Call Us! Button

Call Us! 713-893-0285

Request an Appointment Button

Book Now!
A Celebration Of Tuxedo Cats
January 15, 2024

Do you have a tuxedo kitty? If so, you might want to mark January 29th on your calendar: it’s Tuxedo Cat Day! Fluffy is adorable no matter what she wears, but she looks even cuter in formal wear. In this article, a local Bellaire, TX vet discusses tuxedo cats.

What Are Tuxie Cats?

Also called the Tuxie, Felix cat, Jellicle cat, or piebald, a tuxie is a black cat with a white chest, face, neck, and/or belly. Some tuxies have white paws.; Not all tuxies are black and white, though: a gray cat with the same coloring is also technically a tuxie.

Some tuxedo cats have white fur that is longer than their dark fur. Fluffy’s coat can be long, short, or even curly. These cuties can also have any color of eyes, such as yellow, green, or amber. Your feline pal may even have heterochromia, or different-colored eyes.

Are Tuxie Kitties Common?

It isn’t rare for Fluffy to put on a tux. In fact, tuxedo patterns are one of the most commonly seen coat colors in shelters. This may work against them, since some people prefer pets with more unique outfits.

What Kind Of Temperament Do Tuxies Have?

Our feline buddies all have his or her own unique personalities. The breed of your feline pal can play a role in her character, but her history is also important. Kitties are often more outgoing and friendly if they were raised underfoot and socialized.

What Cat Breeds Are Tuxie Kitties?

Several different breeds can sport this cute coloring, including the Domestic Shorthair, Turkish Van, Turkish Angora, American Shorthair, British Shorthair, Maine Coon, and Manx.

Are There More Boy Or Girl Tuxies?

Roughly half of cats in formal attire are male, with the other half of course female. (Fun fact: One might assume that this is true for all coat colors and patterns, but it isn’t. The vast majority of ginger and calico cats are male.)

Why Do Some Cats Wear Tuxedo Coats?

Fluffy’s striking tuxedo pattern has more to do with her genetics than anything else. Although we still have a lot to learn about kitty genetics, research suggests that pigment cells move during fetal development. All Tuxies have the genes for black fur, as well as those for white fur, which they sport on their torsos, faces, or tips. In a nutshell, it seems that genes called melanocytes, which are responsible for color, prevent the dark pigment from moving to certain areas of a kitten’s body.

Cats’ white coloring is graded from 1 to 10, with 10 being all white. Tuxies are usually between one and four, depending on how much white they have.

Where Are Tuxedo Cats From?

No one knows for sure where the tuxie first appeared, but we do know that bicolor kitties have been found in Egyptian tombs. (We’ll leave the story of how Fluffy convinced the ancient Egyptians she was a deity for another time.)

Cats aren’t the only animals to wear similar patterns. Several animals have similar markings, including cats. Many fish have paler undersides and darker backs, making them harder to spot from above and below. Unfortunately for the fish, that camouflage isn’t foolproof, but it doesn’t hurt either.

Who Are Some Famous Tuxedo Kitties?

Quite a few famous tuxedos have stolen our hearts over the years, and the list is sure to keep growing.

Let’s look at the cartoon celebrekitties first. Felix The Cat, a star of silent movies from the 1920s, is one of the oldest. Even today, a century later, Felix still pops up in memorabilia. The kitty in Dr. Suess’ beloved book, The Cat In The Hat, is also dressed in a tuxedo.

Of course, Sylvester — or technically Sylvester J. Pussycat Sr. — from the Looney Toons universe may be the most famous. In 1945, Sylvester made his official debut in a short called Life With Feathers. That film also marked the beginning of the feline’s tumultuous relationships with his feathered roommates. He continues to appear in cartoons today. The beloved sputtering furball has now gone on to become the mascot of the USS Alameda County. He also appears on the emblems of the 45th Reconnaissance Squadron and the 151st Fighter-Interceptor Squadron. The kitty also has the not-so-distinctive honor of having died more often than any other character in Looney Toons. He also had a short stint as spokeskitty for 9 Lives cat food, but was overshadowed by Morris, the famous ginger cat.

T.S. Eliot referred to tuxies as ‘Jellicle cats’ in his 1939 poetry book, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.

Several real-life tuxies have also pounced and purred their way into the spotlight. One, named Tuxedo Stan, actually ran for mayor back in 2012. Socks, the Clintons’ kitty, also made the news during his tenure as First Cat.

Then there’s Sparky, who made headlines back in 1998 when he inherited 6.3 million dollars from his owner. That made him the world’s richest cat. No word on how he spent the money, but we assume he enjoyed unlimited catnip and kitty gadgets.

How Do I Name My Tuxedo Cat?

It’s always cute to see the different names people choose for their pets, and how those dogs and cats often embody those names purrfectly.

Here are a few fitting names for kitties in formal attire:

  • Jeeves
  • Jasper
  • Felix
  • Sylvester
  • Domino
  • Socks
  • Oreo
  • Penguin
  • Piano
  • Soccer Ball
  • Orca

If you’re considering expanding your pet family beyond just cats, read more about how to select the perfect pet in our article ‘Choosing A Family Dog‘.

What Is The Best Way To Take Care Of A Tuxedo Cat?

Fluffy has the same basic needs as any other furball! She needs good food, clean water, a fresh litterbox, and regular veterinary care to maintain her health. To get that motor going, you’ll also need to provide lots of toys and playtime, as well as beds, kitty furniture, sunbeams, and, of course, boxes. Ask your Bellaire, TX veterinary clinic for more information.

What Are The Benefits Of Owning A Tuxedo Cat?

Every cat is unique! That said, tuxies often tend to be friendly, charming, playful, affectionate, outspoken, and lots of fun. Fluffy is a great pet, no matter what outfit she wears. Another benefit of getting a formally-dressed pet? Your cat will match with any outfit or décor, and always look dashing. You might even be able to get some cute ‘void kitty’ photos of your pet, depending on her markings.

Keep Your Tuxedo Cat Healthy By Visiting Your Bellaire, TX Veterinarian

All cats should be microchipped, spayed or neutered, and kept up-to-date on vaccines, parasite control, and examinations. We also cannot emphasize enough how important it is to keep your cat inside. Keep your tuxedo cat healthy and up-to-date with all necessary check-ups and vaccinations by visiting ‘Veterinary Wellness & Pet Vaccinations‘ for comprehensive care. Ask your Bellaire, TX veterinarians for specific care instructions.

In Conclusion: Tuxedo cats are very charming and dashing. Many breeds can sport this coat coloring, which can also appear on cats with long, short, or even curly fur. While this isn’t an unusual pattern, it’s always cute. Of course, no matter what color your pet is, it’s crucial to keep up with her veterinary care needs.

Our Advice on A Celebration Of Tuxedo Cats in 2024

Is there any historical or cultural significance attached to tuxedo cats in different parts of the world?

Tuxedo cats hold various historical and cultural significances across the world. In ancient Egypt, bicolor cats, including tuxedo patterns, were depicted in tomb art, symbolizing their revered status. Tuxedo cats have also appeared in literature, such as T.S. Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats,” where they are referred to as Jellicle cats. In modern culture, famous tuxedo cats like Felix the Cat and Sylvester from Looney Tunes have become iconic characters. These cats are often associated with luck, charm, and playfulness, making them beloved companions globally.

What is the average lifespan of a tuxedo cat, and does their coat pattern have any bearing on their longevity?

The average lifespan of a tuxedo cat, like other domestic cats, ranges from 12 to 15 years, though some can live into their 20s with proper care. The tuxedo coat pattern itself has no bearing on their longevity. A cat’s lifespan is influenced by factors such as genetics, diet, environment, and veterinary care. Regular check-ups, vaccinations, a balanced diet, and a safe indoor environment are essential for ensuring a long, healthy life for any cat, regardless of their coat pattern.

Are there any specific dietary requirements or considerations for tuxedo cats to maintain their health and coat quality?

Tuxedo cats, like all cats, benefit from a balanced diet rich in high-quality protein to maintain their health and coat quality. Ensure their food includes essential fatty acids, such as omega-3 and omega-6, to promote a shiny, healthy coat. Provide a mix of wet and dry food to support hydration and dental health. Regularly monitor their weight to prevent obesity, which can lead to other health issues. Fresh water should always be available. Consult a veterinarian for personalized dietary recommendations based on your tuxedo cat’s age, health, and activity level.

How does the popularity and adoption rate of tuxedo cats compare to other coat patterns in animal shelters?

Tuxedo cats are quite common in animal shelters, and while they are adored for their striking appearance, their popularity and adoption rates can vary. Unlike rarer coat patterns, tuxedo cats may sometimes be overlooked in favor of more unique-looking cats. However, their charming and affectionate personalities often win over potential adopters. Shelters frequently report that black and black-and-white cats, including tuxedos, may take longer to be adopted compared to cats with more distinctive or colorful patterns. Promoting their individual personalities and endearing qualities can help increase their adoption rates.

What are some tips for photographing tuxedo cats to best capture their unique markings and charm?

Photographing tuxedo cats effectively involves focusing on lighting, contrast, and patience. Use natural light to avoid harsh shadows and highlight their distinct markings. A contrasting background, such as light-colored surfaces, can make their black and white fur stand out. Capture their personality by engaging them with toys or treats to elicit natural, playful expressions. Get down to their eye level for more intimate shots. Patience is key—take multiple photos to catch the perfect moment. Ensuring the cat feels comfortable and relaxed will help in capturing their unique charm and character.

Do you have questions about your kitty’s health or care? Contact us if you have any questions or concerns about your cat’s health or care. As your local Bellaire, TX pet hospital, we are dedicated to providing great service, and are always here to help!