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Tortie Point Siamese Cat: Facts, Origin & History (With Pictures)

tortie point siamese cat wearing blue beaded necklace
Image Credit: Kitti_Kween, Shutterstock
Last Updated on November 16, 2023 by Jordyn Alger

Tortie Point Siamese cats are a variation of Siamese cats. They have a tortoiseshell coloration, named after the patterning of a tortoise’s shell; half of their faces, tails, ears, and feet are colored a dark color. These colors are often black, brown, or cinnamon. The other half of their bodies have reddish or orangish colors.

Tortie point Siamese are unique and rare, making them coveted by many cat owners.

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The Earliest Records of Tortie Point Siamese Cats in History

To learn about the history of the tortie point Siamese, let’s first dive into the origins of the Siamese breed.

It is believed that Siamese cats originate from Thailand. They were first introduced to Europe in the late 19th century when the King of Siam gifted a pair of Siamese cats to an English consulate general. These cats were named Mia and Pho, and they produced kittens that were displayed in London in 1885.

Likewise, the first Siamese cat introduced to the United States came from the King of Siam. Eventually, more Siamese cats were imported to the continent of North America from Britain, France, Japan, and of course, Siam.

The creation of the tortie point Siamese was no easy feat. Compared to other Siamese variations, the tortie point Siamese is incredibly rare. Very few genetic opportunities lead to the birth of a tortie point Siamese. This is because the tortoiseshell coloration gene is a sex-linked trait. Almost all tortoiseshell cats are female.

Although it is possible for a tortie point Siamese cat to be male, it is unlikely. All male tortie point cats are born from genetic abnormalities and are all sterile as a result.

tortie point Siamese cat in bed
Image Credit: Sari ONeal, Shutterstock

How Tortie Point Siamese Cats Gained Popularity

In Thailand, the breed was used as guardians for the king. They would roam around the throne and have high pillars to rest on. If a person dared to threaten the king, the cats would leap down from their perches to attack.

Even after the King of Siam gifted Siamese cats to Europeans and Americans, the breed remained in the shadows until World War II. After that, their popularity skyrocketed, and now they are among the most commonly registered breeds.

The tortie point Siamese is relatively popular, though its genetic rarity makes it a bit more difficult for cat owners to get their hands on.

Formal Recognition of Tortie Point Siamese Cats

In 1906, the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) officially recognized the Siamese as a breed. When The International Cat Association was founded in 1979, the Siamese was among the first breeds in the championship competition.

When it comes to the tortie point Siamese, the CFA in the United States does not recognize it as an official Siamese color. Only solid point colors (such as chocolate, seal, blue, and lilac) are recognized. The CFA instead categorizes the tortie point Siamese as a colorpoint Shorthair.

However, there are plenty of registries that do recognize the tortie point as a Siamese variation. These include the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) and the American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA).

tortie point Siamese kitten
Image Credit: Sari ONeal, Shutterstock

cat paw dividerTop 5 Unique Facts About Tortie Point Siamese Cats

1. Klinefelter Syndrome Creates Male Tortie Point Siamese Cats

Tortie point Siamese cats are most commonly female. However, in rare instances, a tortie point Siamese can be male. When a male tortie point Siamese is born, it is due to Klinefelter syndrome.

Klinefelter syndrome is when a male has developed an extra X chromosome. This occurs in humans as well.  For tortie Siamese, instead of having one X chromosome and one Y chromosome, they will have two X chromosomes and one Y chromosome.

However, just because a cat has Klinefelter syndrome does not guarantee it will inherit a tortoiseshell coloration.

2. The World’s Oldest Cat Was a Siamese

The record for the world’s oldest male cat goes to Scooter, a Siamese cat who lived to be 30 years old.

3. Tortie Point Siamese Cats Are Good for People with Allergies

Tortie point Siamese cats are hypoallergenic, or at least as hypoallergenic as possible. Truly hypoallergenic cats do not technically exist, although some breeds are slightly less allergenic than others. The tortie point Siamese is among those.

close up tortie point siamese kitten
Image Credit: Sari ONeal, Shutterstock

4. Siamese Cats have Appeared in Many Movies

Siamese cats have made appearances in animated and live-action films. The cats were featured in Lady and the Tramp, The Aristocats, and The Wizard of Oz.

5. A Siamese Cat Once Lived in the White House

President Rutherford B. Hayes’s wife was gifted a Siamese in 1879, and it lived in the White House during Hayes’s presidency.

3 cat face dividerDoes the Tortie Point Siamese Cat Make a Good Pet?

Tortie point Siamese cats are known to be excellent pets. They are lively, social, and intelligent. Some consider them to be “dog-like” in personality because they are so extroverted and energetic. Likewise, they are curious cats that can be easily trained.

They can become obsessed with their owners, sometimes to an unhealthy extent. It is not unheard of for tortie point Siamese cats to develop separation anxiety. Regarding grooming a tortie point Siamese, they are relatively low maintenance. They shed very little, so brushing their coats once per week is enough.

In terms of healthcare, tortie point Siamese can live from 12–15 years. They are prone to certain health conditions just like any other breed. Some examples include hip dysplasia, lymphoma, feline asthma, and amyloidosis.

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Tortie point Siamese cats are beloved for their adorable looks, rarity, and temperaments. If you are one of the many people thinking of bringing a tortie point Siamese into your home, be sure to research responsible catteries or search your local shelter to adopt. No matter where you find your tortie point Siamese, you will surely have a friend for life.

Featured Image Credit: Kitti_Kween, Shutterstock

About the Author

Jordyn Alger
Jordyn Alger
Cats are Jordyn’s passion. Whenever she has the opportunity she loves to learn about animals and share her knowledge with everyone. She is devoted to her sassy tabby cat named Jack and works hard to buy him his favorite treats and toys. Discovering new ways to better care for her cat is always on her to-do list, and she is eager to help pet parents everywhere. In Jordyn's spare time, she loves to write, read, and take long walks. She has a creative spirit, which often helps her to come up with funny cat names.

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