7 Pawsitively Fascinating Facts About Tuxedo Cats

fun facts about tuxedo cats

Tuxedo cats are named because their bi-colored coats, which resemble little tuxedos. Although most are black and white, their coats can be any color, including gray, silver, orange, and even tortoiseshell with white spots. Tuxedo cats, however, are much more than their wonderful looks.

Want more? Check out these fascinating facts about nature's most dapper kitties.


Watch Now: 8 Surprising Facts About Tuxedo Cats

  • 01 of 07

    Tuxedo Cats Are Actually Piebald

    Close-up of a tuxedo cat looking into the camera

    Tuxedo cats aren't a specific of cat. Rather, they got their name from the tuxedo-like bi-colored (also known as piebald) patterns on their coats.

    Tuxedo cats don't have to be black and white, as we previously stated. Their coats can be short, shaggy, long, or silky, depending on the breed, such as Maine Coon, Turkish Angora, American Shorthair, or British Shorthair.

    So, what causes their bi-colored coats? Read on for a little science lesson.

  • 02 of 07

    Tuxedo Cats' Genetics Cause Their Coat Variations


    Tuxedo cats, like calico and cats, have elegant duds—err, coats—thanks to their genetics.

    It was long believed that their bi-colored coats were the result of "slow" or "sluggish" pigment cells that couldn't reach all parts of the kitty embryo before it was fully formed.

    However, a more recent theory may simply undermine this long-held belief. Pigment cells travel and reproduce randomly throughout embryonic development, according to researchers, and they don't follow any specific genetic instructions for coat color.

    Although calico, tortoiseshell, and tuxedo cats have some genetic similarities that determine their markings, there is one significant difference: most and tortoiseshell cats are female (due to the same genetic information that determines their coat colors), but tuxedo cats have an equal number of males and females.

  • 03 of 07

    Tuxedo Cats Were Worshipped in Ancient Egypt


    It's common knowledge that cats were highly revered and worshipped as gods by the ancient Egyptians. In fact, several Egyptian goddesses were depicted as cats.

    Cats appeared frequently in royal tombs, goldsmithing, and hieroglyphics as a result of this. But did you know that tuxedo cats made up almost 70% of the cats represented in these ancient tombs and works of art? Tuxies were, in fact, the most often represented (and adored) cats in ancient Egypt.

  • 04 of 07

    Tuxedo Cats Have Magical Powers...Maybe


    Tuxedo cats are supposed to become nearly invisible during the vernal or diurnal equinox owing to the colors of their coats. Some people believe this phenomena is proof of Tuxies' magical abilities, despite the science of light and shadow!

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Tuxedo Cats Have a Place in History


    Believe it or not, there are lots of tuxedo cats with some serious historical cred:

    • William Shakespeare, Beethoven, and Sir Isaac Newton all had pet tuxedo cats. Who knows the level of artistic and scientific advancement these kitties inspired?
    • Famous cats in pop culture, including Sylvester from Looney Tunes, the Cat in the Hat (the famed character from Dr. Seuss), and Mr. Mistoffelees from the Broadway show Cats were all tuxies.
    • In 2012, a tuxedo cat named Tuxedo Stan from Halifax, Canada ran for mayor of his fair city. Although Tuxedo Stan didn't take office, he still made history in both the cat and the human world.
  • 06 of 07

    The Richest Cat in the World Is a Tuxedo Cat


    In 1998, a tuxedo cat named Sparky inherited a whopping 6.3 million dollars when his owner passed away, making him far richer than any other cat, and most human beings.

  • 07 of 07

    Tuxedo Cats Have Gone Where No Kitty Has Gone Before


    With their quick development and serious smarts, it's no wonder that tuxedo cats have gone to many, many places no other kitty has gone before:

    • Only one cat has ever made it to the top of Mount Everest and—you guessed it—he was a tuxedo cat. His human carried him, of course, but it's still pretty impressive, right?
    • A tuxedo cat named Simon went to war during World War II and ended up receiving a medal for his services. How did he help the Allies? By protecting British food supplies from pests and mice.
    • Yep, a tuxedo cat even made it into the White House. President Bill Clinton had a pet Tuxie during his service as President of the United States.

    Where's next for tuxedo cats? Possibly outer space! Word on the street is that NASA wants a tuxedo to be the first kitty on the moon.

  • How long do tuxedo cats live?

    Tuxedo cats, like most domestic cats, have a lifespan of about 15 years or a little longer.

  • How much are tuxedo cats worth?

    It really depends on the breed. There are hundreds of mixed-breed tuxedo cats in your local shelter system that you can adopt for a minimal cost. Or, you can buy a purebred tuxedo for $500 and up.

  • Why are tuxedo cats so smart?

    While many owners of tuxedo cats think their felines are brilliant, we've not found any evidence that they are any smarter than your regular domestic shorthair.


"Richard L. Mort, Robert J. H. Ross, Kirsten J. Hainey, Olivia J. Harrison, Margaret A. Keighren, Gabriel Landini, Ruth E. Baker, Kevin J. Painter, Ian J. Jackson, Christian A. Yates. Reconciling diverse mammalian pigmentation patterns with a fundamental mathematical model. Nature Communications, 2016; 7: 10288 doi: 10.1038/NCOMMS10288" ;