Struggling to befriend those unnaproachable neighbourhood moggies? This new cat coat shade chart may be the answer.
A US study has linked the colour of feline fur to how aggressive the animals are towards humans.
Veterinary scientists at the University of California, Davis, set out to test the theory that female cats with tortoiseshell coats are more likely to get their claws out.
Their study of 1,274 cat owners found that multi-coloured kitties in shades of black and white, tortoiseshell and white or grey and white are “more frequently aggressive toward humans”.
This includes biting, hissing and general "back off pesky human" behaviour.
Published in the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, the research considers cats' everyday interactions with people and how they respond on visits to the vet.
- Black and white cats are least receptive to being handled
- Grey and white cats are most likely to become aggressive at the vet's
- Tortoiseshell cats are generally the most hostile to humans
How cats coats fare on the aggression scale:
- Tortoiseshell and white (calico)
- Black and white
- Grey and white
But don't write off patterned coat cats entirely. Lead researcher Dr Liz Stellow told The Huffington Post her own cat is tortoiseshell and “is not the least bit aggressive.”
“It's not that your average white cat is an angel and your average calico is a devil,” she explained. “We're looking at a continuum here.”
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Images: Think Stock