I know when I adopted my first tuxedo cat Madison, I was confused about what breed he was. I soon discovered, he was a ‘house cat’ (not really any breed) with tuxedo markings. Are you confused yet? Don’t be, in this post I am going to unpack the question, what breed are tuxedo cats?
What Breed Are Tuxedo Cats?
Tuxedo cats are not a breed. The term tuxedo was coined to felines who have black and white markings on their cat coats. Cats who display black coats with white underbellies and necks really resemble the traditional tuxedo a person thinks of when they hear the word tuxedo, but any black and white cat passes. Even though tuxedo cats make you think of formal suits for a man, a tuxedo cat can be male or female. They can be any type of breed, they can have short-hair or long-hair! The term is purely referring to the markings of the feline coat.
What Breed Are Tuxedo Cats?
What Do Tuxedo Cats Look Like?
Tuxedo cats are any cat that is black and white. These bi-colored felines can be any single cat breed you can think of including Manx, American Curl, American shorthair, Persian and just about any other cat breed you can think of; and of course an average house-cat (like my Finnegan) which is basically a mix of breeds. Some black and white kitty cats greatly resemble an actual tuxedo suit which is completely black with a white underbelly and white neck.
This is where I was initially confused. I eventually understand that piebald cats were not a breed, but I had no idea black and white cats could have long-hair or short-hair or medium-hair. Who knew!
Common Tuxedo Cat Name: Felix
You may know of the tuxedo cat named Felix. This cartoon character was created in Pat Sullivan’s studio in 1919. This cat became super popular and paved the way for more cartoon characters to penetrate the silent film industry. Adults and children from far and wide rushed to see Felix, the beloved black and white kitty cat.
Needless to say, this generated some interest in cats with similar colorings. The name Felix then became (and still is) one of the most popular cat names among piebald cats. Thousands of tuxedo cat parents clamored to name their cherished fur babies Felix. I remember my Grandma had a black and white cat, his name was Felix! It made perfect sense.
Are Tuxedo Cats Always Male?
Nope! Another common assumption is that Felix, AKA piebald, AKA tuxedo cat is always a male. This is not the case. Tuxedo cats can be female or male, just like they can be different breeds, long-haired or short-haired. The unique and aesthetic pattern of their coat is not gender specific.
How Long Do Tuxedo Cats Live?
They are very ‘typical’ as far as longevity is concerned. A tuxie can live up to 20 years (even longer) but it is not incredibly surprising if they start to show signs around 10 years old and can even die of natural causes around that age. The average age is between 10-20.
My tuxedo male cat Madison passed away when he was about 12 years old from complications with FIV. I adopted him when he was probably about 6 years old, although there was no way of knowing for sure. He had been on the streets in Philadelphia, picked up and brought to a rescue who used a cat toy store for adoptions. I took him home as an FIV positive pet and he had a great life. Asthma would get him the most, and eventually he got real sick and could not fight off his attacker. I think ultimately he was suffering with cancer. But had it not been for the FIV, I believe he had at least another 3-5 years of good, quality living.
This is Madison.
So the long and short of it is, when people ask, what breed are tuxedo cats? You can have a tuxedo 101 tutorial with them and explain, there is no such breed! The markings are only the result of a genetic combination of black genes and white genes mixed together. These colors are what give the cat her name. She can be any breed.
And now over to you! Who else has a handsome or beautiful tuxedo cat and where can we see pictures?
Why Is Kritter Kommunity Your Trusted Pet Partner?
Lisa Illman is the Founder of Kritter Kommunity, LLC. Not only does she have one tuxedo male adult cat currently, she has had him since he was a baby kitten; so she knows well the tuxedo kitten life cycle, the tuxedo teenage cat life cycle and the adult tuxedo cat life cycle (he is currently 11 years old). Prior to her cat Finnegan, Lisa had two FIV positive cats for over a decade. One of the FIV positive cats was a tuxedo male cat. Lisa’s love for animals her entire life (she also had a poodle and parakeet growing up plus was a caretaker for her roommate’s 3 pets during college) and networking with the pet community for over a decade, enable her to find top content for her readers.