Like its shorthaired counterpart, this breed has acquired the fond nickname of the "Tortie". Producing the beautiful distribution of colours displayed by this Tortoiseshell tends to be a hit-or-miss affair, but some breeders consider that pairings to Blacks or Creams are most likely to be successful.
A virtually female-only breed, the Tortoiseshell is the center of some debate on how difficult it is to breed: American breeders do not regard it as especially problematic, whereas in Britain the desired mixture of red, cream, and black patches has proved more elusive, with good specimens still quite rare.
Longhaired cats with tortoiseshell markings were first recorded towards were first recorded towards the end of the nineteenth century, and appeared in the early cat shows of the 1900s. They probably originated from accidental matings between longhaired black cats and shorthaired tortoiseshells.
The Tortoiseshell Longhair is affectionate, gentle, and placid, with a reputation for being a good mother to its kittens.
Shell and Shaded Tortoiseshell Longhairs are grouped together within the Shaded Division in the US; in Britain they are known as Cameos.
American Tortoiseshell Longhair
The US standard stipulates a black cat with unbrindled patches of red and cream. A desirable feature on both sides of the Atlantic is a red or cream blaze on the face, running from the nose to the forehead.
Because it is imposible to breed like with like, the Tortoiseshell includes numerous other breeds in its pedigree. This has resulted in a cobby build that is a fine example of the Longhair type.
Round and broad, with a short nose that should have a pink or black pad.
Large, round, and gleaming copper or orange in colour.
Small and round-tipped with pronounced ear tufts.
Very cobby and solid. Full neck ruff.
Fur should be silky, very thick, and dense. Patches of red, cream, and black should be well difined and evenly distributed.
Short and very bushy.
Short and thick.
Paws are large and round, with pads that should be pink or black in colour. Toe tufts.