It’s Halloween time again. One kind of cat — the black cat — invariably gets bad publicity this time of year. Black cats of all sorts and sizes are considered bad luck as well as the companions of witches by many. Medieval days are long gone and in the 21st century it’s crazy such views persist, but they do. The problem is not only that some cruel people treat black cats badly – particularly around now — but also they are last in the queue for adoption. I say, give them a break — black cats are beautiful. What’s going on to cause this attitude?
Fact is, a cat’s color in linked with certain prejudices in the human mind. Don’t believe me? According to a UC Berkeley article quoting a recent study published in Anthrozoos:
Black cats are beautiful – do you have an unconscious bias against them?
While most people surveyed said personality informs their decision about which cat to adopt, the characteristics they ascribed to cats based on their coat color indicated that color consciously or unconsciously played a key role in their final choice of which kitty to take home.
Orange cats have a reputation of being friendly, and are very popular among cat adopters
Overall, orange cats and bi-colored cats were characterized as friendly, while black cats, white cats and tri-colored cats were regarded as more antisocial. White cats were considered to be more shy, lazy and calm, while tortoiseshell cats were more likely to be depicted as both more intolerant and more trainable. Black cats were typified as having less extreme character traits, which might contribute to their mysterious reputation.
Truth is that rescue centers frequently report black cats as most difficult to place — often resulting in their euthanasia. Some may say it does not matter — if it was not a black cat it would be another one that was not adopted. I disagree. I think people should choose their cat carefully based on personality, not on color.
One of the reasons there are so many cats in rescue is that people don’t get on with a cat for some reason. Cats have different personalities just like people – the need is to find the best fit between adopting family and cat. A black cat can sometimes be most suitable. Consider a black cat without prejudice to color. Why not even adopt two cats this Halloween and make one a black cat. Let’s make it a new fashion. Black cats are beautiful and can have great personalities. There are thousands out there waiting to prove that to you right now.