Are people spooked by black cats? Darker felines sure seem to get the short end of the stick when it comes to adoption. Black cats stay in shelters longer and are more likely to be euthanized than their lighter-colored counterparts. Researchers at University of California at Berkeley conducted a study to find a link between cat color and people's perception of cat personality. The findings were surprising: People do judge feline personalities by color, but don't assess black cats negatively relative to other cats.
Researchers conducted an online survey consisting of 49 statements pairing five cat colorings (black, white, orange, bi-colored, and tri-colored) with 10 personality traits (active, aloof, bold, calm, friendly, intolerant, shy, stubborn, tolerant, and trainable.) Survey respondents assessed statements like, "Tri-colored cats are friendly," on a seven-point scale.
Orange and bi-colored cats are rated high in friendliness, tri-colored cats are high in intolerance, and white cats are high in aloofness. However, the researchers concluded that black cats weren't rated significantly higher or lower in any trait than other color groups. Effectively, people perceive these cats as having neutral personalities compared to other cats. So why the cold shoulder at the adoption agency?
Mikel Delgado, lead author of the study, said in a press release, "Previous research supports the existence of 'black cat syndrome,' where black and brown cats are less likely to be adopted than cats of other colors." She adds, "We were interested in whether people's perceptions of the interaction between personality and coat color might play a part."
Superstitions might be one reason why black cats are the last to get adopted, especially around Halloween. But Berkeley researchers offer another conclusion: While 94.7 percent of respondents said that personality influences their decision to adopt, personality may be less important to potential adopters than they think. After all, assessing the personality of a cat based on its coat isn't a foolproof method.
If it all comes down to looks, it may be that subconsciously, people don't think black cats are pretty enough. The researchers suggest that if shelters had empirically reviewed tools to assess cat personality, they could better match them to potential owners and try to work around their color biases.
The adoption problem could be something more basic - like the individual not wanting black fur on the furniture
bezford,While its true to say that people have supersticious ideas about black cats, its also true that many people actualy seek out black cats and are prefered by many as pets.
I would also point out, speaking from experience, that the colours of a cats fur often seem to influence the cats personality and habits.
For instance black cats are known as mentioned above, but also known to be a bit mad and unpredictable,racing around shreeking and scratching as they go and while all cats do behave this way black cats definately moreso.
Where ginger cats seem confident and friendly and much more grounded(usualy) than there black cousins. white cats,although rare,are very loyal and almost manogamous with there owners,having a very devoted relationship with there owner,even pushing out the owners actual partner,and unfortunately,often being reciprocated putting the marriage here on the back burner,with the white being devoted and chilled it is also fiercly jealous and territorial.
Many other variations can be seen in a cats colours and there differing personalities and a full study of this would interest myself at least,certainly.I have three cats myself,all very different and individual and funny and loving,Puss,Scruffy and Billy-very intellegent,far beyond most people would expect.
I'm sure it has more to do with shedding black hard all over everything instead of more subtle reasons. Did anyone think to check the difference between white and black cats?
I've had several black cats over the years and I've never had any with personality problems, if anything they tended to be more friendly to strangers then my other cats. I once had a black cat that was super friendly, and came when you called it by name which is amazing with cats as they usually don't know their own names.. lol. His brother from the same litter, who was also pure black... was a little bit slow in the head. He had trouble even connecting blows of his paw against feather/string toys... perhaps depth perception problem.. anyway, both were fun and friendly.
The only difference I have noticed with black cats is the silly superstitious reaction many humans have toward them.
Well, noone is saying it, so I'm going to. Black cats are just not as cute as those of lighter colors, and the "cute factor" is honestly more important to people than personality is. Otherwise there would be less devil cats in peoples homes. You all know the cat that someone adopted but now all it does is sit under the couch being a grump, only coming out to slash at your achilles tendon when you sit down. Point is, they didn't adopt for personality, they adopted it for its "beautiful green eyes" or its pretty coat color. The "black fur everywhere" thing doesn't fly either. Orange fur (or white fur) is just as likely to show if you have dark furniture.
I have a black cat, and he has to be about the best pet I've ever had. He is loving as can be, fairly silly most the time, and comes when called.
We went LOOKING for a black kitten:
Milo is now two years old and a very productive intern. We could not be happier with our black cat!!!
"We Entertain When It Rains"
Cat emotions are always difficult to read, but black cats make it more difficult because of their dark color. And the contrast between their dark fur and their light eyes makes them look like they are in a perpetual state of surprise. But of course they behave just like other cats, and after living with one it will become a part of the family just as much as any different colored cat.
I have three black cats if anything I would be against a orange or white cat.... My black cats are the bomb... They are affectionate and playful... They have really stank poop.
I've a black cat from the ASPCA. She popped out of their carrier into the 'get acquainted area' did a quick circuit and popped back into the carrier and looked at me,'okay, this is the way home.' So I told the vet, 'I'll take this one' and she brought my carrier I'd left by the cages and when I opened it, the cat jumped from their carrier into mine and looked at me. "Okay, let's go." and purred all the way home. Get a cat tower and if you get a single cat, get one of the opposite sex; they can tell the difference between male and female bipeds and the relationship's tighter that way, if that's not unacceptable.
The excavations at Gobekli Tepe in Turkey reveal the first stone monolithic henge; constructed 12,000 years ago, it's the oldest known man-made religious structure. It's size meant considerable knowledge of agricultural technology as a large number of artisans would have been required and the world's Einkorn wheat genetically derives from that area. So do all the world's domesticated cats which are genetically identical to it's local wildcat (there are 12 wild cats worldwide).
and check Google Images
Perhaps the differences in the personalities associated with the colors are actually a reflection of how people treated the cat in the past based on their preconceptions about them and not some sort of genetic factor that influences both personality and color?
My wife's coven volunteered to take all the black cats it can accommodate.
Isn't that how black cats got in trouble in the first place?