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Torbie Cats — 130 Comments

  1. Pingback:Owl-faced long-haired Scottish Fold kitten is a beauty – PoC

    • His stripes are black in person and it feels like his coat is mostly silver but with patches orange and a light tummy. Backs of his legs are black. I was thinking dilute torbie but maybe he’s a just very tarnished silver or black tabby?

  2. Here is my Meeko, a stray that I fed for a few weeks before she stepped into our home <3 Named after the food-loving, mischievous raccoon in Pocahontas.

    I would say that she is a dilute mackerel torbie, what do you think? Would dilute be the correct terminology to describe her grey-brown/blue-cream color?

  3. Here is a collage of my girl Star Marie. She is 6.5 years and I adopted her just after Christmas 2018 from my local Humane Society. She is a shy, sweet baby but very smart and sassy. Totally matches the Brown Mackerel Torbie, shorter legs and all. Thanks for the information!

  4. My girl Keeks was a little kitten when she was saved from a river bottom. I’ve always referred to her as a calico to the vets based on her tri-color. I’ve noticed she didn’t have the same color separation as other calicos and went looking for another coat type.

  5. could someone tell me what my cat is? She has some tabby, but I think she has some tortie as well. She is TRI-Colored also. I uploaded a photo of her.

    • In my opinion yes, she is a torbie-and-white. I have published one of your comments for the simple reason I need to keep the comments on this page down to a reasonable level. Thanks Sharona.

    • Hi Bobby. She’s a mackerel torbie in my opinion. Interesting coat. I have neurtralized the color in the image which I hope is a truer version of the coat. Thanks for visiting.

  6. Thank you Sarah for clearing that up for me. I always said she just got lucky and got all the best genes for coat coloring. I am glad to now know she is not a Chimera, because I was never sure about that. She does seem like 2 cats in one though because of her huge size and big personality which I can attest is definitely tortitude, or in this case torbitude! Thank you again, both Michael, and Sarah for your expertise on these kind of cats.

  7. Thank you for your quick comment Michael, I appreciate it. Could be she’s also got some bimetallic color going on there also, but she’s got definite cinnamon Orange coloring on her back, like a handprint size worth, and also cream colored tortoise shell toes on a few toes. This picture is from her younger time before the plush hair length filled in and made her underlying pattern harder to see. I know her mother is a blue cream medium length haired tortoise shell, and I’m pretty sure her father was a short haired Orange tabby. Also, I got her from my daughter’s friend who was very irresponsible and the poor mother cat had many litters of kittens and there was ALOT of inbreeding going on there. Sassy and her litter mate brother were the only 2 patterned (classic) kittens ever born from this mother, with her brother lacking the bright orange that this cat has. Sassys mother is also her distant sister and I think the father is also a brother of the mother somewhere down the line. I meant to type “huge” up there, not hug. She’s 17lbs and twice the size of my Bengal, whom I never considered a small cat. She’s just Chuck full of tortitude, extremely smart, and has tons of personality. So, that’s a bit of what I know about her background. Thank you again. I do hope to hear from the messy beast site owner, because I spent alot of time on there when I first got her trying to figure her out.

  8. Hello torbie owners! When I got this girl Sassy, I thought for sure she was part Bengal, but her coloring made me go crazy trying to figure her genetics out. I finally ran across info on torbies and figured that what she must be. She has every color it seems, black,brown, coffee, golden bellied (with dots) cinnamon, cream, buff, grey, with both agouti and solid hairs. There is no white at all but the underside of cream Orange color on the tip of her tail is very pale grey. Could she be chimera also? I think I am seeing both dominant and recessive colors on the same cat! She’s also hug and had neither short nor long hair, but I call it more of a plush coat, with hair between her paw pads longer than a short haired cat. She’s an enigma for sure.

    • A fascinating coat. I don’t recall seeing a coat like this. I wonder if your cat is “bimetallic”.

      If you click on a link below you can see an article about bimetallic cats.


      Thank you very much for showing us your cat. I think that you will get a good answer from Sarah Hartwell who is a cat genetics expert and who runs the messybeast.com website. I’m not sure that I can give you a really good answer. I will see if I can encourage her to make a comment.

      • Bimetallic (known as”sunshine” in Siberians – the only breed where it occurs) would not have the colours intermixed like this. I have seen other torbies with this sort of pattern and it is just luck of the draw which X-chromosome is inactivated in which cells that produce the pattern and what sort of patches those cells grow into.

    • This is a pretty, but normal, expression of tortie-tabby. The red and black areas are intermixed rather than distinctly patched – this produces a coat that is almost like a wildcat.
      The intermixing gives the effect of a rainbow-coloured cat because the red colours are variable in tone. If you looked at individual hairs, you’ll find red, banded-red, black, banded-black, cream and banded cream hairs.

      Chimera is unlikely because this coat can be easily explained using normal colour genetics.

  9. This is Sassi I have been trying to figure out what her coat is she was born plain grey and white tabby and now is getting lots of Orange in her coat I’m thinking torbie but I have no clue

  10. We adopted our 9 year old cat, Miranda in February. She was listed as a red pach tabby. Today a vet tech said she was a Torbie with white. What do you think?

    • Patched tabby is a torbie so you have 2 people saying she is a torbie. She looks more like tortoiseshell and white to me though (calico in the US).

  11. I adopted little Kimchi just a week ago, and she’s a gorgeous, friendly kitten. After reading the comments in this thread, I guess she could be tagged as a dilute torby with white? That’s a bit of a mouthful ;).

  12. This is our new sweet girl ” Oakley”. She is 3 years old and we just adopted her from our local Humane Society chapter yesterday. She’s beautiful but we can’t quite place her coat. Is she a TORBIE?

  13. Hello, i’ve come across this page. And it made me curious. We recently adopted a cat with beautiful colors. She was an outside cat that stays in our backyard for a couple of years and we just fed her everyday. Until the time she got hurt and we took her to the vets and decided to keep her inside. We believe that there’s coyotes thats wandering in our community because we are located near a canyon.
    She’s very sweet but have trouble socializing with our resident cat who’s very quiet and not so active (an understatement 😂). She loves to sleep on all of the family member’s chest or in between our legs. She loves to be carried but will let you know she doesnt like being disturbed by biting (love bite) or a tiny grumpy meow. My daughter’s said she’s either very sweet or feisty. And so after reading this article and people’s comments i immediately thought of my cat. I think she’s a torbie! ☺️

    • Hi Jocelyn. Nice comment. Nice story. She is a torbie with a bit white as far as I can see. Gorgeous. Thanks for sharing Jocelyn.

  14. I had never heard of the term “torbie” until this year. I always thought my furbaby Foxie just had unique and beautiful markings. Then I discovered that she was a Torbie and her markings made sense. I wish I could post a picture but the file is too big. 😞

    • Hi Bethany, I agree that she is a torbie. There is another faint possibility, she may be a bimetallic cat but these are rare and I am just throwing that into the mix. She is almost certainly a torbie which are also pretty rare.

      Thanks by the way for uploading the picture – well done.

      As for her being a cat breed, I have to say she is not. She’ll be a beautiful random bred cat. That is praise not criticism. They are better than pedigree cats.

  15. This is my kitten “Little Girl”. I truly believe she’s a striped tabby but doing research she may be a Torbie. I would like some help on figuring out her breed.

  16. This is my kitten. I truly believe she’s a striped tabby but doing research she may be a Torbie. I would like some help on figuring out her breed.

  17. I had never heard of a torbie until someone posted a pic on a bengal website asking if their cat might be part bengal. He looked a lot like my cat whom I had thought was part bengal, but someone suggested the cat was a torbie, and since my cat looks a lot like the one that had been pictured I went looking and found your sight. This is Malcolm. His personality seems to fit the description of a bengal, but I am wondering if I might have been mistaken all of this time. What do you think?

    • Hi Jenny. In my opinion, Malcolm, is a very attractive classic (blotched) tabby cat.

      To be a torbie he’d have to have some orange fur in the coat and I don’t see it but if I am mistaken please tell me.

      A torbie is a tortoiseshell cat really with tabby fur as well. Thanks for showing me Malcolm and thanks for visiting and sharing.

  18. The vet called Katie a calico but she’s a strange mix. She actually looks like she has Tabby pants on. Then look at the face. She is a deva !

    • Hi Nancy. Katie is a torbie-and-white and a rarer cat. She is a tortoiseshell tabby and white. Here is a slightly improved version of your pic:

      Torbie and white cat

      She is special. Unusual appearance. Some cats are different and she is one of them.

  19. Yes, Rocky is an amazing companion. My computer is as old as the hills.

    I’ll try the image as a tiff on Safari and hope for best.

    Denis & Kate

  20. This is “Rocky” or Roxanne. We rescued her from The Angell Memorial here in Boston

    We had no idea she was a Torbie until I looked at her adoption papers.

    She has orange and white tabby stripes on her rear legs and a creamy white belly.

    She’s bright, strong and willful.

    Rocky tolerates my wife but is absolutely crazy about me.

    D. & K.

    • Steph, thanks for visiting. Your picture was too large to upload to the site. Below the comment box is a link to a page which tells you how to make it smaller online for free. Then you can re-upload if you wish. I’d love to see your cat.

    • Hi Tammy, I agree, I believe she is s torbie-and-white or torbie with white.

      You can see the tabby pattern on her forehead.

      A very attractive cat. Superb coat.

      Thanks for visiting and showing us.

  21. Hi, can you try to clarify the color of this kitten? She is definitely Torbie. Possibly a brown mackerel? Her fur looks like it is spotted cream underneath hair that is tipped in black. Very striking.Is the Torbie coloration more rare than other color patterns? Would you happen to know the rarest of cat colors?

  22. Here’s a picture of Malia’s face, sitting position. I’m also curious can a cat be both a calico and a Torbie? What is the difference? Is a Torbie pattern more rare? Thanks for answering… I had a hunch about my cats markings being special but I didn’t know how. I always thought of as calico cats.

  23. This is my Malia. I’ve always thought of her as a calico cat. But since her siblings were tuxedo cats, I wonder if she might be a Torbie after all because She has the tuxedo pattern of her siblings with orange tabby and marking added. As you can see in the photo. What do you think?

    • I would think-and I may be wrong about this-that with the clearly-delineated patches plus the white, she would be classified as a Caliby. Caliby, as you might expect, is like a Torbie but with calico markings instead of the more brindled tortoiseshell coat 🙂 she is a beautiful cat, for sure!

  24. I am wondering if one of my cats is a Torbie. She has a distinct tuxedo cat and orange tabby markings. I had thought of as being a calico cat strictly. But her siblings were mostly tuxedo. And she resembles them except she has the orange tabby markings. Maybe you can help me figure out her markings? She also has a sister who is a more traditional calico who has longer hair.

    • Your description indicates Torbie because there are the three colors for tortie-and-white (black, orange and white – calico) plus the tabby pattern. If you have a picture please upload it using the button below the comment box. Thanks for visiting and asking.

      • I just posted a picture of Malia below because I had to resize the photo it did not work in the first posting. Here’s another with both of my cats. They are siblings. Malia is on the left. My sister Isabel looks a lot like her hair is longer. To me she looks more like a classic calico cat, but I wonder if she could be a Torbie be as well?

  25. i have two torties now who ate six weeks old that no one has even shown interest in…..my tortie had babies and she had two torties and three black kittens!

    • i meant to say who “are six weeks old…” also good to note is that all kittens will be spayed or neutered with their momma and ready at twelve weeks

  26. I don’t believe it. I never realized my Nicky was a Torbie! The body of the Brown Mackerel Torbie is a dead-ringer for Nicky. He had a bit more of the tortie markings than the beautiful specimen above, but his fore paws ruff are dead-ringers for Nicky. There is a Maine Coon named JB whose face is identical to Nicky’s. Since we have no photos of him, I could photoshop JB’s head onto the above Brown Mackerel Torbie’s body. 🙂 I’m not that crazy. I can still see him in my memory. Thanks. I learn so much from this website!

    • Fantastic. I am pleased because I think torbies are quite rare, really. The mix of tabby and tortie is quite a special mix. It is almost like a artist’s palette. Torbies are very special looking cats. There seems to be that little bit of red/orange lurking there in the background on a tabby coat.

      • I rescued a Torbie and she’s a handful! She’s got attitude, but she is so smart that I’ve been able to train her to fetch, shake and give kisses. She’s got to be one of the best cats I’ve rescued!

          • I had a Torbie, sadly she passed away on Saturday at the age of 4. She was beautiful. We didn’t know the term torbie, we referred to her as our little Tabby-toice. Miss her so much already. If I get another cat in the future I hope I find a tabby-touch as beautiful as she was.

    • I got my Nadya as a kitten from friends three years ago, and all this time I thought she was just a simple Tabby-until I looked into the Torbie and saw that picture! Nadya’s nose is less brachycephalic than the kitty in that picture, but her coat is very nearly identical! Visitors have always remarked that she has beautiful coloring, but I didn’t realize just how special she is until I found this page 🙂 and if “torbitude” is a real thing, Nadya’s got it! She’s friendly with almost all people, but very opinionated and not shy about voicing it. She knows her place in the household (right on the chest of any of her three humans) and carries herself with dignity even after she’s been scolded for sneaking a bite out of my soup-a real princess, true to the classic Tortie personality, but with an irreverent Tabby twist! I’m very happy to know my lovely girl isn’t just an odd Tabby; she’s a beautiful, unusual Torbie!

  27. Well they says tortoiseshells have ‘tortitude’ so I guess torbies have ‘torbitude’ – perhaps its a little less assertive and opinionated than ‘tortitude’. Actually I think its not true. My tortie is positively skiddish. I am trying to understand why at the moment – maybe the dog in her young days with mama scared her or a human did but I am not satisfied that she is just randomly scared off so easily. Trouble is I can’t ask without sounding accusing, at the home where she was born.

    • I have had 5 litters producing about 22 kittens out of those I have had 2 kittens (separate litters and no relation) that were almost half feral from birth. It was like they wanted to be a pet but any movement from a human sent them running and being inside seemed upsetting. Maybe your kitty is just of that type. I never did find a way to calm the cats down so they just became outside pets and seemed happy that way. Good luck to you.

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