The five feline personalities What is your cat’s?

Did you know that there are five personality types in cats ?

The aim of one study was to investigate personality in a large sample of domestic cats in order to understand the practical implications for domestic cats in the home. The personalities of 2,802 domestic cats, from South Australia and New Zealand, were collected by their owners using a survey that measured 52 personality traits.

This study suggests that there are five domestic cat personality factors and that these represent traits related to:

  1. Neuroticism
  2. Extraversion
  3. Dominance
  4. Impulsiveness
  5. Amiability

If you suffer from behavior problems from your cat or have a household with several cats where some do not get along, understanding your cat’s personality can help you understand why your cat is behaving in a certain way.

With that knowledge, you can help him by making adjustments in the home or by providing your cat with something missing, such as environmental enrichment, or something as simple as a place to hide.

Knowing the “normal” personality of our cats can also help us control their health. A change in personality could indicate an underlying disease.

Next we will see the five personalities of the cats resulting from the study.

1 Eurotic cat

Cats with high scores in the eurotic type n  are anxious, insecure , fearful of people, suspicious and shy cats . They are the cats that take refuge when visitors come. They prefer to hide to face the unknown.

The key to working with “neurotic” cats is to give them plenty of opportunities to hide. Provide them with shelters throughout the house, such as a cat tunnel, cat tree, or just a cardboard box. Never force these cats to face their fears, this only traumatizes them.

These skittish felines face life avoiding scary situations. But once they learn that they are safe, little by little they begin to gain confidence.

2. Extroverted cat

Or also known as a “nosy” cat  These cats love to explore, investigate and generally get in trouble for going where they shouldn’t.

These cats need mental stimulation . If they are bored, they may resort to destructive behaviors, such as scratching the furniture or making a mess around the house. Sometimes they are busy chasing and harassing housemates.

These cats tend to need more mental stimulation and environmental enrichment . They get bored easily and may resort to destructive behaviors to burn off their pent-up energy.

The solution is to provide them with lots of toys and to play actively with them . Chasing a laser or feather on a string helps them discharge energy and express natural behaviors.



3. Dominant cat

Also known as a “bully” cat . Dominant cats can make a multi-cat household frustrating and stressful. The dominant cats can buy up domestic resources such as food, toys and even sandbox.

If you are “fighting” with a dominant cat make sure each cat has its own food and water bowls, as well as several litter trays. Separate these resources: the dominant cat cannot be everywhere at once.


4. Impulsive cat

Impulsiveness in cats is not like in humans. A highly impulsive cat may be reacting to something stressful in its environment.

This type of cat can react differently to the same situation on different occasions. This is often the case with a cat that has not learned to cope with life and, when faced with uncertainty, runs first and asks questions later.

If your cat is behaving impulsively and you suspect stress is at its source, you should create an environment that is more conducive to helping your cat enjoy a more serene and comfortable lifestyle.

Never yell at an impulsive cat, you will increase their anxiety levels and erratic behavior. It helps to establish routines , such as eating and playtime, so you know when something is going to happen, which prepares you to behave more appropriately.


5. Friendly cat

A friendly cat is one that gets along with everyone and is never short of a friendly meow, a raised tail, and a happy head butt. They are the ideal cats for a household with many cats. This pleasant personality is often the result of a cat that was well socialized as a kitten .


Personality implications in handling your cat

Cat personality profiles can be interesting to cat owners, and they can also be used to improve well-being, particularly when a cat scores very high or low on a factor. An awareness that the results are considered extreme on a scale, compared to a sample of more than 2000 domestic cats, allows the owner to seek advice and consider changes in the environment or handling of their cat. The personality profile can be particularly helpful in managing multi-cat households, ideally before getting a new cat.

For example, a high neuroticism score could indicate extreme shyness, which could be alleviated with additional hiding places or access to quiet areas.

Cats with high scores on extraversion may need additional stimulation and more complex environmental enrichment to avoid boredom. Low extraversion scores can indicate age-related health problems.

Additionally, a cat with a high impulsivity score could be highly stressed, necessitating evaluation and treatment by an animal behaviorist. Low impulsivity scores are likely to indicate that cats are well adapted to their environment and enjoy routine.

Finally, high politeness scores indicate that cats that are well “adjusted” and “happy”, and as a result are more likely to be adopted.

Overall, the researchers believe that “a better understanding of the cat’s personality through evaluation could help owners to improve the conditions of their cats at home, and thus support the optimal well-being of their feline companions.”



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