Rare Male Torbie Up for Adoption

Update: The torbie has been adopted. But the shelters still have many other unique cats that need good homes.


What’s that you say? A male torbie. And County Animal Services has one available for adoption.

OK, but what is a torbie? Well, a cat fancier will tell you that a torbie is a mix between a tabby cat and a cat with tortoise-shell type markings (a tortie). They’re almost always female. Except once in a while, in a rare feline phenomenon, you’ll see a male torbie.

“This color is sex-linked and nearly all are born female,” said County Animal Services Director Dawn Danielson. “It’s very rare to have a male this color.”

Staff at County Animal Services was amazed to see one come in as a stray at the animal care facility in Carlsbad recently.

“I’ve been in the field for 10 years and I have never seen a male torbie,” said Supervising Animal Care Attendant Kim Tardy. “I have a co-worker that’s only seen one in 15 years in the field.”

How rare is it? Some reports say one in 3,000 cats will be a male tortie or torbie. Others say it may be as rare as one in 10,000 and up. These cats are often sterile. Staff has named him Varys after a character from the TV show “Game of Thrones.”

Our little guy doesn’t know what all the fuss is about. He just wants a good home. Tardy says he’s about 3 years old, weighs 7 ½ pounds and is a little bit shy.

If you’d like to meet him, he’s lounging about the animal care facility in Carlsbad located at 2481 Palomar Airport Road.

If you’d like to take him home, his adoption fee is $58. And that includes his neuter, vaccinations, testing for feline viruses, a microchip plus a free veterinary exam within the first 10 days.

As part of a 90-day pilot project, all three of the County’s shelters are now open on Sundays except for holidays. So feel free to stop by between 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday to check out the adoptable animals.

For more information about County Animal Services, visit or call (619) 767-2675.




Tracy DeFore is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact