Black and white is the iconic coat color for mischievous felines. These dual-colored cats are great for first-time cat owners because of their friendly and cuddly nature. Whether it be the American Curl breed known for their curled ears and graceful movements or the American Shorthair with their playful nature, it is certainly a joy to have these dapper felines at home.
Black and white cats are not a breed but a coat color pattern. There is a black and white cat variation in any breed. Read on to find out more about these interesting kitties to see if they are a good match for you!
Black & White Cats: 10 Fascinating Facts about the Dapper Felines
They say these cats will never be out of place at any party because they are always well-dressed. Let’s see what else is fascinating about these kitties. Let’s take a look at all the special qualities that make these cats so delightful!
1) They have interesting coat patterns (and equally unique names!)
All cats are beautiful, but some have particularly unique coat patterns that really draw the eye. These are the most common patterns we see among Tuxedo cats:
- Locket pattern: Black body with a white patch on the chest.
- Tips pattern: Black body and white toes.
- Tuxedo: Black body with white paws and chest. They appear to be wearing a gentleman’s formalwear, earning them the nickname, Tuxie or Tuxedo Cat.
- Van markings: White body and black ears and tail.
- Saddle and cap: White body and black patches on the head and back.
- Cummerbund Pattern: Black cat with a splash of white around the torso.
- Mantle pattern: Otherwise known as ‘blanket pattern,’ these cats have a white body with a black patch that covers the cat’s back and shoulders.
- Cow pattern: These are cats who look like cows. They are quite easy to spot because they have little black patches in the body.
- Mohrenkopf: White body and black head.
- Thai Pattern: These cats may be mistaken for a skunk because of their black body and a stripe of white on their back.
2) Black & white cats aren’t a distinct breed.
Dual-colored cats may turn out in other breeds. For instance, two-toned colors are also found in other breeds, such as:
- British Shorthairs
- American Shorthairs
- Exotic Shorthairs
- American Curls
- Maine Coons
- Norwegian Forests
- Scottish Folds
3) Black & white cats have lots of unique nicknames.
Aside from being known as ‘Tuxedo cats,’ these adorable cats are also called:
- Pied Cats
- Patched Cats
- Felix Cats (after the famous Felix the Cat from the silent film period)
- Harlequin Cats
- Magpie Cats
There are also plenty of charming names for black and white kitties. Some of our favorites are Sylvester (inspired by Looney Tunes), Oreo, Domino, and Eightball!
4) Green is the most common eye color.
Some people think black and white cats are mysterious mainly because of their green eyes. Tuxedo cats generally have green to greenish-gold eyes. We have yet to prove that this gives them other-worldly powers, but we’re still researching!
5) They have sass to spare.
Black and white cats are lively and spirited. They are known to be friendly, active, clever, and very vocal about their needs. For instance, if they need a belly rub, you will know right away because your beloved pet will work her way up to your lap and charm you for some scratches.
6) One ran for office!
In 2012, a Tuxedo cat ran for mayor in Halifax, Canada. Tuxedo Stan was adopted by a veterinarian when he was a kitten. Even then, the vet knew there was something special about this Tuxedo cat. True enough, Stan grew up charming and friendly, and he was straightforward too. If he wanted to play or a leg to nuzzle, he simply went for it. He would purr his appreciation for owners, friends, and anyone who showed him some love.
An acquaintance of Stan’s owners suggested that the cat should run for a local office to raise awareness of the problem of stray cats in the area. With that idea, his owners launched ‘The Tuxedo Party’ on Facebook, garnering several thousand followers. This cat became so famous that even Ellen DeGeneres ‘endorsed’ his candidacy.
Of course, Stan never publicly registered for the race because animals cannot do so. However, Stan created such noise that the city council provided a grant to create a spay-and-neuter clinic in Halifax. We are delighted to say that Stan’s advocacy was a success!
7) Tuxedo cats play a host of animated roles
These cats are true celebrities. Who can forget Felix the Cat? He’s that famous black and white cat with a big grin on his face. How about Sylvester and his hopeless pursuit to capture Tweety bird in Looney Tunes cartoons.
There is also The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss. Tuxedo cats even played a role in the Broadway musical Cats. The book that the play is based on features a prominent black and white cat named Mr. Mistoffelees, a character inspired by a real feline!
8) Some famed real-life tuxedo cats existed.
As if it’s not enough that they have inspired animated TV shows, films, and even a musical, some of these sassy cats also became real-life celebrities. Remember ‘Socks’? He was that famous white house cat loved by former American President Bill Clinton. Another black and white cat, ‘Humphrey,’ charmed gatekeepers and found his way inside 10 Downing St., the residence of Britain’s prime minister, from 1988 to 2006.
The most remarkable of them all was ‘Unsinkable Sam’ (also known as ‘Oscar’), who survive three different events of sinking ships — one German military ship and two British military ships.
Important notable figures who owned beloved black & white cats are Beethoven, Shakespeare, and Sir Isaac Newton.
9) They have interesting genetics.
It’s their genes that give them those unique contrasting colors. Tuxedo cats have that white spotting gene that inhibits black fur from growing in some areas of the cat’s body.
A scale of 1 to 10 is used in grading the white spotting gene. It conveys whether the cat has minimal or many white markings. For instance, a scale of 2 would mean that there are only a few white markings, while a grade of 9 would say that the cat is nearly white.
10) A black & white cat is the holder of the record for the loudest purr.
Merlin, a Tuxedo cat from England, was able to clinch the Loudest Purr title at the Guinness Book of World Records. His purr was so loud (67 decibels), it is roughly the same volume as human speech. Imagine having to raise your voice over a cat’s purring!
One distinguished Tuxie was a certified war hero!
There is also Simon, a brave wartime cat who received Great Britain’s highest award given to animals — the PDSA Dickin Medal in 1949. Simon received the award for his patience in hunting rats onboard a Royal Navy Ship of Great Britain, ‘Amethyst,’ at the height of the rat infestation in the ship.
It’s nice to have charming kitties in the house, especially if they are as fun and lively as black and white cats. Some people would prefer not having black and white cats because of superstitions, but a little black (and white) magic makes life more fun!
First-time cat parents will certainly have joy owning a Tuxedo cat because of its playful and intelligent nature. Superstitions are often baseless. If you dream of getting a black and white cat for yourself, go ahead and get one. Black and white cats are a delight to have in the home!