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Is there a difference between tortoise shell and calico cats?

I looked them both up on the internet and they really look the same to me.  Are they the same?  I know little Bella is a tortoise shell, I think my cat Sidra is a calico, or a calico/taby mix.  Is there differences in personality?

A tortoiseshell has no white fur. A calico can and usually does. A "calico" can also have patches of grey or black.
Legend has it that if you have a "calico" of 3 colours on a white ground, it's a "money cat" and you will never be poor as long as it lives with you.
It is said that all tortoiseshell cats are female. I don't know if that's true.

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all torties and calicos are female or, if male (much less common), they're naturally sterile. It's an x-chromosome-barr-bodies kind of thing I believe...

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i was always under the impression that all torties are calico, but not all calicos are torties.. sorta like that square = rectangle, but not all rectangles = square type of thing

also torties are smaller patches of color mixed together and calicos can have bigger patches of single colors..

also, ive heard that almost all male calicos are sterile, but it you actually have a non sterile, full blooded calico male (not tabby mix) then the boys are worth ALOT of $$..

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I present Exhibits A and B for review.  The long haired cat, Baxter, is a calico.  The short haired cat, Lemon Pepper, is a tortie.

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Oooh, you know, after seeing your pictures, I think Sidra may be a torty/tabby mix.  Is that possible?  Either that, maybe she is just a plain old orange tabby, tiger tabby mix. 

Is she calico, torty, or orange/gray taby mix?  Scooter, the bigger cat in the picture is a silver tabby.  But I am trying to figure out what Sidra is.  This picture is a bit old, it was taken when she was still a kitten, but her markings are the same, she is just bigger, and fatter today.  I have more recent pictures at home, but I am at work and don't have them here.

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She reminds me of my Bug!!  :)>>>

I think they are called "torbies".

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It is said that all tortoiseshell cats are female. I don't know if that's true.

Also, the "all ginger cats are male" thing... myth busted. I once knew a darling ginger girl called Bella (a stray who adopted my aunt and uncle).

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All torts. are female because they have to have the two X chromosome. In the skin, where the pigment gets produced, one of the X chromosomes gets randomly inactivated (Barr body) and if the two Xs are coding for different colored fur pigments the mottled appearance happens. The occasional male can be tort., but it would have an XXY genotype which hardly ever happens. Technically, tort. and tabby aren't breeds at all, just descriptions (like a black cat). Torts have no or very little white and calicos are torts with white.

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She reminds me of my Bug!!   :)>>>

I think they are called "torbies".

WOW!  The similarity is UNCANNY!  They look almost exactly alike.  Has your cat ever been a mother or did you adopt your cat from C.A.P. in Houston?  They have to be related somehow. 

I took this picture last night, Sidra was doing her usuall wandering around me meowing at me.  She does that all the time.   Spoiled brat wants a treat!  :)>>>

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All torts. are female because they have to have the two X chromosome. In the skin, where the pigment gets produced, one of the X chromosomes gets randomly inactivated (Barr body) and if the two Xs are coding for different colored fur pigments the mottled appearance happens. The occasional male can be tort., but it would have an XXY genotype which hardly ever happens. Technically, tort. and tabby aren't breeds at all, just descriptions (like a black cat). Torts have no or very little white and calicos are torts with white.

Same goes for calicos.  An X either "codes" for orange pigment or black pigment, so you can have orange males and black males but not males with both orange and black coloration because they only have on X except in the case of XXY (kitty Klinefelter's), like you mentioned.  When I was growing up, my parents' cat Lacie had kittens and we think one of them was a male tortie--he lived for about a week and then died unexpectedly.  It can be hard to sex them that young, but we were pretty sure he was a male.  Poor boy  :'(

I've always heard that torties have extra "cattitude", but I'm pretty sure that's just people making stuff up.  However, all the torties I've known have been a bit on the prissy side  ;)

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*snip*

WOW!  The similarity is UNCANNY!  They look almost exactly alike.  Has your cat ever been a mother or did you adopt your cat from C.A.P. in Houston?  They have to be related somehow. 

We adopted Bug from a local shelter (in WV) when she was a kitten. She was spayed at 6 months, so no.

There will always be a fondness in my heart for torbie girls!   8-)

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I've always heard that torties have extra "cattitude", but I'm pretty sure that's just people making stuff up.  However, all the torties I've known have been a bit on the prissy side  ;)

my cory is a tortie, as is my mom's cat munchie. my sister also has a tortie (JC -  just cat). i think torties have wonderful personalities, but they are a bit prissy. but they are also some very sweet, loving and "needy" cats.

cory has little flecks of white (like she has grey hairs--they aren't patches). i think of torties as having mostly black and carmel tones and that they tend to be more "blurred up" colorwise vs. having the nice solid blocks of color that calicos have. my other cat, mimi, is a dilute calico (grey, carmel, white). other than a white "hankie" (neck) and belly, she is mostly grey/carmel.

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