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Importance of coat color in choosing a new cat or dog?

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  • Importance of coat color in choosing a new cat or dog?

    A co-worker just adopted a new cat after their elderly orange kitty was euthanized. She said her family had a long history of orange kitties, so only another orange cat would do. Someone else at work echoed much the same thoughts - they always had to have at least one orange cat in the household. A third person piped in that she and her husband had to always have a black cat. Got me to thinking that a barn-mate is on her third consecutive little beige dog - beige obviously being her color of choice.

    Since nearly all of my pets have been foundlings (so pot-luck in the color department) just how important is coat color to most pet owners?

  • #2
    I really couldn't care less, lol. My dog is black, and I was told (on here) that black dogs are usually the last to go from rescues/shelters. News to me. Past dogs have always been black (or mostly black) but its definitely a coincidence.
    "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
    "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

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    • #3
      I think looks/color is extremely important to many people - witness all the people who buy unsuitable pets because they like the way they look, or breeding "rare" colored dogs even if there are health concerns associated with the color.

      I do have certain colors I prefer, and if it came down to choosing between two equally suitable puppies or kittens of a suitable breed, I'd go with the one that was a color I liked better. But I would never choose a dog just on color -it's just a tiebreaker.

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      • #4
        When I was going to look for my kitty I wanted an orange fluffy one.

        Ended up coming home with a dilute tortie who while a bit chubby is fairly sleek.

        She choose me because I went up to pet her and she all but turned herself inside out and was purring like a train.

        The right cat is the right cat regardless of color and mine made the decision for me.
        *The Quietman ~ Irish Approved Gr.1 Stallion
        www.windyislesfarms.com
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        • #5
          I have colors that I like better than others and sometimes gravitate toward them if all else is equal. For a while my horse, dog and favorite cat were all gold/black colored; perfect matches. Now my horse, dog and favorite cat are all black! I didn't plan it that way and didn't remotely pick the color on any of them; just turned out that they all match.
          “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

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          • #6
            Personally, I go for the green colored cats if I can't find a turquoise one.....

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            • #7
              It depends on why....

              I once told my husband if I found a stray hair, he better have a horse or a dog that color.

              Since we had a bay, a liver chestnut, a chestnut and two Haffies in the barn however, he was covered.

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              • #8
                Only once have I ever made an important criterion out of color - or rather on NOT being a color. When Sabra, the Ultimate Cat, my first Siamese, died, and I picked out a cattery for Meezer #2 (who turned out to be HRH Rosalind) a few months later, I simply could not deal yet with having a cat look very much like Sabra and not be her. So on "color preference" on the kitten waiting list form, I wrote, "Anything EXCEPT chocolate." That plus my wanting a female jumped me up the waiting list when HRH made her solitary entrance into the world. She was a singleton, of course. From the beginning, she has not been interested in sharing. People were in line for seal females, lilac females, chocolate females, and blue males, but nobody had spoken for a blue female, so she was offered to me. She was refreshingly her own cat and nothing like Sabra. That restriction has faded a bit over the years, and I am sure that someday, I will have another chocolate.

                I did pick up Emily Dickinson, head barn cat, based on color, but that was for her sake, not mine. She is black, was in the city on the streets, and Halloween was approaching. I feared for her. (Mom had a black cat in her childhood who had her throat cut on Halloween.) So I trapped Emily and exported her to the farm.

                But in general, color does not matter to me.

                ETA: Just realized this is my reply for cats. For dogs, I do prefer very dark, if not black, for security reasons. Woman living on a rural farm, and I've often heard that black or very dark dogs are more off-putting to potential criminals than the same-sized dog in a different color.
                Last edited by dressagetraks; Mar. 9, 2013, 03:46 PM.

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                • #9
                  It's sort of a weird question; if the breed of cat or dog is unimportant, then it seems weird to me that the color would be important to anyone, except for the "aw, dang, I just bought a new black coat and now it's covered in white hair" sort of reasons.

                  But, coat colors ARE important to a lot of people who own purebred dogs and cats. Even in breeds that come in a variety of colors, people often have a preference. I personally like my breed in orange and white, and would not choose a liver and white or a roan. But I know people who feel exactly the opposite - my dh would love a roan.

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                  • #10
                    Now that I think about it, I picked one of the cats based entirely on color. She was born from a litter of extremely inbred/crossbred/linebred barn cats and she came out a crazy chocolate-orange calico with white points, beautiful color... the wild mama cat had her in the cab of one of the ranch trucks and I grabbed her entirely b/c of her color. She's been a fun freaky sort of cat but her color was all that saved her from being coyote snacks.
                    “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

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                    • #11
                      I'm usually pulled towards lighter colored animals. I have a lutino cockatiel, a red dun horse, a white/blond dog, and a white fish. The only animal that was gifted to me (a horse) is a dark bay gelding, and I love him just the same as my red dun.

                      I would never purposefully pick an animal based on color, but I do gravitate towards certain ones!
                      come what may

                      Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013

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                      • #12
                        Thinking about it, I have picked my two newest ones by color. Leon was picked because he was a marmalade cat and I had always heard that there was something special about the big orange boys. People were right, there is definitely something special about him. He's a big, loving mush with a streak of the devil in him.

                        Lily, who became a member of this household yesterday, was kind of reverse picked. I took her because she's an older (12) plain brown tiger cat without a bit of white. The kind of cat that gets overlooked for months in a shelter. So, not because I liked the color, but because it was, in a way, a detriment to her. Over the past 24 hours, I have come to think that, just maybe, it was a very wise pick on my part.
                        If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
                        Desmond Tutu

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                        • #13
                          It's not REALLY important to me, but early on when I only had two house critters, I realized that I'd totally shot myself in the foot by adopting a big fluffy chocolate point cat... As long as I wore dark colors, the dog hair (all black) didn't show, but when I added that cat, it didn't matter what I wore - somebody's hair would always be obvious!

                          Of course, now that I have three more dogs (all different colors), I've pretty much just accepted that animal hair is my major accessory...

                          (And as much as I don't want another cat, I have to admit I'd be terribly tempted if a solid chocolate brown one or a cobwebbed black one crossed my path again...)

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                          • #14
                            Mom used to say she picked out Oscar (our old mutt) because he matched the tan carpets while his littermates were black...

                            Mostly it's just been...random. Puff was chance, Tucker I picked out of the shelter because she was a Corgi (a black-headed tri color, which I'd never seen before) and because of how she behaved on the leash, the cats...Jet was born in the barn, Marcus I picked for temperament, the other two turned up by accident and happened to be black and white.

                            Meanwhile I don't TRY to acquire only solid bay horses, it just seems to happen. (I swear the next one will be a different color. This time I mean it. Really.)
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                            • #15
                              I like a white dog, but currently own one who's a silver/black/tan. She had other features that attracted me, and enough silver to be a good compromise. I'd rather people chose a pet based on color - ie, the effect it has on them - than on the effect it has on others - ie, the macho guy with the Rottie, the fragile flower being "protected" by her mastiff cross, or the too-too-cute soul with the toy breed.

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                              • #16
                                I used to be fussy about the color, said I would never have a dog with a pink nose. Guess what? I have one! A red tri Aussie. Love him and his cute little nose!

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by vacation1 View Post
                                  I like a white dog, but currently own one who's a silver/black/tan. She had other features that attracted me, and enough silver to be a good compromise. I'd rather people chose a pet based on color - ie, the effect it has on them - than on the effect it has on others - ie, the macho guy with the Rottie, the fragile flower being "protected" by her mastiff cross, or the too-too-cute soul with the toy breed.
                                  I don't really care what breed people get, or if the breed matches their personality/persona as long as they do their research and know why they want that particular breed. Thats why breed is different than colour IMO. There's a good reason you may want a labrador rather than a german shepherd, but no real good reason why you would want a brown dog over a yellow dog.
                                  "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
                                  "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by S1969 View Post
                                    But, coat colors ARE important to a lot of people who own purebred dogs and cats. Even in breeds that come in a variety of colors, people often have a preference. I personally like my breed in orange and white, and would not choose a liver and white or a roan. But I know people who feel exactly the opposite - my dh would love a roan.
                                    Of the breed I prefer, I can honestly say that color is pretty unimportant to me - all of the colors they come in are very attractive to my eye.
                                    There are some breeds where color might make a difference to me. I know that dark colored dogs and cats are not as appealing as the lighter colors to many people. I actually really like dark colored animals. I have no idea why, but I've always thought of black cats as the most physically beautiful in terms of color. When I first learned that black cats are much more difficult to adopt than other colors, I was honestly shocked. My first thought was, "But they're so pretty." All in personal preference, I guess.

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                                    • #19
                                      When our family was raising guide dog puppies we would alternate colors so that if we were sending a grown black pup back on the puppy truck, then we would get a yellow baby puppy off the truck. It didn't matter which breed we had and we did raise a variety of them, we just wanted the change so we didn't accidentally call the new puppy the other pup's name. Other raisers preferred to get only black or yellow puppies.

                                      The rest of our animals have pretty much chosen us and color was never a factor.


                                      ETA that after counting through all the pups apparently we didn't always change color, but sometimes you just need to take the puppies that are available. I loved puppy raising for Guide Dogs for the Blind, Inc. and will get back to puppy raising in the future.
                                      Last edited by Sanely Eccentric; Mar. 9, 2013, 09:12 PM. Reason: A little more information

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by WindyIsles View Post
                                        When I was going to look for my kitty I wanted an orange fluffy one.

                                        Ended up coming home with a dilute tortie who while a bit chubby is fairly sleek.

                                        She choose me because I went up to pet her and she all but turned herself inside out and was purring like a train.

                                        The right cat is the right cat regardless of color and mine made the decision for me.
                                        I wanted a sleek little black cat and took home an 18lb orange tabby. Go figure.

                                        I was going to rescues in October, and apparently if it's that month and you want a black cat, they assume you're going to be making some kind of sacrifice. Uh, no, more like it had been six weeks since my parents co-opted my cat, and I was seriously pining for feline companionship! But hey, their refusal meant I went to the SPCA and found Dylan, who otherwise would've been euthed.

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