Cat Lifestyle

What’s in a Coat’s Attitude?

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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.

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