WENATCHEE -- The Wenatchee Valley Humane Society offers cats in purple, orange and green.
Not to panic; their fur is not dyed. That's the color-coding used to distinguish personalities.
Want a cat that follows you around? Doesn't mind if you pull its tail? Is just a bit rowdy? Find a cat with a green label outside its cage.
Want one that is independent? Doesn't take kindly to strangers? Doesn't care if you're home or gone? Go for a cat with a purple label.
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Not sure? Cats with orange labels are in between.
Humane Society workers rank the cats when they are about 9 months old. Any younger, and their personalities still are forming, said Karen Headlee, director of shelter operations.
How reliable are the tests?
"Very reliable," said Stephanie Manriquez, shelter manager.
The testing was developed by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The ASPCA testing also breaks down the personality colors further. A purple cat can be, for example, a "private investigator," a "secret admirer" or a "love bug." An orange cat can be an "executive," a "sidekick" or a "personal assistant." And a green cat can be an "MVP," a "party animal" or a "leader of the band." Definitions are posted with each cat at the shelter.
With cat populations more than double what they usually are at this time of year, it's a good time to think seriously about adopting a feline, said Humane Society officials. By seriously, they mean you should know how the cat will fit into your home and lifestyle before you adopt.
Want a kitten? Go with whichever one or ones strike your fancy, but know that the friendly one may grow up to be aloof, and the nervous nelly might turn into a good buddy at adulthood. If you can go without the cute kitten stage, an adult cat might be your best bet, officials said.
Humane Society officials suggest that people wanting to adopt a cat talk to the staff to find out which cats might fit their lifestyle. Staffers will key in on what kind of household you have.
"Are you home a lot or gone most of the time?" Headlee asked. "Purple cats don't really care if you are home or not. With green cats, you may find your plant knocked over if you're not home enough."
Which cats get adopted often?
"The green ones," said Manriquez. "They're the cuddly ones and, the majority of times, that's what people want."
Regardless of color coding, staff urge people to not overlook the black cats.
"They stay the longest," Headlee said. "It's the same with dogs -- anything black tends to stay in shelters longer. They're not as flashy, so they don't get noticed."