Aggressive? Who you calling
“aggressive”? Get your hand
away from me…
Photo © Tanor |
From time to time, I like to report on the most cutting-edge science related to cats, and this, as you may have guessed, is one of those times.
It seems that cats with calico and tortoiseshell coloring tend to be more aggressive than cats of other colors. This according to researchers at the University of California Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (try saying that without taking a breath). These researchers recently conducted an online survey about cat behavior. The survey of 1,200 cat owners asked about cats’ coloring and behaviors, including hissing and biting. The results showed that those more colorful cats were more, um, challenging toward their humans.
I’d like to remind you that data are subject to interpretation, and I can offer the following alternative interpretation of the survey results:
Humans who own calico and tortoiseshell cats are more annoying than your average human, and thus push their poor, aggrieved felines into so-called “aggressive” behavior.
Seriously, have you ever asked yourself why cats sometimes hiss at and bite their humans? It’s because some humans are just so irritating. I have not seen the actual questions on this survey, but I’d bet a week's worth of kibble that they did not include anything like “On a scale of 1 to 5, how annoying are you?” Clearly, they should have.
This is an area that merits further research. I am available to advise future researchers on the kinds of questions they should ask.