As one of the most popular cat breeds in the US, tuxedo cats are loveable little rugrats that make for the perfect pet. Their unique white and black coloring makes it appear as though they’re adorning the type of black-tie formal wear commonly known as a tuxedo. To be perceived as a true tuxedo cat, a feline will must white fur covering their paws, chest, throat, and belly, with the rest of their body covered in another color.
Not only does this distinctive cat stand out from the masses in terms of appearance, felines boasting this coat pattern have a rich history and presence in popular culture. Read on to discover ten “pawazing” facts about the beautiful tuxedo cat.
Tuxedo Cats are Commonly Referred to as Bicolor Cats
Why tuxedo cats are often referred to as bicolor cats is fairly self-explanatory, considering that the English prefix “bi”, derived from Latin, means “two”. However, although fancy-dress Tuxedos are stereotypically black and white, this doesn’t signify that tuxedo cats are necessarily these two colors. Yes, a bicolor cat must possess white fur to be known as such, but any other color of fur can be paired with it. As the black and white bicolor cat is the most common type of bicolor cat, this is how the name “tuxedo cat” came to originate.
There is an Equal Male/Female Tuxedo Cat Balance
Similar to the female/male ratio of humans, the stereotypically “masculine” attire of the tuxedo cat does not mean they are males. In fact, there are an equal number of male and female tuxedo cats! Talk about equality.
Tuxedo Cats Aren’t a Breed
Although this may be a shock, there is no such a thing as the Tuxedo cat breed. The only known trait cats of this grouping share are their fur patterns.
A Tuxedo Cat Once Lived in the White House
Not only have the great political leaders of our country made this distinctive neoclassical property their home, Tuxedo cats have also enjoyed life in this grandiose estate. From 1989 to 2009, Chelsea Clinton’s tuxedo cat Socks – otherwise jokingly referred to as “First Cat of the United States” – enjoyed roaming the White House’s extensive grounds. From his humble beginnings as a stray kitten, moving into the White House was certainly an upgrade!
Although Socks Clinton found fame in his White House years – in fact, a cartoon lookalike of the cat was the virtual host of a White House website geared towards children – he was later rehomed to Bill Clinton’s secretary due to an ongoing conflict with the family dog, Buddy.
Tuxedo Cats Have Even Run for Office
Never mind Socks’ success living in the White House only because of his family connections. One tuxedo cat has even run for office. In 2012, the world watched on as “Tuxedo Stan” symbolically put his name on the ballot in Halifax, Canada for the position of mayor in order to raise awareness of Halifax’s feral cat issue.
Although his name was never officially put on the ballot as a result of his feline origins, Tuxedo Stan wasn’t only successful raising awareness of the feral problem, but even succeeded in securing a $40,000 grant to the local Halifax SPCA. This money paved the way for a low-cost spay and neuter clinic. Stan the tuxedo cat was even publicly endorsed by many prominent celebrities, including Anderson Cooper and Ellen DeGeneres. What can we say? Members of the tuxedo cat family get results.
The Smartness of a Tuxedo Cat in the Feline World is Unparalleled
One incredible fact that proves tuxedo cats’ superior physical and mental development is that a newborn tuxedo cat first opens their eyes a day before kittens from normal breeds. As tuxedo cats aren’t a separate breed, there aren’t studies or evidence to support the statement that tuxedo cats are smarter than others. Yet if the biased views of their owners are anything to go on, the average tuxedo cat is indeed one smart cookie.
The Richest Cat in the World Was a Tuxedo
Similar to how attractive people get paid more, the same apparently goes for cats. 1998 marked the year that tuxedo cat Sparky inherited 6.3 million dollars – yes, you heard correctly – from his owner, thereby making him the richest cat in the world. We are currently unsure how Sparky dished out his inheritance, but let’s hope he spent it wisely!
Popular Culture Has its Fair Share of Tuxedo Cats
The abundance of tuxedo cats in popular culture makes it hard to know where to begin. To name a few, Felix from the famous children’s television show Tom and Jerry, Mittens who features in the Disney-animated film Bolt, and Kitty Softpaws from Shrek spin-off Puss in Boots are only a mere handful of famous bicolor kitties who have captured our hearts on-screen.
Tuxedo Cats Supposedly Originated from Ancient Egypt
Although most people tend to think of long-haired tuxedo cats when asked to picture one, it was actually sleek short-haired tuxedos that were popular to the point of being worshipped in Ancient Egypt. We regard this as fact due to the colossal number of animal mummies found buried in underground catacombs – around 70 million to be exact.
There is a Raging Debate in the Scientific Community Regarding How Tuxedo Cats Obtain Their Coats
The smartest minds once believed that tuxedo cats obtained their bi-colored coats due to “slow” pigment cells. The slow-moving nature of these pigment cells supposedly meant that they couldn’t reach every part of the cat embryo before becoming fully formed, thereby producing tuxedo cats’ distinctive coat patterns. However, as science continues to develop, the majority of researchers now believe that pigment cells’ tendency (or “failure” in scientists eyes) to randomly move and multiply throughout the cat embryonic development. These findings are according to a study carried out at Edinburgh University by genetics researcher Dr Ian Jackson.
All in all, these delightful cats possess an inquisitive temperament and are always dressed to impress for any occasion. We couldn’t recommend welcoming a tuxedo cat into your home enough!
- What Breed Is My Tuxedo Cat – Animalpath.org