Choosing a cat comes down to many factors: personality, grooming needs, size and, of course, color. Whether you prefer fluffy fur or a smooth coat is one detail, but color is another.
One popular color combination many people love is black and white cat breeds. Often referred to as “tuxedo cats,” you may be on the hunt for a bicolor cat that combines the infamous dark and light mix.
Here’s what you need to know and black and white cat breeds.
Black and White Cat Breeds: Are They Rare?
When it comes to solid black or white cat breeds, they are rare. “Only two CFA-recognized breeds come in solid black or solid white,” says Teresa Keiger, a Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) allbreed judge. These are the Bombay (solid black) and the Khao Manee (solid white).
While these are the only two solid-colored black and white cat breeds, if you’re looking for a black and white color combination, many breeds have this coloring.
What is a Tuxedo Cat?
According to Keiger, black and white cats may be called “tuxedo cats,” but this is not an actual breed.
“It’s a term for a specific type of bicolor pattern,” she says. “The pattern reminded folks of someone dressed up in a (black) tuxedo with white gloves and spats.”
7 Black and White Cat Breeds
If you’re looking for a tuxedo cat breed, here are eight options to consider:
When picturing a Persian, you may be envisioning an all-white cat. But Persians come in a variety of color combinations, including black and white.
“The Persian has ancient roots, but the fanciers of the late 1800s laid the foundation for the breed as we know it today,” says Keiger. Persians are sweet, loving and generally do not require a high level of activity, she adds.
These cats require regular grooming to keep their coats free of mats, but Keiger says most Persians enjoy grooming time with their pet parents.
Norwegian Forest Cat
Norwegian Forest Cats are semi-long-haired cats with a double coat meant to help them withstand harsh Scandinavian winters. They are relatively large, with males weighing between 12 and 16 pounds and females weighing between 9 and 12 pounds.
Norwegian Forest Cats come in many colors, including black and white, blue, red, cream, silver and golden. As for temperament, the CFA says that these cats are “sensitive yet social,” and while they may be interested in sitting in your lap, they’ll only do so on their terms.
The Maine Coon is sometimes mistaken for the Norwegian Forest Cat. However, it is a long-haired breed native to America that can come in 75 different color combinations, including black and white. They are extremely intelligent yet kind and friendly.
The CFA dubs Maine Coons “gentle giants,” with full-grown males weighing 25 pounds and standing up to 16 inches tall (females are smaller).
If you love the look of a Persian cat but don’t want to commit to that level of grooming, an Exotic cat breed might be a good fit, Keiger. Described as peaceful and affectionate, the breed was created several decades ago by breeding an American Shorthair with a Persian to introduce the short hair gene, she said.
They have plush Persian-like coats that aren’t as long but still require some level of maintenance.
The thing that sets the American Curl apart from other cats is its ears– likened to those of a Lynx, they take on a “curl” with a rounded appearance. According to the CFA, they are very people-oriented and are described as “dog-like.” American Curls can have long and short hair and come in many colors and patterns, including black and white. They require minimal grooming.
Native to Japan, the Japanese Bobtail can still be found there and can easily adapt to nearly any household, Keiger says.
“This breed comes in various colors and patterns, but two of the most striking patterns are solid white and white with black on the head and tail. The most popular pattern is probably the calico or ‘mi-ke’ pattern,” says Keiger.
She adds that Japanese Bobtails have a lot of energy and love to play. Their coats can be short or long but require minimal grooming.
According to the CFA, the American Shorthair breed is known as a “working cat” that originated from cats following settlers from Europe to North America (they were also on the Mayflower ship). American Shorthairs are one of the most popular cat breeds in the US.
Size-wise, males are usually larger than females, and average between 11 and 15 pounds, with females weighing between 6 and 12 pounds. They are gentle companions that come in many colors, including black and white.