The Feline Five: Scientists Outline Five Cat Personality Types

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.



The Many Scientific Reasons that Explain Why Cats are Finicky Eaters

A recent article in The New York Times outlined the different biological and behavioral reasons that explain why many cats are such discriminating eaters.  Turns out your cat isn’t being difficult, she’s just being a cat!

Here are some underlying reasons why your cat may be turning his nose up at dinner:

  • As solitary hunters and eaters, cats tend to eat more slowly and carefully than dogs.  Dog are pack animals and group competition for food makes them eat quickly.
  • Even though a cat’s sense of smell is weaker than a dog’s, it is still very keen, and an unappealing smell can turn your cat off to his food.
  • A cat’s teeth are more well-suited to ripping and tearing meat, not grinding, so wet food is easier to eat than dry food.  Many cats swallow pieces of dry kibble whole, which can then be vomited back up.

  • Cats are true carnivores, so their taste receptors are not geared towards a wide variety of food types, like ours.  Cats naturally prefer protein and are indifferent to sweets and carbohydrates.
  • Cats do have very sensitive taste receptors for bitter foods, however, as anyone who’s ever eaten citrus around a cat can tell you!

Interested in learning more about proper feline feeding and nutrition?  Check out this article from Cornell’s Feline Health Center.


Heartwarming Video: Dog Cares for Foster Kittens After Losing Cat Best Friend

A sweet dog named Flora was inconsolable after her best friend, a 20-year-old rescue cat named Dexter passed away.  Her human family took in 4 foster kittens and Flora found some new kitty friends to help her get over the loss of Dexter.  Watch the adorable video, courtesy of The Dodo, here:


A Superhero for Street Cats

There are many caring animal lovers who work hard to help the homeless cats in their communities, but one little boy in Philadelphia is a true superhero for cats!  A recent article in The Dodo brought a smile to a lot of people’s faces around the world when it went viral on social media.

A 5-year-old boy named Shon began caring for the street cats in his city when he was just 3, asking to accompany his aunts on their trips around town, feeding and helping multiple colonies of stray cats.  The women were hesitant at first, but to their surprise, Shon was a true “cat whisperer”—with even the most feral cats allowing him to approach and pet them.

Shon has graduated from pets and head scratches to helping the women serve treats, dry food, and water to the cats.  He also loves to dress up in superhero costumes, because “he said it makes him feel like a superhero for animals” …we couldn’t agree more!

Check out the full story on The Dodo’s website, including information on how you can follow (and help) Kolony Kats, the grassroots feral cat organization made famous by Shon!


Images:  Kolony Kats via The Dodo

Clear the Shelters Day is Saturday, August 19th!

It’s coming…the annual event known as Clear the Shelters Day is happening this Saturday, August 19th at animal shelters around the U.S.  Clear the Shelters is an event sponsored by local NBC and Telemundo television stations around the country to encourage shelter pet adoptions.  Many shelters will waive adoption fees on Saturday, so it’s the perfect time to open your heart to a shelter pet in need of a loving forever home.

Check out this map on the Clear the Shelters website to find a participating shelter in your community.  And here’s a cute video from sponsor VIP Pet Care to get you in the mood!