What Are Tuxedo Cats?

What are Tuxedo cats and are they a breed? In this post you’ll discover all about tuxedo cats and what makes them so special. These little bi-colour kitties are unique in many ways, and I’ve had the privilege of adopting one.

Keep reading as You’ll discover surprising facts about these adorable felines, and what makes them such characters. Firstly, tuxedo cats are not a breed but the result of a white spotting gene.

They’ve been around for thousands of years and many ancient tombs had drawings of these bi-coloured kitties. It’s a well known fact that cats were worshipped by ancient Egyptians, but you can only guess as to why a huge percentage depicted in their artwork are tuxedos.

Famous tuxedo cats

Tuxedo cats are everywhere in pop culture. I’m sure you’ve seen Felix the cartoon cat, as well as Sylvester. Both are typical tuxedos with white paws and white bibs. In fact, they’re so popular many tv ads feature them as well.

In addition, well known historical figures including Shakespeare, Sir Isaac Newton, and Beethoven, all owned tuxedo cats. Maybe Beethoven’s pet kitty inspired some of his works:) It was Isaac Newton who invented the cat flap after he was looking for a way his feline companions could let themselves in and out whenever they wanted.

Modern cat flaps have microchips, keeping intruders out, as well as being lockable. They also come in a variety of sizes and designs. I’m sure Isaac Newton would be very impressed to see how his invention has developed over the years!

How did Tuxedo cats get their name?

tuxedo cat-Alfie

The name originated from coat markings that resemble smart formal wear. True tuxedos have white socks and white bibs, with many also having white marks on the nose and mouth area.
Though tuxedos are known for their stark contrasting black and white markings, they can also be found in a variety of colours and breeds.

In addition, coats can be long, short, or semi-long. Breeds such as the British Shorthair, Turkish Angora, and Maine Coon have been found to have tuxedo markings. Also, these unique coat markings can be found in oriental breeds such as Siamese.

Though black and white is the most popular, other colours such as ginger or grey can feature in tuxedo markings. One sad fact though is black and white cats often spend longer in shelters waiting to be rehomed. One theory is it’s because they’re so common. Tuxedos aren’t the same as most black and white cats though, and if they don’t have white paws and a white chest they’re not a true tuxie.

You can’t help but fall in love with one of these cats when you look into those beautiful emerald green eyes. Most have either green, gold, or yellow eye colouring.

When I adopted my little tuxedo, It was my second visit to the rescue centre. I’d noted him down as my first choice out of three, and on my second visit a few days later the other two kitties had already been reserved. However, luckily for me, “Ivor” as the staff named him, was still waiting for a home:)

How do tuxedo kitties get their unique marking?

Alfie sitting on dining table-tuxedo cat

As mentioned earlier, a cat has to have a white spotting gene to develop tuxedo patterning. All black and white cats have a white spotting gene, but tuxedos have certain agouti genetics that are very unique. Piebald markings are common with both cats and dogs having them.

What are tuxedo cats personality like?

If you have the pleasure of being owned by one of these kitties you’ll soon discover how smart they are. Many tuxedo parents consider their fur babies to be one of the most intelligent cats. However, as we all know, parents tend to be a little biased! That being said, many really do show a high level of intelligence.

My cat soon realised he could train me to feed him everytime I walked into the kitchen! He learnt to circle me, making it impossible to ignore him! I’d either fall flat on my face or give him a few kitty treats:) Of course, I have to be mindful of the amount of treats he gets otherwise he’d be the size of house:)

If you want a loving and affectionate cat you need look no further as tuxedos are renowned for their friendly nature. They also have a reputation for their dog like habit of following their human family around the house. Privacy will be the thing of the past with a tuxedo!

In addition, they often get on well with other pets. So if you already have a dog or cat you may find your tuxie quickly fits in. Always take care when introducing a new pet though, and follow the guidelines.

Can you train a tuxedo cat?

You’ll find it fairly easy to train a tuxedo cat as they do seem capable of picking up things fast. However, if you’ve ever heard the phrase “dogs come when called, but cats take a message and get back to later” you’ll know a cat will only respond if it wants to! That being said, if you know the right techniques you can train most cats to obey simple commands. Read my article on “how to train your cat to fetch like a pro” to find out more.

Do tuxedo cats have any health issues?

Tuxedo cats are as robust and healthy as any other kitties and if looked after can live long lives. Most cats live between 14-18 years on average. However, with advancing medical science many now enjoy their golden years well into their 20s.

All felines are prone to kidney disease as they enter their senior years, so it’s important to get your cat checked annually by a vet as well as keep up with vaccinations.

Grooming your tuxie regularly can help spot potential problems before they develop. The same goes for any cat whether long haired or short haired. Always check ears for possible mites and feel along the body for any unusual lumps or bumps.

Where can you get a tuxedo cat?

You shouldn’t have far to look for a tuxedo cat waiting to be rehomed. They’re not a special breed and won’t cost you much. Most shelters will charge for neutering as well as microchipping. Mine charged £60 and even gave me a pet carrier as well!

In addition, kittens are always the first to be adopted, so don’t overlook adult cats. Mine was thought to be about two years old and very playful. I named him Alfie and he’s a great companion.

Cats are considered one of the most magical animals on earth able to protect you from negative energy. In addition, they can also bring positive energy into the home and even attract prosperity!

If you’ve enjoyed this post please share. Also, if you have any questions or would like to share your experiences, please leave your comment below:)

Wishing you a purrfect day:)

10 thoughts on “What Are Tuxedo Cats?”

  1. I wish I could put an image into this comment. My good friend JUST found a Tuxedo Cat this past week. I think I have mentioned her in a previous comment. She is involved in helping and maintaining the feral cat community down in Arizona. Bless her heart. This past week she captured a cat, took her to the vet, and found out she was pregnant. Had my friend not brought the cat home they would have aborted the babies and spayed the cat. How sad. :o( But she brought her home and will keep her until the kittens are born and ready to be re-homed. It’s ironic that it was a tuxedo cat and now I see this post. I love synchronicity done this way. I am going to share this post with her as I think she’ll find it to be very interesting.
    Thank you

    • Thank you for sharing your story:) How lucky your daughter took the cat home with her. That’s so sad to think the vet would have aborted the babies. Yes, what a coincidence this post is about tuxedo cats, and I’m sure she’ll find it interesting:)

  2. I never knew how these adorable cats are called. Now that I read it-my, it’s so obvious 🙂
    I can’t imagine why would they be at the rear end of adoption candidates list. I think the black-white one is at least as cute as the other two colours, if not even more.
    Anyway, this is such a complete, comprehensive post that I almost feel now as if I had or have had one. I’ve learnt so much about them and was especially glad you wrote about their relationship with dogs. If we decide to have a cat again (our’s passed away just before our rescued dog found us, three years ago) the black-white tuxedo cat might be the exact one for us.
    I smiled reading how your cat trained you-shouldn’t it be the other way round? But, I can imagine that my dog could also get me there, easily…
    A great read, thank you!

    • Thank you Minaher:) Yes, it’s unbelievable to think these sweet kitties take longer to find homes. I feel very fortunate to have adopted mine, and couldn’t have a more loving cat:) Ha ha! Yes, Alfie quickly learnt I’m a soft touch and easily trained!

  3. My sister is a big cat lover. In fact, she has 5 cats at home right now. I used to be so annoyed with them because I used to think they only come to us when they are hungry. From my sister, I learn a lot about how good it actually is to have a cat. We can learn to be patient and the best of all is cats can help with depression and stress as well.
    My sister’s cats are one of the things that help her to cheer up and get her happiness back after she had a bad break-up from her over 11 years of relationship with her high-school sweetheart.
    I love Tuxedo cats because of their black and white colors that help to make their beautiful eyes pop. My sister loves any kind of cats though. 🙂 I’ll share your website with her.

    • Thank you Ferra:) Wow! 5 cats is wonderful, and yes, they are great at helping with stress and depression. I’ve had cats help me through break ups, as well as stroke recovery. Your sister is obviously a cat lover and I’m sure she’ll enjoy this site:) You are so right about tuxedo cat’s eyes. Mine has beautiful amber-green eyes that stand out against his black and white markings:)

  4. Hi, Kathy,

    Thank you for this post!

    I have a question: is it true that cats are able to indicate to areas in your body where you can have possible health issues, by wanting to sit on those areas?

    I appreciate your feedback on this!

    Best Wishes,


    • Hi Natalie, yes I have read about that, with some incredible stories. Cats are highly sensitive and possible they may be able to tune into a person’s energy. There was a story of a resident nursing home cat who’d sit on someone before they passed! I’ve also heard that dogs can sense if someone’s ill. A very interesting topic that I may cover in a future post:)

  5. Right now, on Pet Finder’s search results for Tuxedo kitties in the US, there are 1,807 recognized of these sweet furry kiddos all dressed up for church, they seem. Run a search on Pet Finder with your location and find your new little family member right away.

    • Hello Grace, thank you for sharing your website Petfinder and hope you find loving homes for not only Tuxedos but all the rescue cats you foster:)


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