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Long Hair Tortoiseshell Cat: Facts, Pictures, Genetics & FAQs

Long hair tortoiseshell cat standing in green garden

A long hair tortoiseshell cat is definitely alluring due to its distinctive color and long fur. Together with its extraordinary personality, the long-haired tortie is not your average feline.

Because of their unique coats and “tortitude,” many cat enthusiasts think that long-haired torties are ideal pets. However, these cats can be challenging to find since they are quite uncommon.

Fortunately, despite its rarity, there are still many cat breeds that have a long hair tortie variant. Read along to find out which cat breeds can exhibit this unique coat color!

What Is a Long Hair Tortoiseshell Cat?

Cute long haired tortoiseshell cat lying with white background

A long hair tortoiseshell cat is any cat that has a long coat and sports a tortoiseshell pattern. Long hair tortoiseshell cats, also called long-haired torties, have a blend of red and black fur along with reddish patches. The color of their patches can occasionally be orange, yellow, or cream.

Similar to short-haired tortoiseshell breeds, long-haired torties are thought to exhibit the extraordinary behavior known as “tortitude.” This is the distinct and difficult personality of tortoiseshell cats.

Despite this, pet enthusiasts still choose to own tortie cats. While the tortitude craze is definitely true, it is possible to raise a well-behaved tortie. In fact, these cats are excellent companions for the right people.

Watch a long-haired tortoiseshell cat in action in the video below:

Goldie the Long-Haired Dilute Tortoiseshell

Are Long Hair Tortoiseshell Cats Rare?

Tortoiseshell cats with long fur are uncommon. In fact, long-haired cats are already unusual in the first place. The same is true for cats with a tortoiseshell pattern.

That said, you can expect a long-haired cat with a tortoiseshell pattern to be very uncommon. The rarity of these cats is mainly due to the long hair gene always being recessive and the tortie gene being scarce.

Additionally, it can be difficult to obtain a male tortoiseshell cat with long hair if you’re hunting for one in particular. This is because long-haired torties are almost always female.

Two X chromosomes are required to produce the tortoiseshell coloration. Normally, males biologically exhibit one X and one Y chromosome. For a male tortie to appear, an imbalance of an extra X chromosome is required.

This imbalance, however, makes any male tortie sterile or unable to reproduce. Also, they are likely to live with ongoing health problems. Hence, finding a long-haired tortie male cat for breeding is really challenging.

In conclusion, long-haired tortoiseshell cats are hard to come by due to the tricky mechanics of their coat genetics.

Additionally, it is a challenging task to locate a compatible male for mating and producing long-haired torties.

READ NEXT: Dilute Tortie Cat: Facts, Genetics, Health & FAQs (With Pictures!)

What Breed Is a Long Hair Tortoiseshell Cat?

Long-haired torties are rare, and their unusual coat color is only found in a few cat breeds. Despite this, they remain popular among cat lovers due to their distinct colors and engaging personality.

Here are eight long-haired cat breeds that can have a tortoiseshell coat:

1. Maine Coon

Long hair tortoiseshell Maine Coon cat

The popular Maine Coon may rarely appear with a tortoiseshell coat color. Although they may also come with medium-length coats, tortoiseshell Maine Coons usually have long hair.

Patches of red, orange, black, and brown frequently emerge on the tortoise-coated, long-haired Maine Coons. There are also long hair tortie Maine Coons, which are breeds with less striking coloring.

The costly tortoiseshell Maine Coons may have asymmetrical markings when compared to those with other coat colors.

They do, however, have the typical leonine ruff and ear tufts of the majority of Maine Coons.

2. Ragamuffin

Long hair tortoiseshell Ragamuffin cat

Long hair Ragamuffins with tortoiseshell coats have two coat colors irregularly distributed throughout their fur. They typically have a darker hue on their face and a white or lighter tone on the bridge of their nose.

The distinctive lighter coloration on a tortie Ragamuffin’s face is called a blaze. However, not all tortoiseshell Ragamuffins may have it.

Tortoiseshell Ragamuffins, like other long-haired cat breeds, may appear larger than they actually are because of their plush coats. They have long tails and are huge, big-boned cats.

Generally, tortoiseshell Ragamuffins are even-tempered but are not considered lap cats. They may not enjoy being held for longer periods of time. Nonetheless, they easily get along well with all household members.

3. British Longhair

Long hair tortoiseshell British Longhair cat

Tortie British Longhairs are among the recent breeds to appear with this coloration. As a result, tortie is not recognized by most cat associations for this breed, except by The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF).

Tortoiseshell British Longhairs have the traditional long hair, round face, and short ears of the British Shorthair and Persian breeds.

British Longhairs in tortoiseshell are difficult to find, just like the other breeds on the list.

Most of them have one solid color, one tabby color, or two colors on their coats. But it is possible for tortie British Longhairs to exist.

Overall, tortoiseshell British Longhairs are generally calm, compliant, and tolerant. They might occasionally still exhibit kitten-like behavior, though.

4. Domestic Longhair

Long hair tortoiseshell Domestic Longhair cat

A Domestic Longhair cat is a medium-sized, powerful-looking feline. The majority of coat colors and patterns, including tortoiseshell, are exhibited by this breed.

Tortoiseshell Domestic Longhairs often have a thick, fluffy coat. They can also have mixed or other breed origins since they are not a defined breed.

Tortoiseshell Domestic Longhairs are thought to be the result of haphazard breeding. Nonetheless, despite their unknown past, they often have long, attractive coats.

The majority of Domestic Longhairs have mixed lineage, which gives owners a wide range of breed personalities. They can be laid-back, affectionate, active, quiet, reserved, or friendly.

5. Persian

Long hair tortoiseshell Persian cat

In 1908, red, blue, and cream Persian cats were crossed to create long hair tortoiseshell Persian cats.

They ooze elegance and boast of their regal appearance, much like the Persian cats with different coat colors.

Persian torties are the smallest of the Persian hues, yet their lengthy fur may give the impression that they are bigger. They also exhibit the Persian features of a huge head, wide eyes, and a snub nose.

Additionally, spots of black, orange, and cream are frequently found on the coats of tortie Persians. Although they can be any hue, which influences their cost, orange and black are the most prevalent.

6. Norwegian Forest Cat

Long hair tortoiseshell Norwegian Forest cat

The high-priced long hair Norwegian Forest Cat in tortoiseshell is known for its robust body, double coat, and distinctive body shape. Its black coat has red spots on its body and limbs.

Norwegian Forest Cats’ tortoiseshell coloring occasionally manifests as various spots of color, including black, brown, red, orange, and beige, scattered throughout their fur.

Furthermore, their marks can be small specks or may completely cover their backs.

Every Norwegian Forest Cat is different, just like every other breed. Hence, expect all torties to sport a different combination of the tortie pattern.

7. American Bobtail

Long hair tortoiseshell American Bobtail cat
Image credit: linzmeow24 / Instagram

Long hair American Bobtails are distinguished by their short, bobbed tails, which are only about one-third as long as a typical cat’s tail. They are available in a range of hues and patterns, including tortoiseshell.

The coats of American Bobtails can be long or short, and they hardly ever exhibit a tortoiseshell pattern. As a result, finding a long hair tortoiseshell American Bobtail can be very challenging.

However, if a pet owner is successful in locating a long-haired tortie American Bobtail, they can be certain that they have a very rare cat. 

8. Manx

Long hair tortoiseshell Manx cat

One of the world’s oldest cat breeds is the long-haired Manx. It is a medium-sized cat that can be found in different shades, including tortoiseshell.

When the tortoiseshell Manx is standing, it is more obvious that the back of the animal is taller than the front. Additionally, when viewed from behind, its ears will take on the shape of a rocker.

Tortoiseshell Manx typically have short coats. Long-haired Manx cats are, however, recognized by several cat registries. When it comes to tortoiseshells, their coats have a mix of orange, black, and white.

Although they are frequently referred to as long-haired Manx, some cat lovers refer to them as the distinct breed Cymric. They are, however, the same type of Manx with semi-long hair.

Long Hair Tortoiseshell Cat Temperament and Personality

Female long hair tortie tortoiseshell cat standing in garden

Cats with long hair in tortoiseshell are renowned for being independent and fierce.

Long hair torties may be more independent and have a predisposition for aggression toward strangers because of their “tortitude.”

Additionally, long-haired tortoiseshell cats are frequently energetic, inquisitive, and sassy. Owners need to be ready to handle unwelcome behavior, including scratching, biting, and loud purring.

Although the aforementioned undesirable behavior may seem repulsive, many cat lovers find it unique and endearing. However, owners need to be knowledgeable and skilled in handling these unpredictable breeds.

Despite their numerous similarities and the stereotypical “tortitude” attached to their coat color, their temperament and personality will still depend on many factors, such as genetics, environment, and upbringing.

Long Hair Tortie Cat Lifespan and Health Issues

Generally, long hair tortoiseshell cats live an average of 10 to 15 years. However, despite having a long lifespan, they are still prone to some health issues.

In very rare cases where a male long hair tortie cat is produced, they live with significantly shorter lifespans of 5 to 8 years.

Moreover, male long hair torties usually experience more serious health issues throughout their life.

Below is a list of the most common health issues that a long-haired tortie may develop:

  • Klinefelter’s Syndrome: Male long hair torties are born with XXY chromosomes causing Klinefelter’s Syndrome. This condition is characterized by cognitive and behavioral issues, musculoskeletal problems, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
  • Feline Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD1): Tortoiseshell cats with long hair, such as Persians or those with Persian ancestry, are predisposed to a hereditary form of kidney disease called PKD1. Without proper medical intervention, PKD1 may cause renal failure.
  • Feline Lower Urinary Tract Diseases (FLUTD): Long hair tortie cats are prone to developing FLUTD, which is usually an indication of an underlying disease such as a bacterial infection, bladder stones, neoplasia, or cystitis.

Unless they are males, long-haired tortoiseshell cats are often in excellent condition. But there’s always a chance that a health problem will arise.

If you wish to prepare and save yourself from the trouble of high vet bills in case of a serious health emergency, consider getting pet insurance for your pet.

How Much Does a Long Hair Tortoiseshell Cat Cost? Kitten Prices & Expenses

Long hair tortoiseshell kitten for sale and adoption

Because of their unique coat and overall rarity, long-haired tortoiseshell cats typically have an average price of $1,000 to $2,500, depending on the breed. 

Other factors such as its size, health history, location, bloodline, and breed standard may also affect the initial kitten price of a long hair tortoiseshell cat.

On top of the price of a long hair tortoiseshell cat, below are some initial expenses you should know about:

Type of ExpenseCost
Food and Treats$20 – $50
Food and Water Bowls$10 – $25
Litter Box$20 – $160
Litter Sand$15 – $25
Collar and ID Tag$5 – $20
Cat Bed$15 – $30
Cat Carrier$20 – $60
Toys and Scratching Post$15 – $70
Grooming Essentials$25 – $35
Initial Vet Visits$100 – $250
Initial Vaccine Shots$25 – $50
Flea, Tick, and Heartworm Medications$30 – $100
Neutering or Spaying$200 – $500
Microchip$40 – $60
Miscellaneous Supplies$15 – $30
Total Initial Cost$555 – $1,465

Keep in mind that the prices above are estimates only and may be higher or lower depending on the prices in your area.

Moreover, it is worth noting that this table does not take into account the recurring cost of owning a cat.

Places to Find Long Hair Tortoiseshell Cats for Sale and Adoption

The main challenge concerning long hair tortoiseshell cats is their availability.

Due to breeding preferences and the complex process involved in producing a tortie, it can be difficult to find one for sale or adoption.

To aid in your search, here are some websites where you can try looking for a long hair tortoiseshell cat for sale:

  • CatsNow – CatsNow is a California-based classified listing site of cats for sale. Interested customers may search by breed, age, location, and more via their website. The price of tortoiseshell cats from CatsNow varies greatly depending on the breed.
  • KittensUp – Based in Florida, KittensUp is a marketplace for breeders to sell their kittens. Kittens from KittensUp are bred in a warm, domestic atmosphere to help them grow kind and loving. The average tortie kitten price depends on the breed but comes with a fixed cargo fee of $575 regardless of location.
  • GoKitty – GoKitty is a cat advertising website based in New Jersey. GoKitty claims to match lovable kittens with caring owners to create a lifelong bond like no other. Tortoiseshell kitten prices are priced depending on breed and location.

If you don’t have the budget to purchase a new kitten, you may try adopting or getting your long hair tortie from shelters or rescues. However, the process is all the more challenging.

Here are some organizations that may help you get your long hair tortoiseshell cat through adoption:

  • PetCurious – Founded in 2016, PetCurious believes that animals and pets spread love and happiness. Hence, they help those looking for pets find the ideal one in an intuitive and easy way. 
  • Kitten Rescue Los Angeles – Kitten Rescue is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping unwanted, abandoned cats and kittens find loving homes. Depending on the age of the kitten, its adoption prices range from $120 to $200.
  • Kansas Humane Society – Kansas Humane Society is a non-profit animal organization committed to promoting the bond between humans and animals through many services, including adoption. Adoption fees may vary depending on breed.

Aside from these sources, you may also consult our post on 11 ways to find free kittens in your area. This can come in handy, especially if you are working with a tight budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

Close up of a long hair tortie cat

Are Tortoiseshell Cats Very Affectionate?

Tortoiseshell cats have a high level of affection. Most of the time, torties will clamor for head rubs and attention from their owners.

Many people think that their special fur color has a direct bearing on this friendly behavior.

Are Tortoiseshell Cats Clingy?

Tortoiseshell cats can be very clingy and have a tendency to stick close to their owners and follow them around. Torties have a reputation for being devoted to their owners.

Are Tortoiseshell Cats Aggressive?

Numerous studies have found that tortoiseshell cats are more likely than other cats to develop aggressive behavior. They are more likely to hiss, bite, scratch, swipe, and act violently in general toward people.

However, there is currently no evidence to back up the idea that a cat’s coat color may directly affect its personality and behavior.

Final Thoughts: Should You Get a Long Hair Tortoiseshell Cat?

Tortoiseshell cats with long hair are distinctive and beautiful, which makes them well-liked among cat lovers.

However, the breeding process and tricky coat genetics of these cats make them difficult to produce.

Additionally, their rarity drives up their price, which makes them costlier than other cat breeds. With this in mind, prospective owners should be ready in every way before bringing one home.

So, do you plan on getting this long-haired kitty soon? Comment below and let us know which of the long-haired tortoiseshell cat breeds on the list you prefer!