Are you interested in getting a dilute tortoiseshell cat? We can’t blame you, considering how uniquely beautiful they are.
Dilute (or muted) torties have a very specific color palette. You know how torties usually have a very bright orange on their black and white fur? Well, a dilute tortie has those same colors, just much lighter.
Thanks to a genetic mutation that results in less pigment in the fur, their coat’s colors have a different hue to them – they’re gray, almost light blue, and orange. These colors make the cat one-of-a-kind.
Dilute torties don’t actually have a certain pattern, but they’re rather a canvas of wonderful colors, and no two cats have the same patterns. This is definitely one of the main reasons they’re so special – your cat will look like no other cat in the world.
In this article, we’ll talk about all the different behaviors you can expect from these magnificent meowers, as well as the pros and cons of having this unique feline as your companion.
Sometimes, we just need a little push before we actually go out and get the things we want. In this case, let’s see all the amazing reasons a dilute tortoiseshell cat is the perfect fur friend for you.
The personality of a dilute tortoiseshell cat
There is one specific thing about muted tortie cats and that’s the fact that they’re known for their “tortitude.”
Tortitude can have a ton of different meanings. However, it’s usually connected to their sassiness and diva-like behavior.
But what else is new? People say that only orange cats are clingy and crazy. Other cats can be moody and cold even towards their owners. That’s why so many people don’t choose to have cats as pets.
Nonetheless, depending on how bonded they are to you, they can also be very affectionate. Unless, of course, you’re trying to cuddle them too much – that’s when they’ll reveal their little claws and then find a spot where they feel safer.
This tortitude is actually endearing. When you look at their cute face and realize that they’re actually just moody, it becomes even more adorable.
It’s nothing scary that will bring you actual issues, it’s just a part of their character. This trait is much more prominent than in other cats that you’ll encounter in your life. They won’t create problems because of it if you leave them alone.
The coat of a muted tortie
Dilute tortoiseshell cats aren’t an actual breed. It’s just their coat that makes them so unique in the feline world.
You may be disappointed by this fact, but their coat is completely up to their genetics. Due to their history, they have a distinctive two-toned pattern on their fur and this color exists because of the lack of pigment.
This pigment is produced by the MLPH gene, also known as melanophilin. Because of this gene, cats have much more pigmented fur, especially cats with black and orange fur.
A dilute tortoiseshell cat has this gene on both of their X chromosomes, which allows for the combination of muted colors in its fur. This creates a much more distinct coat pattern.
The orange hues turn yellowish and the black turns into a grayish-blue color. Considering that this mutation is caused by a recessive gene, both parents of your cat have to carry this gene within them. Just because one parent is a dilute tortie doesn’t mean that the kittens will be as well.
This may sound a little complicated, but in order to decide which cat is the best for you, you should understand what makes them so different from other cats. Also, by understanding their genetics, you’ll be a much better parent to your furbaby.
The health of a dilute tortoiseshell cat
There’s a chance you’ll believe because of a genetic mutation like this that this cat will have more health issues than others. Fortunately, that’s not true.
A dilute tortoiseshell cat is usually quite healthy. Especially, if you are able to take good care of your cat, giving her a nutritious diet and enough play time.
We’re not saying you’ll never make an emergency visit to the vet, but simply that this type of cat isn’t prone to any specific disease.
One issue to be aware of is that your cat may easily become obese. Too many calories and too little exercise can bring any living creature to this point, but a little extra weight isn’t a death sentence for your cat. If she becomes markedly overweight, you’ll need to step in to prevent secondary issues.
Besides this, there are many other common feline issues, like dental problems, parasites, UTIs, and even renal failure. If your cat is well taken care of, then you shouldn’t have to worry about these things.
How to take care of your dilute tortoiseshell cat
While on the topic of feline health, let’s get into how you can take care of your dilute tortie.
To be honest, there’s nothing special you have to do that’s not part of the basic care of any and every other cat. Torties are not high-maintenance cats.
The first thing that you need to make sure is that your cat has nutritious and regular meals to keep her healthy and strong. Grooming is the next most important thing.
Ensure that their coat is brushed through to prevent any matting. If you’re not able to do this, then take your cat to a groomer. Otherwise, your cat will develop huge issues, as their skin will become extremely itchy. They’ll scratch until they completely scratch their fur off. You don’t want that.
Also, be sure that their teeth are taken care of and their nails are trimmed regularly. The worst thing you can do to a cat is declaw them, so don’t even think about it. Regular trimming of their little claws will be more than enough.
Give your cat access to a clean litter box and some fresh water, and they’ll be the happiest cat in the world. A playful cat will also need a few different toys to play with, simply to keep their mind stimulated and occupied.
Then last but certainly not least, your love is the best thing any pet can get. So, don’t disregard those cuddle sessions.
Fun facts about dilute tortoiseshell cats
1. Male dilute tortoiseshell cats are rare
We already covered the fact that the X chromosome is the one that determines the coat color of cats. So, if the cat is a female and has two X chromosomes, it gets two instructions for its coat.
On average, 1 in 3,000 dilute tortoiseshell cats is actually male. If it is a male kitten by some chance, they usually are born sterile and have lifelong health issues. This also means that male dilute torties are much more expensive than their female siblings.
You’ll probably never encounter a purebred muted tortie cat because of this. Male cats are so rare and weak that they can’t procreate. This is something that you should definitely take into consideration.
2. It’s not an actual cat breed
A fun fact that we already covered is the fact that this isn’t an actual cat breed.
When we’re talking about dilute tortoiseshell cats, we’re just referring to the absence of pigment in their fur.
These cats are bicolored, with a combination of grayish-blue and yellowing specs of color all through their fur. So, it would be wrong to call them a breed. Breeds like the Maine Coon or Persian cat have quite distinct features that you’ll be able to see right away.
3. They bring good fortune
Because of how rare dilute tortoiseshell cats are, legend says that they bring good fortune – that they bring luck and money into your home.
Many people throughout the centuries have believed that they can bring a lot of happiness in life.
Is that simply because cats usually bring a lot of good energy into your home or is there some actual proof for this? You may never know until you actually bring this kitto home.
4. They can live up to 17 years
Another reason dilute torties are such amazing pets is that they can live up to 17 years. Usually, cats have a lifespan of between 10 and 15 years.
If you take good care of your kitty, if you make sure that she always has nutritious food and regular vet checkups, you’ll be sharing your life with your meower for a long time to come!
These cats, if female, have a long life expectancy and don’t have any genetic defects that can make you worry about them.
So, what are you waiting for? Are you already on your way to adopt one?