White cat aloof and shy? – The relation between cat coat color and personality have been debated for long now. Is it any connection between them with ample sample studies? There are trends certain colored cats tend to be picked up quickly while the others remain longer at animal shelters. Is it their color and personality or our perception beforehand?
Human Perceptions of Colors on Cats
There’s a study which is to discover our cat biases carried by researchers using internet-based survey. Mikel Delgado from California State University, who was a doctoral student in psychology at the time led this study.
With 198 participants, they asked them to associate 10 personality terms with five cat colors listed below.
10 Cat Personality Term
5 Cat Coat Colors
- Tri-colored (Tortoiseshells and Calico cats)
- Bi-colored (White and anything else)
What we came to know? Orange cats were largely regarded as friendly.
Tortoiseshells and calico cats rated high in aloofness and intolerance.
White cats were also considered as aloof, shy and calm.
The bi-colored cats were thought to be friendly and black cats? No clear trends emerged.
The results were published in Anthrozoös.
Adoption Rates at Shelters
Despite the fact that there is hard little evidence the links between coat color and its personality, behavior, there’s a serious repercussion for cats based on biased images.
There’s a study which is to investigate determinants of adoption of cats and dogs from a large municipal animal shelter in the
Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science. This 2002 study found that black and brown cats were the least likely to be adopted. Darker cats were also more likely to be euthanized.
Also, the study found that people frequently believed that tortoiseshells had too much attitude or known as
tortitude, which may explain why they don’t get adopted quickly or get returned to the shelter.
While there’s little genetic evidence that genes that guide the coloring and patterning on a cat’s coat also influence its behavior, we have more practical information when we want to adopt a cat.
Although it doesn’t apply to every cat, general breed personality information can be really useful to consider which cat would be appropriate for you and your family.
Before we make an assumption based on their colors, we need to make sure our likings, needs and how much care each breed needs.
Perhaps you can start with this Cat Breed Selector. We get to know ourselves better and be prepared with breed information, adopting cats likely to be successful!
Judging a Cat (Wrongly) by the Color of its Coat (Smithsonian.com)
Don’t be so fast to judge a cat by its color, study warns (Berkeley News)
Also published on Medium.