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Tortoiseshell Cat Appreciation Day 2023: When It Is & How Its Celebrated

Misty Layne Profile Picture

By Misty Layne

a tortoiseshell cat with visible primordial pouch lying on the ground

We appreciate our feline companions every day, but did you know some kitties have actual holidays dedicated to them? (Black cats have both a day and a month!) One cat that has a day all to its own is the Tortoiseshell cat.

What exactly is Tortoiseshell Cat Appreciation Day? What day does it fall on, and how is it celebrated? Let’s take a closer look at this holiday that’s just for Tortoiseshell and celebrates these wonderful cats! And if you have one, you can celebrate the next time this day rolls around!

What Is Tortoiseshell Cat Appreciation Day?

Tortoiseshell Cat Appreciation Day came about in 2020 and was created by Ingrid King. King had adopted a Tortoiseshell cat in 2011 that, unfortunately, passed away at the end of 2019. To honor her cat’s memory and to bring awareness to Tortoiseshells, King decided to designate April 17th as Tortoiseshell Cat Appreciation Day.1 She requested that people flood social media platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook, with pictures of their beloved Tortoiseshell cats.

So, when April 17th comes around again, post a picture of your favorite Tortoiseshell on social media to celebrate this holiday!

british fold tortoiseshell cat on a tree stump
Image Credit: Denys R, Shutterstock

What Is a Tortoiseshell Cat?

Tortoiseshell refers to a pattern on felines, not a breed itself. These kitties have a distinct coloring—a patchwork of brown, red, black, chocolate, amber, and cinnamon. These patches can be in all different sizes, from tiny specks to huge splotches. However, Tortoiseshells shouldn’t be confused with calicos even though both have multi-colored patterns. A Tortoiseshell cat will have a brindled coat that has no or few white spots, unlike the calico, which has plenty of white fur.

The coloring of a Tortoiseshell cat is a result of both developmental factors and genetics. The main color of a feline’s coat is created by a primary coat color gene; however, Tortoiseshells have two of these that are equally dominant. And as these two co-dominant genes only appear on the X chromosomes (of which females have two), there are only roughly 1 in 3,000 Tortoiseshells that are male instead of female.2 It’s nearly impossible for a male Tortoiseshell to exist, as it would have to have an extra X chromosome in addition to its X and Y chromosomes.3

tortoiseshell cat
Image Credit: IMG Stock Studio, Shutterstock

What Other Cat Holidays Exist?

There are so many  you can celebrate each month, and several are dedicated wholly to cats. Just a few of these other feline holidays include:

  • January 2nd: Happy Mew Year for Cats
  • January 22nd: National Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day
  • March 28th: Respect Your Cat Day
  • April 6th: National Siamese Cat Day
  • April 29th: National Hairball Awareness Day
  • June 4th: National Hug Your Cat Day
  • June 20th: National Take Your Cat to Work Day
  • July 10th: National Kitten Day
  • August 8th: International Cat Day
  • August 22nd: National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day
  • September 19th: National Meow Like a Pirate Day
  • October 16th: Global Cat Day

And there are plenty more! So, even though you celebrate and appreciate your favorite feline all the time, you can pick one of the many holidays to love your cat just a bit extra.

Final Thoughts

There is a wealth of pet holidays you can celebrate with your kitty, but if you have a Tortoiseshell, you’ll want to go with April 17th, as it’s Tortoiseshell Cat Appreciation Day. This holiday was inspired by a beloved Tortoiseshell that passed away and involves posting photos of your cat online for all the world to see and appreciate. You can also take the opportunity to celebrate your kitty on several other days if you’d like. There’s no lack of cat-related holidays out there!

See also:

Featured Image Credit: monster_code. Shutterstock

Misty Layne Profile Picture

Authored by

Misty Layne lives out in the woods in small-town Alabama with her two Siamese—Serafina and Jasper. She also has an array of stray cats, raccoons, and possums who like to call her front porch home. When she’s not writing about animals, you’ll find her writing poetry, stories, and film reviews (the animals are, by far, her favorite writing topic, though!). In her free time, Misty enjoys chilling with her cats, playing...Read more

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