Torbie Cat Breed Facts and Information

You might be wondering, what exactly is a Torbie cat? Is it its own breed? Where does it come from? Find out here!

The Torbie cat is a Tortoiseshell Tabby cat. Torbie refers to a type of color pattern that cats can have. It appears in some breeds, most commonly among Domestic Shorthairs. It’s also known as the Striped Tortie, Patched Tabby, and Reverse Tortie.

In this article, I’ll be discussing everything there is to know about the Torbie cat! These unique cats have a loving personality that some people believe can be linked to their coats. First, I’ll explain what a Torbie is and where its name comes from. Next, I’ll discuss the Torbie cat’s appearance and personality. I’ll also cover the difference between a Torbie, Tortie, and Calico. Then you’ll learn all about what it’s like to take care of a Torbie cat and the common health issues that these cats can have. Finally, I’ll reveal some fun facts about the Torbie cat!

What is a Torbie Cat?

Torbies are cats with a tortoiseshell-tabby coat pattern. For this article, I’ll focus on shorthair Torbie cats. The name tortoiseshell comes from the pattern’s appearance which looks similar to the shell of a tortoise.

Tortoiseshell Tabbies are tri-colored cats, meaning that their coats have three colors present. Normally, Torbie cats are black, orange, and tabby. The tabby markings can have any type of tabby stripe including classic, mackerel, spotted, or ticked. Aside from having red or orange spots, they can also have cream or white spots on their body.

What Do Torbie Cats Look Like?

Below, I’ve inserted a second image of how the Torbie cat looks. Below the image, I’ve written about its looks as well.


As I said earlier, Torbie Cats normally have dominantly black coats with red or orange markings and tabby stripes. Like Domestic Shorthairs, they can come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. However, their bodies are commonly short in length with strong bones and muscles. Torbie cats have round heads and eyes that can either be blue, green, gold, or hazel.

Torbie Cats have short and sleek coats that feel smooth to the touch. Their paws are small and round and will normally have cream spots if your Torbie Cat has them. Torbie Cats usually have very balanced builds that make them look like what anyone imagines when they think of a cat.

Some Torbie Cats will have a sagging belly, which is known as the primordial pouch. This pouch is meant to protect your cat’s organs in the wild but domestic cats can still have them. Since Torbie Cats are normally a mix of several breeds, their appearance can also vary. Some have more almond-shaped eyes or wedged heads. The way these cats look can be quite unpredictable but they definitely all have that tortoiseshell tabby coat pattern.


Torbie Cats are medium-sized cats on average. They grow up to weigh anywhere between 8 to 12 lbs with male Torbie Cats being larger than female ones. Their proportions are balanced including the shape of their bodies and the features on their faces. At adult age, your Torbie Cat will be about 8 to 10 inches tall and 12 to 15 inches long.


Torbie Cats can actually come in different colors aside from the normal red, black, and tabby combination. The other color variations that Torbie Cats can have include blue, silver, and brown. In the following sections, I’ll describe each of the different colors that Torbie Cats can have.

Silver Classic Torbie Cat

Silver Classic Torbies will have solid silver color markings instead of white ones along with the red and tabby markings. These Torbie Cats have striking coats because the silver markings are bright and shiny.

They look similar to a classic Torbie Cat but you can distinguish them when in natural light. You will notice that a Silver Classic Torbie will have a sheen on the silver parts of its fur when moving. Like the classic Torbie Cat, it can have green, blue, hazel, or gold eyes.

Blue Classic Torbie Cat

The Blue Classic Torbie has blue color markings instead of black ones along with the red and tabby markings. At first glance, these cats look like they have a gray color but in motion and under natural light, you can easily see the blue coat.

Brown Classic Torbie Cat

Similar to the Blue Classic Torbie, the Brown Classic Torbie varies from the classic color variation by having a different color instead of the black markings. It instead has brown color markings along with red and tabby.

These cats appear to have a copper-like shade on their coat that gives this cat a rustic look. They’re commonly confused with a Black Classic Torbie Cat but the main difference between the two is that a Brown Classic Torbie Cat has lighter color.

Which Breeds Can Have a Torbie Coat?

There are only a few cats that can have torbie (tortoiseshell tabby or torbie-colored) coats. These include:

  • American Shorthair
  • British Shorthair
  • Persian
  • Cornish Rex
  • Ragamuffin
  • Maine Coon

As you can see, the Torbie coat is a special one. It only occurs in a few breeds and it looks great on all of them. Although it’s important to note that it can be difficult to find any of these breeds with a Torbie coat because it isn’t one of the more preferred coat patterns by breeders.

The Torbie Cat Personality

Torbie Cats have what’s called a “tortietude” a term coined by tortoiseshell cat owners. A cat with tortietude is described as being talkative, sassy, and playful, and affectionate. You might be thinking, other cats can be that way too! But Torbie Cats take that personality type to the next level.

Your Torbie Cat will meow at you about anything. Whether it’s to ask for food, ask for attention, or just to let you know what’s on their mind, these chatty cats will always have something to say. Torbie Cat owners even say that their cats seem like they think you can understand what they’re saying with how much they meow at their owners.

Torbie Cats are known to be very affectionate as well. They enjoy cuddling and pets more than most cats. Some Torbie Cats even allow belly rubs and will gladly accept them! These colorful cats will never shy away from a chance to get some love from their owners.

If you’re looking for a cat that will never leave you alone, then the Torbie Cat is perfect for you. These cats are known to be particularly clingy towards their owners. If you work from home, you’ll find your cat sitting next to you or on your desk to keep you company. Your Torbie Cat will want to be involved with all your day-to-day activities because they care about you that much.

These cats are perfect for pet owners that are used to dogs because of their lively personalities. Sometimes cat owners will call Torbie Cats the dogs of the cat world. Much like a dog would, your Torbie will greet you when you come home with loud meows and affection.

Take Care of a Torbie Cat

Now it’s time to talk about how to take care of your very own Torbie Cat. The good news is, Torbie Cats are low maintenance pets. They don’t need much when it comes to feeding, grooming, and exercise. However, you will need to pay extra attention to their dental care needs. In the following sections, I’ll go over everything you need to know about taking care of a Torbie Cat.


When it comes to feeding a Torbie Cat, the best way to go is by feeding it a mix of dry food and wet food. This is because, on their own, these two types of food aren’t enough to provide for all of your cat’s nutritional needs. You should provide your Torbie Cat with 2 to 4 meals of wet food throughout the day. These meals should be supplemented with a bowl of try food that you keep full throughout the day. Your cat can then free eat its dry food and treat its dry food supply as snacks.

Your Torbie Cat will need about 2.5 ounces of wet food every day. The amount of dry food your cat eats can vary from time to time but will average at around 0.5 lbs a day. It’s important that you divide your cat’s daily wet food consumption into 2 to 4 meals a day because this will help prevent bloating and also keep your cat’s energy balanced throughout its day.

Below is a table that compares different brands of Dry Food that you can feed to your Adult Torbie Cat:

Cat Food BrandQuantity per bagBags per yearUnit pricePrice per year
Hill’s Science16 lbs11$40.99$451
Royal Canin15 lbs12$89.99$1,080
Purina16 lbs11$38.48$616
Nutro14 lbs13$31.94$415
Blue Buffalo11 lbs17$34.98$595

Below is a table that compares different brands of Wet Food that you can feed to your Adult Torbie Cat:

Cat Food BrandQuantity per canCans per dayCans per unitUnits per yearUnit pricePrice per year
Hill’s Science5.5oz1/2248$37.68$302
Royal Canin3oz12415$35.52$533
Blue Buffalo5.5oz1/2248$30.00$240

Based on our price comparisons, you will be spending about an average of $1,000 a year on feeding your cat. Of course, if you go for the more expensive brands, it will cost more. It can also cost less if you choose the cheaper brands.

The brands that I’ve selected in this article are the most highly rated by customers and highly recommended by veterinarians. That way, you don’t have to worry about which brand will be the best for your cat health-wise. All these items are good for Torbie Cats. Which brands you would like to purchase for your cat will pretty much depend on your budget.

Personally, I would recommend Royal Canin despite the higher price simply because plenty of research goes into their formulas. They are often recommended by veterinarians because of just how nutritious their pet food selections are.


Since Torbie Cats are shorthaired pets, they are low-maintenance when it comes to grooming. You will only need to brush your Torbie Cat twice a week to keep its fur healthy. Like most cats, Torbie Cats have shedding seasons. They normally shed during the spring to get rid of their winter coats and fall to prepare for winter.

During these shedding seasons, you will need to brush your Torbie Cat a bit more often. It’s recommended that you brush them once a day but three to four times a week should suffice. The best type of brush to use with a Torbie Cat is a glove brush. This is because these brushes are made of gentle rubber materials that won’t harm your cat. Shorthaired cats like the Torbie Cat mostly need brushing just to remove any dead skin or hair from their bodies.

You will only need to bathe your Torbie Cat about once every few months. These cats are great at keeping themselves clean, so bathing isn’t needed very often. You will only need to bathe your cat when they get into a dirty area or have a messy accident. It’s best to use a pet-friendly shampoo when giving your cat a bath.

Lastly, you’ll also need to keep your Torbie Cat’s claw length in check. Doing this is mostly for your benefit because trimming your cat’s nails will lessen their chances of ruining your furniture. Like most cats, your Torbie Cat won’t enjoy having its nails trimmed at first but if you start doing it while your cat is young, it will get used to it over time. You can either use nail clippers for people to trim your cat’s nails or nail clippers for cats to make it easier for both you and your pet.

Dental Care

It’s important that you take good care of your Torbie Cat’s teeth and gums. These cats are prone to plaque build-up in their teeth which can, later on, lead to a nasty infection.

The best way to take care of your Torbie Cat’s teeth is by brushing them at least once a week. Remember to use a cat-friendly toothbrush kit to make sure that you can clean your cat’s teeth properly.

To go the extra mile, you can also provide your cat with water additives. Water additives are great with cats that hate having their toothbrush. Simply pour a capful of the solution to your cat’s water source and let them drink it. This will help keep your cat’s teeth clean and its breath fresh.


Since Torbie Cats are so playful, making sure they get enough exercise every day is easy. Your Torbie Cat will need about 40 minutes of playtime or exercise to keep itself in shape.

A great way to make your Torbie Cat exercise is by playing with it using a teaser. Torbie Cats love to play with teasers and will almost never turn down an opportunity to chase one.

You can also give your Torbie Cat a cat tower for new surfaces to climb upon. Torbie Cats love to climb high surfaces and having a cat tower will also prevent your cat from climbing up your cabinets and shelves at home.

Health Problems in Torbie Cats

Since Torbie Cats are simply Domestic Shorthairs, they are prone to the same health issues that a Domestic Shorthair faces. Fortunately, they aren’t prone to many health problems. This is because Domestic Shorthairs are typically mixed breeds which protects them from congenital diseases that normally happen in purebred cats. In the following sections, I’ll be describing some of the health problems that your Torbie Cat can have. I’ll define each health issue, describe their symptoms, and how to treat them.

Ear Mites

Ear mites are tiny parasites that are common among both cats and dogs. They live on the skin of your cat’s ear canal and feed off ear wax and skin oils. These parasites reproduce very quickly and can cause discomfort for your cats.

The symptoms of ear mites include excessive ear scratching, bald spots around the ears and eyebrows, inflamed ears, and black ear discharge. Ear mites are normally diagnosed by a vet through an ear exam.

To treat ear mites, your vet will prescribe your cat ear spot treatments such as ear drops or ear cleaning solutions. These formulas are meant to alleviate the inflammation and irritation in your cat’s ears and kill the ear mites.

Kidney Disease

Kidney diseases are any ailments that negatively affect your cat’s kidneys. They can either be an acute renal failure or a chronic kidney problem. An acute renal failure is when your cat’s kidneys suddenly deteriorate. Chronic kidney problems are kidney diseases that develop over the course of months or years.

Symptoms of kidney diseases include frequent urination, frequently drinking water, sudden weight loss, and bloody urine. If you suspect that your cat might have kidney disease, you must take it to the vet immediately.

Treatment for kidney diseases involves conducting blood and urine tests. They may also conduct an x-ray and ultrasound to observe your cat’s kidneys. The treatment will depend on the severity of your cat’s disease. Mild cases will be treated with medication and special diets while severe cases may need surgery and IV fluids.


Diabetes is a health condition wherein your cat is unable to produce enough insulin to balance out its blood sugar levels. This occurs in about 0.5% to 2% of all cats. It normally occurs when a cat gets older. It’s common in cats with unhealthy diets and not enough exercise.

The symptoms of feline diabetes include increased thirst, increased urination, and fluctuating weight. It’s more common in obese cats. Diagnosing diabetes in a cat involves blood tests.

Unfortunately, diabetes in cats cannot be cured but it can be managed. You will need to regularly inject insulin into your cat as prescribed by its veterinarian. It may take some time to get used to it but your vet should provide you with the correct guidance for administering insulin.

Fun Facts About Torbie Cats

Torbie Cats Are Usually Female

Torbie Cats are normally female because of their genetics. It is almost impossible to find a male Torbie Cat because the color gene that produces this coat pattern is carried on the X chromosome. For a cat to have the torbie pattern, it needs to appear on two X chromosomes. Since male cats have XY chromosomes, they cannot be Torbie Cats.

Male Torbie Cats Are Sterile

Once again, this is thanks to genetics. Male Torbie Cats have XXY chromosomes which also makes them unable to reproduce. Fortunately, a kitten doesn’t need to have a Torbie Cat sire to have a torbie coat.

Male Torbie Cats Are Motherly

Owners who have male Torbie Cats have shared that their cats normally act more like female cats than male ones. Although there aren’t any studies to confirm this, there is a theory that male Torbie Cats act like female ones because they have two chromosomes.

Male Torbie Cats are known to be gentle, affectionate towards kittens, and laidback. They normally have personality traits that are normally found in female cats which makes them even more special aside from their rarity.

Final Thoughts

As someone who has his very own Torbie Cat, I will never run out of great things to say about this cat. My very own Torbie Cat is one of the most affectionate and loving cats I’ve ever had. I can definitely attest to the so-called “tortietude” because my own Torbie Cat meows at me all day.

If you’re looking to have a Torbie Cat of your own, I strongly support your decision to have one. These cats will never let you forget how much they love you. Although some cat owners might find the Torbie Cat’s “tortietude” overwhelming, I think that it’s one of their most charming points.

I think it’s interesting that coat patterns can affect a cat’s personality. If there was a way for you to always predict what kind of personality cat you could have, it would make being a cat owner so much more interesting. However, I still think that your cat’s personality will still depend on the way that you raise it. Always remember to love your Torbie Cat as much as it loves you.