What exactly is a “tuxedo cat”? If you think it pertains to a particular breed of cat, think again. As a matter of fact, it has absolutely nothing to do with breed whatsoever, as the color pattern can occur in practically any breed (theoretically, at least). The truth of the matter is that the term does indeed refer to the color pattern of the cat in question. As you might have guessed, it refers to a black and white pattern that almost makes the cat look like he or she is wearing a tuxedo. If you’re intrigued, here are 20 things about tuxedo cats that will help become more familiar with them.
1. They’re often called “tuxies”
These cats may have loads of nicknames, but this one has easily become the most common one. As a matter of fact, this has become an affectionate nickname that is commonly used among owners of these types of cats as a means of differentiating them from other color patterns while simultaneously attaching a hint of a nickname to the whole process as a show of affection.
2. They can weigh anywhere from 6 to 16 pounds
Since the term is used to denote the color pattern as opposed to a particular breed, they can vary widely in their weight. The smallest cats typically weigh somewhere in the neighborhood of six pounds, while the largest ones can weigh as much as 10 pounds more. Of course, it’s always a good idea to make sure that your cat is at a healthy weight for his or her breed. This is something that will obviously change depending on the breed in question as well as the individual characteristics of your particular cat.
3. They typically live for about 15 years
These cats typically live for about 15 years, although they certainly can live longer than that. This is especially true if they have excellent nutrition and proper health care throughout their lives. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that your tuxedo cat will live for 15 years, as not all of them do live that long. Hopefully, you’ll have many more years with your cat, regardless of whether that cat is still a kitten or you’ve had your pet for a number of years.
4. They’re smart
There’s no question about it, they’re extremely intelligent. Like a lot of cats, they have a tendency to watch both people and animals, taking in their surroundings and making note of virtually everything that happens around them. They also have a tendency to seem rather aloof from time to time, like most cats. You may not always notice their level of intelligence because they may or may not choose to interact with you on a regular basis. That said, you can bet that they know a lot more than most likely meets the eye.
5. They like to make noise
Even the most aloof tuxedo cats have a tendency to vocalize quite a lot. Again, this isn’t based on breed, but instead on color pattern. That said, most owners who have raised tuxies for a number of years comment on the fact that they are among the most vocal cats they’ve ever had. Perhaps there is something that connects their desire to vocalize with the genes that determine their color pattern. On the other hand, maybe it’s all something that happens completely by chance.
6. They made a big splash in Egyptian history
You might be surprised to know that tuxedo cats are featured in various forms of ancient Egyptian art about 70% of the time. Anyone who has ever owned a tuxedo cat can completely understand how these cats were the ones that seemed to show up in ancient Egyptian works of art more often than not. It isn’t just their coat that makes them look like royalty, but also the way that they act and their overall demeanor.
7. Some truly famous people have owned tuxedo cats in the past
It may not come as a big surprise to you that some truly legendary individuals have owned tuxedo cats in the past, especially when you consider the fact that they are so popular. As luck would have it, these were the cats owned by the likes of William Shakespeare, Sir Isaac Newton and even Beethoven. Therefore, you can safely say that you are in fairly good company if you just so happen to own a tuxedo cat yourself.
8. A tuxedo cat can inherit their genes from only one parent
If you think that both parents have to be tuxedo cats in order for an offspring to be produced with such a color pattern, think again. The genes that pass on this color pattern are typically quite dominant. Therefore, it’s relatively easy for kittens to be born with the tuxedo pattern, even if only one of their parents displays that pattern themselves. As you’ll see in the next paragraph, things get even more interesting when it comes to determining color patterns from genes. It probably makes you wish that you’d paid more attention during your science class.
9. Neither parent actually needs to be a tuxedo
As a matter of fact, neither parent actually needs to display the tuxedo pattern in order for a kitten to be born with such markings. As long as just one of the parents has the genes for both black and white fur, it’s possible for kittens to be born with the tuxedo pattern. Many cat owners will tell you that it’s not only possible, but also highly likely. This is a pattern that is commonly seen among cats of various breeds and it isn’t unlikely to see a litter of kittens born with two or three kittens that display this particular pattern.
10. They usually have light-colored eyes
Although scientists aren’t particularly sure, they believe that the same genes that determine the color pattern of the fur also determines eye color. That’s because most tuxedo cats are born with light-colored eyes. Typically, they’re either yellow or green but in some cases, they may also be blue. It’s very rare to see a tuxedo cat that’s born with dark-colored eyes so if you happen to run across one of these, you might want to hold on to them because you’re not likely to see one a second time.
11. They tend to grow quickly
One of the truly unique things about tuxedo cats is that they tend to grow very quickly, regardless of their particular breed. Scientists aren’t certain why this happens, but it seems to be almost universal among this particular color pattern. As a matter of fact, most kittens that display these color markings tend to grow to their full height by the time they’re only two months of age. Most scientists believe that it has something to do with the cat’s DNA and that the color patterns and the speed of growth are linked. Interestingly enough, these cats tend to develop faster than others, yet they have a relatively normal life span. It’s one of the things that scientists and veterinarians alike are still working to understand. It’s also part of what gives a tuxedo cat a bit of mystery.
12. They’re often quite precocious
Obviously, every cat has his or her own personality. That said, the tuxedo cat has a tendency to be quite precocious. Out of the entire litter of kittens, you probably won’t be surprised to find that it is the tuxedo cats that do almost everything first. They also tend to get in the most trouble because they like to explore and they’re not nearly as afraid to take risks. When it’s all said and done, these are the cats that frequently display the most personality. That may be a good or a bad thing, depending on your perspective. One thing is certain, you definitely won’t be getting a cat that just sits around and acts like a wallflower when you have a tuxedo cat.
13. Some of them are believed to be good luck
There is a special type of tuxedo cat that has a pattern around its neck, making it look like it’s wearing a bowtie. These cats are frequently believed to bring good luck. While some people get quite superstitious when they see one of these cats, others are merely mesmerized by their exquisite appearance. Just in case you were wondering, the cats are believed to bring good luck in many things, but they seem to be especially effective in terms of bringing good fortune such as increased wealth and material possessions.
14. They tend to have a shorter life span when they’re kept outside
As previously mentioned, the cats live an average lifespan of about 15 years, but only when they’re kept inside. It’s quite interesting to note that a tuxedo cat that lives almost exclusively outside is only likely to live about five years. That’s a stark contrast compared to the 10 to 20 year lifespan of most cats. What’s the reason for the dramatic difference? Most people agree that it comes down to the fact that they are too precocious for their own good sometimes. As such, they have a tendency to get into things that could be potentially harmful. Therefore, it’s a good idea to keep your tuxedo cat indoors if you want to have them around for any length of time.
15. Some of them don’t really act like cats
While it’s possible that your tuxedo cat might be aloof and act very much like a cat, a lot of owners that have these types of cats say that the majority of them don’t act much like cats at all. In fact, a lot of people who have owned tuxedo cats say that they have a tendency to act more like dogs than anything else. As luck would have it, they also tend to get along with other pets quite well, including dogs.
16. Kittens who are tuxies open their eyes before their siblings do
These kittens typically open their eyes as long as 24 hours before any of their non-tuxedo siblings do. It all comes back to their uncanny ability to grow and develop faster than other cats. As a matter of fact, they seem to be able to do just about everything better than other cats who aren’t as distinguished.
17. They can swim very well
Almost everyone knows that cats hate the water. That said, tuxedo cats can usually swim better than any other cat around. However, that does not mean that they enjoy it. If you manage to get them in the water, they can definitely handle the situation. You may need a few bandages after the fact, though. Tuxedos are not any more keen on going in the water than any other feline.
18. They can also display some major attitude
These cats are often deemed the most affectionate. That doesn’t mean that they don’t have their off days. A study based in the UK has strongly suggested that when they’re not having a good day, you would do well to steer clear of them and let them interact with you on their own terms. Apparently, they may become aggressive if you push things too far.
19. They like to cuddle
Tuxedo cats usually like to cuddle, as long as you don’t force the issue on your own. They typically enjoy being with others, but only when they want to. By the same token, they have to be able to come and go on their own accord, as they are fiercely independent.
20. They tend to develop deep bonds
Tuxedo cats are known for their tendency to develop deep bonds with their owners. As a matter of fact, some cat owners have even described this tendency as being almost unique to cats that display this particular color pattern. Apparently, they tend to grow as close to their favorite people as many dogs.