Differences Between Tortoiseshell and Calico Cats - PetHelpful - By fellow animal lovers and experts
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Differences Between Tortoiseshell and Calico Cats

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Differences Between Tortoiseshell and Calico Cats

Differences Between Tortoiseshell and Calico Cats

Tortoiseshell and Calico Cat Color Pattern

Tortoiseshell and calico cats come in a great variety of the colors: black, red, and white. Unlike what some people think, they're not different breeds. Their differences lie in their special color patterns. In this article, I'll explain how the tortoiseshell pattern compares to the calico pattern. While a tortie coat might not have any white at all, a calico coat always include white. In my family, we had one tortoiseshell cat and two calico cats. One calico with plain colored patches and one with tabby colored patches. In The Netherlands, we use only one word for these cats: lapjeskat. In English, this means "patched cat."

Curiosity is the very basis of education and if you tell me that curiosity killed the cat, I say only the cat died nobly.

— Arnold Edinborough

Tortoiseshell cat

Tortoiseshell cat

The color patterns of tortoiseshell and callico cats

The color patterns of tortoiseshell and callico cats

Why Tortoiseshell and Calico Patterns Are Different

Most tortoiseshell and calico cats are females. They have two X chromosomes, one for orange (XO), one for black (XB). They only pass one on to the next generation. Yet males have one X chromosome and one Y chromosome, which is either orange (XO) or black (XB). Below you'll find more detail about how this works:

Female XO + Male XO = orange

Female XO + Male XB = mixed orange+black pattern

Female XB + Male XO = mixed orange+black pattern

Female XB + Male XB = black

Whenever a male tortoiseshell or calico cat is born, the father most likely had an extra X chromosome, XXO or XXB, which is a rarity.

Pigment Genes in Cats

Pigment genes express in what we call melanocytes. When there is a mixed pattern, these genes surface to the skin. The colors mingle in random order, giving the cat that special brindled look. In tri-colored cats, there's a second gene interacting, which has no pigment at all. This results in either small or large white spots. This is why some cats look completely white but are not albino. They have a brindle pattern in their genes with a dominant white. This dominant white won't let the orange and black color surface to the skin.

  • The calico pattern has an extra spotting gene, which produces white, unpigmented spots. Those white spots can be either small or very big. The spotting gene overrules the color gene. You can have an almost white cat with a few colored patches or a colored cat with a few white spots.
  • Tortoiseshell cats, also called Torties, very often have only two colors, red and black. They have no white at all. The color can include black, orange (red), brown, black, cream, cinnamon, and blue. These cats often have a mottled or brindled coat. They can either be short-haired or long-haired, and the color patterns can vary from very dark to very light.
The cat on the left is a Calico Cat

The cat on the left is a Calico Cat

You can see that this cat has a very bright colored pattern of white, black and red patches on her head and body.

Typical calico cat with bright color patches.

Typical calico cat with bright color patches.

A calico tabby cat.

A calico tabby cat.

My Calico Was a Stray Cat

One evening in 2002, I went into the barn and there she was: A cute, but skinny, teenage kitten with very big eyes. She was shy, but also hungry, and she ate until her belly was full. She may have come from a farm in the neighbourhood. They often have cats to keep the mice away. Or they threw her out of the car. Who knows?
That's how Red came to live with us. It took a lot of begging and spoiling before she allowed me to pet her. She never allowed me to pick her up though and hold her in my arms.

Calico tabby cat

Calico tabby cat

Cats With an Attitude

We discovered soon enough that Red must have had a difficult life before she ended up in our barn. She must have had some very bad experience with human encounters.

She comes to sit next to you, purrs a lot and actually loves petting. Yet when you pet her too much all the way down to her tail, she will grab you with her claws. Her ears go back to her neck, and she turns into a wild animal. You'd better get her off your lap by then. You can't pick her up, so the best way to do it is to stand up, and she'll jump off. She has always been like that, all nine years long, so we keep her away from visitors.

Calico cat with an attitude.

Calico cat with an attitude.

What Is a Diluted Calico?

Dilute means less intensive. A dilute calico is a cat that has the same coloring pattern as a normal calico, but the red and black are not so bright. It looks like they're a bit washed out, so to speak. The black is greyish blue, and the red is rather creamy as you can see in the photo below.

Diluted Calico Cat

Diluted Calico Cat

Questions & Answers

Question: My calico has cream, or off-white, areas on her in addition to black and light orange. Is she a steaight calico, or a torti, as her vet said?

Answer: The vet is right, when there is no real white it's a Torti.

Question: Can a calico be of only two colours white and orange?

Answer: A calico has always three colors: white, black and orange.

Question: How come my Siamese cat comes from the same mom as my tortoiseshell?

Answer: A cat will only ovulate after mating with a tomcat. In order to be sure she will have kittens, she will mate with as many tomcats as possible. That's why your two cats from the same mom, have different fathers.

Question: Our Tortie kitten has a white belly and paws - is she a Cali-tort? She Also has one orange tabby front leg.

Answer: Your kitten is a calico. Torties don't have white spots.

Question: Can a Calico cat be all white with hints of orange and light black?

Answer: Yes a Calico can be all white with either strong or diluted orange and black spots/hints. Even when the colored spots are the size of a pin head, it's still a Calico cat where the white has the upper hand.

Question: When do the eyes of a kitten turn yellow?

Answer: Kittens are born with blue eyes and they start to change color after 5 or 6 weeks. It will take about 9 months though to reach the final color. Cat eyes are not always yellow, they can be orange, green or blue too and all shades in between.

© 2011 Titia Geertman

You can leave your footprint here

Julie on August 13, 2020:

Hi I just got a lovely little female medium haired cat whose man colour is white with orange grey and black patches. Her hair only sheds in little clumps, not stray hairs. What breed would she be please? I was told she was a Tortie.

Laurie wells on May 27, 2020:

Our totisishell has a bit o white on tummy

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on March 04, 2020:

I learned some things from your article. I am a confirmed cat lover, no matter what color, but I love black cats and my husband likes striped ones. We have one of each. You mentioned the tortie with an attitude. I've never met a tortie that didn't have an attitude, but my friend had a calico that was so very sweet.

Titia Geertman (author) from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands on February 06, 2020:

Yes, that's true, we call the calico patch cats. Alas our tabby calico 'Red' died last year at the age of 19 years old.

Silv on February 04, 2020:

I love that! Years ago, I used to play The Sims Online, and I had my sim cat, a calico, out. A Dutch player came in, and I guess I commented I was trying to think of a name for the cat, and he said that in Holland, they're called "patch cat." I thought that was delightful, and I named her Patch Cat.

Now I have a calico. The shelter had her labeled as a torbie, but she has white paws, some white on her chest, and some white on her stomach. She's a tabby/calico, clearly. She has large black tabby stripes in back and patches of red, orange, and cream on her sides, and kind of "tabbied" together in stripes rather than in patches in some spots. She's gorgeous, and was very affectionate and sweet from the start despite being very frightened at first. She's come out of her shell, and she's just a delight.

Jessica on October 08, 2019:

Calis and Torties are special in our house. We had an 18 year old diluted tortie (shes been gone 3 years now) and a 17 year old diluted tortie (shes been gone a year and half) You would swear they were sisters.

Currently we have a 13 yr old Cali, a 1 yr old cali tripod, along with our house panther and tabby!

Rita on October 07, 2019:

I have a tortoise shell she has no write. She is my second tortoise shell. My first Patches lived to be about 15 years old . Callie is 12 now. They are very affectionate cats! They are also great with children!

Fay Favored from USA on August 19, 2019:

We are blessed to have both kinds of kitties. One rescue we thought was a tortoise, but she's looking more like a calico tabby from your description.

Jen on May 13, 2019:

I have a calico cat that I got about a year ago from a friend and at first she didn't like anybody unless you were sitting and didn't like to be held but she would come to you and lay on your lap to get pet but if you got up she would run. Well every morning that I'd get up she would be laying on the couch or on my bed next to me and I'd pet her and pick her up now when I'm trying to do stuff and she wants attention she walks between my feet rubbing her head on my legs and wants to be picked up. She is such a loving cat now and I'm glad. My kids even love on her now and my 1year old and my 3 year old both carry her around and she just lays there and lets them.

Swiftfrost on May 06, 2019:

I have 3 cats. My kitten is a tortie and my 4 year old cat is a cailco.

Titia Geertman (author) from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands on May 03, 2019:

I'm sorry to hear about your cat, but 13 years is a nice age and it gives you 13 years of memories.

Marie on May 02, 2019:

My beautiful baby girl Blossom fell asleep last Friday 26th April 2019 - she gave me 13 years of fun-filled joy

Cassie on April 19, 2019:

My Tortoie just had babies, she had 2 calicos(1 is a calico/tabby), 1 tortoie, 1 orange and white, 1 black and white. They are so cute

Angie Wornstaff on April 08, 2019:

I had a calico & Tortoiseshell, they are sisters from the same litter, how unique is this?

Tac on January 25, 2019:

this is good info. I always though Calico and Tortoise shell are the same thing, guess Iw as wrong. I have one tortoise shell cat at home, named kitkat. Picked her up from the trash pile, and she has grown clean and fat, now 4 years old. :)

Connie on December 13, 2018:

I love calico, and black cats.I have 3 calicos , one is 18, one is 14. and one is maybe 3 months old and then a black cat who is around 8 now, she was found out in a ice storm with her brother( a tux) and my daughter brought her to me.

Nicole B on December 13, 2018:

Thanks for this...previously everyone has described my meow as a tortie...she is a calico tabby. Loved your story re: Red...My cat, Rennie Vien, has a similar story...previous owners treated her poorly, can't be picked up, in first 6 months of living together I could not stroke her more than 5 times (and never, never, never the length of her body) without her getting cross and attacking (even though she sought out the pats), almost feral...fast forward 2 1/2 years and she is the schmooziest house cat ever...love her to bits

Titia Geertman (author) from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands on July 10, 2018:

#Deborah Simpkins: Yes, she's a calico.

Ikke on July 08, 2018:

Nice story, a stray Calico just came to my home and I let her stay. She also had bad experiences I guess coz she doesn't like to be picked up also. But when she comes to me she likes to be cuddled. I had a cat before she could be mean for fun. But this one is always sweet. She doesn't even ask for food now she's given that regularly. Unbelievable how she acts like a home cat from day one. But she's easily scared so I reassure her a lot

Deborah Simpkins on July 06, 2018:

I just got a kitten. She is mostly dark gray with red. She has white feet and a little white mixed around. Is she calico?

Kelly shepherd on June 22, 2018:

I have a tortoise shell calico.

Judith Lindley on May 02, 2018:

I run Calico Cat Registry International(since l978)

U can reach us @ P.O. Box 944 Morongo Valley, Calif.USA 92256-0944

Titia Geertman (author) from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands on March 16, 2018:

Hi Gina Bobitt,

What a great story to read about your cat. Good for you to take in a stray cat and care for her despite the fact that she's not friendly towards people. Sometimes I wish they could tell us their story and what happened to them. Only thing we can do is give them love.

Gina bobbitt on March 16, 2018:

When you describe the story in the article about when you found your cat red the story is very similar to mine except there wasn't a barn and I took the cat in as a stray that was about 9 years ago to and when you were talking about petting her she has the same exact behavior and I keep her as a house cat and when I was living with my sister I kept her my cat in my room and she came out when the kids were not around she's not good with other people and she does strike out at him but I've had her for 9 years same as you it was good to hear your side of it because I know that there's other people out there going through some of the same things I am but she's my best friend and my convenient

Titia Geertman (author) from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands on February 18, 2018:

#Burdie, that's a whole lot of kittens you have. We had 10 at one time long ago, now we only have 'Red' and she turns 17 this year.

Burdie on February 17, 2018:

I am proud owner at the moment of of 12 ----1 is 12 yrs old still acts like a kitten 1 I rescued & has an attitude 3 are kittens I rescued one of which gave me 7 babies 6 lived I couldn't part with building a cattery from Jackson Galaxy designs momma is preg again this is her last. When they are of age they are gone & she had an appt with doc. One of her kittens I thought was a tortie but after reading your article I realize she is also a calico as is a sister and mom . Thanks for your article.

Titia Geertman (author) from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands on November 20, 2017:

Hi EM, thanks for your comment. It's not so strange that your cats don't love each other as much as they did when they were young. Cats actually are loners, they don't really need the company of other cats to be a happy cat. They can also be quite territorial. As long as they don't fight all the time it's ok.

Em on November 19, 2017:

I have 2 tabbico sisters. One is diluted the other is not. They loved each other until the age of 3. Now at age 5 they tolerate each other but don't act the loving way they did as kittens.

Titia Geertman (author) from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands on October 23, 2017:

Thanks for your comment Emily. Red uses both sometimes, but getting older made her a bit milder too. She's becoming an old lady.

Emily Huffman on October 23, 2017:

Ha our tortie Amazon is almost exactly like how you describe Red, except she chooses teeth instead of claws for the most part. She also is a chronic "love nipper" when you pet her. She rarely goes into full out beast mode, but when too stimulated it's best to just leave her be. Silly felines!

Titia Geertman (author) from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands on September 17, 2017:

Doris_Mae, thanks for your story. Our cats have been strays most of the time and they all had/have their own background package to carry of which we'll never know the content. You just have to accept them the way they are and love them.

Doris_Mae on September 17, 2017:

My cat is an orange tabby, but she has a nasty attitude as well! She hates being picked up or pet too much, but her biggest issue is with other cats. As a stray, I believe she got attacked by other cats. She absolutely cannot be around other cats and will redirect her aggression towards me if she sees one. Okay, go back to your calicos and torties. I just wanted to share my story of my nasty kitty whom I love with my whole heart! :)

Titia Geertman (author) from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands on June 06, 2017:

# Rita: I don't think the way your cat holds her tail is breed related. Cats often hold their tail that way because they're excited in some way or other.

Rita on June 05, 2017:

I have a tortoiseshell cat. my cat holds her tail in the air over her back when she walks or runs.Is this a normal for this breed. Her tail curves at the end also. Does anyone have a cat with this trait?

n on April 17, 2017:

Cats are cool

Hilary Walker on February 07, 2017:

I would dispute your use of the word "own" in the first poll question: how many of us actually own a cat? Do they not own us? Or at least decide to live with us! Currently we care for 17 cats, rescues of course, the latest one being the calico kittie rescued trapped in the house/garden behind us in the summer when she was a baby. We live in the south of Spain.

Ignaz Gyulai on January 04, 2017:

Some of the Calico Tabbies pictured here have the "dilute" gene as well, lookin' kinda pale...

Titia Geertman (author) from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands on December 29, 2016:

@ Hannah: even with very little white spots, your cat is a calico. Tortoiseshell cats have no white at all.

Hannah on December 26, 2016:

My cat, Hazel, is a calico but she has very little white is she a tortoiseshell cat?

Thelma on November 07, 2016:

I have a tori who is my best buddy ever. Her name is neko-chan. Neko is japanese for cat and chan is a term of endearment for a young girl.

She knows my routine so well and comforts me when not well.

Titia Geertman (author) from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands on September 07, 2016:

Hi CrystalDragon3568. I'm so sorry I didn't see your post earlier. I haven't been around HP much due to busy busy times with my sheep. I'm glad you found my article useful. I think your cat would've been a Callico, but that's a guess. Without a photo it's not easy to say.

CrystalDragon3568 on August 06, 2016:

Thank you so much for this! I was planning on making a Warriors fanfic with alot of tortoiseshells (they're so fun to draw, along with calicos!) and I thought that the only difference was that tortoiseshells have one main colour and two splotches of colours, whereas calicos are just tricoloured. This helped me learn alot, so thank you!!! I shall use this knowledge when creating semi-realistic cats, and if anyone asks me for a article on the difference between these two amazing colours of cats, then I will link them here! I also rated a 10/10, as this was so helpful!!! Thank you so much! Also, I have (had) two (now I have one) calico cats, and one of them (Tiger) ran away, but she was almost all black and orange with a tiny bit of white on her. We were told she was a calico. Is she a calico or a tortoiseshell? Reading this article made me think about that, so I thought I might ask. Thanks!

Sasha the Cat on May 08, 2016:

Kittys!

debrahinkson@sbcglobal.net on September 21, 2015:

Thank you for wonderful article (lens?) about calicos/torties, with beautiful personal pics and antidotes, and simplified genetics for myself!(-; I live in Kansas (KS) with Joey, a black cat with only 3 white hairs on his whole body (not sure what his coloration would be labeled based on your lens). My sister hand raised he and 4 siblings when feral mom birthed them under her deck in a thunderstorm and ran off never to return for them. Family members each took a "little one" at 8 wks., we had them neutered or spayed and I chose the little black fellow (who is now 16 pounds).

I had just returned to KS in 2006 after living in Ohio for 20 yrs because my Multiple Sclerosis had worsened significantly and I needed family support. Where I now live are "independent living" 6-plex apartments. It is in the middle of the city and we are next to a medium sized cemetery. There were feral cats in the area that I began feeding 6 yrs ago with the gratious help of Michelle, my home health aide, who was an animal lover, though not so of cats (until she began developing personal relationships with some of the little guys... and Joey, of course). About 5 years ago with the great assistance of a wonderful feral feline organization that has a TNR program (Trap, Neuter and Retun) they helped stabilize the population and provide rabies shots for "the kids" who now number 9: Sylvester, Tommy, Arlo, Precious, Cleo, Little Yin, Mama, Blackie and Gabby. Six yrs ago a very petite "brownish" tortie(?) maybe 5 mo. old showed up on my tiny porch peering through the bedroom window looking at Joey. She did not seem to be befriended by my colony of cats but she and Joey quickly developed a relationship. Eventually I felt I needed? to bring her in for a number of reasons. I named her "Palette"and she's maybe 7 pounds. She has a huge attachment to Joey and having been feral has slowly developed a bond with me. Her nutrition was poor and she is "slow". She is very shy and needs the protection of Joey and me. I dearly love them both.

I am glad to have found your web site and plan to share it with my friends of cats and feral cats. Thank you.

Debra

Virginia Allain from Central Florida on February 23, 2015:

We had a calico cat when I was a kid. Not very creative, I called her "Cali."

tricomanagement on February 10, 2014:

@sierradawn lm: I've had the same experience only with dogs - you are lucky your cat found her way back home - enjoy the love as it is as true as any love can be...

Tanya Jones from Texas USA on February 07, 2014:

Years ago, when I raised cats, I had a pair of tortoise shell cats (twins) born to a litter. I had no trouble finding homes for them.

Delia on February 06, 2014:

Came back for a visit and see your photos again...Red's nose marking is like my Kitty's...they even resemble each other...by the way, I made a wrong button choice on the Debate..sorry about that!

sierradawn lm on January 17, 2014:

I can never pass by any lens about cats! And yours was most informative and delightful!

My Calico Paw Print (It is a polydactyl paw print):

Two of my rescue cats have been long haired, polydactyl calicos. They came to me 30 some odd years apart but were both so identical in personality and appearance that I became convinced the second calico was a reincarnation of my first one. I had been catless for quite a while and my dad thought that I needed a kitten for my birthday. He did not know where to get me one. The wind blew a discarded newspaper his way and picking it up he found an ASPCA ad for kittens. I was so excited! But when I got there I wanted every cat and kitten I saw and started crying because I could not pick just one. Then I heard a cat calling and crying loudly from a distant room in the shelter. It sounded just like my Purrsia used to call me. I got my calico Purrsia when I was in the second grade. She was my best friend growing up. She lived to play with my daughter and died after a long life. I felt like somehow Purrsia was calling for me, some 30 years later. When I started through the door to find her, the attendant informed me that there were no cats available for adoption in that part of the shelter. I convinced them that this was my cat calling me. As she was making such a fuss crying and calling, they let me in to her cage. I could not believe my eyes when I saw her. She pressed her nose up to the cage and rubbed up against me and "talked" to me as if telling me all about all of her adventures during our separation. Marked exactly the same, with the same big polydactyl paws, chattering away to me in her same unique voice---I could not believe this was real. The shelter let me adopt her because it was obvious she was my cat. She had been their Mascot Shelter Cat and they were planning to keeping her. I had dreamed about Purrsia the previous night, and I did not know at the time that I was going to be surprised with a birthday kitten.

Titia Geertman (author) from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands on January 07, 2014:

@norma-holt: Here we have only one word for the tortie/calico too, doesn't matter if they have white or not.

Carol Houle from Montreal on January 07, 2014:

I learned something new with this lens. Tia, check your first paragraph for a galico :~)

norma-holt on December 28, 2013:

This is a very informative article. I never heard of Calico cats before reading lenses about them. It seems to be an American term. In Australia multi-coloured cats are all tortoise shells. I have one now that is an absolute Gem and that is her name. Her last litter produced 2 beautiful ginger females and one of them is still here. She looks Red and her coat is unbelievably beautiful. Her daddy is a Turkish Angora and she has a wonderful personality. Being ginger and white she is not a tortoise shell but she is certainly unique and 'Red' certainly suites her as a name. Well done.

rbutler21 on April 26, 2013:

I have a calico named Precious, she is a very sweet cat.

anonymous on March 14, 2013:

nice lens

myno1star on February 25, 2013:

We have a calico girl, named Calypso. She is quite the character!

Peggy Hazelwood from Desert Southwest, U.S.A. on February 25, 2013:

We had a tortoiseshell tabby named Frisky. She was great and so pretty!

lionmom100 on January 24, 2013:

I have had a torte who was a wonderful cats. None of the cats I have now are torties though. Very informative lens.

Leah J. Hileman from East Berlin, PA, USA on December 28, 2012:

I have a brindled calico. I also have a tortie named Clare and a tortie with some Burmese mixed in (a tortie with extra grey and a Burmese-shaped face). Their markings are so beautiful!

Wednesday-Elf from Savannah, Georgia on December 07, 2012:

My 'footprint' or 'paw print'...LOL. What a fun story. Love the pictures of your cats. I once had a Calico cat who crawled into a crawl space in the laundry shed in the carport that was covered by the same roof as the house and found herself in the attic space. She proceeded to have 5 kittens up there which we discovered only by hearing tiny 'mews' in the ceiling of the living room! We only had a removable square in the hall ceiling to gain access to this small space above, so put up a ladder and sent our 11-year-old son up with a box and admonishes to make sure he brought back every single kitten (and mama cat). Success.

JoshK47 on August 02, 2012:

My favorite coloring of cat! Blessed by a SquidAngel!

potovanja on July 29, 2012:

Thank you to share my major subject with great informative lens.

Lorelei Cohen from Canada on July 27, 2012:

Your calico cat Red looks like one very happy kitty. I love the photo of Red on the stump overlooking the garden. Great picture for those who love cats.

SteveKaye on July 13, 2012:

Actually, I'm going to leave a paw print. We have a dark brown tiger house cat. Her name is Olivia Felini, and she is a very good cat. Thanks for the beautiful photos and delightful stories. Meow.

jlshernandez on July 12, 2012:

I think my calico cat, Mali and yours were related in another life. Loved the stories and photos. Blessed ***

Everyday-Miracles on April 29, 2012:

My sweet Guinevere is a dilute torbie. She's also FIV+. You can see pictures of her on my lens about Quinn, our other FIV kitty.

jolou on April 26, 2012:

Wonderful lens about one of my favorite subjects........cats!

tricomanagement on March 08, 2012:

@tricomanagement: Happy International Women's Day to women everywhere!

tricomanagement on March 08, 2012:

I got so caught up with your Lens that I forgot to wish you Happy International Women's Day - awesome lens - loved it!

tricomanagement on March 08, 2012:

we have a calico cat, but there are two tortoiseshell females that live at the back of our land and often sleep in the barn. They are welcomed hunters of mice and things. They definitely keep their distance - but once in a while they are hungry and food somehow makes its way to the bowl at the back of the goat's pen...LOL

Ben Reed from Redcar on February 08, 2012:

Used to have a cat - miss her terribly...Enjoyed your lense

anonymous on February 02, 2012:

I don't have a cat, but would like to. So, I totally enjoyed this lens. :)

Miha Gasper from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU on January 26, 2012:

Nice lens. I am not really a cat person, but they are cute and you presented some very useful info

Gayle Dowell from Kansas on December 28, 2011:

Great lens. We got a tortie from the shelter years ago. She was one of the best cats we've owned.

Lorelei Cohen from Canada on December 05, 2011:

I took a trip to our local SPCA to drop off some cat treats just recently and of course fell madly in love with an old cat who gave me the "eye". So after 3 days of begging my husband to allow me to have another cat I am still receiving a firm NO! I so envy you your wonderful cats. I used to have a tortoiseshell cat and she was absolutely the most charming creature that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. I sure miss her.

Sandy Mertens from Frozen Tundra on December 04, 2011:

Blessed! Please add this to my Christmas Gifts and Blessings lens.

fugeecat lm on November 29, 2011:

The best cat I ever had was a tortie. She was beautiful and she knew it and she was very loving actually she was an attention hog.

anonymous on November 25, 2011:

I LOVE this - what a gorgeous cat - great pictures

anonymous on November 06, 2011:

Great lens! Anything about cats gets a thumbs up from me. I love tortoiseshells and calicos. The pattern is so great :)

jseven lm on November 04, 2011:

Pretty cats and I used to have all different ones, but live in an apartment now. Nice lens.

Elsie Hagley from New Zealand on November 03, 2011:

Great lens, I love cats, but I do not have any now. Protecting the Kiwi (bird) as we live in the high bush country in east Taranaki New Zealand. Enjoy the call of the kiwi instead which they must be protected from dogs, cats and rodents. But I did have a calico cats as you have already found out. Blessed.

BeyondRoses on July 25, 2011:

Your Tortoiseshell and Calico Cats are delightful. Sweet photos! My cat is a tuxedo girl ...

termit_bronx on June 19, 2011:

Very nice lens! :) I also have cats at home and they are very adorable=)

anonymous on June 18, 2011:

Wonderful lens. The information on the various colors was magnificent. Blessed :)

Delia on June 09, 2011:

Love your very informative lens with great images...thanks for sharing! if you can, check out "my feral cat named Kitty" lens

Lorelei Cohen from Canada on June 08, 2011:

I enjoy your lenses so much. They have a wonderful honesty and emotion to them that is lacking in so many articles today.

pawpaw911 on May 18, 2011:

Did a lens on Top 20 Reasons You Might Be a Crazy Cat Lady, and thought I would check out some other cat lenses. We have one tortoiseshell. Her name is Mama Rahrah

LissaKlar LM on April 01, 2011:

Great facts about tortoishell and calicos. I love cats, had 2 for 17 years. I just can't bear to replace them yet.

RinchenChodron on March 25, 2011:

You do seem to be an expert! Great photos of Red.

puzzlerpaige on March 23, 2011:

I never knew how to tell the difference between Tortoiseshell and Calico cats. I've probably called each by the wrong name! Our vet told us that our cat was a "Diluted Calico." She is sweet. But her mom, a tabby, is much like your Red. A little bit wild.