How Long Do Tuxedo Cats Live?

How long do tuxedo cats live

The tuxedo cat (a member of the piebald cats with a combination of black and white markings resembling a tux and many times white paws) is one of the most popular of all domestic cats.  So, how long do tuxedo cats live? Depending on various factors, tuxedo cats can live from 5 to 20 years old.

So, let’s look at what determines a tuxedo cat’s lifespan.

How Long Do Indoor Tuxedo Cats Live?

Most tuxedo cats that live indoors live to be from 15 to 20 years old and some into their early 20s.  Mine will be five years old this year. The average life expectancy seems to be around 15 years. 

We, the cat’s owners play a big part in how long our tuxedo cat will live.  

What we feed them, grooming habits, and the environment we raise them in, all have a bearing on their lifespan.

We’ll get into the specifics later in this article. You can also find more on how to help them live longer in “11 Tips To Increase Your Tuxedo Cat’s Lifespan”.

But, studies show that the indoor tuxedo cat will live three times longer than the outdoor tuxedo cat.  

How Long Do Outdoor Tuxedo Cats Live?

The life expectancy of an outdoor tuxedo cat, unfortunately, is on average, only five years.  

There are various reasons why they have such a short life and some are more obvious than others.  

First of all, the natural threats of the outdoors are a big factor.  

On our farm, we had to keep our cats close to the house because of the threat of coyotes.  Along with these, there was the danger of skunks, snakes, foxes, raccoons, hawks, and other animals, all enemies of the cat. And despite our efforts, they never survived on average over five years. I had one old farm cat, Murphy, that made it about seven years, but, he showed the wear and tear on him.

Depending on where you live, the threat of porcupines, cougars, and scorpions can also be just around the corner.

And there’s always the threat of feral cats.

Another reason for the short lifespan of outdoor cats is they have to hunt for their own food.  Many times they’ll go long periods of time without any food at all.

Another possibility is they can die from dehydration.

They can acquire diseases through ticks or fleas which can lead to death if not taken care of. 

In the winter they can contract hypothermia, and catch the flu, and overall the level of the cat’s immune system can have a huge bearing on its survival outside.

One other factor is the actual breed of the cat.

Some breeds of cats are more suited for the outdoors than others. The Maine Coon, Manx, and American Bobtail are just a few that fare well outdoors.

And then, the possibility of simply being hit by a car. Morbid, I know. But, it’s reality.

So, all these possibilities, more often than not, shorten the outdoor tuxedo cat’s life.

Do Tuxedo Cats Have Any Common Health Problems?

Since Tuxedo cats are not a distinct “breed”, but a coat pattern that could be in different breeds, you can’t really assign a specific health issue to just the tuxedo cat.  

You’ll need to find first, which of the cat breeds your tuxedo cat is a member of,( and all black and white cats are not tuxedo cats), various American Breeds, Maine Coon, Norwegian Forest Cat, etc, and see what health issues that particular breed of cat may experience.  

There are, however, some health issues that you should be aware of and watch for regardless of the breed, which would include your tuxedo cat.

  • Diabetes
  • Feline Leukemia
  • Cancer
  • Vomiting
  • Feline Lower Urinary Track Disease 


Middle-aged to older cats tend to be the worst at developing diabetes.  Being overweight doesn’t help, so, try and keep your tuxedo cat eating healthy and play with them regularly to help them get exercise.

I find that our cats tend to put on more weight when they’re eating more of the dry food left out.  

If the cat develops diabetes, it will need a special diet (most likely low carbs and high protein) along with insulin injections.

Signs of diabetes are drinking a lot more water than usual along with urinating more.

Losing weight even if they’re eating maniacs is another sign of diabetes.     

Feline Leukemia

Feline Leukemia is one of the most common cat infections existing.

A cat can be infected by bite wounds or contact with other cats that are infected.

It can be spread through feces, urine, or saliva.   

The best way to protect your tuxedo cat from infection is by simply keeping them away from other infected cats.  


There are different types of cancer in cats, some worse than others.  Generally, if a cat is diagnosed with cancer, it’s usually aggressive. 

The most common cancer is lymphoma.

The bad part about lymphoma is that it’s not localized in any one specific area and is sometimes found in the blood or in the organs.  

If diagnosed with lymphoma, ongoing medication is required, and depending on what area of the body it’s in, treatment may be steroids, surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation.


This is common and can be caused by a number of things.

  • Eating something inedible (like a feather or string)
  • Eating something poisonous (certain plants)
  • Eating certain bugs (the stink bug, in particular)
  • Diabetes
  • Urinary tract disease
  • Hairball
  • Food allergies

If your tuxedo cat vomits multiple times during the day and is not hairball-related, you should see your veterinarian.

Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease

This is another very common illness for not only the tuxedo cat but all cats, male or female.

It occurs more with cats that eat a lot of dry food, or overweight, or have stress caused by a multiple-cat household.

Symptoms can be the following;

  • Drinking more
  • Crying when they urinate
  • Dehydration
  • Urinating in odd places
  • Urinating more
  • Blood in the urine

In any case, feline lower urinary tract infections are serious, so always call your vet if you suspect your tuxedo cat has a UTI.

An excellent way to get a jump on your cat’s UTI is to use Pretty Litter as your cat litter. Pretty Litter will help you catch the UTI in the very early stages and can save your kitten a lot of pain and discomfort.

The litter in Pretty Litter changes color if your kitty has a UTI and also can give you a heads up on other health issues.

How To Help Your Tuxedo Cat Live Longer

Merlin and Maisey

Ok.  We already know that our little black and white tuxedo cats are the sweetest cats on earth.  And they’re the smartest cats, too, as far as we’re concerned, anyway.

And we want them to be around as long as possible.

So, what do we need to do to increase their life expectancy?

  • Well, first of all, we already know that indoor cats live longer than cats outdoors, so let’s start there.  Be careful to not have open doors leading outside, especially when you have company visiting that may not be aware of your cats. Keep your cat inside.  There’s way less risk of getting injured, hit by a car, getting ticks or fleas, picking up disease, getting in fights with other animals, etc.
  • Next, make sure your cat stays hydrated.  We keep two bowls of water out at all times.  One in the cat tree and one on the floor.  And, believe it or not, older cats are like older folks, and they don’t tend to drink enough water. You can help out by mixing a little in with their wet food to make sure they’re getting enough.  Tuxedo cats tend to like being around water. Ours rush to the bathtub when my wife turns it on, or they like to watch us when we wash dishes.  Going with this in mind, try putting out a cat water fountain which will help keep them around the water a bit more.
  • Like humans, cats should have regular visits to their doctor.  Start your tuxedo kittens off right by having regular monthly visits for the first five months, then yearly visits, from there on. By doing this, illnesses can be caught in the early stages which will help the cat live longer. Check out my article, “How Often Should You Take Your Cat To The Vet?
  • Spay or neuter your cat. Believe it or not, spayed or neutered cats live up to five years longer than those that aren’t. In fact, studies show that the spayed female will live 39% longer and the neutered male 62% longer.
  • Break down and buy them good high-quality food.  At first, it seems that it costs a lot more, but usually, the higher quality food is smaller servings than the cheaper regular grocery store food.  Nutro and Innova are good brands to look into. Also, Rachel Ray Nutrish is one we use on a regular basis.
  • One last thing that we have tried is to use a new cat litter that has been introduced recently. What’s so remarkable about this litter is, that PrettyLitter changes color to tell you when your cat has a potential health issue, so you can get them help before it becomes an urgent medical situation. This is a good way to get a jump on any life-threatening problems that could shorten your little kitty’s life.
  • Finally, if you smoke, try to smoke outside. Second-hand smoke can affect the health of your kittens just the same if not more than it would your children. So, keep their well-being in mind when you smoke.

Summary For How Long Do Tuxedo Cats Live

In a nutshell, we’ve learned that your domestic tuxedo cat that lives indoors has a life expectancy of 15-20 years which is three to four times longer than the outdoor tuxedo cat, with their life expectancy being 5-7 years.

There are no specific health problems for a tuxedo cat since it’s not a breed.  However, there are a few common health problems of all cats that can be applied.

All black and white cats are not tuxedo cats.

Finally, we can help our tuxedo cats live longer by keeping them indoors, keeping them hydrated, having regular visits to the veterinarian, having them spayed or neutered, and feeding them high-quality food.

I hope this helps you have a longer enjoyable life with your tuxedo cats.


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