Tortoiseshell Maine Coon: Tortie Complete Guide

Countries such as the USA and Ireland associate Tortoiseshell Cats with luck and prosperity. Whether that’s true or not, one thing I am sure of is that Tortoiseshell is mostly females. In the case of the Tortoiseshell Maine Coon, it is estimated that only 1 in every 3,000 Tortoise Maine Coons is male. 

Tortoiseshell Maine Coons are big and if you’re intimidated by their size, tufted ears, and even those fierce-looking eyes, don’t be! It’s because a Maine Coon is one of the sweetest and most people-oriented breeds.

Regardless of coat color or pattern, be it a White Maine Coon or a Calico Maine Coon, the kind of care is the same. In this article, I’d like to introduce you to the Tortoiseshell Maine Coon which includes its brief history, genetics, nutrition, grooming, and other helpful tips on the proper care for a Tortoiseshell Maine Coon.

Tortoiseshell Maine Coon: Breed overview

Pictures of Tortoiseshell Maine Coon Cats
Tortie Maine Coon Cat
Other namesTortoise Maine Coon 
Weight 10 – 25 pounds 
Height8 – 16 inches 
Coat ColorsBlack, Red, Brown, Cream, Orange
Child FriendlinessHigh
Feline FriendlinessHigh
Training DifficultyEasy
Grooming UpkeepHigh
Exercise NeedsModerate 
Lifespan13 – 14 years 
Kitten Cost$1,500 – $3,000

What is a Tortoiseshell Maine Coon?

Maine Coon Cat Tortoiseshell
Tortie Cat Maine Coon hiding behind the house plant in the living room

The Tortoiseshell Maine Coon is a Maine Coon with a coat pattern consisting of black or brown with red or orange patches. The coat pattern is one of the recognized official colors of the Maine Coon by cat registries. Most Tortoiseshell Maine Coons are female.

READ NEXT: Orange Maine Coon Cat (Complete Guide)

Is a Tortoiseshell cat a rare breed?

No, Tortoiseshell cats are not rare and they appear in most cat breeds, including the Persian, the American Shorthair, and the Maine Coon. What is rare though is a male Tortoiseshell cat since cat coat colors are always connected to the gender-determining chromosomes. 

READ ALSO: Maine Coon Mixed With Persian (Complete Guide)

Why are Tortoiseshell cats rare?

The male Tortoiseshell cat is the one that is rare which makes up only 1 in 3,000 of all Tortoiseshell cats. Cat coat color is linked with the X chromosome and each can activate the red or black color.

So, are Tortoiseshell Maine Coon Cats rare?

While it may be hard to find Tortie Maine Coons in the market, they are not considered rare. What would be considered rare is the male Tortoiseshell Maine Coon, which is also true with most breeds.

Tortoiseshell Maine Coon history

The Maine Coon is believed to have descended from the long-haired cats brought by the seafaring Vikings during the Early Middle Ages. These cats then naturally crossed with the local short-haired cats to produce a breed with long coats and thick tails that can withstand the harsh winters of the northeastern United States.

What 2 breeds make a Maine Coon?

Studies suggest that the Maine Coon is related to the Norwegian Forest Cat which possesses the same water-resistant long-haired coat. The other breed is unknown but many believe that Angora-type cats with medium to long coats are part of the Maine Coon ancestry.

RECOMMENDED: Maine Coon Norwegian Forest Cat (Complete Guide)

Tortie Maine Coon Cat genetics

As discussed earlier, coat pigmentation in cats is linked with the X chromosome. The 2 versions of alleles are the XB for red or orange and Xb for black. 

RELATED: Red Maine Coon (Complete Guide)

A combination of XB/XB will produce a female orange cat while an Xb/Xb will produce a female black cat. An XB/Xb would therefore produce a combination of a black and orange coat on a female.

Male Tortoiseshell Cats have an extra X-chromosome with an XB/Xb/Y genetic makeup making them rare and typically sterile.

Maine Coon Cat Tortoiseshell physical appearance

The female Maine Coon Cat Tortoiseshell is less muscular than any male Maine Coon but still possesses a large, rectangular body frame that is well-proportioned. They have water-resistant guard hairs with a silky undercoat and long, bushy tails.

Eyes are oval-shaped that slant obliquely toward the base of the ears. They have large ears with significant tufting at the top.

CHECK OUT: Short Hair Maine Coon (Complete Guide)

Various Tortoiseshell Maine Coon colors and patterns 

Tortoiseshell Maine Coon colors come in a combination of black or brown with red or orange patches. The patches are asymmetrical and the distribution of the color varies from each cat. 

The presence of a diluting gene can also alter the colors black and red and produce gray and cream tones on the coat.

You may also like: Grey Maine Coon (Complete Guide)

Other variations on the coat pattern include the tabby with some presenting with both a Tortoiseshell and tabby pattern. Some would also present with a smoke pattern with the tips colored and the roots in a lighter color.

Calico Tortoiseshell Maine Coon

Maine Coon Tortoiseshell Calico Cat has a tricolor coat with patches of black and red with additional white spotting due to the piebald gene. The degree of white spotting varies depending on the dominance of the gene.

Blue Tortie Maine Coon

Blue Tortoiseshell Maine Coon or Maine Coon Blue Tortie sports a coat with a combination of  gray and cream patches. A Blue Tortie Maine Coon kitten is born blue-eyed similar to all Maine Coons which changes into gold, copper, or green as it matures.

Blue Tortie tabby Maine Coon

Maine Coon Blue Tortie tabby has a tabby pattern on its coat as well as patches of cream. Maine Coon Tortie tabby is also referred to as a Blue Patched Tabby or Blue Torbie Maine Coon because of this combination. Tortie tabby Maine Coon also has the distinctive ‘M’ pencil markings on their forehead.

Blue Cream Tortie Maine Coon

Blue Cream Tortie Maine Coon presents irregular patches of blue and cream on the coat.

Blue Silver Tortie Maine Coon

Blue Silver Tortie Maine Coon has a grayish base coat with silver striping across the body.

Blue Silver Tortie Tabby Maine Coon

Blue Silver Tortie Tabby Maine Coon has blue and silver tabby stripes with irregular patches of silver on the coat.

Blue smoke Tortie Maine Coon

Blue Tortie smoke Maine Coon or Blue Maine Coon Tortie smoke have patches of brindled fur with tipped hairs in blue or cream with light-colored roots. Maine Coon Blue Tortie smoke has the dilution gene that alters the color black into gray and red into a cream.

Blue Tortie white Maine Coon

Maine Coon Blue Tortie white has irregular patches of gray and cream on the coat with additional white patches found on the chin, chest, and legs.

Maine Coon Black Tortie

Black Tortoiseshell Maine Coon or Black Tortie Maine Coon presents with irregular patches of black and red on the coat.

DON’T MISS: Black Maine Coon (Complete Guide)

Black smoke Tortie Maine Coon

Black Tortie smoke Maine Coon or Maine Coon Black smoke Tortie presents with a light-colored undercoat with patches of black and red tipped hairs. Some of these smoke Tortie Maine Coon or Black Tortie smoke Maine Coon sport an asymmetrical red blaze on their faces.

Black Tortie tabby Maine Coon

Black Tortie tabby Maine Coon presents with a black and red tabby pattern on their coat with some patches of red as well.

Black Silver Tortie Maine Coon

Black Silver Tortie Maine Coon has a black base coat with irregular patches of silver.

Black Silver Tortie tabby Maine Coon

Maine Coon Black Silver Tortie tabby presents with a black and silver tabby pattern with patches of red or cream. A variation of this tabby pattern is the Maine Coon Black Tortie Silver blotched tabby with whorls of black curving bands on the coat instead of the typical striped tabby pattern.

Black Tortie white Maine Coon

Maine Coon Black Tortie white has irregular patches of black and red on the coat with some white patches appearing on the chin, chest, and legs.

Dilute Tortie Maine Coon

A dilute Tortoiseshell Maine Coon has grayish and cream irregular patches on the coat. Maine Coon dilute Tortie is the same as the Blue Tortie Maine Coon which inherited the dilution gene.

Silver Tortie Maine Coon

Maine Coon Silver Tortie presents a silver base coat and patches of black on its coat. A variation is the Silver Tortie tabby Maine Coon with a silver and black tabby pattern with patches of red and cream.

Brown Tortie Maine Coon

Maine Coon brown Tortie presents with irregular patches of black and brown on the coat. Some would have a tabby pattern such as the Maine Coon brown Tortie blotched tabby which has thick, whirling black bands on the coat. The Maine Coon brown Tortie mackerel tabby which has thin black and red tiger striping that runs down their body.

Torbie Maine Coon

Torbie Maine Coon has a tabby stripe pattern on its coat as well as patches of red or cream.

Silver Torbie Maine Coon

Silver Torbie Maine Coon has a silver and black tabby pattern with patches of cream.

Black Torbie Maine Coon

Black Torbie Maine Coon presents a black and red tabby pattern with red patches as well.

Tortoiseshell cat vs Calico

The main difference between Tortoiseshell cat and Calico is that Tortoiseshell cat has a combination of only black and orange on its coat while Calico has additional white patches due to the piebald gene. 

You may also like: Black And White Maine Coon (Complete Guide)

Tortoiseshell Maine Coon Cat size, height, and weight

A female Tortie Maine Coon has the same weight and height range as other colored female Maine Coons. They typically grow in spurts in their developing years which takes around 4 to 5 years before they reach their full mature size.

It’s important to note that male Tortie Maine Coons are rare. They are also often infertile with many health issues for them to fully develop.

Height Weight 
Male 10 – 16 inches15 – 25 pounds
Female 8 – 14 inches 10 – 15 pounds 

What is the personality of a Maine Coon Tortoiseshell?

It is said that Tortoiseshell cats in general have a more sassy attitude compared to other colored cats. Whether this is true or not, more studies need to be conducted to truly prove this point. 

But some Tortie Maine Coon owners believe that their cat is more independent and stubborn and is known to have a slight mischievous side in them. 

And just like most Maine Coons, Maine Coon Torties are less fearful of water because of their water-resistant coats. It would not be unusual to observe your Maine Coon dipping their paws in puddles or their water bowl.

TO LEARN MORE: Check out Do Maine Coons Like Water?

Tortie Maine Coon temperament

The Tortie Maine Coon is similar in temperament to other Maine Coons having a gentle but cautious attitude. They are not clingy but prefer being around their family all the time.

They also have a reputation for being quite vocal making chirping trill sounds or loud yowling noises.

Are Tortoiseshell Maine Coons good family cats?

Yes, Tortoiseshell Maine Coons are a great addition to most families because they are generally calm and easygoing by nature. They are friendly with kids and can adapt well to any situation without showing any aggressive behavior. They are also tolerant of other cat-friendly pets as long as they are socialized early.

Maine Coon Tortoiseshell training

The Maine Coon Tortoiseshell is a playful and intelligent breed making them relatively easy to train. As long as you have the patience and consistency to follow through with the training with the use of positive reinforcement, like giving treats or petting, then teaching them good behavior and setting rules around your home would bring good results.

Maine Coon Tortie exercise requirement

Maine Coon Torties only needs around 20 to 30 minutes of daily exercise. They prefer lounging around most of the time and are typically active during the morning or late afternoons. 

They love interactive games such as chasing a laser pointer or a fishing pole toy. You can also provide them with a cat tree for Maine Coon where they can jump and climb which helps to satisfy their feline instincts.

Maine Coon Tortoiseshell Cat grooming and cleaning 

These are the grooming and cleaning things that I do to maintain the beautiful appearance of my Tortoise Maine Coon: 


I carefully loosen tangles with a wide-tooth comb. If the mattings are severe, a mat splitter or a flea comb does a better job. 

The next tool is a de-shedding brush which takes care of removing the loose hair from his undercoat. On some days, I use FURminator, otherwise, I use a slicker brush, both of which are effective in controlling my cat’s shedding.


I only occasionally bathe my Tortoiseshell Maine Coon. I bathe her with a cat-friendly shampoo to remove any attached particles from his coat and to freshen up his smell. 

Teeth Brushing

Maine Coons can also suffer from mouth diseases like gingivitis. So, I take care of his dental health by brushing his teeth using a finger toothbrush for cats. 

For toothpaste, enzymatic toothpaste is the best choice for cats because the ingredients are feline-friendly and safe to swallow. 

Nail Trimming

My family spends a lot of time playing with our Tortoiseshell Maine Coon, thus, I make it a habit to trim his nails every 2 weeks. I use a cat clipper and then a nail grinder to smooth out the edges of his nails. 

In case I cut the quick, I dab a small amount of styptic powder to control the bleeding. 

Ear/Eye Cleaning

To avoid eye and ear infections, I make it a habit to clean those body parts regularly. I use a cotton ball or a gauze which I moistened with clean water and then wipe off ear wax and eye boogers. 

Grooming NeedsGrooming Frequency
Brushing 4x/week
Bathing 1x/month 
Teeth Brushing 3x/week
Nail Trimming 2x/month 
Eye/Ear Care Check weekly 

Tortoise Shell Maine Coon food and diet

I only choose cat food that has a high amount of protein. To make it more appetizing, I alternate the protein source at least once every 3 months, from poultry to fish to lamb or beef. 

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Tortoiseshell Maine Coon health issues

A Tortoiseshell Maine Coon may be vulnerable to the health issues of its parents. Thankfully, a DNA test kit for cats is a reliable test marker for gene-specific diseases.

This is where the expertise of responsible breeders comes into action – they only breed those cats that yield negative test results against these 5:

1. Polycystic Kidney Disease

This is an inherited condition that causes small cysts in the kidneys to grow and multiply. This is not treatable and it will later lead to renal failure. 

2. Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

A gene-related issue that causes the heart muscles to thicken, thereby, reducing blood and oxygen circulation. 

3. Hip Dysplasia

More common among large cats, it is caused by a misalignment of the ball and the socket in the hip joint. The telltale signs include limping and difficulty in walking. 

4. Spinal Muscular Atrophy

Commonly seen among the Maine Coons, this is a degenerative disease caused by an autosomal recessive gene. The signs include muscle weakness and difficulty in swallowing. 

5. Diabetes

This is a disorder that is caused by low levels of insulin. The signs to look for are increased urination and weight loss. 

Tortoiseshell Maine Coon lifespan

Given the right care, your Tortoiseshell Maine Coon can reach up to 13 to 14 years of age. 

Maine Coon Cat Tortie breeders

Before purchasing a Maine Coon Cat Tortie, here are some of the traits you need to look for in a breeder:

  • Breeders do not sell their kittens in pet stores.
  • Breeders have websites where buyers can learn about their breeding practices which include DNA tests and the number of times each queen is bred in a year. 
  • Breeders provide a health warranty against genetic diseases. 

How much is a Tortoiseshell Maine Coon cat?

A female Tortoiseshell Maine Coon is not cheap. The prices vary from breeder to breeder because of factors including location, name of the breeder, and the pedigree of the Tortie Maine Coon. Naturally, a kitten that comes from a champion bloodline fetches a higher price. 

Tortoiseshell Maine Coon price

The average female Tortoiseshell Cat price ranges from $1,500 to $3,000. Owning a kitten comes with financial responsibilities. Below is a table that gives you an idea of what you need to prepare for your Tortie Maine Coon: 

Type of One-Time and Recurring ExpensesAverage Cost 
Food $50 – $75
Food and Water Bowls $5 – $10
Kitty Bed $20 – $30
Carrier $20 – $40
Collar and ID tag $10 – $25
Grooming Tools $25 – $45
Litter Box $18 – $45
Litter $10 – $25
Scratch Post and other toys $20 – $50
Microchipping $50 – $100
Spaying $250 -$550
Veterinary Expenses $200 – $500
Total $678 – $1,495

Tortoiseshell Maine Coon kitten

When choosing a Tortie Maine Coon kitten, there are obvious signs of healthy Tortoiseshell Maine Coon kittens and these are: 

  • The Maine Coon Tortoiseshell kitten should have clear eyes with no signs of heavy discharge. To know if the Maine Coon kitten Tortie has clear vision, place your index finger in front of the kitten and move your finger from left to right. The kitty should be able to follow your finger as it moves sideways. 
  • The coat of the Maine Coon Tortie kitten must be soft and there shouldn’t be any indications of dandruff, redness, or skin lumps. 
  • Some of the Tortie Maine Coon kittens may be polydactyl or have an extra toe but for as long as they are moving well, that shouldn’t be a problem at all. 

Places to find Tortie Maine Coon kittens for sale

If you haven’t found a trusted breeder yet, you may want to take a look at the websites of these 3 breeders whom we guarantee practice high standards in cat breeding:

Blue Tortie Maine Coon kittens for sale Texas

Big Tex Coons ( is a TICA and CFA-registered cattery where you can find kittens with an average price of $2,500 to $3,500. 

Tortoiseshell Maine Coon kitten for sale Maine

A TICA-registered cattery that strictly abides with the TICA code of ethics for breeders, the starting price for female cats is $2,000 at Coon Cats of Maine (

Tortoiseshell Maine Coon kittens for sale New Jersey

Check out the Facebook page of Naturacoon Cattery (located in Jersey City, NJ) for available Tortoiseshell Maine Coons for sale. 

Finding a healthy Tortoiseshell Maine Coon for sale

An adult cat is as adorable as kittens and these are 2 places where you may search for an adult Tortie Maine Coon for sale. 

  • Visit the webpage of Mountain Peak Maine Coons ( to inquire if the breeder currently has an adult Tortoiseshell Maine Coon for sale. 
  • Warrior Kattz Maine Coon ( is a safe place to get information about adult Maine Coons for sale. 

Maine Coon Tortoiseshell Mix

A Tortoiseshell Maine Coon Mix is an interesting mix between a female Tortie Maine Coon and another purebred male cat. A Maine Coon Tortie Mix may also grow as large as its Maine Coon parent or a bit smaller. 

Though we cannot make an accurate description of a Tortie Maine Coon Mix it’s possible that a Tortoiseshell Cat mixed with Maine Coon comes in any combination of colors. Depending on the male parent, some of them may sport a medium or long-haired coat. 

Tortoiseshell Ragamuffin Maine Coon Cat

A cross between a Maine Coon and a Ragamuffin, this is a family-friendly cat breed that may also present 2 opposing colors on its coat. The colors may be red and black, gold and black, or even cream and blue. 

Tortoiseshell Cat Maine Coon: Pros and Cons

To sum up, here is a list of the good sides and the drawbacks of caring for a Tortoiseshell Maine Coon. 

Calm personality Can get vocal
People-oriented Constantly craves human or pet companionship 
Good with children and other pets Sheds all year round 
PlayfulNeeds frequent brushing 
Smart and trainable Higher food bill 
Independent but affectionate natureRequires bigger space 

Is the Tortoiseshell Maine Coon right for me?

Despite their large size and expensive price, the Tortoiseshell Maine Coon is not that hard to take care of since they are pretty adaptable and laidback. They may need some space for them to maneuver around the house, but other than that, it doesn’t require much trouble for the owner to keep them happy and satisfied.

Related Questions

What is the rarest Maine Coon color?

The Shaded Silver Maine Coon is one of the rarest Maine Coon colors which has dark gray-tipped hairs.

Why is a Maine Coon cat so expensive?

Maine Coons are expensive not only because they are highly in demand but also because breeders incur a lot of expenses in breeding them and making sure that they stay healthy.

What’s the most expensive cat?

The most expensive cat breed is the Ashera cat which can set you back at least $75,000.

Are female Maine Coons more expensive?

Female Maine Coons tend to be much pricier since there are more male Maine Coons than females with a ratio of 3:1 favoring the males.

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