Black & white cat breeds

Updated July 19, 2017

Black and white cats are known as tuxedo, bicolor or jellicle cats. There are several cat breeds with these colour patterns including American Shorthairs, Persians and Turkish Angoras. Tuxedo cats are also common in domestic longhairs and shorthairs.

American Shorthair

Black and white American Shorthairs come in several black and white colour patterns accepted as standard within the breed. These include "black smoke," which has a white undercoat, deeply tipped with black; "black smoke and white," which is white with some black smoke fur; "shaded silver," which has a white undercoat with specific black markings; "bicolour," which is black and white in any pattern; and "van bicolour," which has a white coat with black markings on the head, tail and legs only.


Persian black and white cats are simply called bicolor Persians. These are categorised on a scale of one to eight by breeders, denoting the particular types of black and white markings as well as where they appear on the cat's body.

Turkish Angora

Turkish Angora cats are another breed that produces black and white colour patterns, among others. To be considered a part of this rare breed, cats have to be able to trace their ancestry to Turkey. Turkish Angoras have silky longhair coats that can be classified officially in black and white colours as "bicolour," "shaded silver," "black smoke" and "smoke and white."

Books to Broadway

Black and white Jellicle Cats are the subject of T.S. Eliot's book, "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats." The long-running Broadway musical "Cats" was based on Eliot's book of poetry.


Bicolor black and white cats have also been big movie and TV stars. They include Felix the Cat, "Pinocchio"'s Figaro, Tom from "Tom and Jerry" and Mittens from "Bolt."

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About the Author

Angele Sionna has been a professional journalist since 1995. She's worked as a producer, reporter and writer for national and regional TV, print and online media, including CBS, AOL Travel, and many others. She has a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Science in journalism from Texas Christian University.