A tuxedo cat has a black and white coat so it looks like it’s dressed in a tuxedo. The adorable idea of a cat in formal attire makes tuxedo cats one of the most popular house cats. If your kitty is dressed to impress, you have probably asked yourself, “What breed is my tuxedo cat?”
Despite common beliefs, there isn’t a breed called Tuxedo. In fact, the term tuxedo refers to a cat’s unique coat pattern rather than breed. Some non-black and white cats have tuxedo markings, but the term describes black and white cats specifically.
Since tuxedo is a color pattern and not a cat breed, these cats can be short or long-haired, mixed-breed or purebred. To answer the question, “What breed is my tuxedo cat?”, we will look at all breeds capable of sporting a tuxedo.
What is a Tuxedo Cat?
One of the main characteristics of a tuxedo cat is a bi-colored or piebald coat pattern. The sharp contrast between black and white in their coat and unique pattern is part of their charm.
Generally, any combination of black and white pattern qualifies as a tuxedo. However, according to the Cat Fanciers Association, a tuxedo cat is one that has white on the paws, chest, belly, throat, and sometimes face.
The white color is the result of the white spotting gene (S) which causes patches on the black background. While the cat is genetically black, the white spotting gene leaves white marks on certain body parts. This specific pattern gives a cat the appearance of wearing men’s formal attire.
The effects of the white spotting gene on the coat are graded from 1-10. The lower the number, the less white is present on the coat. Cats with less than 40% white spotting are considered tuxedo.
Although black and white tuxedo cats are most famous, this pattern also comes in other color combinations. There are orange and white, gray and white, or tabby and white tuxedo cats.
A typical tuxedo cat has primarily black fur with a white chest, throat, belly, and paws, but there are other characteristics of a tuxedo cat as well. Cats with white around the chin and nose are called masked tuxedos. Many tuxedo cats have a black goatee, and some feature white mustache.
Black tie tuxedo cats have a black spot on their chest that resembles a bow tie. Black tie tuxedo cats are said to be lucky charms and bring their owners wealth or good fortune.
What Breed is My Tuxedo Cat?
Tuxedo is not a cat breed, but a bi-color coat pattern that consists of black and white. This pattern is fairly common and can be seen in domestic and purebred cats.
If you got your tuxie from a shelter, pet shop, or random litter, chances are that you have a domestic shorthair or longhair cat. Cats that don’t have official papers listing their pedigree are considered random bred. However, you can always check for unique physical traits and try to figure out what breed is your cat.
Currently, there isn’t a single breed that comes only in a tuxedo pattern and none is specifically bred to possess this trait. However, depending on the cat organization, the bi-color pattern is the standard of several purebred cats.
Breeds that can be found wearing tuxedo include:
Are Tuxedo Cats Always Male?
The fact that tuxedo cats are fairly common doesn’t affect their popularity. It’s difficult to resist the charm of any cat, let alone one that is dressed to impress.
People often wonder if all tuxedo cats are male? While calico and tortoiseshell cats are almost always female, tuxies can be both male and female. The interesting fact about tuxies is that both male and female cats are able to inherit the black and white color gene. Therefore, there is an equal number of boys and girls, and not all tuxedo cats are male.
So, if you are set on getting a tuxedo cat as your next feline companion you can rest assured that there are plenty of cute cats to choose from. If you aren’t set on a particular breed, adopting a black and white cat from a shelter is a generous thing to do.
On the other hand, if you are looking for a purebred tuxedo cat, there are a few breeds. However, there isn’t a single breed that comes only in bi-color tuxedo pattern so you may not find the purebred tuxedo kitten right away.
Now, instead of wondering what breed is my tuxedo cat, you can know with confidence that tuxedo is a black and white coat pattern and not a cat breed.
Generally, tuxies have predominantly black coats with white patches on paws, chest, throat, and belly. Furthermore, some tuxies sport mustache, goatee, or bow tie which are also main characteristics of a tuxedo cat.
Both domestic cats and purebreds can sport a tuxedo as well. With their good looks and charms, it really isn’t surprising that tuxies are one of the most popular house cats.