Everyone can recognize a tuxedo cat when they see one, but few people realize that they’re not actually a breed. Still, tuxedo cats still have a place of honor among cat lovers.
Their refined, aristocratic appearances, intelligence, and loving natures make them popular cats throughout history.
What Are Tuxedo Cats?
Tuxedo cats are recognizable by their distinct coloring. With their black fur and white chests mimicking the appearance of a tuxedo, these cats always look like they’re dressed to impress.
Strictly speaking, tuxedo cats aren’t a breed. The name, instead, refers to the specific patterning of their fur. While the traditional black and white colors of formal wear are more recognized as the coloring for tuxedo cats, not all black and white cats are tuxedo cats.
The same can be said for tuxedo cats themselves. Many cat-lovers don’t limit the patterning to black and white fur, allowing a range of gray and white or ginger tuxedo cats to join the ranks. There are even a few white tuxedo cats that have black undercarriages.
Since what makes a tuxedo cat is a specific pattern of color, these cats can be a variety of breeds. A few cat breeds that display this patterning include:
- Maine Coon
- American Shorthair
- Scottish Folds
- Norwegian Forest cats
Unlike calicos and tortoiseshells, which are both mostly female, tuxedo cats are equally likely to be male or female.
Where Did Tuxedo Cats Originate?
Since they’re not a breed, it’s difficult to know exactly where tuxedo cats originated. The earliest depictions of tuxedo cats date back to Ancient Egypt, a long time before tuxedos were ever a thing.
The Ancient Egyptians loved cats. Considered to be “mutually beneficial companions,” they were allowed to take shelter from the heat inside households in exchange for handling pests like rats, snakes, and even scorpions.
The relationship didn’t end there. Many cats were entombed alongside their human companions so they could continue their relationship even after death. They were also depicted in paintings and believed to be vessels for gods and goddesses, like Bastet.
Many of the paintings depicted in Egyptian tombs, particularly those for the royalty, and hieroglyphics show tuxedo cats. While all cats were held in high regard among the Egyptians, tuxedo cats had a particular place of honor. They were believed to bring fortune and good luck. Due to this, most felines in tomb paintings are tuxedo cats.
Famous Tuxedo Cats
The Ancient Egyptians aren’t the only ones who found tuxedo cats fascinating. Beethoven, Shakespeare, and Sir Isaac Newton all owned tuxedo cats too. Although the cats didn’t become famous themselves, their relationships with these familiar names show how popular tuxedo cats have been as companions.
Even without being a separate breed, they’ve played their part throughout history. Over the years, tuxedo cats have done everything from accompanying famous artists to making appearances in TV shows.
There are too many tuxedo cats that have achieved great things over the years to mention all of them. Here are a few examples to show how awesome these cats are.
Not being a breed doesn’t make tuxedo cats any less interesting. Their stylish looks, intelligence, and regality lead many people to believe that they bring good luck. Considering how many tuxedo cats have made their names known throughout history, their “good luck charm” nature only seems fitting.
Featured Image: Bettina Calder, Shutterstock