You’ve likely come across a Tuxedo cat before. And it’s easy to see why their stunning two-color coats inspired the name.
If you’re lucky, you’ll even come across a tuxedo cat with markings that look like a bow tie on their necks!
But how are tuxedo cats different from other cats? What do potential owners need to know about these furry friends before they decide to adopt one? Keep reading to find out more about a tuxedo cat’s personality and how to properly care for them.
When we talk about tuxedo cats, we’re referring to a specific coat pattern on a domestic house cat. It’s not a different breed of cat, like a Bengal or Sphinx.
Tuxedo cats get their name because of what the typical color pattern looks like. Because of the common black back and white belly, these cats can look like they’re dressed in little tuxedos.
But tuxedo cats don’t just include those that have a black back and a white belly. They include any bicolor pattern for black and white cats or even gray and white cats.
For example, you can have a cat that’s completely black except for a few spots on its face. Others will have little to no white markings on their face and instead have white necks and paws.
Many tuxedos also have a “mustache” marking! Others will be mitted, which means they’re entirely black except for their paws.
Patterns will vary greatly from cat to cat, but so can the coloring. For example, some tuxedos can be gray and silver.
The tuxedo cat pattern can show up in different breeds, including but not limited to:
But other breeds, like the Bengal or Siamese, can’t be born with tuxedo coats.
How big your tuxedo cat will grow depends on what breed it is.
For example, a Maine Coon tuxedo can weigh between 8 and 18 lbs, but a Munchkin tuxedo will usually weigh between 6 and 9 lbs.
If the size of your cat is important to you, you can still adopt the tuxedo cat of your dreams! Just look for breeds that fit the size you’re looking for. Alternatively, you can adopt a fully grown adult since you already know what size they are.
While there is no specific tuxedo cat temperament or personality, you can know what their personality will likely be based on what breed they are.
There are three breeds in particular that seem to produce the most tuxedo cats:
So let’s look at each of these breeds and see what their personalities are like!
First up is the American Shorthair. This is one of the most common Tuxedo cat breeds. American Shorthairs are easygoing, loving, and playful. Although they love to play, they’re not as intense or as energetic as a Bengal cat.
They’re also sociable and love to spend time on your lap.
Next is the Maine Coon. This gentle giant often gets called the “dog” of the cat world because of their obedient, loving nature. They love to meet new people and greet your guests.
This breed is sweet-tempered and gentle.
Finally, let’s look at the Turkish Angora. These cats are smart, affectionate, and playful. They get along with children, visitors, and almost anyone!
This breed likes to stay close to their human but doesn’t like staying in your lap for too long.
Some myths say tuxedo coats are more intelligent than other cats, but there’s no evidence that a specific coat color will influence your cat’s intelligence.
That’s why your cat’s intelligence will depend on its breed and not on its pattern.
For example, the Turkish Angora breed is known for being smart. But some of the smartest breeds, such as Abyssinians, Siamese, and Bengals, don’t have black-and-white coloring.
Just like intelligence, the affection level of your cat won’t depend on its color markings. That's why it’s difficult to tell whether a tuxedo cat will be more affectionate than another type of cat pattern.
There’s one study that may suggest otherwise. 1,200 cat owners were polled in this study to analyze cat behaviors based on colors. Owners with black and white cats (tuxedo) had the highest self-reported scores for aggression in handling, veterinary visits, and everyday interactions. These scores were tied with gray and white cats (also considered tuxedos) and female orange cats.
These cats wanted to be handled by humans on their own terms.
However, this data is from a single study, and the statistical analysis showed only minor differences. If you want to adopt an affectionate tuxedo cat, you can ask your breeder about the different temperaments of the kittens in their litter — or you can interact with potential cats you want to adopt to test them out.
Have you decided to bring a tuxedo cat into your family? You’re in for a treat!
But caring for your cat is vital to helping them stay happy and healthy. Every responsible pet owner should include the following routines to care for their tuxedo.
For example, you should play with your tuxedo cat every day. If you don’t have other cats or pets for your tuxedo to play with, you may need to spend more time entertaining them by yourself.
By playing with your tuxedo, you’ll allow them to expend some energy and stay fit. This can mitigate behavioral problems.
Any cat that gets bored will be prone to behavioral issues. For example, they can start knocking things over or chewing on your shoes.
You’ll also need to provide plenty of enrichment, such as toys and scratching posts. Cats that get bored can often scratch furniture — redirect them to a scratching post when that happens.
To prevent your tuxedo from getting bored, consider implementing a toy rotation schedule. That way, they won’t get bored by playing with the same toys over and over again.
Next, make sure to provide fresh water at all times. Cats are especially picky with their water and don’t like stagnant water. That’s why you may catch your tuxedo drinking from the sink or playing with their water bowl.
If you’re struggling to get your tuxedo cat to drink from a regular water bowl, consider getting a water fountain instead. This will keep the water circulating at all times.
Provide one litter box for each cat. If you only have space for one litter box, you may need to clean it several times per day. But when you have one litter box per cat, you can clean it once per day only.
Additionally, you’ll need to brush your tuxedo cat’s teeth twice a week. To maintain healthy teeth, you also have the option to supplement teeth brushing with dental treats or dental toys.
You’ll also need to brush your tuxedo cat regularly. The frequency will depend on your tuxedo cat’s breed and how long its fur is.
If your tuxedo has a short coat, brush them at least once weekly. But if your tuxedo has a long coat, it can get matted if not cared for properly.
Brush twice a week at minimum and adjust your frequency depending on your cat’s needs. For example, some Maine Coon owners choose to brush their cats every single day to prevent tangling.
A highly active cat may also require more grooming than a lap cat when they have long hair. This is also true for outdoor cats. Your tuxedo can get dirty or get branches and other items in their coats when going on outside adventures.
Finally, remember to trim your tuxedo cat’s nails regularly. A good trim once every two to three weeks should be enough.
Trimming a cat’s nails can feel daunting at first. If this is the case for you, consider bringing your cat to a professional groomer. Over time, you can learn to trim your cat’s nails from your groomer and get more comfortable with this vital process.
Cats are generally healthy pets that can be around your family for several years. But are there any health concerns specific to tuxedos?
The specific health issues will depend on the breed of your tuxedo cat. But as a general rule, you should watch out for these common cat health concerns.
The first is obesity. The American Animal Hospital Association considers pet obesity an epidemic, and this is true for cats as well as dogs. 87% of vets consider obesity a disease, and 72% of pet parents say the same. Additionally, 45% of cat parents consider their pets overweight or obese.
Some breeds are less at risk for obesity because of their higher energy levels, but if you have a less active tuxedo, such as an American Shorthair, you may need to be more proactive with its health.
For example, make sure to play with your cat if you aren’t already. You should also provide them with healthy sources of food — and make sure not to overfeed them, either.
The right portion of food for your tuxedo cat will depend on your cat’s size as well as the type of food. Each cat food bag should have instructions on what to feed your cat, depending on age and size.
If you think you may be overfeeding or underfeeding your cat, use a kitchen scale instead of a measuring cup to be more precise.
When in doubt, consult your vet to find out if your tuxedo cat is at a healthy weight for its breed and size. 41.4% of pet parents say they receive the best dietary recommendations from a vet clinic compared to a pet store or online sources.
If your cat struggles with obesity, you may need to watch out for other diseases, such as diabetes and urinary bladder stones.
But obesity isn’t the only disease a tuxedo cat may have to deal with. Dental diseases are highly common in cats, especially if you don’t provide proper dental care.
Cats can also get parasites. While outdoor cats can be more likely to contract parasites due to being exposed to more risks, indoor cats aren’t immune. Make sure to get your cat checked at least once per year at the vet — this can include heartworm tests as well.
Some parasitic worms found in cats can be dangerous for humans, too. So make sure not to underestimate the risks of parasites.
Finally, some cats can develop heart disease as well as cancer. The best way to screen for these issues is to get an annual checkup for your tuxedo cat and to contact your vet if anything seems out of the ordinary.
The average lifespan for most cat breeds is 10-20 years. Some cats even live beyond the 20-year span, although it’s not as common.
Keep in mind that giving them access to the outdoors can negatively affect your cat’s health. Parasites are especially risky, but they also have more risk of injury than indoor cats.
Now that you know that tuxedo cats aren’t a breed, you can make the right choice when it’s time to adopt your furry friend.
For example, consider adopting a short-haired tuxedo instead of a long-haired tuxedo if you’re looking for a low-maintenance coat.
Are you a resident of a rental property looking to adopt a pet? Consider talking to your landlord about PetScreening.
Not only can PetScreening allow you to create a digital pet profile to keep all your cat’s information in one place, but we’re also dedicated to making the world a more pet-inclusive place. Help us accomplish our mission by reaching out to your landlord about us.