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A Guide To Cat Personalities By Color Of Their Coats

A Guide To Cat Personalities By Color Of Their Coats

Cats come in many different coat colors, patterns, and color combinations. This could be an important factor for some owners, while others don’t give too much attention to it.

A factor that’s certainly important for all prospective cat owners is their future pet’s personality traits.

There are some indications of a connection between a cat’s fur color and its personality. There is, however, no scientific confirmation that a cat’s coloring will completely decide its temperament and behavior.

Still, it’s interesting to look out for the potential identity of your feline friend based on its fur coloring.

So, let’s look at this guide to cat personalities by the color of their coats.

Cat Personalities By Color Overview

Coat ColorPersonality traits
OrangeFriendly, affectionate, calm, trainable
BlackUnpredictable, mysterious, independent
CalicoHeadstrong, bold, affectionate
TortoiseshellStrong-willed, feisty, energetic
TabbyActive, bold, playful
WhiteAffectionate, calm, shy

Orange Cats

There are many cat breeds with orange coats. Some of the most popular ones are the following:

• British Shorthair

• Cornish Rex

• Devon Rex

• Exotic Shorthair

• Maine Coon

• Persian

• Somali

Mónica Teresa González-Ramírez and René Landero-Hernández [1] investigated the owners’ attitudes on the connection between cat color and their personalities.

According to the results, respondents characterized orange cats as the friendliest, calmest, and most trainable ones.

These cats are known to adapt easily to any type of environment. They just adore being around their humans and getting attention from them.

Another interesting fact about orange felines is that most of them are males. BBC Science Focus explains that this occurs due to the “ginger gene” which produces the orange color on the X chromosome.

Since females have two X chromosomes, they need two copies of this gene to become orange, while males need only one.

In simple terms, there are approximately three male orange cats for every female orange cat.

Orange cat with green eyes
Credits to: @magnus_the_orange

Black Cats

Cats with black coats are usually characterized as mysterious.

Breeds that can be black are the Bombay, American Curl, Egyptian Mau, Japanese Bobtail, and so on.

People in many parts of the world will connect the black cat with some spiritual meaning

For instance, Spanish and Italian cultures view the sight of a black cat crossing your path as a sign of bad luck. On the other hand, black felines in China present good fortune and wealth.

It’s also widely believed that cats with black coats are highly independent and unpredictable.

Despite all the controversy behind this coat color, black cats are very tolerant of people and other pets

Black cat in grass
Credits to: @black_cats_ig

Calico Cats

The calico coat pattern can be seen in a couple of cat breeds. Some of them are Maine Coon, Norwegian Forest Cat, Persian, and British Shorthair.

These cats have white coats with large patches of, usually, orange and black coloring. In most cases, calico cats are females.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, this occurrence is related to the X chromosome.

For a cat to have a tri-color coat, it needs to have two X chromosomes. Females have two X chromosomes, while males have an XY chromosome pair.

Still, there are some exceptions possible. In rare cases, a male cat can have an extra X chromosome, causing him to have a calico coat. Male calico cats are sterile and, therefore, cannot be bred to produce other calico cats.

A calico cat’s personality can be described as affectionate, but bold and headstrong as well. 

This cat is strong-willed and sassy. She knows what she wants, and, usually, won’t stop until she gets it!

On the other hand, calico cats are also very loving and enjoy engaging in play with their humans.

Calico cat standing by the window
Credits to: @calicoville

Tortoiseshell Cats

Tortoiseshell cats, popularly called torties, have a unique coat coloring. It resembles the shell of a tortoise and consists of ginger-red and black patches.

Some of the breeds that can have this coat pattern are the American Shorthair, Cornish Rex, Persian, and Maine Coon.

These felines are feisty and strong-willed. They are also highly active and energetic. A tortoiseshell cat will be the happiest with a family that’s always ready for some fun activities.

Therefore, this cat won’t suit people looking for a quiet pet. 

Since they are independent, training them can be challenging. Torties are rather vocal and will meow loudly to show you how they feel.

In the end, even though they are sassy and independent, torties are very loving with their owners. They enjoy playing with their humans and spend a lot of time with them.

Tortoiseshell cat
Credits to: @alana_leigh

Tabby Cats

Tabby cats are known for their striking appearance, often resembling miniature tigers. This distinctive coat pattern can take the form of swirls, spots, blotches, or stripes.

Tabby coats can be seen in almost all domestic cats, regardless of their breed. Since so many cats can have this coat pattern, it’s not easy to explain some of their main features. 

For instance, if you would like to know whether tabby cats are hypoallergenic, you should look up the breed of your tabby kitten. 

Still, some of the general characteristics of tabby cats are boldness and playfulness

They are also very friendly and active. Tabbies love to explore and sometimes exhibit tenacious behavior.

Tabby cat standing on a table
Credits to: @erniethetabbykat

White Cats

Finally, I think all lovers of rare coat colors in felines will be thrilled with cats with purely white fur.

Different breeds can have this fur coloring, such as Devon Rex, Persian, Siamese, and Turkish Angora.

According to Spruce Pets, a cat can have the dominant W gene, which is known as the masking gene. This gene effectively conceals all other coat colors in the cat’s genetic makeup, resulting in a pristine snowy white coat.

White cats are usually perceived as calm and even shy. Still, with adequate socialization, every cat can become more outgoing with its human family.

Also, cats with white coats are known to be loyal and loving pets, despite their shy nature.

Two white cats
Credits to: @h1ro09

How Reliable Is It To Base A Cat’s Personality On Its Coat Color? 

I find it quite interesting to relate a cat’s coat color with its future behavior and personality. It’s a lot of fun to wait to see whether an orange cat will be super friendly, or will a calico indeed show a headstrong personality.

Mikel Delgado and his associates [2] found out how humans’ perception of a cat’s personality in relation to coat color is very important. This can even decide whether some cats will be adopted or relinquished to shelters.

I believe that there is something in all these beliefs and myths about cats with a certain coat color. But, I wouldn’t say they are one hundred percent reliable.

I also wouldn’t advise you to, for example, give up on having a tortie cat because it’s likely to have a feisty personality.

Some other factors are also of crucial importance here. One of them is socialization. If your cat has been socialized from a young age, chances are good it will develop into a well-behaved pet.

Also, your cat’s personality can have a lot to do with the way you treat it. It’s important to recognize your cat’s needs for interaction and attention, and act in accordance with them.

Remember that all cats can show undesirable behavior sometimes. This isn’t related to their coat color and their expected personality traits.

Finally, orange cats are perceived to be the friendliest and the most affectionate of them all. However, bad experiences and lack of socialization can cause an orange feline to lack these traits.

Therefore, I think it would be wisest to take these predispositions with a grain of salt. It is far more important what kind of living conditions your kitty has.

Final Thoughts

I hope this guide to cat personalities by color has given you a fair perspective on the issue.

It can be difficult to choose one coat color out of so many options available. This is why some of you could choose to follow the existing myths of cats’ expected traits based on their coat color.

There can be some truth in it, but there are some other factors involved. Cats of any coat coloring can show destructive behaviors if something isn’t right in their surroundings.

Also, cats of any coat color can be amazing pets, with the right treatment. 

Have you found your favorite coat color based on perceived personality traits? Which one would you choose?


[1] González-Ramírez MT, Landero-Hernández R. Cat Coat Color, Personality Traits and the Cat-Owner Relationship Scale: A Study with Cat Owners in Mexico. Animals (Basel). 2022 Apr 15;12(8):1030. DOI, Retrieved September 26, 2023.

[2] Mikel M. Delgado, Jacqueline D. Munera & Gretchen M. Reevy (2012) Human Perceptions of Coat Color as an Indicator of Domestic Cat Personality, Anthrozoös, 25:4, 427-440, DOI, Retrieved September 26, 2023.

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