Black & White Cat Breeds

By Betty Lewis

If you're looking for a cat who's sporting a black and white tuxedo, you won't have to look that far. Whether it's an ordinary mixed breed domestic shorthair or something more unusual, such as one of the rex cats, you easily can find a black and white cat who may be dressed better than you.

Tuxedo-Wearing Cats

Tuxedo isn't a breed, but rather a color pattern caused by a specific white spotting gene that results in background patches. The gene doesn't discriminate according to coat length, so long- and short-haired cats can wear a tuxedo if the genetics come together just right. Most people are familiar with the American shorthair tuxedo cat, but other breeds sporting that pattern include the British shorthair, Maine coon, Norwegian forest cat, Devon rex, Cornish rex, Manx, American curl and Persian.

More Than Black and White

Though most people think in black and white when it comes to a tuxedo cat, this outfit is available in other patterns and colors, though your cat can't change her look like you can. Tuxedo cats can come in a variety of solid and tabby colors. Consider the ragamuffin cat, who can mix her white with a variety of colors, including chocolate brown, blue, red, cinnamon and fawn. When wearing a tuxedo, she looks anything but like a ragamuffin.

The Bicolor Scale

According to Messy Beast, there's a scale for black and white cats. At one end is what is sometimes referred to as a locket cat, a mostly black cat with a hint of white on her belly or throat -- it may be as small as a few hairs. A cat with little white is considered to have low grade white spotting, where less than 40 percent of her fur is white. The tuxedo cat is in the upper end of the low grade range. The mitted cat is a bit below the tuxedo cat, with only enough white fur to give her the appearance of wearing socks and mittens. As a cat progresses through the scale and has about half white and half black fur, she's considered bicolored with medium grade white spotting.

Piebald Cats

The piebald cat, with mostly white fur, is at the other end of the scale. A cat with a cap and saddle looks just like she's sporting a jaunty cap and a saddle on her back, whereas magpie and harlequin cats have random spots. A van cat has random color splotches between her ears and a colored tail. Unusual bicolor patterns include a banded, or belted, cat, who sports a narrow band of white around her middle, a sheeted cat, who looks to be wearing a blanket around her midsection, and the striking swirled pattern, which is, of course, swirled.