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Are Black Cats Smarter Than Other Cats? Feline Intelligence Explained

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By Nicole Cosgrove

a black cat with white patch of hair on the chest

There is no evidence that black cats are smarter than other cats. As far as experts know, a cat’s intelligence is not related to their coat color. Intelligence is based on many different factors, like genetics, breed, and socialization. None of those have much to do with their coat color.

That said, there are some situations where intelligence and coat color may be connected. For instance, breeds often share lots of genetics, including those that control intelligence. Some breeds are predominately black, as well. Therefore, these cat breeds will both be black and have a particular intelligence.

However, that still doesn’t mean that it’s the black coat that is causing them to be intelligent.

hepper cat paw divider

How Intelligent Are Black Cats?

Again, intelligence isn’t dictated by a cat’s coat color. Instead, it mostly depends on the cat’s genetics and socialization, which are unrelated to coat color. There may be some very smart black cats and some very not-smart black cats.

Of course, there are many people who say that black cats are the friendliest or most intelligent cats they’ve owned. However, individual cats don’t necessarily speak for the whole coat color. (Furthermore, someone might think their cat is the friendliest in the world. However, that doesn’t mean everyone else will agree with them!)

black cat on modern wallscapes
Photo Credit: RJ22, Shutterstock

What Color of Cat Is the Smartest?

There is no coat color that is necessarily tied to intelligence. Certain smart breeds may be more commonly seen in certain colors. However, that doesn’t mean that all cats of that color are that breed, nor does it mean that all individuals in that breed are very intelligent. Some variation is completely normal.

For instance, Siamese cats tend to be more intelligent than other felines, and they generally come in pointed colorations. However, other felines may also come in these colors. You’ll see a lot of claims online about certain cats being the smartest (or not the smartest). However, none of this is particularly set in stone.

Are 100% Black Cats Rare?

The chance of a black cat having some markings is pretty high. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that fully black cats are rare. You can likely find one at your local breeder or rescue.

Some breeds are known for being 100% black, such as the Bombay. Therefore, if you want a completely black cat, then you can find a breeder that specializes in this black breed. Other breeds can also come in full black, but you may need to wait longer for a black kitten to show up.

Are Black Cats Aggressive?

Aggression is caused by a mix of socialization and genetics, which typically has nothing to do with coat color. In many cases, aggression comes from fear, which is often caused by a lack of socialization. If your cat isn’t introduced to many things when they’re young, they are more likely to be fearful when they grow up.

You can easily socialize a black cat and encourage them not to be aggressive. There is no reason this would be more difficult with a black cat than it would with any other cat.

Black cat getting chin scratched
Photo Credit: Helena Lopes, Pexels

What Color of Cats is Least Popular?

Sadly, it appears black cats are the least wanted out of any cat color. They have a much lower adoption rate and a much higher rate of euthanasia, according to one study. Similarly, gray and orange cats also seem to be relatively “unwanted” compared to other cat colors.

On the other hand, the same study found that white cats were the most wanted and most likely to be adopted. Cats in the “other” category were similarly adopted at very high rates (perhaps because this category represented unusually colored cats).

Of course, finding out why these cats are less likely to be adopted is a lot harder. It may be because they are considered more “normal” or because of underlying bias. Some people may still consider black cats unlucky, or they may be less drawn to them due to subconscious bias towards them.

Some claim that the lower rate of adoption may be due to the difficulty of photographing black cats. If a shelter cannot take an optimal picture of a black cat, the cat may have a lower chance of getting adopted.

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Conclusion

Coat color does not affect a cat’s temperament directly, including intelligence. A black cat may or may not be intelligent. It would not have any higher chance of being smart than any other cat. It depends mostly on the cat’s genetics and socialization.

Many people may claim that certain cat colors are more or less likely to have certain temperament traits. However, there is no evidence that this is actually the case. It appears that most associations between temperament traits like intelligence and coat color are false or at least misunderstood.


Featured Image Credit: Mathew Swift, Shutterstock

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