshell) have gained the rank of grand champion in the United States – though hopefully this will change one day soon! Check out the CFA for more information on PartiColour Persian Titles and Rankings.
Because this particular breed of Persian cats has such a mix of genetics they show a great deal more strength than some other varieties. Whereas in the case of White Persians, it is often seen that these cats with blue eyes go deaf, thankfully Tortoiseshell Persians are not prone to these health issues as commonly.
Are you interested in purchasing a beautiful Tortoiseshell Persian? The first five images on this page are all from a cat breeding company in Northern Missouri, who specialises in beautiful kittens. If you are in America I suggest you pop on over to their website and take a look. Their cats are truly beautiful, and their photographer is brilliant as well.
Breed Information Panel
Coat – Thick and silky with variations in colour.
Eyes – Deep orange or copper.
Other Features – Depending on the dominant colour of the cat this can vary. Nose leather and paw pads in either pink or black.
Grooming – Demanding, thorough and daily is advised.
Temperament – Placid.
Tortoiseshell Persian Picture Gallery