The Color of a Cat Can Determine Their Personality
Veterinarian Reviewed on June 4, 2009 by Dr. Janice Huntingford
Cat fanciers, veterinarians, animal behaviorists and cat owners can all attest to the fact that after a careful examination of feline genetics, a very strong connection between the color of a cat’s fur and her personality.
Gray Tabby Cats
Today’s domesticated cats descended from one, small group of African wildcats, who domesticated themselves roughly 10,000 years ago. These cats were all gray tabby cats that resemble the African wildcats of found in the wild today. Feral cats that are found in rural areas across the USA and Europe usually have this same fur pattern.
These cats are usually quite solitary and have a tendency to play aggressively. They enjoy hunting their prey outside and because of this it may be quite difficult to keep a Gray Cat indoors.
Black/White Cats or Gray/White Cats
While gray cats are found in rural areas, cats that are either black and white or gray and white are found in feral areas of cities. These cats can be quite resourceful and clever. They are very active and are great mousers. However they are usually display less affectionate than other colored cats. Black and White Cats and Gray and White Cats make lots of friends with humans and other cats, although these friendships are usually short lived.
Most purely white cats are at a very high risk for congenital deafness and the majority of blue eyed white cats are sometimes born deaf. They usually also have poor vision and skin disorders. Because of this, white cats are usually quite timid and will follow their owner around the house.
Not all white cats are deaf though!
Chocolate Brown Cats
This color is somewhat rare due to the fact that the gene that is associated with the chocolate colored coats is usually only seen in a very small and select gene pool. However, chocolate colored cats are intelligent, playful and very friendly. These cats use their voice a lot and will playful swat their paws at their owner to get their attention.
Blue, Cream, Gray, Lilac and Cats
Cats that have lighter coats all usually carry the same gene, called the dilution gene. Orange or Red cats that carry this dilution gene appear cream in color, whilst black cats with this dilution gene have a blue or gray hue to their coats, and chocolate cats with this dilution will always appear as if they are actually lilac in color. Besides having the personality traits that are associated with orange, black, or chocolate colors, diluted cats also have their own set of unique personality traits.
These cats are playfully mischievous and due to their curious nature they can often annoy their owners and other household pets by their frantic running from one side of the house to another, as if they are chasing some invisible object.
Color Point and Seal Point Cats
These colorful cats can be quite vocal and assertive. They can also be affectionate, often choosing one member of the family of the other members. Owners of these cats often describe them as being quite ‘dog like’ with these cats even enjoying walking on a leash outdoors.
Tortoiseshell and Calico Cats
Calico or Tortoiseshell Cats are usually female and so their personality traits are reflective of their gender and will be somewhat more docile than their male counterparts. Although male calicos are considered to be quite rare, they do exist. They have quite an unusual personality and will show traits associated with both male and female cats.
Ginger, Orange or Red Cats
Orange cats are usually male with females existing at a ratio of 1 out of every 5 orange cats. Male Orange, Ginger or Red Cats are quite assertive and aggressive and can be vocal at times. Female Orange, Ginger or Red Cats are much calmer and quieter than the males.
Solid Black Cats have genetic traits that are similar to black and grey cats; therefore their personality traits are similar as well. Of all the different cat colors, the black cat is more closely related to their wild ancestors and it is believed that black cats were first seen in the wild before they became domesticated cats. Hence, these cats carry a reputation for having a wild and unpredictable side. They can be both stubborn and friendly at the same time, and although they are quite independent creatures, they also thrive on the companionship of people and other cats and household pets. Be warned though, Black Cats have a tendency to roam around and can cover many miles in a short period of time. Therefore, if you are going to allow your Black Cat to be an outside cat, you should make sure that he carries proper identification.
Photo Credit: Alikai
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Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for over 30 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan