What is a Tuxedo Cat?

All About Tuxedo Cats

This is a tuxedo cat and this is not a tuxedo. But why is that, since both cats have the same two colors? A Tuxedo cat is another name for a black and white cat, also known as a bi-colour cat. They are not a specific breed of cat, the colouring from which they derive their name is very common amongst a wide range of different breeds. The Tuxedo patterning can also occur with colours other than black and white however the Tuxedo name is typically associated with black and white cats. They usually have black colouring around their eyes often with a white chin or nose thus giving the appearance of wearing a mask.

Black and White Cats Matter

All About Tuxedo Cats

Not all black and white cats are actually tuxedo. Now let's see why. Well, the difference between these two gorgeous kitties is the amount of white that can be found in their fur. Tuxedo cats have the genes to be black but also have the white spotting gene (S). This gene is responsible for masking the black color on some parts of the body. The spotting gene produces different grades of white spotting , from 1 to 10. Tuxedo cats fall into the low grades from 1 to 4. The lower the number, the less white is seen. And also, cats are generally considered a tuxedo if their coat resembles one. The body should be black while the chest, paws, neck and even a part of their face is white.

But is there actually a reason for the amount of white a cat has? In order to find out, let's dive into the beautiful cat color genetics. There is a genetic difference between low amounts of white and high amounts of white. Those kitties that have less white have actually inherited just a copy of this white spotting gene.

As a result, the amount of white in these cats is 40% or less. The beautiful kitties with large amounts of white have inherited two copies of this gene, which makes them not qualified to be a true tuxedo. Of course, you can still call your white and black cat a tuxedo if you want to, nobody will blame you for that.

But tuxedo cats do not come in just black and white. Because the term "tuxedo" isn't strictly defined, orange and white or grey and white cats could also be qualified as a tuxedo, providing their pattern looks like one. And no, tuxies are not a breed, as this color combination can be found in many breeds.

They can be Maine Coons, Turkish Angora or American and British Shorthair. So health and life span are related to every breed. Their personalities also vary, but in general most owners say that tuxies are playful, intelligent and quite vocal.

Why are Black and White Cats Special?

All About Tuxedo Cats

So now that we know what tuxedos are, let's see why they're considered special. Let's see why tuxedo cats are so popular. Well, Everything started in Egypt...where cats were gods and humans worshiped them. Several Ancient Egyptian deities were depicted and sculptured with cat-like heads and cats were frequently portrayed in royal tombs and hieroglyphics. Tuxies might just have magical powers, because they can become invisible on the vernal or diurnal equinox. Besides this, a lot of tuxedo cat owners swear these kitties are much smarter than other cats.

We even went on Reddit to find out if tuxies are really smarter than other cats but it seems that opinions on this topic are divided. It's also said that tuxedo cats open their eyes a whole 24h before any other kind of cat. But nevertheless, tuxedo cats seem to be on their way to conquer the world. Only one cat has ever made it to the top of Mount Everest and—you guessed it—he was a tuxedo cat.

Famous Tuxedo Cats

All About Tuxedo Cats

About 70% of these cats were actually tuxedo cats. As time moved on, the popularity of tuxies remained high, with a number of famous people having one. Shakespere, Beethoven and Sir Isaac Newton shared their house with a tuxedo cat. It seems that smart people tend to be drawn to them. They even were portrayed on television. Some popular tuxedo stars are Sylvester from Looney Toons Felix the Cat, Figaro from Pinochio and The cat in the hat from Dr Seuss. These are the most famous ones, but I'm sure they're more famous tuxedo cats out there, so feel free to tell me in the comments if you know any.

But that's not all. In 1998, a tuxedo cat named Sparky inherited a whopping 6.3 million dollars. And a tuxedo cat even made it into the White House. President Bill Clinton had one Tuxie during his service.

So, what did we learn about Tuxedo Cats? They're very popular with a bright history. Some people say they're the most intelligent cats in the kitty world.