Bicolor kitties that have black and white markings are also called tuxedo or piebald cats. Some people wrongly assume that tuxedo cats are a specific breed. Tuxedo refers to the distinctive coat markings that look like they are wearing a formal dinner suit. Mixed-breed domestic cats, also called moggies, can also have black and white markings. Black is a common coat color in cats because it is a dominant gene. Black and white cats have the white spotting gene, which prevents the color-producing melanocytes from migrating to those areas.
Here are 10 popular types of cats that can have a black and white coat, among other potential coat colors and markings.
When considering a black and white cat, be sure to take into account its temperament and physical characteristics the breed tends to have. Make sure you can offer a good fit in terms of home and lifestyle.
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The Maine coon is one of the largest cat breeds and known for being incredibly gentle. Combined with their distinctive good looks and lustrous coat, they are among the most popular breeds across the world. Maine coons are commonly tabby, but they come in various coat colors and patterns, including black and white. These cats usually get along well with all family members, including respectful kids and dogs. They're loyal and affectionate without being too needy. Maine coons are known for being expert mousers and might not suit a family with small pet furries.
Height: Up to 16 inches
Weight: 9 to 17 pounds
Coat and Color: Long, double coat with more than 75 color combinations and green, gold, or copper eyes
Life Expectancy: 9 to 15 years
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A black and white Cornish rex is striking to behold with its famed tight, curly rows of fur; wide-set large ears; and svelte physique. They're sometimes referred to as the greyhound of the cat kingdom. Energetic and sociable, this breed thrives with company. The Cornish rex is an intelligent cat that you can teach an array of impressive tricks, and some provide support as therapy animals.
Height: 12 to 14 inches
Weight: 6 to 10 pounds
Coat and Color: Tight, curly short hair in a wide range of colors, including solid, shaded, smoke, and tabby
Life Expectancy: 10 to 16 years
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Like the Cornish rex, the Manx is dog-like. They're usually playful, companionable, even-tempered, and energetic. Manx cats are also smart and highly trainable. This breed is typically tailless, but sometimes they have a short stump. They come in a wide variety of coat colors, including black and white. This short-coated variety can shed a lot and, with their rounded, shorter back, they can be more prone to spinal problems. These cats are also famed for their skills as mousers.
Weight: 8 to 12 pounds
Height: 10 to 12 inches
Coat and Colors: Short- and long-haired varieties; tailless; colors include white, blue, black, red, cream, silver, tortoiseshell, blue cream, and brown
Life Expectancy: 14 to 16 years
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This breed gets its name from its shorter than average legs, which occur due to a naturally occurring genetic mutation. Munchkins come in a vast array of color combinations, including black and white. These diminutive kitties are known for being warm-hearted, fun-loving, and outgoing. Because of their short legs, Munchkins can need extra help when it comes to grooming those harder-to-reach spots. Debate swirls around the ethics of continued breeding of this cat with its abnormal mutation and the potential correlation between specific health problems and this type of body shape.
Weight: 6 to 9 pounds
Height: 5 to 7 inches
Coat and Colors: Shorthaired with a medium-length plush coat or longhaired with a semi-long silky coat; coats come in any color combination or pattern
Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 yearsContinue to 5 of 10 below.
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Often confused with their Siamese relative, the Oriental shorthair is a separate breed. Unlike Siamese, these cats have green eyes and come in many patterns and colors, including black and white. Like Siamese, the Oriental shorthair tends to be inquisitive, chatty, and even-tempered. Although no cat is truly hypoallergenic, this breed is known to produce less Fel D1 protein, which can trigger allergies. They have a short, single coat, meaning these cats can feel the cold and prefer a cozy and draft-free home. A longer-haired Oriental is a separate breed.
Height: 9 to 11 inches
Weight: 8 to 10 pounds
Coat and Color: Short, smooth coat with many color possibilities: solids, shaded, smoke, and tabby; green, blue, gold, and yellow eyes
Life Expectancy: 10 to 15 years
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While the pure white Persian is often the most photographed and highly prized variety of this popular breed, they also come in other colors, including black and white. There's no mistaking this breed with their long, thick coats; large, vivid eyes; and smushed faces. Their popularity also stems from their laid-back, low-energy, and snuggly personalities. They aren't known for being one of the most intelligent or most trainable cats. A Persian's long, lustrous coat requires daily grooming. It easily gets matted and is uncomfortable if neglected.
Height: 14 to 18 inches
Weight: 7 to 12 pounds
Coat and Color: Long coat in solid (white, black, cream), tabby, calico, bi-color, silver and gold, shaded, and smoke
Life Expectancy: 10 to 17 years
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Famed for their small folded-over ears, the Scottish fold has a rather impish-looking appearance. These cats are usually anything but impish in personality. Known for being laid back and friendly, Scottish folds usually live well alongside other pets and respectful kids. This breed is at greater risk of developing a degenerative joint disease that can impact cartilage and bone development. Their dense coat needs regular grooming to prevent problems with fur balls. The black and white combination is just one of many colors that the breed can have.
Weight: 5 to 11 pounds
Height: 8 to 10 inches
Coat and Color: Short coats that can come in many colors and patterns, but commonly calico, tortoiseshell, and tabby
Life Expectancy: 11 to 14 years
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Siberian cats have a very dense, semi-longhaired, triple coat. They need this fur to survive the freezing, forested subarctic Siberian regions of Russia. The breed is growing in popularity in the U.S. due to its affectionate, playful personality and striking good looks. Siberians are active and intelligent and need enrichment to prevent boredom. Their coat is not prone to matting but sheds profusely biannually. Brown tabby is the Siberian's most common pattern, although they come in a wide range of colors and patterns, including black and white.
Height: 9 to 11 inches
Weight: 8 to 15 pounds
Coat and Color: Semi-longhaired, triple-coat that varies from coarse to soft; comes in a wide variety of colors
Life Expectancy: 10 to 18 yearsContinue to 9 of 10 below.
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The elegant, long-haired Turkish Angora was once associated with only being white. They're most commonly still found in this color and come in many other variations, including black and white. Turkish Angoras tend to be best suited to a household where they'll have company for most of the day. Outgoing and affectionate, they need plenty of attention and enrichment. They're more active than your average cat and can become mischievous if they get bored. Unlike most cats, this breed often loves to swim and play in water.
Weight: 5 to 9 pounds
Height: 9 to 14 inches
Coat and Color: Long, silky coats that can come in a variety of colors and patterns, like white with lavender, chocolate, or Himalayan markings, tabby or calico
Life Expectancy: 13 years or more
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Domestic mixed-breed cats also called moggies and don't have any formal pedigree. If you're looking to adopt a cat, these cats are most commonly found in rescue shelters across the country. They are beautiful, intelligent, and affectionate with wonderful temperaments and minimal health issues. They come in a wide variety of coat colors and patterns, including black and white.
Breeds to Avoid
Albinism in cats is rare, only occurring in 2 percent of all cats. If you are looking for a cat with black in its coat, albinism is the lack of color or melanin to produce black. An albino feline completely lacks the gene responsible for melanin production, or the gene is damaged. Certain breeds carry albinism genes more than others, including Oriental breeds, Siamese, Burmese, and Tonkinese. Albinos have almost transparent eyes, appearing as pinkish-blue, as well as pinkish noses and pinkish inner ears. Albino kitties lack all pigmentation on their fur and skin.