A study published last October in the Journal of Applied Welfare Science examined the adoption records from a no-kill shelter in New York State to see if physical attributes of the cats influenced the length of stay of cats and kittens in the shelter. Unsurprisingly, younger, lighter-colored cats were adopted more quickly than older cats with darker coats. The real surprise for me was reading that the cats with the greatest length of stay were yellow. Black cats didn’t have the longest stays at the shelter whose data was studied.
The ASPCA looked at a broader number of adoptions by looking at the data from fourteen of their partner communities in their Comprehensive Animal Risk Database to look at the risk for black dogs and cats compared to other colors. With nearly 300,000 dogs and cats in their data set, they discovered that more black dogs and cats entered the shelters than any other colors. 33% of the cats entering the shelter system were black.
No wonder there are a lot of black cats waiting for homes in shelters. There’s an oversupply!
The numbers for adoptions showed 31% of the cats adopted from the shelters were black, so there is still a shortfall of black cat adoptions. The sheer numbers of black cats in the system means they can’t be adopted fast enough.
With the black gene being a dominant one, there aren’t likely to be a lower proportion of black cats needing homes in shelters any time soon. So whether the reason that there are so many black cats needing homes is that people prefer other colors of cats or whether there are just so many awesome black cats needing homes, there are obviously more than enough black cats to go around for everybody. The important thing is the make everyone enthusiastic about adopting them so that they don’t stay in shelters or rescues too long and can get into loving forever homes.
Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, Age, Breed Designation, Coat Color, and Coat Pattern Influenced the Length of Stay of Cats at a No-Kill Shelter
ASPCA Professional, Black is the new White
Photo credit: depositphotos/Taden1