British Tortoiseshell Shorthair - Shorthaired Cats

Although the coat of the British Tortoiseshell, with its distinctive patches of black, cream, and red, makes it one of the most familiar of all the domestic cats, it is surprisingly difficult to breed. To produce the desired patterning, queens are best mated to a solid-colored black, red, or cream stud, but even then the resultant litter may contain only one kitten true to type. Because of the way the genes that determine color are inherited, almost all Tortoiseshell are female.

Like most British Shorthairs, the Tortoiseshell was developed from the best street cats. It was one of the first to make an appearance on the show benches.

The British Tortoiseshell is a sharp-witted, affectionate and charming cat that has long been highly popular as a pet.

There are two varieties. The Tortoiseshell-and-White is the same as the Tortoiseshell but for the addition of white patches. In the Blue Tortoiseshell-and-White, known as a Dulite Calico in the US, the black is replaced by blue and the red is replaced by cream.

British Tortoiseshell Shorthair
Affectionately known as the “Tortie”, this breed has made a faithful fireside companion since the late nineteenth century.

Picture: British Tortoiseshell Shorthair

Strong, muscular, and stocky.

Short, dense fur. Must be evenly patched with black, red, and cream; a cream or red blaze on the head is particularly sought after.

Short and thick.

Short, but well-proportioned.

The paws are large and round. The pads need to be pink or black or mixture of the two.

Round and broad, with a straight nose. The nose pad should be pink or black or a mixture of the two.

Medium-sized and round-tipped.

Large and round; color should be either deep orange or burnished copper.

Facial Characteristics
British Tortoiseshell Shorthair.

Picture: British Tortoiseshell-and-White Shorthair

British Tortoiseshell-and-White Shorthair
Formerly known as a Chintz or Spanish Cat, this variety is exactly the same as the Tortie, but with the addition of white patches. Bicolors usually make the best sires.
- Bold, clearly defined patches of black, cream, red, and white.

Picture: British Blue Tortoiseshell-and-White Shorthair

British Blue Tortoiseshell-and-White Shorthair
The black and red in the coat of the Tortoiseshell-and-White are replaced by blue and cream in this recently developed variety. The nose and paw pads are pink or blue or mixture of the two color.