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Tortoiseshell Cat Appreciation Day 2024: When & What Is It?

Written by: Sarah Psaradelis

Last Updated on July 2, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team


Tortoiseshell Cat Appreciation Day 2024: When & What Is It?

Tortoiseshell cats are beloved felines around the globe easily recognized by their distinctive appearance. A tortoiseshell cat is not a breed itself, but rather a cat with a specific coat type. These cats have brindled bi-colored coats with colors such as red, black, orange, and brown. Other than having a unique appearance, tortoiseshell cats are known for their feisty temperaments lovingly called “tortitude”.

Tortoiseshell cats hardly get enough recognition despite being such an interesting cat breed. However, they are just as deserving of an appreciation day as some other cats. You can celebrate Tortoiseshell Cat Appreciation Day annually on the 17th of April.

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What Is Tortoiseshell Cat Appreciation Day?

Tortoiseshell Cat Appreciation Day was created by award-winning author and former veterinarian hospital manager Ingrid King. The day was created in 2020 in memory of Ingrid’s tortoiseshell cat, Ruby whom she adopted on April 17th,2011.  Unfortunately, Ruby passed away in 2019, just a year before Ingrid created Tortoiseshell Cat Appreciation Day. This appreciation day is not officially designated yet, but Ingrid encourages owners of tortoiseshell cats to spread the word about it.

When Is Tortoiseshell Cat Appreciation Day?

tortoiseshell kitten
Image Credit:, Shutterstock

Tortoiseshell Cat Appreciation Day is celebrated on Ruby’s adoption anniversary, April 17th. It is celebrated annually to bring awareness and appreciation to these unique and sometimes misunderstood felines.

Even though a day has been specifically created to appreciate tortoiseshell cats, owners of these cats likely do it every day. Tortoiseshell cats have a way of captivating the hearts of those around them with their unique appearances and lively temperaments.

How Can You Celebrate It?

You can celebrate Tortoiseshell Cat Appreciation Day by sharing your favorite pictures of your Tortie on social media. The day can be used to celebrate the uniqueness of these felines and to let other tortoiseshell cat owners know about the day.

If you aren’t a big fan of social media, you can also celebrate this day by giving your tortoiseshell cat extra cuddles and treats. Perhaps you could have fun creating a cat-friendly cake for your tortie or getting them a new toy.g

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What Is Special About Tortoiseshell Cats?

So, what makes tortoiseshell cats so unique and worth appreciating in April?

1. Most Tortoiseshell Cats Are Female

Most tortoiseshell cats are female because of the X chromosome that carries the genetic code responsible for this coat type. It is very rare to find a male Tortoiseshell cat and they are usually sterile and unhealthy. It’s estimated that only 1 in every 3,000 tortoiseshell cats are male, hence their rarity. Tortoiseshell is a sex-linked trait in cats and can affect various breeds.

This means that most domesticated cat breeds can have a tortoiseshell coat with either long or short fur. Some common cat breeds with tortoiseshell coats include the American shorthair, Persian, and Ragdoll.

Tortoiseshell Pattern
Image Credit: andy-holmes, Unsplash

2. They Have Fascinating Temperaments

There is a good reason why many tortoiseshell cat owners describe these felines as having “tortitude”. Tortoiseshell cats can have unpredictable personalities, but a reputation for being sassy, independent, and regal. A study done by researchers from the University of California, Davis explored the possibility of cats with tortoiseshell coats being linked to aggressive behavior. However, the study found little difference in aggression during veterinary visits and handling than other coat types.

3. They Are Associated with Good Fortune in Several Cultures

Several cultures are commonly described as spiritual protectors, healers, and a symbol of good luck. In Irish folklore, tortoiseshell cats are believed to bring good luck to their homes and owners. In Japan, tortoiseshell cats are thought to protect homes, ships, temples, and shrines by warding off malicious spirits. Tortoiseshell cats are sometimes called “money cats” in the United States because they may bring good fortune to their owners.


Final Thoughts

Despite not being a specific cat breed, tortoiseshell cats stand out with their beautiful coats and feisty personalities. These cats have their very appreciation day celebrated on April 17th each year, but it is yet to be made official. Tortoiseshell cat owners can celebrate these unique felines by sharing pictures of them on social media, spreading the word, and engaging in extra-long play and cuddle sessions.

Featured Image Credit: Busranur Cebi, Shutterstock

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