Cat coat colors linked to personality

Cat coat colors linked to personality

Calico and tortoiseshell rated the lowest

I remember the first time someone told me their theory that cat coat colors were linked to their personality. I brushed it off at the time, but in the years since then, I have heard it many times from a wide variety of people - from your average everyday cat lover to veterinarians.

Now, a study indicates there may be some truth to this old wive's tale. Led by an animal behavior expert at U.C. Davis, a questionnaire was sent out to 1200 cat owners. The questionnaire asked owners to rate their cats' behavior and personality, and also asked them to describe their cat's color. The study was blind - the participants didn't know what the study was for.

The result was remarkable. Calico and tortoiseshell cats came in at by far the least social, the most likely to hiss, and the most likely to scratch. Solid-colored cats and orange tabbies ranked the highest, being the most friendly and easy-going colors.

Researchers suspect the naughty behavior of calico and tortoiseshell cats might be linked to the fact that these colors have a double x chromosome. This is why there are almost no male calico or tortoiseshell cats - and those rare males are almost always infertile.