If you adore black and white cats that are smart and have an easy going temperament, a tuxedo cat is perfect for you. Tuxies, as they are fondly called, are popular and were even worshipped in ancient Egypt as gods. However, keeping one could be dangerous for your health if you suffer from cat allergies.
What is a tuxedo cat?
A tuxedo cat is not a particular breed. It is a bicolor or two-color cat with black being the predominant color. They are called such because the marking resembles that of a man’s formal tuxedo. Tuxies are also referred to as piebald.
While the tuxedo marking is associated with black and white, other color combinations can also be classified as a tuxedo. The typical tuxedo cat has white paws, chest, belly and whiskers. There are also tuxedo cats with reversed colors such as the cap and saddle tuxedos with black-colored heads and splotches of black in the ears, back and tail.
The mask and mantle tuxedo has black fur on the top of the head, along the back as well as the tail but the rest is mostly white fur. Meanwhile, magpies or harlequins have black and white colors spread randomly across their body parts. Interestingly, there are also tuxedo cats with coat colors of orange, silver, gray and tortoiseshell mixed with white fur.
Tuxies can have short or long hair depending on the breed. Some of the cat breeds that manifest the piebald marking include the Maine Coon, Turkish Angora, British Shorthair, American Shorthair, Cornish Rex, Devon Rex, Persian, Norwegian Forest, Scottish Fold, Munchkin, Manx, Peterbald, Exotic Shorthair, Sphynx and LaPerm.
A tuxedo cat’s personality can be unique because they are friendly, very smart and with an easy going temperament, also called “tuxitude”. They are playful, loyal, talkative and with dog-like qualities. Tuxedo kittens also manifest a friendly character but are more laid back than other kittens. They also develop quickly compared to other cats and newborn kittens open their eyes 24 hours earlier than other cats.
Are Tuxedo cats hypoallergenic?
No, Tuxedo cats are not considered hypoallergenic since it is a coat marking or pattern and it does not determine the number of allergens in a cat’s saliva, urine or skin. The Fel d 1 protein is the allergen that causes allergic reactions and while there are cat breeds with lower allergen levels such as the Siberian, Sphynx, Bengal and Russian Blue, no particular cat breed is entirely hypoallergenic. All cats produce the Fel d 1 protein and you can still experience allergy symptoms to a varying degree.
Are black cats more hypoallergenic?
No, black cats are no more hypoallergenic than cats with other colors. They are not a breed and no cat is completely hypoallergenic.
Tips on how to live with a Tuxedo cat even if you have allergies
- Brush your cat with a good quality brush at least thrice a week since it releases natural oil from the skin and allows it to get moisturized while reducing the buildup of allergens.
- Do not allow your cat in your bedroom or on your couch. Dry skin flakes or dander can fall and become trapped in it.
- Bathe your cat at least every four to six weeks and use a good quality cat shampoo to keep their skin moisturized.
- Feed your cat high-quality cat food to keep their skin healthy.
- Always check that your cat is using their litter box and not peeing somewhere else.
- Avoid getting licked by your cat.
- Install a good air cleaner to ensure that you are inhaling allergen-free air since dander can easily float in the air and enter your airways, such as HEPA filter that traps allergens, dander and pollen.
- Vacuum regularly with a high-efficiency particulate air or HEPA vacuum cleaner to get rid of fur and dander.
- Wash your hands after handling or holding your cat to avoid allergens from being stuck in your hands.
- Wash your bedding at least twice or more each month using an anti-allergy detergent or laundry rinse.
- Wipe your cat with cat wipes or a wet cloth to reduce allergens. This is a good alternative if your cat is not too keen on a bath.
- Keep your cat at a good distance from your dining table since dander could travel through the air and get into your food.
Tuxedo cats have unique and distinctive looks because their coats resemble a man’s formal attire. They are not hypoallergenic because a tuxedo cat’s attributes of a particular coat pattern or markings does not determine the number of allergens in a cat’s saliva, skin or urine. All cats, regardless of breed and coat pattern, produce allergens that could trigger an allergy attack.
Image: istockphoto.com / Lori Butcher