Analysis / Cat Stereotype

Comparison and Contrast of Human Hair Color and Feline Fur Color Stererotypes

Comparison and Contrast of Red Haired Human and Tortie, Calico, and Red-Furred Cat Stereotypes

Red haired men and boys are often portrayed as either geeks, nerds, or bullies rather than as heroes. They are also portrayed as middle class or humble rather than rich. Conversely, redheaded girls and women as heroic characters are numerous. The popularity also comes from stereotypes and character traits associated to hair color, but in this case those characteristics are positive. Just as ginger men are often seen as average, humble people or unattractive freaks, ginger women are usually feisty, impulsive, and sexy.

Whereas red headed men and boys are most often portrayed as average Joes, geeks, nerds, or bullies, red-furred male cats in cartoons, common, and other fictional works are usually portrayed as heroic, nice, humble, or irascible. Ginger cats, especially male ones in real life are often stereotyped as mellow, easygoing, and cuddly. This stereotype of male orange cats is basically the opposite of the Fiery Redhead trope commonly attributed to redheads humans, especially girls and women.

Tortie, torbie (tortoiseshell tabby), calico, and caliby (calico tabby) cats, which are usually female as the trait is sex-linked, are often said to have what is called "tortitude." Tortitude as a personality trait, is described as sassy, feisty, spunky, and demanding. So ironically, the traits ascribed to torties is much closer to Fiery Redhead than the traits generally ascribed to ginger cats, even female ones.

Blonde Hair in Humans, White Fur in Cats Comparison

White-furred female cats in cartoons are aesthetically akin to blonde human heroines. Both blonde women and white cats are most often depicted with blue eyes in fictional works.

Cat Gender Stereotypes

Male Cat and Female Cat Stereotypes

Gender stereotypes of cats may not be as pronounced as dog gender stereotypes, but there are a few cat gender stereotypes, whether connected to color, pattern, or breed or not. For example, male cats are often stereotyped as cuddly and affectionate and female cats are often stereotyped as aloof and cold. Male cats are also far more likely to be portrayed as buffoons than female cats are.

Commonality or Rarity of Different Cat Coat Colors, Patterns, and Breeds

In Western Animation and Comics

  • Black Cats: Most commonly seen in Halloween, bad luck, and Friday the 13th related works, works with a magical theme to them, and as witches familiars.
  • Black and White Cats: Most commonly seen in The Silent Age of Animation and The Golden Age of Animation if they have low grade white spotting. Black cats with white paws (more optional in cartoon cats than real ones), bellies, muzzles or facial "masks," and tail tips (more common on cartoon cats than real ones), also known as tuxedo cats, are most common in The Golden Age of Animation. Cats with an Inkblot Cartoon Style are most commonly all black apart from the white muzzle or "mask" and sometimes paws.
  • White Cats: When shown, they are most commonly female, especially when paired with an orange male cat. Blue-eyed ones are much more common than brown, orange, yellow, or green eyed ones in cartoons.
  • Orange or Ginger Cats: When shown, they are most commonly male, especially when paired with a white female cat. Female cartoon orange cats aren't too uncommon though. The sandy yellow shade of orange is often rendered or drawn as dandelion or lemon yellow.
  • Cream or Buff Cats: Unlike cartoon orange cats, cartoon cream cats are more commonly female. Less common than orange cats.
  • Tabby Cats: Somewhat common. Brown/black tabbies and red/orange/ginger tabbies are most common. Mackerel tabbies are much more common than blotched or classic tabbies.
  • Silver Tabby Cats: Whether they have black, blue/grey, or chocolate stripes, they are rare, but not unheard of. lilac, cinnamon, fawn, red/ginger/orange (called cameo), and cream/buff (also called cameo) striped ones are extremely rare though.
  • Chocolate and Cinnamon Cats: Uncommon, but they can show up in cartoons sometimes. The cinnamon (light brown) color is a little more common than the chocolate (medium or dark brown) color. The cinnamon color is sometimes rendered or drawn as fire engine red.
  • Tortie and Torbie Cats: Rare. Dilute torties and torbies are rarer still.
  • Blue or Grey Cats: Less common than black cats, black and white cats, and even grey and white cats.
  • Grey and White Cats: Less common than black and white cats, but more common than solid grey cats. Like the black and white cat in cartoons, cartoon grey and white cats most commonly have low grade white spotting (white paws, muzzle or "mask," belly, and tail tip).
  • Lilac Cats: Very uncommon. If a female cat in a cartoon is not all-white, it is often this color.
  • Fawn Cats: Rare.
  • Calico Cats: Somewhat more common than torties and torbies. Somewhat more common in CGI works than in 2D animated works. Calibies, a tabby version of calicos, and dilute calicos and calibies are very rare though.
  • Persian Cats: Usually all-white. Most commonly a Right-Hand Cat.
  • Siamese Cats: Usually seal/black point or chocolate point. Flame (red, orange, ginger) point, cream point, lynx (tabby) point, tortie point, blue or grey point, lilac or frost point, cinnamon point, and fawn point are extremely rare.
  • Mitted Cats: Common.
  • Tuxedo Cats: Most common type of white spotting pattern in Western Animation.
  • Van Patterned Cats: Rare if the tail and head markings are orange. Rarer still if the tail and head markings are not orange.

In Anime and Manga

  • Calico Cats: More common in anime and manga than in western animation and comics.
  • Bicolor Cats: Common. More common in anime and manga than in western animation and comics. Most often shows up in the mask-and mantle (color on the head, ears, all of the back, all of tail, and often back of neck, thighs, and shoulders) pattern.

In Live Action Film and TV

  • Black Cats: In Western live action works, they are most commonly seen in works with a magical theme to them and as witches familiars.
  • Persian Cats: Usually all-white or chinchilla/tipped silver. Chinchilla/tipped silver ones usually have sea green eyes. Most commonly a Right-Hand Cat.
  • Sphynx Cats: Usually light or very light colored. Most commonly a Right-Hand Cat.
  • Orange or Ginger Cats: Common.

In Literature

  • Tabby Cats: More common in literature than in western animation.
  • Orange or Ginger Cats: Female orange cats are more common in picture books than in Western animated cartoons and comics.

Color-Coded and Pattern-Coded Sibling Kittens

Usually when there are sibling kittens, normally three in a litter but sometimes two, four, or five in a litter, each kitten has a different coat color and/or pattern. This is done to distinguish each kitten, even if each have similar, same, or interchangeable personalities.

This can follow Blonde, Brunette, Redhead if the "blonde" kitten is white, cream, fawn, or fawn tabby, the "redhead" kitten is orange, cinnamon, or cinnamon tabby, and the "brunette" kitten is black, brown tabby, chocolate, chocolate tabby, or dark grey.