Forget blondes, when it comes to felines most people think gingers and tabbies are most fun.
Research marking National Black Cat Day (here celebrating their nine lives with nine celebrity black cat lovers, sadly many of them dead) reveals such breeds are perceived as less playful and friendly than more colourful counterparts.
But, while today's Cats Protection commissioned findings may help explain why black cats tend to wait longer to find new owners, UK’s largest cat charity confirms cat colour has no bearing on temperament.
is aimed at encouraging more people to adopt a less colourful puss. Black or black-and-white cats – which account for nearly half of all felines coming into care – typically wait 22 per cent longer for new owners.
According to those surveyed using a sliding scale, monochrome moggies are seen as less friendly, playful, vocal and attention-seeking than gingers or tabbies, who typically find new owners faster.
“There is a tendency to see black cats as less exciting which we think is because they are much more common among the cat population,” says Cats Protection social media manager Gemma Croker.
“When people visit any of our branches and adoption centres like those in South Yorkshire, they can be faced with a large number of black or black-and-white cats so their eyes tend to wander over to brighter coloured tabbies, light tortoiseshells and gingers, who look more exciting to adopt.
“It’s only natural that people will have some view on what a cat may be like based on its looks. But just like with humans, it’s impossible to make a judgement based purely on how a cat looks. We want to break down the myths and show that beauty really is more than fur deep.”
The survey of 100-plus people carried out this month sought people's perceptions of cats' colours with key findings:
Nearly three quarters of respondents (73 per cent) say looks are at least ‘somewhat important’ when adopting a cat
Nearly three quarters of respondents (69 per cent) say colouring is at least ‘somewhat important’ when adopting a cat.
Top three attributes Brits think will increase a cat’s chance of adoption first are based on being best-looking (34 per cent), cute (32 per cent) and friendly (22 per cent).
Despite being seen as less friendly and playful than more colourful cats, black cats do have superstition on their side with more than a third of us considering them lucky (34 per cent) as opposed to unlucky (21 per cent).
Cats Protection national cat adoption centre manager Danielle Draper said: “It can be a real struggle to find homes for the black and black-and-white cats in our care, especially as they account for nearly half of the more than 5,000 cats that are in the charity’s care across the UK.”
“These findings seem to suggest that people find black cats a little dull when compared with other colours. But the reality is that you really can’t predict what a cat’s temperament will be like based on the colour of its fur.
“Black cats are just as fun-loving, mischievous and playful as any other cat and have just as much to offer in terms of companionship. By holding our annual National Black Cat Day we’ll be celebrating all the fantastic monochrome moggies from across the UK and hoping to inspire more people to adopt one.”
Feline face of this year’s National Black Cat Day is Caspar (pictured). To sponsor a black cat or select black cat gift visit www.cats.org.uk/black-cats site. Cats Protection is UK’s leading cat welfare charity and helps around 500 cats a day – or 200,000 cats and kittens each year - through national network of over 250 volunteer-run branches and 32 centres.