We've all heard of the superstition that black cats are meant to bring bad luck, but now it seems that other coloured moggies also have certain connotations attached to them.

A recent study carried out at University of California, Berkeley, has revealed that ginger cats are often seen as friendly and lovable, while white cats are seen as aloof and distant and tabby moggies are perceived to be intolerant

But most unpopular of them all are black cats, with studies suggesting that people tend to see these felines as unlucky and mysterious, due to superstition that connects them with witches in folklore.

The researchers also set out to find why cats had earned themselves these reputations based on colour and found that black or dark brown felines were more likely to be put down because their owners were unable to cope with them and that tabby cats were often brought to rescue homes because they had too much 'attitude'.

"There are serious repercussions for cats if people believe that some cat colours are friendlier than others," said Mikel Delgado, a psychology student who led the study.

"We hope this will be a starting point for more research into whether there is a genetic or physical basis - such as coat colour - for personality differences in cats.

"Previous research supports the existence of 'black cat syndrome', where black and brown cats are less likely to be adopted than cats of other colours."

Indeed, animal shelters often report that they struggle to find homes for black cats, as prospective adopters tend to go for other coloured felines to take home.

And with shelters having to shoulder the cost of cat food, bedding and care for these moggies, the effect this so-called 'feline typecasting' has on adoption rates can have very real implications.

Written by: Hannah