What is the origin of tuxedo cats?

Updated November 21, 2016

A bi-coloured feline with both black and white markings is called a tuxedo cat. It is so called because the cat appears to be wearing black tie formal wear, or as it is more popularly known, a tuxedo. To be a true tuxedo cat, it must have a solid black coat with white paws, belly, chest, throat, chin and markings going up the nose to the head. These cats almost appear to be wearing a mask. The origin of the tuxedo cat is not specific to any one breed, but is found amongst all feline breeds.

Bi-colour Pattern

The bi-coloured pattern you see in tuxedo cats did not originate with any particular breed, but instead is a pattern of colouring you see in various cat breeds. It also occurs in cats of mixed breed. You will find tuxedo cats that are longhair or short-haired, as this type of colouring is not specific to only one type of cat coat.

Best Breeds for Tuxedos

Bi-colour coats or tuxedos are usually found in American Shorthair, British Shorthair, Manx or Persian cats. The first two are popular shorthair breeds, while the Manx is known for its missing tail and the Persian has a long, luxurious coat.

Personality Traits

The personality of a cat depends, to a large extent, on its breeding and its environment with its owner. Nevertheless, the tuxedo cat is known for its fierce intelligence and great companionship. It is also considered to be a very affectionate cat. This breed of cat is said to be quite vocal, not as 'talkative' as the Siamese, but still well known for its meowing skills.

Fame of the Tuxedo Cat

Tuxedo cats are also known as "Jellicles," which was the name of the clan of black and white cats in T.S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. Mr. Mistoffelees was the name given to the cat in T.S. Eliot's book of poems. This was the origin of the musical Cats! by Andrew Lloyd Webber made famous on Broadway. Other notable tuxedo cats in pop culture are Sylvester the Cat and Felix the Cat.

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