10 Facts About Tuxedo Cats

Closeup of a tuxedo cat on a bed.
Closeup of a tuxedo cat on a bed. Photography ©SnowyPhotoStock | iStock / Getty Images Plus.

They’re usually relegated to groomsmen and prom dates, but there’s probably a tuxedo in your room or on your friend’s couch right now. Yes, we’re talking about the best-suited felines, tuxedo cats. Famous tuxies include Felix and Sylvester the Cat. There was at least one tuxedo First Cat, President Clinton’s family cat, Socks. Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat also features a tuxedo cat in its titular role. They’ve even been the subject of an old-timey poem that was turned into a famous musical — Cats! Let’s talk about 10 must-know facts about tuxedo cats here.

1. Tuxedo cats are not a breed.

A fluffy black and white tuxedo cat.
Tuxedo cats are not a specific breed of cat. Photography ©Tuxsammy | iStock / Getty Images Plus.

They are actually bicolor cats. A bicolor cat is a cat comprised of two colors. In this case, the predominant color is black. Cat coats come in many different colors, all tied to chromosomes. Purists believe that only black cats with white on their chest and paws can be considered tuxedo cats. But a quick perusal of Petfinder refutes these restrictive parameters.

2. The faulty (gene) in their stars.

While tuxedo cats are bicolor (also called piebald, that’s when there are two colors present and one is white), it was once believed that their distinctive coats were the result of sluggish genes that don’t move fast enough to cover the coat. Science is now leaning toward proof that two-tone cats are created in the womb by a faulty version of “kit” genes. They’re faulty because they don’t multiply at a normal rate.

3. There are an equal number of males and females.

Tuxedo cat on a bed.
Tuxedo cats can be either male or female. Photography ©PatrickCivello | iStock / Getty Images Plus.

While their attire may appear masculine, there are a fair share of female tuxedo cats. Unlike orange tabbies, who have a higher percentage of males, or calico or tortoiseshell cats, who are usually female, tuxies can easily be either sex.

4. Tuxedo cats have run for office.

Not many cats have run for office. And there aren’t a lot of political parties started by cat breeds or types. But in 2012, breaking with species biases, Tuxedo Stan ran for mayor in Halifax, Canada. Although this spirited tuxie didn’t win, he did bring awareness to the plight of homeless cats across platforms. He also inspired the Halifax City Council to give a hefty grant to the area to facilitate a low-cost spay and neuter clinic. Sadly, Tuxedo Stan passed away in 2013 of cancer, but not before inspiring the Tuxedo Party.

5. Is “tuxitude” a thing?

Crimpy the Cat.
Crimpy is a tuxedo cat with some tuxitude. Photography courtesy Good Old Tails Senior Animal Rescue.

Crimpy, a tuxedo cat rescued by Good Old Tails Senior Animal Rescue (GOTSAR), was picked up as a stray. His time on the streets taught him some moves, like “here’s my belly.” But don’t try to pet it! “[Tuxedo cats] tend to have sassy personalities, like Crimpy, which people are drawn to,” says Megan Powers of GOTSAR. “I’d say in general they get adopted more quickly than other colors.”

Ro or Roosevelt from Tenth Life.
Roosevelt or “Ro” is a special-needs tuxedo cat. Photography courtesy Tenth Life Cat Rescue.

When Tenth Life Cat Rescue of St. Louis, Missouri, saved a paralyzed, 4-week-old tuxedo kitten, they feared for the worst. But, Roosevelt, who would never walk or eliminate properly, pulled through. His charms attracted an adopter all the way from Florida! Roosevelt now spends his days with his new mom at the vet clinic where she works. His outgoing personality elevates the patients’ moods.

If overcoming obstacles and being an outgoing role model for survivors is tuxitude – then, yes, it’s a thing! 

6. Tuxedo cats are decorated war heroes.

Simon, a tuxedo cat who sailed with the British Royal Navy during the Chinese civil war in 1949, was awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal. The brave Able Seaman unfortunately died from wounds sustained during an attack.

7. They’re loyal through and through.

A black and white tuxedo cat on a windowsill.
Tuxedo cats are historically known for their loyalty. Photography ©tingfen | iStock / Getty Images Plus.

In the book, 100 Cats Who Changed Civilization: History’s Most Influential Felines, the author features a tuxedo kitty named Trixy. When Trixy’s cat dad was sentenced to prison in 1601, the dedicated cat stuck by his side until his release. It’s unknown how she got from their home to London Tower, but it’s another testament to that spunky tuxitude!

8. Tuxedo cats usually have green eyes.

An online image search for tuxedo cats results in a display of green to greenish-gold eye colors staring back. While it is a stunning combination, it’s less decorative and more common.

9. They mostly have white whiskers.

A black and white cat playing with a cat laser pointer toy.
Tuxedo cats have white whiskers. Photography ©borzywoj | Thinkstock.

Almost all tuxies have white whiskers. But, so do most cats!

10. Tuxedo cats make ennui cool.

Perhaps the most famous of the contemporary social media cat darlings is Henri, le Chat Noir. Roger Ebert hailed one of Henri’s videos as the “best cat video ever made,” in a tweet. Henri embodies the all-around debonair, and je ne sais quoi (plus “I do not care”), that has made the mystifying tuxedo cat an inspiration to artists for centuries. 

Whether tuxedo cats are saving lives, living by example or taking social media by storm, there’s nothing ordinary about these dapper cats!

BONUS: Check out one tuxedo cat who’s advocating for other tuxies to get adopted >>

Tell us: Do you have a tuxedo cat? Does he or she have tuxitude?

This piece was originally published on March 21, 2018. 

Thumbnail: Photography ©SnowyPhotoStock | iStock / Getty Images Plus.

Read more about cat colors on Catster.com:

99 thoughts on “10 Facts About Tuxedo Cats”

  1. I am feeding 3 tuxedo strays. I think they are siblings .One will sit on the a/c wait for food almost daily.Too terrified to be petted. Terrified to come inside. The other 2 i hardly see during the day. They will mainly eat at night.Hopefully one day they will come in . Very cute kitties.

  2. Here's another good tuxedo cat fact that you missed: The first (and, so far, only) cat in space was a tuxie.
    (Also Cats in Space is the name of a rock band.)

  3. My tuxedo cat, Mittens, is 11 years old. I’ve had her since she was six weeks old. Did you know that there was a cat who lived to be over 30 years old?

  4. My 15 y/o long-haired Tuxedo, Eisner (all you could see were his HUGE eyes when he was a kitten), is the most affectionate cat I’ve ever had. My son rescued him as a kitten from the life of a barn cat and brought him to me. He follows me around like a dog and ALWAYS greets me at the door. He’s very vocal all the time and I can tell what he wants by his meow. He’s a lap cat at every opportunity and knows when I am sick. He’s even still playful at his age. I’m so blessed for him to be a part of my life!

  5. Our tuxedo cat, Sam, who we rescued from a life as a stray living in a garage, is the most friendly, affectionate, spunky, and vocal cat I have ever know. I wish he could be with us forever.

  6. We just adopted our 3rd rescued cat, and 2nd from this shelter. I didn’t know tuxedos were a thing till now. The shelter named him Piper, but we were going to need something different since my friend’s granddaughter is named Piper. Me being an airplane person, I just added “Cub” to his name, for “Piper Cub”, a very fun, slow moving, capable two seat Bush plane. This little stinker has some challenges, primarily his absolute terror of dark places! Our litter box is in a small cabinet with a vent fan but no light. He absolutely freaks out, screaming in fear as he scrambles out of it, when we put him in through the cleaning door. Obviously I need to put a light in there. Otherwise he is a sweet, loveable, UBER soft, cuddly kitten. Once again we got a good one from our local feral rescue shelter.

    1. I beg to differ. We recently lost our 19 year old Tuxedo Cat that we raised from a kitten. He was one of the smartest, most affectionate, and mild mannered cat I’ve ever met. He used to move from one family member to the other all day long. We miss him daily very much.

      1. So sorry about your loss. We just lost our Mickey. He was pure white with blue eyes and very handsome. We become so attached to them and love them with all of our heart. They give so much in return. The grief we feel when they’re gone is worth all of the love and memories!

    2. Uhhhhh, most cats are like that. They are not dogs who need your attention. Cats don't care if you pay attention to them, in fact, most prefer that. Maybe you should get a dog. They will give you all the attention you need. Gailrae, a happy cat companion. Anna is around 25 years old, but she doesn't know it. She runs up the stairs to the second floor like she is a young kitty.

  7. Stray about 2 years old decided to “adopt” me about a week ago. She’s well fed, sleek coat, and must have another home or food source, because the one thing I’ve learned over the years is that if you feed it, it’s yours. I do have a water source outside, because the cat initially was drinking from a tree well as I was watering. Nearly every time I go outside, she does those figure 8’s on my legs, if I sit down or even stand for very long, the cat is draped over my foot, usually wrapping her front legs around my ankles, and loves butting her head on me, lying upside down “inviting” that belly rub (and the ensuing kitten play.) She’s tried to get inside numerous times, but my wife is allergic and that’s just not happening. The cat slipped in once, the wife yelled, since then the cat hasn’t tried very hard to get inside. I do notice she isn’t always there, probably off getting food somewhere. (I finally tried giving her different things to eat that cats love, but she’s not interested!) I have a feeling she slips in and steals some other cats food where the people feed strays across the street. Never stays over there though.
    I have no idea why she tried to adopt me, probably because there are lots of hiding places in my yard, and she likes my shoe smell. Lately she’s been sleeping in my truck bed, so I have to be careful to check when I drive off!

  8. We found a Tuxedo kitten a little over a month ago. He was only about a month old and fit in my husbands shirt pocket. He was also very hungry. We are a older couple so really didn’t need a very active kitten but we have fallen in love with him. We think he’s very intelligent but also very active. It wasn’t ‘till today that we found out he was called a tuxedo. But he has all the markings. White socks and all. His name is Baby. We choose that name because our deaf son can say Baby quite clearly. And they have also become good friends.

  9. While most of these articles are just for fun, I couldn’t help but comment about my own Tuxedo boy, Tito. He’s part DSH and a little part Maine Coon. I call him my big baby because he’s 14 lbs lean, with huge paws and teeth. I adopted him a year and a half ago now, and we’re just about to celebrate his third birthday. I used to say I hated cats and was more of a dog person, but I couldn’t be happier with Tito. I like to say he’s more of a dog than a cat – he asks for pets just like a dog would, eats almost all his food in one go, chases his tail unabashedly, chews on greenies and nylabones, greets me when I come home, and follows me EVERYWHERE around the house. You’ll always find him where the humans are, and he loves making friends. He’s truly the most affectionate cat I’ve ever met. He always lays with me when I’m feeling sick or down, and gives sweet little kisses. My roommates have even told me that the times I’ve been gone for the night, he’ll sit in my room and cry – what a baby. I believe it when they say tuxedos might not do well as outdoor cats due to their sweetness, too, because when his foster mom found him, he had been attacked by another cat and was going up to all the doors in her apartment complex, meowing and begging for attention. I wouldn’t trade my Tito boy for anything in the world, and I hope I get to share my life with him for a long time.

    1. He sound like a sweet cat. I have a sweet but shy little tuxedo cat her name is kijo. She is funny and loves her paper bags and boxes. She also has only half of her mustache???? she is not quite a year old yet though. I have also a sencond cat named Bandit. She is entirely black and has earned her name.????

  10. Kelsey Tellerday

    I believe I have found myself a tuxedo kitten four weeks ago it was just randomly walking on your sidewalk It was almost in the street it still had the embylical cord attached to it and its eyes were closed It must of been two days old I guess I got lucky God must have placed her in my hands for a reason she’s of happy little four weeks old kitten still don’t have a name thank you all for that’s wonderful fact and I hope all y’all have a great day

    1. Kimberly Davila

      omg! i just cried when i read this! How wonderful that you were placed there right when you needed to be!! we have a 5 week Tuxie rescue and “her” name is Frankie….gender was a little ambiguous to us! ha! She’s a hundred percent DIVA! Well, i wish you many years of love with your little angel and I wish the world had more ppl like you.

  11. I just adopted a tuxedo girl. She’s a pretty large part Maine coon girl and full of tuxitude. She switches between being loving and fun to grumpy and not so much fun, especially if she’s hungry. I love her very much, she’s my only companion. She’s 4yo now and I hope she lives a long and healthy life.

    1. I’ve had two of them, one boy and one girl. The boy has gone to meet his maker; three weeks later a beautiful rescue girl named Alexa came to live with me, and I could not imagine life without her

    2. Gloria Siekierski

      My tuxedo ealked to me. I like to say she chose me. She was declawed but no chip. She is so sweet and good. In 3 months she slowly warmed up and sleeps at the bottom of my bed.

  12. My beloved Boney, was my first and only tuxie. Soft luxurious fur that was so silken that when he went limp, he could slide right out of your arms. He came to me to beg for food, with a hole in his throat, and a bb in his leg. He was gentle and let me care for him, went to vet without so much as a whimper many times. He stayed for 10 years as my constant companion and he cared for me whenever my blood pressure would spike, he immediately slid under my hand so I would feel him purr and his super silky fur. I will love him forever in my heart, and my memories.

  13. Pingback: Tuxedos, Tabbies and Torties: How to Tell These Housecats Apart – A&C Accounting And Tax Services – Top Quality Accounting, Bookkeeping, Payroll And Tax Services- Oakland, CA

  14. My kids wanted a cat so I decided to get one from their dad and he is a very loyal, friendly tuxcedo cat. We name him Otis. He will be 4 in April and he shows alot of affections towards the kids and myself. Love our tuxitude cat.

  15. …p/s, re: #10…… ‘je ne sais quois” does NOT mean ‘I don’t care”….it’s more like “I don’t know”, or ‘“something I cannot put words to”…☮️⚜️

    1. They said that he had je ne sais quois AND I don’t care in spades, not that it translated to ‘I don’t care’….hence the parentheses….

  16. We had 2 tuxies. They had kittens which we kept ALL! A bad neighbor killed them! All were fixed so no more babies. Shot several of our dogs thru the fence too….KARMA will get him!!

  17. I have a female tuxedo (Lexi)that I adopted from a wonderful shelter ( Ark Animal Shelter) in 2011. She was about a year old when I got her. She is wonderfully friendly especially to men. She also was / is a great comfort to all she sees that need attention.
    The best gift I ever got besides my family and friends.

  18. I have a female tuxedo that I adopted from a wonderful shelter ( Ark Animal Shelter) in 2011. She was about a year old when I got her. She is wonderfully friendly especially to men. She also was / is a great comfort to all she sees that need attention.
    The best gift I ever got besides my family and friends.

  19. My Tuxie was 15 when I adopted her from a local shelter. She is the tiniest cat I have seen in a while. She definitely has Tuxietude and I knew that when I adopted her. The staff told me that, she doesn’t like to be picked up, she is sensitive to touch, let her come to you. She has this gravelty voice so one might think she wasn’t happy about anything. We have been together for almost 2 years now, and she has such a crusty, demanding, but sweet personality. I just adore her. She has me wrapped around her tiny paw. Oh, and she is not as tough and grumpy as she might want you to think.

  20. I adopted my Tuxedo cat Manny from a local shelter when he was 8 years old and he had tuxitude from day one. He’s a Selkirk Rex and just trained me to turn on the kitchen tap whenever he asks. He’s 10 now. Cute as a button with his curly whiskers plus he likes to ride on my shoulder. I’m putty in his paws. I have four other rescues but Manny is the sauciest.

  21. I have the most loveable tuxedo cat named Tuxie-Lou. She has tuxitude and is very loyal..though she doesn’t play well with other cats she is very affectionate toward me. I love her so much.

  22. Pingback: 10 Facts About Tuxedo Cats – Info Body

  23. My new 8 week old kitten Purrkins, was on my chest when I woke up this morning. He is so sweet, I have fallen in love with him in the 2 weeks he’s been here with me. His purr is so loud, why we call him Purrkins.

  24. Pingback: 10 Facts About Tuxedo Cats | PetTraining.org

  25. Pingback: 10 Facts About Tuxedo Cats | Areyoupop

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