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5 Interesting Facts About The Lilac Tortoiseshell Cat

5 Interesting Facts About The Lilac Tortoiseshell Cat

What’s prettier than a tortoiseshell cat? A Lilac Tortoiseshell Cat!

Tortoiseshell cats are usually described as red and black. However, they are not necessarily always in these exact shades; sometimes the red patches can be cream or orange, while the black patches can be gray, blue, or chocolate.

Dilution genes in these cats can modify their fur coloring, giving the rare and beautiful Lilac Tortoiseshell cat.

So, while a standard Tortoiseshell cat will have a black and orange coat, the Lilac cat will have these colors diluted into a pale purple and cream color.

Let’s see what are some interesting facts about the Lilac Tortoiseshell kitten.

1. Story Behind Genetics

The Lilac Tortoiseshell cat is definitely not a kitten you’ll see every day, which makes it even more beautiful and exceptional.

The lilac version in felines is actually a light version of a chocolate color. All coat colors in cats originate from black and orange and the black color has recessive variations. Thanks to these variations, the black coat color can be turned to chocolate.

If a cat with a chocolate coat color also has the dilute gene, then she can have a lilac coat. According to the Cat Fanciers’ Association, the lilac gene must be present in both parents’ pedigrees for them to produce lilac offspring. 

2. Has Color Anything To Do With The Cat’s Personality?

There has been some discussion on whether a specific coat color in felines has anything to do with their personality.

For example, Elizabeth Stelow and her associates [1] reported how cat owners involved in their study stated that calico and tortoiseshell cats are more frequently aggressive toward humans. 

Here it’s important to understand that there is not a single explanation of a Lilac Tortoiseshell cat’s personality, as this is not a single cat breed, but a coat color pattern that can be found in different cats. 

So, you might see a Maine Coon cat with a lilac tortoiseshell coat, but this pattern is also seen in both British and American Shorthair cats.

Therefore, this cat’s personality will depend on its breed, socialization, and life circumstances, and not on its coat color.  

3. Male Lilac Tortoiseshell Cats Are A Rare Gem

Are you more of a fan of male felines? You might be disappointed then – since most of Lilac Tortoiseshell cats are females.

This happens because the coat color gene is on the X chromosome.

Females have two X chromosomes, one from the mother, and the other from the father, while males have only one X chromosome, and one additional Y chromosome. In terms of genetics, male felines are supposed to have only one coat color.

Still, although most Lilac Tortoiseshell cats are females, their male counterparts are still possible to see.

According to Falls Village Veterinary Hospital, there might be a genetic anomaly, giving a male cat three chromosomes – XXY, meaning that a male cat like this has the two required X chromosomes for the tortoiseshell coat coloring.

However, Lilac Tortoiseshell cats with this genetic anomaly will always be sterile, so it’s impossible to breed them.

Interesting Read: A Guide To Female Tortoiseshell Cat Personality And Behavior

4. A Rare Coat Color Brings A High Price

The price for a Tortoiseshell cat depends on various factors, such as the breed, the cat’s age, and the breeder’s reputation.

On average, you can expect to pay from $1000 up to $2000 for these cats. But, since the lilac pattern is so rare to find, the breeders estimate their value even higher.

So, if you’ll be happy enough to find this rare beauty, you can expect to pay from $1500 up to even $6000 for it!

5. Bringing The Good Luck

You might have heard of the black cat spiritual meaning, but these are not the only felines connected with symbolism.

Actually, many cultures in the past, such as the ancient Celts, believed how Tortoiseshell cats, including the ones with lilac coats, symbolized good luck!

This belief is still present in some parts of the world, such as in Ireland and Scotland.

People in Japan believe that tortoiseshell cats are so powerful that they can even protect our homes from ghosts.

This is a truly fascinating fact about these rare felines, isn’t it?

Final Words

I’m sure that all fanciers of extremely rare coat coloring in felines have found the Lilac Tortoiseshell cat quite interesting.

If you would like to own a kitten like this, I wish you the best of luck in trying to find one!

You might also like our explanation of the Lynx Point Siamese Cat. See you there!

[1] Stelow, EA, et. al. (2016) The Relationship Between Coat Color and Aggressive Behaviors in the Domestic Cat, Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 19:1, 1-15, DOI, Retrieved May 10, 2023.