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What Kind of Cat Is Sylvester from Looney Tunes? Famous Cat Breeds Revealed

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

Ah, Sylvester. Bumbling, ever-hungry, and always unsuccessful in his attempt to devour little Tweety Bird. Have you ever wondered what his breed is? Sylvester is a domestic cat with a tuxedo coat pattern, also simply called a tuxedo cat.

What Is A Tuxedo Cat?   

While Sylvester the Cat may look dashing wearing his black-tie outfit, “tuxedo” is not actually his breed.

Tuxedo cats are simply domestic cats that can be of various breeds with a special black-and-white bicolor pattern that resembles a tuxedo.

The magic is in their genes. Tuxies have the dominant gene for a black coat, but they also have a white spotting gene that causes some of their fur to be white.

The result is a cat that looks like it’s wearing a little black tuxedo jacket with a white shirt underneath.

tuxedo cat is smiling
Image By: slidesl, Shutterstock

Cat Breeds That Commonly Have Tuxedo Coats

Because the tuxedo coat pattern is simply a result of genetics, it is possible for cats of any breed to develop it. For instance, the most common breeds of tuxedo cats include the American Shorthair, British Shorthair, Turkish Angora, and Maine Coon.

That’s why you’ll see these cats with shaggy coats, short coats, lanky legs, and fluffy tails. Tuxedo coats are common in many different breeds. Aside from the standard black-and-white tuxedo pattern, there are also gray, orange, blue, and silver tuxedo cats.

Sylvester the Cat’s Personality

Sylvester the Cat is quite the determined feline. He never gives up, no matter how many times he fails at catching his little bird friend. That’s why his antics have charmed audiences for decades.

Tuxedo cats often have similarly strong personalities. They are known for being playful, friendly, and very intelligent. In fact, tuxedo cats are often compared to dogs in terms of their trainability and ability to understand human language and gestures.

They’re quite talkative, too. Tuxies are often known for their vocal personalities, whether it’s meowing for food or chattering at birds outside the window.

Fun Facts About Tuxedo Cats

Tuxedo cats don’t just have a place in TV and cartoon history—they’ve also had some pretty famous, real-life fans, including ancient Egyptians who aside from Sylvester, other famous tuxedo cats include:

  • Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat: This mischievous cat is the star of one of the most popular Dr. Seuss books ever written. Just like Sylvester, he’s up to all sorts of trouble but always manages to get out of it in the end.
  • Felix the Cat: Considered one of the first-ever cartoon stars during the silent era, Felix the Cat first appeared in Feline Follies, a short animated film released on November 9, 1919, by Paramount Studios.

Here are some more interesting facts about tuxies:

  • They’re excellent swimmers.
  • Famous people, like Shakespeare and Beethoven, have owned tuxedo cats.
  • A Tuxie once ran for mayor. In 2012, Tuxedo Stan, a handsome feline from Halifax, Nova Scotia, ran for mayor in an attempt to raise awareness about the plight of homeless cats in Canada.
  • Former US President Bill Clinton owned a tuxedo cat named Socks.

Wrapping It Up

Sylvester the Cat is one of the most beloved cartoon characters of all time. And while he may not be a real-life tuxedo cat, many tuxies share some of the same personality traits and quirks. Whether they’re good swimmers or great talkers, these black-and-white cats are sure to make a mark on your heart!

Featured Image Credit: Characters by  Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.  All rights reserved to the copyright owners.

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