Dedicated to the
Health and Welfare of All Cats
A A A
Font Size
hero-education

Cat Health News Blog

A resource for dedicated cat supporters

Since its start in 2007, Cat Health News has featured the latest information on feline health. The bi-weekly blog is a mix of the most current published research from Winn-funded research and other sources. There are over 570 blog items and more than 1,000 subscribers through the RSS feed.


icon-blogWinn-funded research is specifically noted by the small green cat.

  • Coat color and aggressive behaviors in cats

    Feb 05, 2016
    Stelow EA, Bain MJ, Kass PH. The relationship between coat color and aggressive behaviors in the domestic cat. J Appl Anim Welf Sci.2016 Jan-Mar;19(1):1-15.

    Connections to physical conditions are known to exist for various coat colors of animals. Some examples include white coat color in dogs and cats with congenital deafness, and  an association between coat color and aggressive behavior in a number of species including silver foxes and mink. orange cat on cabinetCoat-color pattern genes in the cat fall into four categories that dictate the amount of white (“spotting”); the intensity of pigment (“dilution”); the orange and agouti pelage (“pigment-type switching”); and the patterns of ticked, tabby, and spotted (“pattern”). Behaviors have also been linked to heritability.

    This study used an Internet-based survey to collect information on coat color, affiliative behaviors toward cats/humans, agonistic behaviors toward cats/humans, other “problem” behaviors, and cat and guardian demographic data. A total of 1,432 cat guardians completed the online survey; after exclusions based on study protocol, data analysis included 1,274 completed surveys. Guardians reported sex-linkedorange female (tortoiseshells, calicos, and “torbies”), black-and-white, and gray-and-white cats to be more frequently aggressive toward humans in 3 settings: during everyday interactions, during handling, and during veterinary visits.

    Despite the statistical significance, the median scores in all three categories of aggression suggest that the differences between sex-linked females, black-and-whites, or gray-and-whites and the other colors are relatively small and could potentially be explained by guardian differences in interpretation of the scoring criteria. It may also be due to the relatively low levels of aggression in cats overall, as evidenced by the low median scores, so that any difference, however small, comes out as significant. This study suggests that coat colors may be associated with aggressive behaviors in the cat but that the differences are relatively minor.  (MK)

    See also:
    Grahn RA, Lemesch BM, Millon LV, et al. Localizing the X-linked orange colour phenotype using feline resource families. Anim Genet. 2005 Feb;36(1):67-70.


    coat color behavior aggression phenotype

    More on cat health:

    Winn Feline Foundation Library
    Find us on Facebook
    Follow us on Twitter
    Pin with us on Pinterest
    Join us on Google+

 

Archives

2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007