Sometimes, the fur color of your cat can say a lot about its behavior and personality. This thing it may hold a certain significance and it can even influence us, humans, when choosing them as our companions.
We need to understand that much like human beings, each animal is different in its own way and it has a unique personality. This individual personality is shaped by various factors including its sex, hormonal factors, family or even the socialization process when it was a kitten. Breed is also an important influence. We all know that different breeds have different personality traits, but with mixed breed cats, it is difficult to tell. It may have led some people to look for other factors, with some questioning what does a cat’s color says about its personality?
It is true that the coat’s color affects the cat’s personality?
In the introduction, we noted that some scientists have made a correlation between personality and melanin. Melanin is a general term for the color pigments of animals. A greater concentration of melanin leads to darker skin or fur color. A report from 2015 collated previous studies on the melanocortin system, claiming that “[individuals] with darker pigmentation are found to be pleiotropically linked to higher levels of aggression, sexuality, and social dominance than individuals with lighter pigmentation”
However, the same report says that these studies are also impacted by many other factors other than skin and coat color. Also, the specific correlations with cats are not well mentioned. What it does suggest is that there might be more of a chance that certain colors might have correlating behavior patterns. What it does not claim is that all these different colors mean they will behave in any predictable way. Cat color personality traits are also given to cats by we humans. Let’s look at what we might be able to link between a cat’s coat and their personality.
Let’s start our study with Black cats about which opinions are always shared. Many people know that black cats are associated with bad luck in many cultures and they were heavily persecuted in continental Europe in the Middle Ages. However, in other cultures, the black cat has received much more favorable treatment. For instance, they are believed to bring good luck in the British Isles, but they are mistrusted in the United States.
The truth is that black cats can have a range of personality types. While it is possible the study mentioned above points towards aggression in black cats, there are many who are the most lovable, affectionate and docile creatures.
Orange cats often do get given this perception of being chill cats which love to be lazy and play more than others. Another 2015 study shows that we have some particular biases towards certain colors of the cat. These aren’t always related to aggression or negative personality traits. This study found that participants were “more likely to attribute the trait ‘friendliness’ to orange cats”.
Orange cats are seen as being particularly sweet and loving. They are thought to have a greater tendency to meow when they want attention, and particularly enjoy petting and kind words. Out of all the different types of cats, many people think that orange cats let you handle them more than any other. This is so even if they are often shy at first.
Gray cats are seen as having a mischievous, fun-loving attitude. They’re particularly beautiful and exhibit traits from all personalities. There are some cat breeds that are noted for their gray coloring. These include the Russian Blue and the Nebelung. These breeds are known for having certain characteristic personality elements, mischievous and fun-loving being shared traits.
The same study about human perception of a cat’s personality due to their coat color also discusses White cats. They are seen as “less bold and active and more shy and calm than other colors of cat”.
One aspect of white cats that is interesting and may have a bearing on their perceived personality is their tendency to have deafness. “Deaf white cats show an absence of melanocytes” which may correlate to the idea that pigmentation and personality are linked. It is also possible that white cats that are deaf will be more likely to be shy due to their vulnerable state. However, this doesn’t link up when we think of white cats that are not deaf.
Culturally, white cats are also given certain characteristics due to their color. This is because white is often seen as a sign of purity and innocence. This might have lead many people to see white cats as being sweet, pure and good-natured in their personality, things we can’t deny.
Particolor and tortoiseshell cats. Another study in 2016 was made to study the aggression in cats putting them is diverse circumstances such as vet visits, everyday interaction etc. One of the most interesting aspects of this study was the findings that particolor cats (cats with more than one color) seemed to have more aggressive tendencies. These coat patterns include tortoiseshell, calico, gray and white and black and white cats. Something interesting about tortoiseshell and calico pattern cats is that these cats tend to be almost exclusively female. The study found that “[female] cats had a higher aggression score than did males”. However, this finding was adjusted because of the fact calico and tortoiseshell cats were seen as the most aggressive overall. This meant they skewed the results toward female cats.
There is enough evidence to suggest that there is the potential for the color of a cat’s coat to have a minimal influence on their personality and behavior. However, there is more evidence to support the fact that other factors are likely more significant. These factors include whether or not the cat has been sterilized, age, history and socialization.