What’s in a Coat’s Attitude?

When I was a child, my mom and my friend’s mom would go on walks around the neighborhood to help lose weight. On one such walk, instead of coming home with stories about how eggs were thrown at them or crazy drivers, they came home with a little tiny colorful kitten, one my friend’s mom was excited to keep.

After nursing it back to health, the kitten became rambunctious and a part of the family, being given the name Xena (after the Warrior Princess).

A name she more than lived up to.

To this day, even in her old age, Xena has a distinct attitude. She can be aloof and demanding. Feisty. One minute she will be fine with you petting her, showing her love, and the next minute she decides she is completely done with you. She tolerates others, but is most certainly in charge of what happens to her.

As I have come to learn more about the cat world, I have discovered that Xena might not be the only cat filled with a high level of sass. In fact, for many cats with the Tortoiseshell coloring, she fits right in.

Tortitude, has become the common name for a tri-color cat with an increased attitude. Xena has that in spades.

But does the coat of the cat really have anything to do with their personality? When Xena first became a part of my friend’s family, there was almost no research being done on cat personality.

But now, with the number of feral cats roaming the streets and euthanasia in shelters increasing around the world, finding the right homes is becoming imperative, and research is being done to try to keep cats in forever homes.

In a study, 189 participants completed an anonymous survey about their cat’s personality traits.

94.7 % of the participants “responded that personality was very important” when adopting a cat.

Though only 50% said that coat color was important, the results for the survey linking personality traits to their cat’s coat color indicate that the responders linked both coat color and personality traits.

In fact, this study even had enough of a consistency, that they could assign typical personality traits to certain colored cats.

I’m sure many cat lovers would not be surprised that the terms “aloof” and “intolerant” were more likely to be used when describing tri-colored/tortoiseshell cats.

So why might these feline friends have a bit more sass then the others? Could it be that most are females? Could it be a superiority complex?

Research has yet to delve into the whys, but I do know one thing:

Xena is a Warrior Princess that still rules over that house with loving disdain and self-assurance.

Delgado MM, Munera JD, Reevy GM. Human perceptions of coat color as an indicator of domestic cat personality. Anthrozoos 2012;25(4):427-440.

Save a Life: Spay & Neuter

The Benefits of Spaying / Neutering your Pet

Spaying or neutering your cat will be one of the most important decisions you make concerning the care and welfare of not only your cat, but other cats as well.

As of today, the pet overpopulation crisis is catastrophically serious. Animals are euthanized every single day, and cats at a much higher rate, simply because there is not enough room for them at shelters. According to the ASPCA, approximately 1.3 million cats are euthanized every year. By acting responsibly and spaying / neutering our pets, we will begin to address this devastating statistic.

Find out how spaying or neutering not only helps control an overpopulation crisis, but also increases the health, lifespan, and livelihood of your cat!


Unspayed females may urinate when they are in heat and this is difficult to stop. Recommended treatment to this problem starts with having your cat spayed.


During your cat’s heat cycle there are numerous behavioural problems that appear when cats are searching or yearning for available mates. Such as, owners of females having to deal with an influx of male cats around their property.

This not only affects their pet’s behaviour, but this isn’t too great for the owner if they wake up to howling cats at 2 in the morning either.


Spayed / neutered cats also make for better and friendlier companions. Tying into the previous point, you will have to deal with much less roaming, running away, and the biting or scratching that occurs during this period.


Cancer: Mammary cancer is the third most common cancer in cats. Reproductive hormones are one of the primary causes of mammary cancer in the cat. Cats who have been spayed before their first heat cycle have a 40-60% lower risk of developing mammary cancer than those who have not been spayed. In male cats, neutering also reduces the chances of developing testicular cancer, prostatic disease, and hernias.

Tumors: Tumors in the reproductive tracts, uterus, or ovaries can also be avoided by reducing ovarian hormone levels when spaying.


The fact is that the US is facing a severe pet overpopulation crisis as a whole and spay / neuter is the only way to overcome it.