Ginger cats are topping the temperament league tables as the cat owners' favourite, a new study has found. The research, by a team at the University of California, Berkeley, revealed that ginger moggies are seen as the most friendly and lovable of feline friends.
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Researchers set out to discover the reasons that dark coloured cats were more likely to be put down when their owners couldn't cope, and why tabby cats so often ended up in rescue centres.
The 189 cat owners were asked to rate the personalities of different coloured felines, and the 'approachable' ginger variety came out top. White cats were seen as aloof and shy as well as lazy and calm, while tabbies were perceived as intolerant.
Black cats, meanwhile, had a reputation for being anti-social, unlucky and mysterious, seemingly supporting the idea of 'black cat syndrome', in which dark coloured cats are less likely to be adopted from animal shelters.
Psychology student Mikel Delgado, whose study was published in the journal Anthrozoos, wrote: "There are serious repercussions for cats if people believe that some cat colours are friendlier than others.
"We hope this will be a starting point for more research into whether there is a genetic or physical basis - such as coat colour - for personality differences in cats."
The research team believes the results of their study are important as they point to "feline typecasting" that can impact the adoption of cats from rescue centres.
What do you think? Is 'feline typecasting' at the heart of 'black cat syndrome'? Leave your comments below...