Paws Up for Wednesday – What Does Your Cat’s Color Say About Her?

How important is a cat’s color? It depends. Some people prefer cats of a specific color or of a different color—they are fascinated by unusual shades and patterns on the cats they choose to spend time with. But what do we know about a cat’s color and how it might determine her personality? I think it’s a fascinating topic, especially since science has taken notice and studies are being made and published.

I came across a great article on the topic of cat color recently and I want to share it with you. First, a story about a cat I know and love and his surprising DNA story. As you know, I write cozy mysteries with cats. My mother’s cat, Smokey is the model for my cat character, Rags. In one of the stories I wanted to introduce Rags’s father, but I had no idea what he would look like. Smokey came from a litter of kittens my sister-in-law’s purebred Himalayan cat had after a fling out of doors. There were two Himalayans in the litter and two short-haired grey and white cats (as I recall). Yes, the female had gotten out. My sister-in-law saw a black-and-white cat around about the same time and we all figured that was Smokey’s father. But I wanted more information. So I contacted a DNA expert I’d read about and asked what she could tell me.

Surprisingly, she responded. I sent her a picture of the mother and the litter and the kittens. Her response was super surprising: “Orange tabby,” she said. What? I went back to my sister-in-law to ask if she may have seen other cats or another cat in the area when her Himalayan got out that time. She said, “Well, yes, but he couldn’t have sired that litter because he was an old orange cat.”

True story. Cat DNA is a fascinating topic. In fact I had Olivia’s DNA tested and I now know quite a bit about her lineage—down to the interesting fact (?) that the wild cat she’s most closely related to is the cheetah.

So what did I learn by reading the article (link provided), that there are 3 basic cat colors—red, white and black. Cats are basically black unless they’re orange. All cats are tabbies. And dig this, these scientists did an experiment where they asked 189 cat owners to describe their cat color and personality. Then they compiled a report attributing certain personality types with the coloring—for example: orange cats are friendly, tricolors are intolerant, white cats are aloof. I’m sure many of you have had the opposite experience with cats of certain colors, but it’s a fun concept to consider.Here’s the link. Enjoy:

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