Seeking advice on my hypothetical cat

These may not be as de-coupled from a tendency towards friendliness towards humans as it might seem. I was looking for a link to the original papers I ran across about research in France, when I saw Psychology Today picked up this story in 2020 (they include a links to some of the original studies). Feral orange males per the research on average are more aggressive (and they are on average larger, which is possibly correlated) than other males which seems to lead towards higher reproductive success in areas of low cat density where they can physically out compete other males. This strategy fails in areas of high density because there are simply too many males to exclude from the breeding pool.

But speculatively I think the assertive, reckless traits that lead to aggression around reproduction in ferals could easily be sublimated into outgoing friendliness as well when we start talking well-socialized pets. It’s not exactly an idea built on a concrete foundation, but it’s not quite straw either - maybe adobe :wink:.

Neither of the cats I’m describing was in any way feral.

ETA: I have no idea whether there are statistical differences in cat behavior that line up with color. I am entirely certain that even if there are, the color of any individual cat tells you nothing about the likely behavior of that specific cat.

Well, sure - that’s why I emphasized tendency. We’ve all known mean, pissy pets. I think socialization first, individual temperamental variation second would be more important. But I wouldn’t entirely discount color-linked genetic influences. I just wouldn’t base my future pet acquisitions around them.

ETA: Or in other words, I agree with your edit :slight_smile:. Don’t get an orange male expecting it will be invariably friendly. But I do think it is kind of interesting from an academic POV.

It’s possible that we’re vehemently in agreement here. I was going to say ‘see edit’, but then I saw your edit. :smile:

Doesn’t this thread need some hypothetical pictures?


Got a bunch of cat racists in this thread!

My luckiest cats ever were both black. I won online poker at a significantly higher rate whenever they sat and watched me play!

In other words, perhaps a similar position on the introversion/extroversion axis.

My family had 5 orange females (a mother and her four daughters) when I was a kid who only produced 3 orange male kittens between them, so I’ve never been sure what to make of this frequently repeated alleged fact.

I can explain that alleged fact.

The primary color gene (black or orange) is on the X chromosome, and black is more common. So male cats are either black or orange, whereas female cats can be black, orange, or calico, if they have a copy of each gene, since which color is expressed varies from place to place on the coat.

In most places, the black gene is more common than the orange gene. Where that happens, most females get at least one copy, so they are either black or calico, whereas males will be black or orange, depending on the genetic lottery. It’s not impossible to have an orange female, especially if the local population has a lot of orange cats. It’s just less likely than orange males.

It is nearly impossible to have a calico male. They are usually sterile, because they are usually an XX cat with some other issue that makes it develop to look like a male.

(There are other genes for stripes, for pale color, for Siamese “point” pattern, and for white patches. And probably some other stuff I’m forgetting. Cat color genetics is fascinating. I spent several hours googling it, many years ago.)

OP here. An update, of sorts: my cat has gone from hypothetical to theoretical.

Let me explain.

I was nervous about taking the plunge, but my 9 year old son was with me this weekend, and he cheerfully joined me at Walmart when I loaded up on the basics:

A bed
A litter box and litter
Some scratchy things (one was a post with a ball that might be fun to knock around)
A bowl and a water fountain

(I already bought some food, and had to get a pooper scoop at the grocery store later. A cat tree is still to come).

At this point, I was about $80 in, so there’s no real turning back.

We went to the local SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and visited a small building that houses the cats. There were a few rooms, with glass walls, that we could enter into to sit and mingle with the adoptees.

In one was a great little kitten named Mr. Spock. He was adorable - black body with some white spots. He was right by the door when we entered, since he wanted to explore, and he came right over to us when we sat down. He rubbed up against us and then went over to get some kibble. I was able to pet him while he did and he purred contentedly. As we got up to leave he started wrestling with another kitty. So, so precious.

Then I went into another room and met a white female, with black marks, that they were calling Gemini. She was one of three in that room, but was the one that came up and greeted us.

When she approached, another car sitting nearby exchanged wary wails with her. I was told later that she was about a year old, but had already had a litter of 4. She’s been spayed, though - her fur was still regrowing in from where they shaved her. She seemed a little underweight, too.

I just got a sense with her. She had been through so much already. I felt like she needed some peace in her life. When I left the room, she held her paw up to the window.

So, she’s the one.

But there’s apparently an application process! They have to check references, so I don’t get her until Tuesday or Wednesday.

I was all set to have a weekend to get her acclimated! Instead I have a bunch of cat stuff, and worries about how my girl Lucy is doing.

So happy for you!:heart_eyes_cat:

Yay for you! BTW, Walmart has the best prices on litterboxes and cat beds. You might want to order a serious poop scoop with an integrated metal handle, not welded. I’ve had the plastic scoops and the welded handle scoops break on me.

Hi Lucy, can’t wait for you to get home. :heart_eyes:

Congrats! Cats pick their human.

awww id fo gotten them both, but I grew up with 13 black cats so anything under 3 and I feel empty

Damn you!

So, I am now the adopted father of two cats.

Lucy came home, and after a week of fretting that she was alone, little Ricky came too.

My hope, of course, was that I was giving her the joy of reuniting with her long lost son. Alas, she greeted him with hisses and, at one point, a bat to the head. It led to me scrambling to read internet postings about what to do (“introduce slowly. Oops…”)

By day two, Lucy was grooming him. They play together, and I haven’t heard any more cross meows.

My heart has been full ever since! As I write this, Ricky is laying on my lap. No regrets.

(Although there is pain. Baby kittens are so adorable. They also have sharp needles and a propensity to want to play at bedtime).

Woo hoo! Looking forward to pictures. :slightly_smiling_face:

Wonderful news!

That’s fast. usually it takes a week or two.

Congratulations to all three of you!

(Is Ricky actually Lucy’s son? Maybe she didn’t recognize him at first if so – he might have smelled weird for some reason.)