What Breed is My Tuxedo Cat? A Complete Guide
I grew up with the most amazing black and white tuxedo cat. As a kid, I remember my dad saying our cat Percy was always ready for a formal occasion because he already had his tux on. He was an incredible pet, and lived to the age of 16.
Like you, we had this beautiful cat; a cherished member of the family, affectionate and playful and always around, but we never really knew which of the tuxedo cat breeds he was.
What’s this cat’s history and where does she come from? What is it about his infectious personality and that special coat color pattern?
Good news! With the easy to read guide below, we’ll cover everything together and you’ll end up with even more appreciation for this striking cat you love so much.
What Is a Tuxedo Cat?
Tuxedo cats aren’t any kind of particular breed, but rather cats with black and white-colored coats, much like a tuxedo we might wear.
Even though Tuxedo Cats aren’t actually a particular breed, they usually share the same friendly, intelligent, and energetic personalities!
With a mysterious reputation associated with magic and luck, normal markings include a white belly, white chest with white paws (but there are many possible combinations). Cats with a tuxedo pattern might or might not display white markings on their faces.
These cats are obviously named after the color pattern of his coat, and isn’t any one particular breed.
As stated above, these black and white cats are named after a bi-colored, distinct black and white coat, resembling a tuxedo.
Tuxedo Cat Genetics
When it comes to tuxie color genetics and combinations, the outcomes are actually simpler than they may seem!
Male cats have a dominant gene for either black or orange fur, black required for the special tuxedo coat coloring. Female cats have two genes for either black or orange fur.
Combinations of the two-color genes result in a tortoiseshell coloring, while two black genes are a must for the special tuxie combination.
Contrary to what you might think, the patterns aren’t created by combining white cats with solid black ones.
White Fur Trait
As far as white fur, the genes express as un-pigmented and are uniform for both male and female cats. When a piebald gene is dominant, these cats will have more white fur and can be born as tuxedos.
Unlike some other feline combinations, the numbers of male and female Tuxedo Cats equal each other. You truly can’t ever have too much of a great thing, and breeds with this tuxedo pattern are no exception!
Common Characteristics of Tuxedo Cats
Often displaying their very own unique personalities and traits, these cats really are in a league of their own!
As every owner can attest, these kitties seem to display almost abnormal feline intelligence. Not only are they adept at training and sociability (as long as the human handler can keep up), tuxedo type cats seem to have no equal when it comes to situations they would rather avoid.
We’ve all heard of the dreaded ‘mean cats’, or the ones that seem to just want to be left alone. Tuxedo Cats almost never fall into this category. These unique little guys absolutely love the cherished companionship of owners.
I bet you’re wondering how well your tuxie will get along with the other household pets. Thanks to their friendly nature, they will often do very well with other animals (with some careful socialization, of course).
As owners, we absolutely love cuddling with our comfy little tuxedo color fur baby, curled up into an adorable ball beside us, or rubbing their smooth bodies against our legs. In return, our cats seem to cherish our affection just as much!
Tuxedo “breeds” absolutely love to nestle close to their human. After all, why not bask in that cuddly cuteness?
In reality, all cats have scent glands across their bodies, and rubbing against objects can be a way of leaving a scent behind. A large portion of these scent glands rest around their adorable little faces, which could explain why they might rub their faces (bunt) against us.
Biologists believe cats bunt to communicate with other cats, letting them know they are around, so maybe your cat is trying to tell you something!
Kneading is an instinctive behavior in cats, and tuxies are no exception. You’ve probably wondered why in the world they would do this. What sense does it make?
Biologists actually believe kittens knead to stimulate milk production, and the behavior simply comforts them.
Types of Tuxedo Cats
As a bicolor cat with a white and black coat, tuxedos aren’t a specific breed and there can be many types.
Since it isn’t a specific breed and the cats themselves aren’t ‘specifically’ purebred, selective breeding for the ‘Tuxedo’ coloring can almost be left to chance (a good chance).
On the other hand, these special felines can be purebred. mixed, shorthair, or long-haired.
These adorable felines are mostly white-colored, except for a black portion at the tip of the tail and cap of the head.
Cap and Saddle Tuxedo
These cute little fellows are black colored on the head, or perhaps just the ears, with a patch of black covering the tail, rump, or even some parts of the back.
Mask and Mantle Tuxedo
A cat with a black colored coat from the head to the tip of the tail, with white over the remaining portions, is called a ‘Mask and Mantle’ tuxedo.
Harlequin or Magpie Tuxedo
These cats will have spots of black and white randomly dotting their coats. Some even have a white spot or two or designs on their throats resembling bowties!
Tuxedo and Tabby Pattern Combination
These are cats with M-shaped forehead markings along with stripes near the back, tail, eyes, and cheeks in a typical tabby pattern.
Tuxedo Cat Breeds
As mentioned these cats aren’t actually any sort of particular breed, but rather a bicolor cat. Because it isn’t a particular breed, but a combination of genetics that code for a black and white cat, several breeds can be Tuxedos.
There isn’t one set coat type, either. Tuxies can range all over the place, from short hair to long haired, sporting shaggy or smooth coats, and sometimes even incredibly silky.
If you’re curious about your little tuxedo cat breed, nearly any small animal veterinarian will probably be able to identify the breed. You can have breeds like:
Maine Coons are the largest of all domesticated cat breeds and one of the very oldest in North America. As a longhair, the Main Coon sports an especially luxurious coat and tail from Tortoise to solid or bi-color.
Originating in central Turkey, Turks are a very old cat breed. Records stretch back to the 17th century.
These guys are believed by many to offer the origins of the complete white color mutation.
These guys are very popular in North America (and everywhere else)! But if you live in the U.S., this is actually one of the most common cats you’ll see.
Historians think they were brought over to America by early European settlers.
A pedigree version of the older, original domesticated British cat, these guys are strong, friendly, intelligent and independent.
Their tuxes are a little lighter (gray looking), but the patterns are there. It’s too cute is all I have to say.
A cat with a combination of white fur along with some other color, such as a Tuxedo Cat or Tabby
A charming and compionable cat, the Scottish Fold is known for its folded ears but due to the outcrossing that went into creating this rare breed of it’s own, it is not uncommon to see it with a black and white bi-color pattern.
A Little Tuxedo Cat History
Starting with Ancient Egypt, many cats, in general, were worshipped as magical creatures and were able to provide good luck for their caretakers! Wealthy families would adorn their cats in jewels and fed only the best treats.
Cats were even given the great privilege of mummification when they passed.
According to Egyptian mythology, both gods and goddesses possessed the ability to transform into various animals. Only the revered goddess Bastet retained the ability to transform into a cat. She was the goddess of many things, one being – you guessed it, cats.
Birth of the Tuxedo
Fast forward to 1866. Several New York socialites gathered in a brand new club, the ‘Tuxedo Park’ for an annual autumn ball.
Of course they dressed in their fancy black bow ties, white shirts and stereotypical tailcoats. However, a group of renegade hooligans decided to sport a tailless dress coat and satin waistcoat.
Hence, the tuxedo was born! Now you know where your little, furry tuxedo pet name originated.
Felix & Sylvester
You might think of icons like Felix the cat of the 1920s film era, or the animated bicolor cat Sylvester.
Though they have been around for thousands of years, stretching back to ancient Egypt (and who knows when), Felix really popularized them in America.
Wild Facts about Tuxedo Cats
They usually (but not always!) have green eyes. While green eyes are definitely fascinating, blue or yellow is also no uncommon.
The number of males and females equal each other.
They are commonly found throughout the world.
These cats were worshiped as bringers of luck and fortune in Ancient Egypt!
At least 70% of the cats pictured on Egyptian relics were a tuxedo breed.
2020 sets the 129th anniversary for the American Tuxedo Cat.
Jackie Johnston is the founder of Cat Word – a community of cat enthusiasts with a mission to spread as much knowledge as they can throughout the world on every aspect of raising and nurturing cats! In her spare time, Jackie loves reading and spending time with her two sons Logan and Christopher, and of course with their furry felines Simba and Max.