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

10 Facts About Tuxedo Cats

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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:

96 thoughts on “10 Facts About Tuxedo Cats”

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  3. Jeremey R. Pierson

    Well I fell in love. Lola is her name. She is the most fun, loving, energetic, brave, friendliest, Beautiful tuxedo (bicolor) cat any middle aged divorced Man could ever ask for. Lola gets what Lola wants. ;) my favorite things that Lola does are. She will come when when you call her name. Very vocal talks a lot ….
    . Sleeps with me on my chest and Puuuurrrrs so loud. Not afraid of anything. Always happy to see anybody at the door. Lola has shown me true love.

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  8. Awesome article! I just recently got a tuxedo cat. I just learned the other day that, that is the description of her coat. Which is soft and silky to the touch. Bright green eyes and a personality already developing, she is 9 weeks now. She is loving and playful and very intelligent!

    Thank you for this great article
    Blessing,
    Donna Rayne and Sammie

  9. My tuxie kitty is named Trouble and he is the smartest kitty I have ever seen. He understands certain words and he also has a sign language he speaks to me with – if he wants food he bangs his dish, if he wants and I have continued that habit. He definitely has tuxitude!

  10. I am luck I have two tuxedos cats ,Jacob is very loving and gets along with the other 3 cats he is very smart too, Jacob will be two in may his litter brother Simon Michael is a Tabby they were wider when I got them at 3 months old. I know Jacob Benjamin was special from the time he came home with me ,both kittens were behind the couch and when I rattier the treat bag he came running out so I told him his name would be bold Jacob because he was the first out. Miss Charlotte was not in a good home, the women who had her , she was the wife of the other one who die . she didnt like cats , Miss Charlotte does not get along with any but Bubba my Rottweiler , he keeps the peace . My old man Charlie 12 in March

    this year ( he gray) and nanny to the kittens dont get along. S he is very smart and loving with people only . she was called litter girl then I got her, I though Miss Charlotte Rose was a better name ,she my only girl Miss Charlotte , and Bubba will be 6 in July she is a black and white tux,Jacob is what I call a gray and white tux (when on face book I love Cats they call him a blue tux.

  11. I HAVE A TUXEDO CAT. SHE IS VERY AFFECTIONATE AND LOVES HER WHITE BELLY RUBBED. SHE IS PROBABLY THE SMARTEST AND MOST AFFECTIONATE CAT I HAVE EVER HAD. SHE APPEARED AT OUR BACKDOOR A FEW MONTHS AGO (JUST A KITTEN) AND WAS LOVING RIGHT FROM THE START. IT FELT LIKE SHE WAS MEANT TO BE OUR CAT. SOMETIMES I THINK SHE CAN READ MY MIND. I NAMED HER ZORRO AS THAT’S WHAT POPPED IN MY HEAD THE MOMENT I LAID EYES ON HER.

    1. I adopted a male tuxedo in September of 2006, from the local shelter. He was 1 and a half years old. A handsome BIG boy with beautiful markings! His name is Bowtie,because right below his nose is a white marking in the shape of a bowtie! So cool ! He is very smart,understands words,does a few tricks! Like if I put my hand up in front of him and say high 5, he gives me a high 5 ! I’m so lucky and happy to have him! He’s older now, but in good health and active! Thank GOD! Bowtie is a blessing to me! Im so glad I adopted a tuxie! My friend ????

  12. We have a 7 month Tux named Oliver. We got him when he was 8 weeks old. We fell in love with him right away. He is probably the smartest cat I have ever owned. He knows what “NO” means but he will try to test the boundaries from time to time. He is both sweet and crazy. He likes to watch TV and will play fetch. Started playing fetch at about 5 months. LOVES his toys. Annoys the heck out of our older cat. He decided the ornaments on the Christmas tree were his special toys. If the bathroom door isn’t closed when I flush the toilet, he will run into the bathroom to watch the toilet paper swirl down the toilet. He seems to want to know where it went and when it will come back. He will also sit on the edge of the bath tub between the shower curtain when you take a shower. He also likes to go into the shower when I am done to drink the water in the tub. He will sit on a stool in the kitchen to watch me cooking. He is very curious and wants to be in the middle of what ever we are doing. He also likes to nurse on certain blankets.

  13. Ira also hoards other peoples and pets belongings and is very meticulous when it comes to litter box organization and bathing his Russian Blue friend. He also likes sleeping in the bathtub or in my cat shaped backpack, standing in the shower while its on (but toward the back so he stays dry), and tail hunting (where he stacks and attacks any tail besides his). His natural enemy is a pink drawstring from a pair of sweatpants. He thinks it is a snake and slaps it into submission at least twice a night

  14. I have a tuxitude filled tuxedo cat named Ira. He’s the most un-cat like cat I’ve ever seen, being extremely affectionate, clingy, enjoys the company off two Mexican Hairless dogs and a very aloof Russian Blue Hair, and actually LOVES having his tummy scratched. I was wondering if anyone else’s tuxedo cats are more affectionate, like Ira, or did I just win the cat lottery and get an oddly loveable cat

    1. Hi Sunny,
      I wish I could say the same thing about my tuxedo cat named Babycakes. She is the most unaffectionate cat I have ever had, and I’ve had my share of cats. She would never think of snuggling up to me or sitting on my lap. She has never been traumatized and I have no clue as to why she is like that. She does know when I am sad and does come over to give me emotional support. She is a doll but i just wish she were affectionate like all my other cats were.

      1. My Bella Baby is the same. Not affectionate but loves to bite. She jumps on my bed and bites my baby toe. When I try to pet her, it becomes a fight. She always bites my fingers. She swipes at me but at night, she will crawl on my back and go to sleep. Go figure.

        1. Hi there,
          See more about cat biting here.
          https://www.catster.com/cat-behavior/cat-love-bites-what-do-they-mean
          https://www.catster.com/lifestyle/how-to-treat-cat-bites-puncture-wounds
          https://www.catster.com/cat-behavior/how-to-stop-kitten-biting

      2. My Sylvester is the same. She, yes she, has such and attitude. You pet her when she wants. Out of my five cats she is the only one like that.

  15. Our 1 year old tux named Roofie is pretty much crazy, does as he pleases, opens anything he can including doors ha can push open and was just clocked by my neighbor running 30 mph! He’s so fast in the house he slides on the floor and runs into everything!!

  16. Two tidies here, Oshanti (Shonti to her friends), and Deacon (Deke). They were born on my bed about 14 months ago, and they both have a plentiful supply of tuxitude!,,

  17. My beloved Tuxedo, Xena, has been gone for almost 2 years now. She was 17.5 years old, and I got her as a stray. She had tux-itude, showing off that furry white belly when she laid on the floor, but flipping over when I’d come near to pet it. What a turkey!

    She had an adorable pink nose. I also loved her white whiskers which would get singed in the winter as she just LOVED sitting on the heat register. She is greatly missed.

  18. two tuxedos here, one ‘proper’ one, as in he’s black and white and has a stunning tux, and a Burmese with a pure white tux, marked by a ‘waistcoat’ which I am waiting for him to button up. It’s getting closer all the time (LOL) Both talk, both have tuxitude, the Burmese is a crafty little chair thief, if you don’t give up your chair when he wants, he contrives many ways of getting behind you so you have to get up. The black and white is a bit of a bully, his ‘chase’ games end up with squeals because he’s biting, we have to be aware of his street fighting background (they are rescue cats) and be ready to run and sort them out when a fight starts. But then he shows his other side, the Burmese is terrified of fireworks and hides under the bed. Mr street fighter sits by the bed as if trying to offer comfort. He has been under the bed and fighting before now… but not when there’s genuine fear going on. Then he’s all supportive and caring. They’re both a joy to be with.

    1. I had a 14 1/2 year old tux named Malcolm. He disappeared summer before last. I still miss him so, so much. He would let me pull him to me, we slept together, he slept on my head in warm weather, and under the covers like a baby in cool. He was so curious and interested in everything…I understand your pain and share it.

  19. My daughter has a tuxedo munchkin named Sir Angus Young! He is quite the character and catitude if I must say so!
    With the daylight savings time change as of late, Sir Angus young did not receive the memo and decided that because of the change of one hour back, his morning routine was off. He decided that because he was being put out and not being fed at his normal stomachs internal clock time, that he would become our new meowing ROOSTER at 5:30am! Needless to say, we were up very early, Sir Angus has been fed, and I sit here now half asleep with him sleeping on my sofa happily at 7:30… Catitude Indeed!!! God love the Tuxedo!!!

  20. I have a 20 year old Tuxedo cat named Rosie. He is a bilateral cryptorchid, which is why he has a female name. By the time I found out he was male, he already knew his name. He was officially neutered when he was 10. He lives to travel, as long as it’s not to the vet (he has gone from Florida to Pennsylvania 3 times in the past 4 years), and even went tent camping with us last year. He loved the tent and didn’t want to leave when we had to break camp. He actually went to the neighbor’s tent and tried to get in! He went deaf a few years ago, and he has a small thyroid nodule which we have been controlling with a compounded medicine which he gets in his ear folds, twice daily. He has also been in the early stages of kidney failure for a few years, but he still eats good, drinks good and generally enjoys his life. By the way, he came to us when he was a bit more than a kitten, hungry and crying. We fed him and offered more food and a home and he took us up on it. Best thing he ever did for himself and also for us. He is an absolute angel.

  21. I recently got a tuxie his name is Max, he is three months old and definetly has tuxitude. He is the sweetest pet that I have ever met!

  22. My wife and I are catsitting our grandcats Dmitri, a male tuxedo, along with his cohort Anastasia, a long-haired black and white bicolor, while our son and daughter-in-law are in Switzerland for a year.

    Dmitri definitely has tuxitude, but once I have gotten to know him, he is a lover. But still with plenty of tuxitude. I came up with this parody of Kenny Rogers song: “You’ve got to know when to hold him, know when to scold him, know when to walk away, know when to run…”

  23. Buddy Tuxedo was a stray who used to come out to meet me at 6 am on the way to the subway. I finally was able to find out that he was cared for by neighbors but lived at no one’s house in particular so I asked to take him home and he’s been with me ever since. Tuxitude describes him to a “T”. He loves to box and be spun around in my desk chair. But his most unusual pastime is waiting on the bathroom sink for water to come out of the faucet. I’m not sure if he understands that I have to turn it on but he watches very intently until it does in hopes of getting a drink. I fill his dish from the same faucet while he watches but it doesn’t impress him in the least. He’s also made a bed of everything soft in the apartment and tries to spend napping time in each equally. He does love watching TV but has far more discriminating taste than I do and goes to sleep when the action stops. He’s very particular about where and how he sleeps on me, however. His position varies only by which piece of furniture I am on but is always the same on each one. He’s a real talker and I have noticed that he always makes the same sounds in the same circumstances. He has at least a 1/2 dozen recognizable sounds and another 1/2 dozen I am discovering. I’m sure there are more but it took me a while to discover I was actually learning to speak Feline.

  24. Buddy Tuxedo was a stray who used to come out to meet me at 6 am on the way to the subway. I finally was able to find out that he was cared for by neighbors but lived at no one’s house in particular so I asked to take him home and he’s been with me ever since. Tuxitude describes him to a “T”. He loves to box and be spun around in my desk chair. But his most unusual pastime is waiting on the bathroom sink for water to come out of the faucet. I’m not sure if he understands that I have to turn it on but he watches very intently until it does in hopes of getting a drink. I fill his dish from the same faucet while he watches but it doesn’t impress him in the least. He’s also made a bed of every software soft in the apartment and tries to spend napping time in each equally. He does love watching TV but has far more discriminating taste than I do and go to sleep when the action stops. He’s very particular about where and how he sleeps on me, however. His position varies only by which piece of furniture I am on but is always the same on each one. He’s a real talker and I have noticed that he always makes the same sounds in the same circumstances. He has at least a 1/2 dozen recognizable sounds and another 1/2 dozen I am discovering. I’m sure there is more but it took me a while to discover I was actually learning to speak Feline.

  25. I have a tuxedo cat named Chloe who looks like the Chloe pictured in this article. I rescued her off the street. She is an amazing cat. Smart, loyal, funny, sweet, good-natured…she’s great in every way.

  26. Ms CoCo Cherie has brought us so much joy!! She was born the week of the eclipse last year!! Her fur is deep CoCo brown!! She has her little tuxitude!!! She loves our Sheltie and kisses him every morning!! She follows my husband everywhere he goes!! She runs to the door to greet us when she hears us come!! We love her personality!!

  27. My male tuxedo cat is named Puddy Tat. Because he looks just like Sylvester. Also he has the same personality. He likes to be outside to take care of his business (which means we don’t have any indoor cat scent or kitty litter odor, thank goodness). However, every once in a while he does like to come to the front door w/ some kinda dead animal lower on the food chain than him, in between his CHOPS. Showing off, I believe. I do not encourage that behavior. I like him nevertheless. He seems to like using my feet as pillows.

  28. I have an 8 year old Tuxedo cat named Boots! He is the sweetest little cat that has ever roamed the world! Although he’s quite lazy, he is happy to see you when you come home from work. Boots loves to be pet, and I have never seen him bite or hiss EVER! He’s great with other people (once he gets to know you), and if he feels he’s in danger, he runs away and hides, but always tries to keep an eye on me. Such a loyal and peaceful cat may never walk this earth again! No one would ever want to hurt him!

  29. I have a 3 yr old female tuxie, Smaug. She is amazing best cat I have ever had. She eats spiders, bugs, and has the best cat food I can find. She loves Nellie our 7 yr old Golden they sleep together. However when she doesn’t want to be messed with she let’s you know. Or when it’s time to eat she meows loud. But when we all go to sleep my disabled wife has our dog laying on her legs so her tremors are not overwhelming and Smaug sleeps holding my hand, it wasn’t always like that. But after another cat bit me she defended me almost to the death. I hope I have my lil dragon for a good long while. I love her so much. Even comes when I Call her.

  30. I have a male tuxedo cat who is 3 years old. His name is Leon. He can be a little jerk at times, mainly with my other cat Phoenix, but he is so loving and loves to cuddle. He always lays on my chest before I go to sleep. Sometimes I will wake up in the middle of the night to him on my chest. He is also very smart. I feed my cats canned food twice a week, since it makes Leon sick, but he seems to know which days he is getting it. It’s incredible, really. He also can be pretty vocal. And sometimes he will run around the apartment like a maniac, LOL.

  31. We have a beautiful boy named Oreo but more often goes bu Moosh. We adopted he and his sister at about 3 months old. She is a pretty tabby. He truly believes the world is his and we don’t disagree. He is a lover though and has a great friendship with his Golden retriever sister

  32. I have a tuxedo kitty named Mitzi. She is probably 5 months. She’s not kept inside (becouse my mom hates fur) so we keep her in the garage. Shes so friendly and non-caring about whats going on. Probably the only cat that has let me pet her belly, or get to use her claws without hurting me. She knows the boundaries.

  33. My cat is named Monkey Boy because he is nothing but trouble! He’s also the smartest cat (by far) that I’ve ever been around. One of the few cats I’ve ever seen that will fetch. Throw his mouse as far as you can, and he’ll go tearing after it, trot back with it, and drop it at your feet. Over and over and over again. And not scared of anything. Never met a stranger – friendly to everybody, and extremely affectionate with me.

  34. I have a male tuxedo named Bailey and he definitely fits all the criteria! He has lots of tuxitude! He thinks he’s a dog and rules the house of three dogs! Very local to me had since 5 weeks old and only 1lb. He’s got a little black nose too that makes his white mask and collar so cute wish I could attach pics. You can follow him @baileycatthestud on Instagram. (Or just see his picture)

  35. My tuxedo girl is Sophie. She was rescued by my sister at 8 weeks sitting in the middle of the road daring anyone to hit her. She was talking when we rescued her and has never stopped. She is a cuddler on her terms and very vocal about feeding time, definitely full of tuxitude. Her two brothers, 1 a russian blue rescue boy named Jax and a 12 yr old brown and silver Shih Tzu named Buddy are great friends and the three love to play chase all over the house.

  36. Our tuxie Abby is a rescue with attitude, the queen of the house and thinks she’s in charge of the schedule and seating plans! Love her to bits!

  37. I have a blue tuxedo cat named Mr. Tobes. He is one of the most handsome cats I’ve had. He is very chatty, and such a sweetheart. He seems to think life is a show that’s all about him!

  38. I have a Tuexdo cat that started out wild in my barn that we tamed down he has always followed me around like a puppy dog. We named him Charlie, he sleeps with me every night and loves attention, comes running if you call his name. He also gets along with the other cats and took in my daughter’s kitten when she brought her home.

  39. I have a Selkirk Rex tuxie with major tuxitude. He slaps me and my other cats around unless he wants food or treats. I love him anyways. He was a rescue like all the rest.

  40. Betty Stoneburner

    I have a lovely little lady Tuxedo….her name is Lady Tuxie. She will be a year old next month. She is every inch the little lady even with her full mustache! (I also have her brother, Sir William, who is a tan tabby.) These two have brought such joy to my life. I thought I was going to have to send them back to the friend I got them from because William would not quite clawing me. (They were raised outdoors for the first 5 months of their lives.) Every time I thought about losing them, I cried. Luckily, William decided to settle down so I could keep both of them. Tuxie is curled in the chair next to me right now. Sleeping and purring away. Love ’em both!

  41. I had Caaesar for 19 years In addition he had a square bow tie on his chest, and a black apot where the jacket button would have been. He was so agile, he could have been in the Russian Cat Circus (yes, there really is one).

  42. V interesting. Pepper and Leo are my tuxies. Pepper is the ‘queen’ of the house and does her own thing and Leo is the mischievious one who loves being petted and being outside. Getting a third tuxie soon. Love em ????????

  43. I have a male tuxie with a whole lot of tuxitude. We have 4, and he is the scamp, the daredevil, the mischief maker and the escape artist of the bunch.

  44. I have a male tuxedo and he can get quite the tuxitude with his older brother who is a tabby. He bites him in the neck & butt and tries tripping him when he walks past him by grabbing his back legs

  45. Very educational.Thank you.We owned few tuxedos and somehow they have been smarter and more loyal than others.

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