What kind of personality does your cat have? A large-scale study of 2,800 pet cats in Australia and New Zealand investigated the different personality traits of domestic cats. The researchers found that there are five distinct personality categories that most cats fall into.
The “Feline Five” personality types identified are: Extraversion, Dominance, Impulsiveness, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. They are closely aligned with the Five-Factor Model (aka “Big Five”) of human personality types. The Big Five are: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism.
The researchers analyzed surveys completed by cat owners and found that the Feline Five were the factors that best depicted the personality of the cats in the survey.
How are these traits expressed in cat behavior? Here is what the scientists found:
- Extraversion: active, vigilant, curious, inquisitive, inventive, smart
- Dominance: bullying, dominant, aggressive (towards other cats)
- Impulsiveness: impulsive, erratic, reckless
- Agreeableness: affectionate, friendly to people, gentle
- Neuroticism: insecure, anxious, fearful of people, suspicious, shy
The researchers note that feline personality analysis can have many practical applications, such as in understanding the relationship dynamics in a multi-cat household.
A cat found to be neurotic can benefit from a quiet environment with hiding places, while extraverted cats can benefit from environmental enrichment and stimulation. Impulsiveness in a cat can be a good indicator of stress. Agreeable cats can provide comfort to both humans and other animals in the home.
Owners of dominant cats should be aware of bullying behaviors towards shy cats in a multi-cat home. Look for dominance over objects (like food) and social dominance (keeping other cats away from you).
Interested in learning more about your own cat? Read the full article HERE.