Volunteering for a cat rescue, I see many cats come and go. Some get adopted quickly, while others wait indefinitely for forever homes. Kittens don’t stick around long. People always want what is shiny and new. Much like our society, favouring the young, no one wants the elderly. It’s sad but I never expected colour to be an issue in whether a cat gets adopted. I guess I give people too much credit because sadly it does seem to matter.
Cats are often judged and chosen based on their colour. People sometimes assume personality traits have a direct correlation with the colour of a cat. Orange cats are considered friendly, white cats are considered aloof, tortoiseshell cats have attitude, etc. Black cats are associated with witches and therefore evil. From my own research and experience black cats have it the worst. They are the least likely to get adopted and more likely to be euthanized. Tuxedo and grey cats are a close second!
Why is this? The colour of their fur has nothing to do with their personalities. What happens to these cats when they don’t live up to the stereotypes? This is a real problem that many rescue organizations and shelters face. That is why it is important to educate people in hopes that certain animals will not be overlooked. There is no sound research to support any correlation with fur colour and personality traits!
I did find some research discussing the merits of owning a black cat. Most of it was based on ancient religion, cultural superstitions and folklore. While I would like to highlight that there is positive findings in regards to black cats (it’s not all witches and Halloween), this is not the kind of thing that should sway a decision. Deciding which cat to adopt should never be based on these factors.
If you do adopt a pet, keep an open mind. Give the animal ample time to adjust to their new surroundings and family. Don’t make assumptions based on stereotypes, they deserve better!