Are the stereotypes about black cats true?
No need to worry if a black cat crosses your path – it’s twice as likely to bring you good luck as bad luck, new research suggests.
According to a recent survey of 2,000 American cat owners only 21% believe that black cats bring bad luck, while twice as many (41%) associate them with good luck instead.
But at least one pop culture stereotype does hold true – black cats really do love to talk.
In fact, half of black cat caretakers described their pet as “extremely vocal” (48%), compared to only one third (36%) of the overall panel. They were also considered just as “affectionate” (63%) and “curious” (66%) as the average cat as well.
Conducted by OnePoll and ACANA® pet food in advance of National Black Cat Day (October 27), the survey also looked for patterns and similarities not just in cat behavior, but among their owners as well.
Contrary to common stereotypes, black cat owners don’t favor the actual color black more than everyone else, although they were noticeably less likely to cite white as a favorite color (28% vs 32%).
Where their own personalities were concerned, black cat owners believed themselves to be more “extremely shy” (40% vs 24%), “extremely introverted” (32% vs 21%) and “extremely quirky” (25% vs. 18%) than others polled.
Speaking of “quirky,” black cat owners were just a bit more credulous of the supernatural, including ghosts (61% vs 59%), cryptids (48% vs 43%) and aliens (50% vs 48%).
Least surprisingly of all, respondents were even more likely to list Halloween as a favorite holiday if they owned a black cat (25% vs 21%) – although Christmas (32%) and Thanksgiving (28%) still took first and second place respectively.
“Portrayals in movies and unfounded stereotypes and superstitions have not always shed a positive light on black cats,” said Billy Frey, Director of Marketing for ACANA cat food. “ However, with a few precautions — such as keeping them indoors in the evenings, especially around Halloween where their natural camouflage to trick-or-treaters can put them at risk — cat lovers agree that black cats make wonderful lifelong pets.”
With that in mind, it’s no wonder black cat owners are still more likely to keep their cats as indoor-only pets (37% vs 27%).
Regardless of fur color, 76% of cat owners said their feline friend has vastly improved their life, and 77% consider their cat to be as important as any family member.
“The truth is, while a cat’s appearance may contribute to certain stereotypes, it has no bearing on the impact they have on their human counterparts,” added Frey. “Cat lovers know that a warm home and proper care and nutrition will yield unconditional love and companionship from cats of all shapes, sizes and colors.”
MOST POPULAR CAT COLORS
- Solid white - 32%
- Tabby - 14%
- Tuxedo (black and white) - 13%
- Solid black - 10%
- Harlequin (mostly white) - 10%
- Orange - 7%
- Calico/tortoiseshell - 9%
- Blue/gray - 4%
This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 American cat owners was commissioned by ACANA® between August 26 and August 29, 2022. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).
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