The Tuxedo Cat: A Guide to the Black and White Beauty

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You’ve heard of the Cat in the Hat, but what about the cat in the tuxedo? That’s right, the tuxedo cat comes with its own formal wear! Read on to learn all about the adorable tuxedo kitty!

Meet the Tuxedo Cat Breed: A Beautiful Bicolor Cat

The tuxedo cat is not a breed of cat, but rather a type of coat pattern that looks like the cat is wearing a tuxedo, complete with a crisp white shirt. More specifically, tuxedo cats have a mostly black coat, with patches of white on the legs, chest, face, and throat. There are many breeds of cat that can have tuxedo coloring, as well as mixed breeds!

5 Facts You Need to Know About the Tuxedo Cat Personality Type!

  1. Scientists have not established a link between coat coloration and behavior, meaning that tuxedo cats can have any type of character.
  2. That said, many tuxedo cat owners will swear that their pet is the sweetest, friendliest cat out there… though they may be biased, of course.
  3. Early socialization is important for cats of any breed, including tuxedo cats, to ensure that they are good with people and other cats.
  4. Tuxedo cats of a specific breed will likely show the personality traits common to that breed, regardless of fur color.
  5. Tuxedo coloring can show up in both female and male cats.

Is this a Cow Cat? The Genetics Behind the Black and White Cat

The tuxedo cat’s coloring is controlled by genetics called the white-spotting genes, which, as you might guess from the name, causes white spots to appear, masking other fur colors. Tuxedo cats genetically have a black coat, with their white coloration masking the black from appearing on the chest, legs, throat, and face. Cats with a two-colored coat are known as piebald.

The white-spotting gene can come in different strengths of how much color is masked, which are graded in order of 1-10, with one as the least white, and 10 as the most. Different grades cause different coat patterns, as follows:

  • Low-Grade Genes(1-4): These cats have 40% or less white coloring. This can show up as tiny spots of white fur, to mitted (white paws), locked (white chest), to tuxedo.
  • Medium-Grade Genes (5): These cats have around half white fur—from 40% to 60%—and half another color.
  • High-Grade Genes (6-10): Cats with high-grade white-spotting genes have more than 60% white fur, going up to almost entirely white with just small spots of color. These cats are described as a magpie or cow cat if they have random coloration on the body, harlequin if they have random coloration on the body plus a colored tail, or van if they just have coloring on and between their ears and tail.

luffy black cats, tuxedo kittens stalking toy

Black and White Cat Breeds: Can Any Cat Breed Inherit that Piebald Coat?

The piebald coat occurs in many pedigree cat breeds, but not quite all of them. Cat breeds that are defined by their coat colorings, such as the Ragdoll or Siamese, cannot have the tuxedo pattern unless they are crossed with another cat. Cats with both long and short hair can have these multicolored coats.

Black and White Patterns! A Cat Can Have Even More Cool Patterns!

Cat-lovers seem to flock to cats with patterned coats, and they’re in luck because there are lots of different kinds!

The Tenacious Tabby Cat

Tabby cats are a very common, and very popular type of cat! The tabby’s coat is striped, spotted, or swirling, with many different shades of brown and gold. As with tuxedo cats, tabby cats can belong to many different breeds of domestic cat. Some scientists believe that the tabby pattern comes from the African wildcat, an ancestor of domestic cats.

The Crazy Calico

Calico cats are mostly white, with patches of two other colors, the most common being orange and black. Other names for calico coloring include brindle and tricolor. If the colored patches are combined with a tabby pattern, the cats are called caliby. Almost all calico cats are female. Tortoiseshell cats are like calicos but without the white.

A Grey Tabby? Grey and White Cat

Piebald cats don’t have to be black and white: the white patches can occur with lots of other colors, including grey. These beautiful cats are also described as silver.

5 Facts You Have to Know About Tuxedo Cats

  1. Tuxedo cats are also called billicart or jellicle cats, the latter of which comes from “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” by T.S. Elliot. This book was the basis for the musical Cats!
  2. If you adopt a tuxedo cat from a shelter or a random litter, you most likely have a domestic shorthair or a domestic longhair.
  3. In the United Kingdom, tuxedo cats are often called Felix cats, after the cartoon character created by Pat Sullivan and Otto Messmer.
  4. The tuxedo pattern in cats can occur with yellow, brown or green eyes.
  5. As the tuxedo pattern is controlled by genes, it can differ from kitten to kitten, even within the same litter.

biocolor cat on fence post

Black and White Cats: Are they Healthier than Your Average Feline Friend?

Will getting a tuxedo cat condemn you to higher vets bills? Not necessarily, as there is no evidence that this color combo has any additional health concerns not seen in other feline coat colors.

Tuxedo Kittens: They Can Live a Healthy Long Life!

There are many factors that will determine how a long a cat will live for: lifestyle (such as whether it lives indoors or outdoors), whether it has any hereditary conditions, and a certain amount of luck. One thing that is unlikely to affect feline lifespan: the coat color.

Fluffy Black Cat: Here are the Best Tuxedo Cat Names!

Are you thinking of getting a sweet little tuxedo kitten? Here are our favorite names for tuxedo cats!

  • Felix
  • Oolong
  • Oreo
  • Bowtie
  • Penelope
  • Sylvester
  • Boots
  • Domino

In the News: Famous Tuxedo Cats!

The tuxedo cat’s distinctive coloring has made it a hit with lots of people, including illustrators, writers, video game developers, and even US presidents! Famous tuxedo cats include Socks, who was owned by Bill Clinton and lived in the White House, Jess, Postman Pat’s cat, Kitty Softpaws from the Shrek spin-off, Puss in Boots, and Dr. Seus’s Cat in the Hat.

Tuxedo kitten looking at owner

Tuxedo Cats will Make You Fall in Love with that Black and White Pattern

If you’re looking to add a little class to your life, what about a cat that comes in its own black tie attire? The dapper tuxedo cat not only looks great, but also makes a loving pet, companion animal, or even emotional support animal. 

Common Question on Tuxedo Cat

What is a Tuxedo Cat?

What is their temperament like?

Are they healthier than an average cat?

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