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And Meow, A Word About Tuxedo Cats Your From Your Louisville, KY Veterinary Clinic 

January 15, 2024

Tuxedo Cat Day is January 29th! Of course, Fluffy looks absolutely adorable no matter what she is wearing, but she looks particularly adorable in formal wear. If you own a tuxedo cat, you might want to get her something special for her big day. A local Louisville, KY veterinarian offers information on tuxies in this article.

Tuxedo Cats: What Are They?

Tuxedo cats—also called Tuxies, Felix cats, and Jellicle cats—are distinguished by their bi-color coat patterns. The most common tuxie is a black kitty with a white chest and neck, although a gray kitty with the same coloring is also a tuxie. Some tuxies have white paws. Many also have white on their faces.

Fluffy’s coat can be long, short, or curly. Some tuxedo cats have different types of fur. Some tuxies have much longer white fur than dark fur. They can also have any color of eyes, including yellow, green, or amber. Heterochromia—or different colored eyes—is also a possibility in tuxies.

Tuxedo Coloring In Cats: What Causes It?

While we still have a lot to learn about how kitty genetics work, research has clarified a lot in recent years. Studies indicate that pigment cells move around during embryonic development. There are two specific pigment-related genes in tuxedo cats’ fur: one responsible for black fur, one for white spots, tips, and patches. In a nutshell: Fluffy’s white fur gene blocks melanocytes from certain areas of her body, which are responsible for color. 

What Is the Origin of Tuxedo Cats?

Despite her small size, Fluffy is packed with secrets and mysteries. So far, she has refused to answer  that question. We do not know where the tuxie first appeared, but we do know that bicolor cats have been found in Egyptian tombs. (We will leave the story of how Fluffy convinced the ancient Egyptians that she was a god for another time.)

Kitties aren’t the only animals with similar markings. Some fish have paler undersides and darker backs, so predators have difficulty spotting them: the dark color blends into the shadows of deeper water, hiding it from something looking down. Something looking up will see the lighter belly blending into the water’s surface. (This of course isn’t foolproof, but it doesn’t hurt.) Many other pets can have similar coat colors as well.

What Kind Of Personalities Do Tuxedo Cats Have? 

Because so many different breeds of cats can be tuxies, there really are no universal traits as far as purrsonality goes. Fluffy’s history also contributes to her character. A kitten that was raised underfoot and properly socialized will probably be more outgoing and friendly than one who was rescued. However, that’s a very rough comparison. The one thing we know for sure is that each of our feline buddies has a unique purrsonality!

Who Are Some Famous Tuxedo Cats?

The list of famous tuxies is bound to grow as more of these adorable felines win over the hearts of the public. New tuxie celebrities certainly have some big pawprints to fill. 

Let’s take a look at some cartoon celebrekitties. One of the earliest is Felix The Cat from the silent films of the 1920s. Felix still appears in memorabilia today. The Cat In The Hat, from Dr. Suess’ book of the same name, is a tuxedo cat.

One of the most well-known tuxies is Sylvester from the world of Looney Toons. This iconic sputtering feline, whose official real name is Sylvester J. Pussycat Sr., made his initial appearance in a 1945 film short called Life With Feathers. The movie’s name certainly proved to be prophetic, as it marked the start of Sylvester’s long, turbulent relationships with his feathered roommates. 

Over the years, Sylvester has starred in an impressive 103 cartoons and remains a prominent (if animated) figure even today. In fact, he holds the record for dying the most times out of all Looney Toons characters. Additionally, he serves as the mascot for multiple organizations such as the USS Alameda County and the 45th Reconnaissance Squadron and appears on their emblems. At one point, Sylvester was also chosen as the spokeskitty for 9 Lives cat food, although his fame was overshadowed by that of Morris, the famous ginger cat.

There have also been many literary references to tuxedo kittens. T.S. Eliot referred to them as ‘Jellicle cats’ in his 1939 book of poetry Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.

In addition to cartoon cats, there have been some real-life tuxies who have also made their mark. For instance, Socks, the Clintons’ cat, was often featured in the news when he served as First Kitty. Socks wasn’t the only tuxie to dive into politics: in 2012, Tuxedo Stan, a kitty from Canada, ran for mayor.

Then we have Sparky. This tuxie became the richest kitty in the world after inheriting 6.3 million dollars from his owner back in 1998. (No word on how Sparky spent the money, but we’re assuming he enjoyed unlimited catnip and every kitty gadget there was.)

Which Breeds Of Cats Wear Tuxedos? 

There’s no one specific breed that is associated with formal wear. Several breeds of cats can wear this pattern, including the Domestic Shorthair, Turkish Van, British Shorthair, Turkish Angora, American Shorthairs, Maine Coon, and Manx.

Are There More Boy Or Girl Tuxedo Cats?

One might assume that all coat patterns and colors are the same, but that’s not quite true. For instance, the vast majority of ginger cats and calico cats are males.

How Common Are Tuxedo Cats?

The coloring is far from rare. In fact, tuxedo coats are among the most frequently seen coat colors or patterns in shelters. We have quite a few tuxie patients here at our Louisville, KY animal clinic!

What Should I Name My Tuxedo Cat?

It’s amazing how often dogs and cats embody the names they are given. Tuxies are no exception! We love seeing the cute and fun names people choose for their pets.

If you’ve just adopted a kitty in formal wear, you may want to consider these monikers:

  • Domino
  • Socks
  • Oreo
  • Penguin
  • Jeeves
  • Jasper
  • Felix
  • Sylvester
  • Piano
  • Soccer Ball
  • Orca

How Do I Take Care Of A Tuxedo Cat?

Fluffy’s basic needs are the same as any other cat: She will need good food, clean water, and a clean litter box. To get that motor going, you’ll also want to provide plenty of toys and playtime, beds, kitty furniture, sunbeams, and boxes. (Catnip and lap space won’t hurt either.)

Proper veterinary care is also crucial to your pet’s health. All cats should be microchipped, spayed or neutered, and kept up to date on vaccines, parasite control, and examinations.

 For more information, please contact your Louisville, KY veterinarians.

What Are The Benefits Of Wearing A Tuxedo Cat?

We know, you don’t usually wear cats. However, if your pet likes to drape herself across your shoulders, curl up in your lap, or fall asleep on top of you at night, we’re pretty sure that counts!

Fluffy is a fun and cute pet, no matter what she’s wearing! Just like any other kitty, tuxies can be charming, playful, affectionate, outspoken, and highly entertaining.They also look great with every outfit and décor, and tend to photograph very well. You may even be able to get some cute ‘void kitty’ photos of your fashion-forward little pet, depending on her markings.

Our Louisville, KY animal hospital is here to help if you have any questions or concerns about your cat’s health or care.