British Shorthair-Tortie cat resting in her basket.

British Shorthair-Tortie Cat Breed

The mingled colors in this cat’s coat give the breed an unusual marbled appearance.

In a tortoiseshell (tortie), two coat colors are softly blended. There are many variations, but the most common is black mixed with red—the first tortie color to be developed in British Shorthairs. Blue-cream tortoiseshell, in which black is replaced by blue and red by cream, is another of the older colors, recognized since the 1950s.

In the Calico (known as Tortie and White in the UK) the colors are more clearly defined as patches. For genetic reasons, torties are nearly always female and the few males are sterile.

Origin: UK, 1800s

Breed registries: CFA, FIFe, GCCF, TICA

Weight range: 9–18lb (4–8kg)

Grooming: Weekly

Colors and patterns: Blue-cream, chocolate, lilac, or black tortoiseshell (with white patches in the calico).