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How Rare Are Tuxedo Cats? Vet-Approved Coat Color Facts & Info

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on June 4, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

tuxedo cat resting on log

How Rare Are Tuxedo Cats? Vet-Approved Coat Color Facts & Info


Dr. Luqman Javed Photo


Dr. Luqman Javed

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Tuxedo cats have a bicolor pattern, usually black and white. This gives off the appearance of the cat wearing a miniature tuxedo, and that’s where the cat gets their name.

But while there’s no denying how cute these cats are, the truth is that they’re not that rare. So, what else makes a tuxedo cat special, and how much should you spend if you want one? We’ve answered those questions and more for you here.

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Are Tuxedo Cats Rare?

While there are some extremely rare types of cats out there, the tuxedo cat isn’t one of them. They’re relatively common, and you can find tuxedo cats in almost every cat breed, with a few notable exceptions.

Tuxedo cats can be male and female, and you can breed specifically for the pattern. However, if you’re looking for a “genuine” black and white tuxedo cat, you want to look for the following:

Description of a “Genuine” Tuxedo Cat
  • The cat must have two colors on their coat: black and white.
  • White should be present on the paws, belly, and chest.
  • White may also be present on the chin, rest of the face, and tail.

But even with this distinction, it’s not all that hard to find a black and white tuxedo cat if that’s what you want. Common cat breeds that have a tuxedo cat coloration include the Domestic Shorthair, the American Shorthair, the British Shorthair, and the Maine Coon.

To date, no study has attempted to approximate the percentage of cats that are tuxedo colored. The genetic mutation for this coat type is associated with the white spotting “S” gene. Cats that inherit one dominant and one recessive copy of this gene (denoted as Ss) are most likely to resemble a tuxedo cat. Conversely, cats that are “SS” would have high grades of white spotting. Cats that are “ss” would likely only have a few white hairs or low amounts of white spotting.

tuxedo cat sitting on the floor inside the house
Image Credit: Liao Zhiwo Henry, Shutterstock

What Is a Tuxedo Cat?

The tuxedo cat, also known as a piebald cat, is simply a cat with a bicolor design. One of the most surprising tuxedo cat facts is that a cat doesn’t need to have a black and white coloring to be a tuxedo cat, even though that’s likely what comes to mind.

It’s an area where some people still quibble a bit, but many people consider orange and white or gray and white as variations of the tuxedo cat. Others will only recognize black and white cats as tuxedo cats.

What’s Different About Tuxedo Cats?

As it turns out, tuxedo cats aren’t all that much different than other cat breeds out there. The only thing that’s different about a tuxedo cat is their bicolor appearance.

Tuxedo cats come in all breeds and sizes, present equally in both sexes, have the same average lifespan as other cats, and are just as smart as other cats. If you like the way a tuxedo cat looks, that’s great, but they’re just like every other cat on the block!

tuxedo ragamuffin cat on the table
Image Credit: Kill_Baal, Shutterstock

How Expensive Are Tuxedo Cats?

If you’re looking to bring a tuxedo cat home, you’re in luck, as typically, tuxedo cats are not more expensive than any other cat of a similar breed and pedigree. But since many tuxedo cats don’t meet cat association breed standards simply because of their bicolor design, you can often find tuxedo cats for extremely affordable prices.

In this regard, it’s not that cat associations don’t recognize the tuxedo coloring; they do, but they don’t recognize the coloring for every breed.

With that in mind, if you’re looking for a tuxedo cat, you shouldn’t need to spend a ton, so don’t think you need to overpay to get one. It is also likely that you can adopt a tuxedo cat from your local shelter.

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Final Thoughts

While tuxedo cats might not be all that rare, that doesn’t make them any less cute. There’s a reason so many people fawn over tuxedo cats, and if you like the way they look, you can absolutely get one for yourself. Since they’re not all that rare, you shouldn’t need to spend an arm and a leg to get one!

Featured Image Credit: Bettina Calder, Shutterstock

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