I am currently owned by a foster kitten, Miss Sophia Meowen, my first ever tortoisehell-colored cat, and I am in awe of her Tortitude. You can see a glimpse of it in the photo of her, to the left. Does the color of a cat’s coat determine their temperament? “Legend has it that tortoiseshell cats have that mixture of boldness, confidence, and attitude known as “tortitude.” Torties know what they want, and they know how to go after it.” These wise words were written by one of our favorite blog authors over at the Way of Cats. Another one of our fav bloggers, Conscious Cat, goes into incredible detail and depth about this magical coloring and personality combination. She describes their colors as “a combination of patches of black, brown, amber, red, cinnamon and chocolate.” and extols their characters as “strong-willed, a bit hot-tempered, and they can be very possessive of their human. Other words used to describe torties are fiercely independent, feisty and unpredictable. They’re usually very talkative and make their presence and needs known with anything from a hiss to a meow to a strong purr.”
I have fostered hundreds of kittens over the past 15 years, and always marveled at the magnificent spectrum of kittens personalities that match their kaleidoscope colors: lap-loving tabbies, feisty ginger boys, gregarious grey kitties, social black mini-panthers and snuggle-bunny tuxedos. Scientifically we know that personality traits can be genetically passed down to offspring, as well as coloring — this can be clearly seen in purebred cats sharing so many of the same characteristics, think of how Siamese are almost always talkative/vocal, and Maine Coons typically are so easy-going. However I’ve yet to see a specific study across breeds and in mixed breed cats proving what I believe to be is true with cats and their coloring matching most often similar personality types (of course, there are always exceptions to the “rules.”) No matter if it is just coincidence or fact, I am spellbound by the talkative, incredibly strong Tortitude from my film star foster kitten – and I know her future adopter will be too!