About Tuxedo Cats

The Patterns and Personalities of Tuxedo Cats

Photo of Tuxedo Cat on Chair
Tuxedo Cat on Chair. Getty Images / Judy Davidson

A Prominent Bi-Color Cat Pattern is the Tuxedo

Tuxedo cats' appeal comes from the stark black and white contrast of their coat, combined with the pattern, which is reminiscent of formal wear for men. For purposes of Tuxedo Cats featured here or in an image gallery, any combination of the black and white pattern qualifies as a tuxedo.

It had been many years since my last tuxedo cat, but in Spring of 2013, "tuxies" Sage and Gaither, were adopted into my family.

They have brought laughter, tears, and joy into our lives, and we wonder today how we could have gone so many years without these amazing, loving cats. They can be clever little trouble-makers too and have an unerring sense of mischief. Sage wakes me up at night banging on the kitchen cabinet doors, which have no handles. In the morning I find two or three doors open, as well as a couple of pull-out drawers. I've even found him asleep in the morning in a partially open cupboard. You can be assured that this cat will be the first one fed in the morning!

Other bicolor cats may be red (orange) and white, or blue (gray) and white. A striking example of a red and white bi-color cat is Mijo, a Japanese Bobtail, with red markings on his forehead, ears, and tail.

In my opinion, the most comprehensive article on bicolor cats was written by Sarah Hartwell: Beautiful Bicolours - Tuxedo And Magpie Cats

Tuxedo Cats are Black and White

The tuxedo pattern is very formal, named by the attire human men wear for formal occasions. Nothing is so dramatic as seeing a "tuxie," as they are affectionately called, dressed in his best bib and tucker. Some tuxies also wear "spats," or white boots. Tuxedo cats are truly the gentlemen of cat color patterns.

Female tuxedo cats are common too - no gender conflict here!

On the subject of female tuxedo cats, a few years ago, Maggie, Dr. Magreatha Wallace, pawed out a sort of tongue-in-cheek article (I'm sure sincerely meant by Maggie,) called "Facts About Tuxedo Cats. Under the heading of "Tuxedo Cats and the Arts," Maggie wrote:

  • In recognition of their formal attire, tuxedo cats are the only felines admitted to performances of the metropolitan opera.
  • The musical style known as 'The Blues' is widely acknowledged as having been inspired by the nighttime serenades of lovesick tuxies.
  • William Shakespeare owned a tuxedo cat, as did Beethoven and Sir Isaac Newton.

Other variations on the tuxedo theme include a white striped nose and the "masked tuxedo," with white around the chin and nose, or white tips on the nose. Another variation infamously called the "Kitler," features a white "mustache.".

Variations on the Tuxedo Theme

One of the most famous tuxedo cats was Socks, known as the First Cat during the Clinton White House administration.

Famous Cartoon Tuxedos

Probably even more famous than Socks is Sylvester the Cat, of Looney Tunes fame. Sylvester has white jowls, a long bib extending down his belly, white feet, and a white tip on his tail.

He is rather bottom-heavy, which makes his endless stalking of Tweety Bird in cartoons quite funny. Sylvester also talks with a lisp, while innocent little Tweety Bird talks baby talk: "I tot I taw a putty tat sneaking up on me...." Among all of my own cat collectibles, Sylvester leads the rest in sheer quantity. I have several coffee mugs (one molded in the shape of his face, a cookie jar, nightlight, Christmas decorations, and miniature Sylvester and Tweety figurines. (Tweetie, the {"wascal"} can often be seen holding a sledgehammer behind his back.

Even older than Sylvester, Felix the Cat was created during the 1920s silent film era and was featured in cartoons, animation, and assorted merchandise. Even today the Felix clock, with its long black tail wagging back and forth, is a favorite cat collectible.

Although the true creator or creators is a matter of dispute, Pat Sullivan owned the rights to the Felix character during his lifetime. Felix is all black except for a white chin (and very large white eyes.)

Although not as old as Felix, The Cat in the Hat has been around for over 50 years now, and collectibles from Dr. Seuss's favorite character, are much in demand. They include books, DVDs, ceramic likenesses, costumes, even an X-Box game.

Fun Names for Tuxedo Cats

A quick survey around the Internet, came up with several names for Tuxedo cats (It's left up to the reader to interpret the reasoning behind some of them): Charlie Chaplin, Boots, Domino, Mittens, Oreo, Panda, Peppie Le pew, Socks, Spot, Sox, Sylvester, Tux, Tuxxy, Felix.

Cat Calendar Tuxedo Cats

Because of their striking color patterns, several years ago Tuxedo cats were selected as the cats to be featured as the color ​pattern to be featured in May. They remind me so much of the traditional male garb for Spring Prom. Just as party dresses come in many varieties, so do the tuxedo cats in these galleries. In fact, just about every variation on black and white is allowed.