Recent research suggests that ginger cats are now more popular among cat owners than their tabby, white or black rivals, says an article in The Telegraph. According to a survey conducted by the University of California, pet owners think ginger cats are by far the most lovable.
Cats are often stereotyped by colour, with tabbies sometimes being associated with a so-called ‘varying attitude’, white cats being notoriously detached and independent and black cats of course being ‘mysterious creatures of the night’. There are numerous forum entries on the internet debating ‘is it true and black and white cats are the smartest?’ or ‘naughty torties”!
The charity Cats Protection has noticed that as good as this is for the ginger cat population, this means that other colours do not always fare so well in being chosen for adoption in British rescue homes. Cats Protection have estimated that black cats take an average of one week longer to home than any other variety, again suggesting they may not be the most popular type. Adoption rates are so poor for black cats, that October 2012 saw the charity organise a national ‘Black Cat Awareness Day’ to encourage potential cat owners to opt for the black coat variety. This was incredibly successful with the campaign’s Twitter hashtag #CPBlackCats being the third-most trending UK topic, even temporarily overtaking Justin Bieber!
Researchers are looking to see if there is any genetic or physical basis that makes ginger cats more accepted by pet owners, and if we genuinely believe that coat colour affects attributes such as friendliness and behaviour.
As cat owners will know, every feline is different with varying personality traits, but that just makes us love them that little bit more. No doubt Black Cat Awareness Day, now set to be an annual event, will play an increasingly prominent role on our calendars, encouraging their adoption and care.