The Relationship Between Coat Color and Aggressive Behaviors in the Domestic Cat

Elizabeth A. Stelow, Melissa Bain, Philip H Kass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The authors explored a possible relationship between coat color and aggressive behaviors in the domestic cat. 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-linked orange 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. Kruskal-Wallis 1-way analysis of variance was used to compare possible differences between the 2 sexes and among different coat colors. Analyses of aggression due to handling, as well as aggression displayed during veterinarian visits, showed little difference among coat colors in these settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2016


  • coat color
  • Feline aggression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'The Relationship Between Coat Color and Aggressive Behaviors in the Domestic Cat'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this