Lilac Tortoiseshell Cat – 8 Intriguing Facts, Pictures, and More

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Lilac Tortoiseshell Cat

Lilac, tortoiseshell, and cat may be three words that can be associated with an ethereal creature from our wildest fantasies. Well, that’s not surprising considering how beautiful and mystical cats are, and just how wonderful it would be to see them in lilac color and tortoiseshell pattern. But guess what? It is indeed possible – anyone can have a lilac tortoiseshell cat.

These magical felines exist not just in our imaginations. However, the question is, should you get one? Isn’t it true that lilac cats are more susceptible to certain health problems? And how about their personality, and suitable living environment?

Pet ownership is definitely not something to be taken lightly, and getting a cat is not something that one should decide impulsively. This is especially true for cat lovers who are eyeing a feline companion with a not-so-common color or pattern.

So, if you have been dreaming of owning a lilac tortoiseshell cat since you’ve seen one, this guide can help you get to know it better and help you determine if it’s the right fit for you.

Also read: Tortoiseshell Cats Facts, Genetics And Personality

Breed Overview: Lilac Tortoiseshell Cats

The Lilac Tortoiseshell cat is a particular color and pattern that can be found in many breeds. It is not a particular breed. The tortoiseshell pattern typically has very little (if any) white and is mottled, flecked, and orange and black in hue.

This pattern also comes in lovely Lilac Tortoiseshells, which are less common than the other Tortoiseshell colors. American Shorthairs, British Shorthairs, Maine Coons, and Domestic Shorthairs are the cat breeds that are most likely to exhibit this color pattern.

History and Origin

The appearance of the first-ever Tortoiseshell cat is still unknown, but the hues have been the subject of mythology for many years. Tortoiseshell cats were thought to have originated from a young goddess' blood in Southeast Asia. These cats are said to ward off spirits in Japan.

The Lilac Tortoiseshell cat is a modern-day genetic mutation distinct from the Tortoiseshell cat. The OCA2 and TYRP1 genes, which identify the orange and black pigment frequently found in tortoises, are responsible for the coat's hue.

How Lilac Tortoiseshells Become Popular?

Many cultures respect tortoiseshell cats because of the traditional associations they have with money, wealth, and security. Tortoiseshell cats are not uncommon and may be found in many breeds, as well as in shelters or rescues. However, some people want them for their distinctive looks.

Lilac Tortoiseshell, on the other hand, is an uncommon variation of the Tortoiseshell coloring. So, they can fetch a hefty price. And that's why it is not surprising that some breeders would try to produce Lilac Tortoiseshells in litters for this purpose, just as other uncommon colors and patterns.

Lilac Tortoiseshell Cat – 8 Intriguing Facts, Pictures, and More 1


As mentioned earlier, Lilac Tortoiseshell is not a cat breed. Instead, it is a rare color of the not-so-unusual tortoiseshell patterning, which can be seen in different feline breeds.

Hence, the appearance of dilute tortoiseshell cats would depend on their breed. But generally speaking, the average Tortoiseshell cat weighs around 6 to 12 pounds and stands between 8 to 16 inches.

Only cats with the dilute gene, which results in the lovely subdued hues, can have the Lilac Tortoiseshell coat. Black and orange color genes are expressed in normal tortoises, but in the Lilac variety, these colors are subdued into a delicate, silvery pale purple hue, and cream.

Tortoiseshell cats can also have coats that are chocolate and gold rather than the traditional black and orange. However, these cats need to carry the dilution gene to have gorgeous Lilac hues.


Anecdotal evidence from owners of Tortoiseshell cats led to the notion that these felines have an extra attitude, known as “tortitude.”

These owners say that their cats are more likely to hiss, bite, and chase. However, there isn't much proof to date that this is typical of tortoiseshell cats, Lilac or not. 

It's more likely than not that tortoiseshell cats exhibit the same personality features as cats of their breed as a whole.

However, certain other species, such as horses and foxes, have links between their personality traits, and coat color. So, it's likely that future investigations will uncover a connection.


Your cat’s grooming requirements will depend on its breed. So, the fact that it’s a Lilac Tortoiseshell cat won’t contribute to you spending more or less brushing sessions with your feline companion.

You have to brush your cat’s coat depending on the requirements recommended for its breed. Generally, you’ll need to brush your cat’s hair weekly to remove dead hair and to help prevent hairballs.

You should also trim your cat’s nails every few weeks, clean his ears, and brush his teeth to prevent potential health issues.

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8 Intriguing Facts About Lilac Tortoiseshell Cats

1. Lilac Tortoiseshell Cats Are Mostly Females

Lilac tortoiseshell cats are far more common in female cats than in male cats. In actuality, females make up the vast majority of lilac tortoiseshell cats.

This is so because the X chromosome is home to the gene responsible for this coat coloring. Males have one X and one Y (XY) chromosome, while females have two X chromosomes (XX).

2. They Can Be Found in Different Cat Breeds

There are many breeds that exhibit the Lilac Tortoiseshell color, and some breeds exhibit it more frequently than other tortoiseshell cats. Tortie colors are frequently seen on American Shorthairs, British Shorthairs, Maine Coons, and Domestic Shorthaired cats, and some of them are even permitted by breed standards!

3. There Are Also Male Cats With Lilac Tortoiseshell Coats

Although Tortoiseshells are almost typically female, male tortoiseshell cats can occasionally exist. For instance, a male cat with the XXY (two X chromosomes) genetic anomaly can have both coat colors required for the Tortoiseshell pattern! However, this is extremely rare, and the male cat frequently becomes sterile as a result of the uneven sex chromosomes.

4. Lilac Male Torties Often Have Health Problems

Even though these cats are uncommon and gorgeous, they can suffer because of their attractiveness. Klinefelter disease-like symptoms can manifest in male cats who have an abnormally high number of X chromosomes.

Cats may experience cognitive problems, testicular and body shape alterations, and weakened bones. And while some of these beautiful cats exhibit no outward symptoms at all, the extra chromosome nevertheless has the potential to cause problems in newborn kittens.

Also read: 278 Tortoiseshell Cat Names For Unique Feline Beauties

5. Lilac Torties Are Also Known as Dilute Torties

Due to the light coloration of their coat, Lilac Tortoiseshell cats are often referred to as Dilute Torties. Tortoiseshell cats typically have black and orange or reddish-colored fur. Dilute Torties have lighter colors, frequently in tints of milk and blue. Lilac Tortoiseshell cats are very rare because of their purplish coat coloration.

6. Lilac Tortoiseshell Cats Are Rare

Lilac Tortoiseshell cats are extremely uncommon and have stunning coloring as a result of diluted tortoiseshell coloring genes. The Lilac Tortoiseshell color is extremely uncommon since these diluted genes only have a chance to express in each kitten. Male lilac tortoiseshell cats are even rarer.

7. Two Genes Are Responsible for the Lilac Tortoiseshell Coat

The OCA2 and TYRP1 gene mutations are responsible for the stunning coat of the lilac tortoiseshell cat. This specific mutation is associated with an elevated risk for deafness. That's why some breeders refuse to offer lilac tortoiseshell kittens to households with young children. 

According to the Cats International website, about 22% of blue-eyed tortoises and calico cats have hearing loss in one ear, while 8% have hearing loss in both ears, 

8. Personalities of Dilute Torties Vary

Tortoiseshell cats come in a variety of breeds; thus, their personalities differ. The breed of a Tortoiseshell cat determines its personality, not the color of its coat.

Nevertheless, tortoiseshell cats are reportedly more aggressive and active than other cats. They also behave no differently than other cats of the same breed, although there hasn't been any concrete evidence to support this.

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Lilac Tortoiseshell Cat Price

The lilac tortoiseshell is an extremely uncommon color variation known in cats with the tortoiseshell coat color and pattern.

The coat of the Lilac Tortie cat has a light silver-blue color with flecks of chocolate brown. Due to their rarity, they are one of the priciest cat breeds, with prices ranging from $1,500 to $6,000.


Lilac Tortoiseshells are stunning cats that attract attention because they are so uncommon. They come in a variety of breeds, so you may choose which one you want while still getting a cat that looks just the way you desire. Tortoiseshells can appear to have distinct, “strong” personalities to cat owners, but every cat is unique.

As mentioned earlier, the majority of lilac tortoiseshell cats are females, but there are also some male Lilac Tortoiseshell cats. Be mindful, though, that male lilac tortoiseshell cats are sterile and they are usually suffering from congenital health problems.

Once again, the Lilac Tortoiseshell is a color, not a breed. Thus, other considerations must be taken into account when determining whether it would make a good pet.

You should be mindful of the breed itself and its characteristics, such as whether the breed is known for being distant or friendly, how vocal it is, and its tolerance of children or other animals.

The breeding should also be taken into account. Due to their rarity, breeders are working to create more Lilac Tortoiseshells in their litters.

Some breeders may prioritize genetics to obtain the desired coat color, but reputable breeders will still take the health and temperament of the parent cats into consideration. Hence, it's crucial to be careful when selecting a breeder because some genetic mutations can cause health problems.

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