Interesting Facts About Black and White Cats

There's something undeniably elegant about a black and white cat. These dual-colored cuties are perhaps among the most well-dressed in the cat world, but what else can we learn from these fashionable felines?

In today's blog, we give the spotlight to these adorable cats! Continue reading to learn what sets these cats apart from the other cats!

Interesting Facts About Black and White Cats - KittyNook Cat Company

There's something undeniably elegant about a black and white cat. These dual-colored cuties are perhaps among the most well-dressed in the cat world, but what else can we learn from these fashionable felines?

In today's blog, we give the spotlight to these adorable cats! Continue reading to learn what sets these cats apart from the other cats!

Black and White Cat Types

A black and white coat can come in a variety of dazzling combinations. Here are a few of the common patterns that you might come across:

Tuxedo: Just as the name says, tuxedo cats (or "tuxie" as they're affectionately called) look like they're off to a formal event. These cats will be primarily black with a white chest and paws.

Van: These are white cats with black tail and ears.

Cap and saddle: This refers to a white-furred cat with a black patch on its back and head.

Cow: These are cats that (you guessed it!) have markings that appear like a cow. They will be primarily white with a smattering of black patches all over.

Mollenkopf: While uncommon, this coat pattern is characterized by a white body and a blackhead.

Thai pattern: This pattern can make your cat mistaken for a skunk. These felines have a black body with a distinctive white stripe on their backs.

Blanket or mantle pattern: White cats with a large, blanket-like spot of black over their back and shoulders.

Cummerbund pattern: This is also uncommon but characterizes a black cat with a white band on its torso.

Tips pattern: These are black felines with white toes.

Locket pattern: Black felines with a tiny patch of white on their chest area have the locket pattern.

Magpie: White cats with random black spotting.

Harlequin: Similar to the magpie with random black spotting, but with a black tail as well.

Black and White Felines are not a Distinct Breed

These bicolor kitties are not a separate breed of cat. Instead, a black and white cat's notable appearance is only because of its two-toned coat pattern, which can show up in many cat black and white cat breeds.

Black and white coats can show up in other domestic cat breed such as Maine Coon, American Shorthair, British Shorthair, Oriental Shorthair, American curls, Manx cats, Munchkins, Persians, Orientals, Siberians, Scottish folds, and Norwegian forest cats.

Although we can find the black and white coat in many popular breeds of cats, we still think they're one-of-a-kind.

Most Black and White Cats Have Green Eye Color

Aside from their beautiful coat, black and white cats captivate humans with their dazzling green eyes. It is also said that green eyes are linked to magical powers. While that's up for debate, we can not deny that these cats' eyes are bewitching!

They've Got Sass to Spare!

Is 'tuxi-tude" a thing? Cat owners of black and white cats will gladly say yes! While the connection between coat color and personality is anecdotal, many pet owners maintain that their black and white cats are amiable, intelligent, vocal, and active. In either case, these felines have charmed their way right into the hearts of many ardent pet enthusiasts.

Tuxedo Cats Are Common in Pop Culture

You can not overlook the famous black and white felines that made it in pop culture. There's Felix the Cat, who rose to popularity during the silent film era. Looney Tunes included the iconic hapless and lisping Sylvester, the feline chasing Tweety Bird. And that could fail to remember Dr. Suess's Cat in the Hat?

Tuxedo cats also star as the main characters of T.S. Eliot's "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats," where they got the material for the musical "Cats!"

Black and White Cats Have Interesting Genes

How do these cats get their contrasting colors? Everything comes down to genes: Tuxedo cats inherit the white spotting gene, which stops black patches from appearing throughout the cat's body.

The color is measured along a scale, which helps explain how much of the hair is black and white. For example, a cat with less than 40% white fur is considered "low grade" white spotting, and a cat with an even blend of black and white hair is said to have "medium grade" white spotting.

One Famous Tuxie Was a Decorated Battle Hero

In 1949, a brave tuxie named Simon was granted the PDSA Dickin Medal, Britain's highest possible honor bestowed upon animals in wartime. This was for Simon's role in raising soldiers' morale and diligently hunting pesky rodents aboard a British Royal Navy ship called the Amethyst. Sadly, he was seriously wounded on strike and caught a viral infection due to his wounds. Nevertheless, Simon's legacy survives.

Black and White Cats Give Endless Opportunities for Cool Nicknames

In addition to the typical "tuxedo" moniker, black and white cats have a host of other adorable nicknames. These dapper cats give a lot of opportunity for some nifty names. Here are some distinct black and white cat names to consider if you've just recently brought home one of these sweet cats and are still thinking of names:

  • Oreo
  • Bandit
  • Batman
  • Beetlejuice
  • Eightball
  • Boots
  • Jeeves
  • Mickey
  • Panda
  • Patches
  • Penguin
  • Phantom
  • Pepper

As soon as you get your creative juices flowing, the name possibilities are unlimited!

Some Black and White Cat Breeds


Persians are a robust, cobby breed with short, thick legs. A popular breed today, bicolored Persians were not common amongst breeders until the early 1960s when the first of its kind, a black and white Persian, was called magpie. One more similarly stunning black and white Persian variation are the odd-eyed bicolor.


The Manx is a rare tailless cat with a round head, round muzzle, round eyes, and ears tapering into rounded ends. The Manx comes in many colors, including black and white.

Turkish Angora

Turkish Angora is an exquisite-looking long-haired feline. It has a symmetrical body and soft, luscious hair. However, pure white Angoras have been common for many years; other colors like black and white have been acceptable at registries since the late 1970s.

Maine Coon

Maine Coons appear to invoke strong human impressions with their impressive size and hardy face disposition, but they are also known for their mild temperaments. Their thick, waterproof coat can be found in many color combinations, including black and white. Unlike many other cats, Maine Coons love to be around water.

Scottish Fold

The Scottish Fold got its name from their ears that fold forward. The folds might be of varying degrees; the more, the merrier! Like Manx, Scottish Fold has a rounded body, head, eyes, and toes.


The Snowshoe is a rare, blue-eyed cat with the mask, tail, ears, and legs densely colored, often in a single shade. A bi-colored black and white Snowshoe will have only one-quarter of the body covered with white, like its face and white paws.

Japanese Bobtail

Historically called the good-luck cat, the Japanese Bobtail, or Mi-Ke is renowned. It is a medium-sized breed best known for its 4" pom-pom tail that curls into a corkscrew shape. The tail is unique not just to the type but to each cat. Both longhair and shorthair come in a bicolor pattern in many colors, like black and white.

British Shorthair

One of the earliest natural breeds from Great Britain, the British Shorthair is round and a substantial, medium-to-large-sized cat with a lovely thick and solid coat. Apart from the black and white, the Brits come in unique bicolor mixes such as red/white, blue/white, and cream/white.

Norwegian Forest

The Norwegian Forest cats, regardless of their look and name, are not offspring of any wild cat. This cat has a powerful look with differentiating double coat and long, bushy tail. An active breed, it has a lovely all-weather coat that mixes white and another color.


Siberian cat is a mild giant with a triple coat layer made for all weathers. Black with white bicolor is just one of the colors and patterns the Siberians are available in.

Are you an owner of a black and white cat? We know it's hard to resist these sophisticated but spirited felines. Tell us about them in the comments!

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Glenn Miller @ Wed, Feb 02, 22

We have had an indoor black and white named Oreo and what a charming little lady. Years later I’m on the front porch and out of the blue a black and white strayed jumped on my lap and we named him Tuxedo and kept him on the back porch with a doggie door as we had an indoor cat. He was simply a funny cat looking in our front window and jumping on my lap on our front porch.
Fast forward to now another black and white kitty has come into our lives named Bibs. We think he belongs to a neighbor but spends many hours on our back porch and looking in the front window at our indoor kitty that goes ball when he sees Bibs. Bibs is absolutely the nicest kitty ever purring all the time and jumping on my lap out front and walking around the neighborhood meowing . When our indoor cat is sleeping in another room we close the door and bring Bibs in for an hour and all he does is purr and slober that we take care of him feeding him and brushing him. If I could get our indoor kitty to accept Bibs it would be wonderful but we don’t see that happening.