Does A Cat’s Coat Color Affect The Personality?

Many factors can contribute to a cat’s personality. Is coat color one of them? From your observations, do you believe a cat’s coat color can have an affect on the personality?

As with humans, each cat’s personality is distinctly its own, unique to that animal. Many things affect the personality: sex, hormonal factors, its family background; if it received proper socialization as a kitten. Breed can also affect personality development.

But what about coat color? Does a cat’s coat color tell us anything about the cat wearing that coat?

Many cats, all colors

Some scientists make a correlation between personality and melanin, which represents a general term for color pigmentation in animals. If the animal has a greater concenntration of melanin, this will lead to a darker skin or fur color.

A 2015 study claimed that the animals with a darker pigmentation could be linked to higher levels of aggression, sexuality, and social dominence.

In the same report, the authors noted that skin and coat color were not the only factors that impacted the cat’s behavior. It merely tells us that there might be more of a chance that certain colors might have some effect on personality.

Often the cat’s personality traits as we see them could simply reflect top traits we believe the cat has, but may not have much basis in results.

Here you will find some perceived personality traits which might provide a link between coat and personality:

Black Cat

Black cat standing on fence

The reputation of this cat has it the most people-oriented color. Perhaps because they have received so much bad press, when they find a forever home, they become loving and grateful.

Though you may find your black cat to be the most affectionate cat, another black cat might rank as the most antisocial. Believing that coat color determines personality has no scientific evidence, but instead is based on anecdotal evidence.

Tortoiseshell Cat

Tortoiseshell cat, lying down

Owners of these cats all tell us that they have a big attitude, taking longer to warm up to other cats in the home. In general, owners might believe the cat is sassier, but you will find no evidence to support this belief.

However, a theory has come out that perhaps the sassiness is gender-related. Except for rare cases, tortoiseshells are female. As female cats often have a feistier personality than males, this theory could explain the perceived link.

Tuxedo Cats

I had a tuxedo cat for many years and must admit, I believe he was the finest cat I ever shared my home with. So, did that have something to do with his color? I don’t think so.

When I first got him, he was about 1-1/2 years old. He’d obviously been properly socialized, as he liked and behaved well toward most people.

Tuxedo cat, lying on grass

I’m a firm believer that if you interact regularly with your cat — talk to him; play with him; teach him about your world — that he will respond by becoming more social and more adaptable to our life-styles. It has nothing to do with his color, but rather to the way you have integrated him into your world.

So, as my references pointed out, a tuxedo cat does not belong to just one breed. As breed can indeed affect personality, this may be affecting how your cat interacts with people and other pets.

Orange Cats

Orange cat sitting on fence

It seems that many of our ideas about how coat color can affect a cat’s personality prove based on particular biases. Thus, people seem more likely to attribute friendliness to orange cats.

People view these cats as particularly sweet, loving animals. The cat seems to enjoy petting and kind words, and often meows for attention. Many believe that an orange cat will let you handle him more, even if he shows shyness at first.

White Cats

White cat, head and shoulders

Many owners of white cats see them as less bold and active and more shy and calm than cats of other colors.

As deafness often becomes a trait of white cats, it is possible that this condition makes them more shy because their deafness produces a certain vulnerability. Perhaps because they have white fur, people see them as pure and sweet, with a good-natured personality.

Gray cat, head & shoulders

Gray Cats

These cats are seen to have a mischievous, fun-loving attitude. However, you can find it likely that their breed has something to do with the way they act.

Brown Cats

These cats represent the rarest color for a cat’s coat.

My Mocha does not actually qualify as a brown cat, but his predominant color is brown. He has a white chest and belly; his fur is tan with darker spots. Forehead and legs show dark brown stripes; these go in circles around his legs. His tail is a very dark brown, fluffy plume.

Does his color affect his personality? I don’t think so. He has traits from various ancestors. From his Siamese background, he received the trait of vocalizing a great deal, with little trills and chirps. He was born feral, and still finds the outdoors a place of fascination.

Because of his feral beginnings, he did not receive proper socialization, and it’s taken me time and patience to teach him that the ideal way to interact with a human does not include biting. He has had to learn to accept things that would not influence him if he still lived in the wild.

However, he has responded to the kindness and care he receives. Now he has become a most acceptable cat. However, I don’t think his coat color has made any difference.

It’s Up To Us

I believe it’s our choice to decide how to view our cat’s personality. He has his own distinct way of being, and perhaps the best thing we can do is provide love and comfort, no matter his color or background.

References I used for this post:

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