‘Feline Five’ Study Reveals Cats Have Personality Types

PetGuide logo

Every pet parent will tell you the same thing: their pet has a unique personality and quirks- and if you have a furry someone in your life, you’ll definitely agree. But, if you’re a cat owner, you can feel free to brag that your claims are now backed by science.

A team of researchers from Australia conducted a study on feline behavior, which included 2,800 cats, or, to be more precise, their owners. The proud feline pawrents filled in a detailed questionnaire (it had 52 items) which helped scientists identify relevant kitty personality factors. This way, they could ensure that the scientist’s presence didn’t cause any changes in their behavior and that the feline facts they’ve gathered are as close to the objective as possible. I mean, it’s not like cats would want to tell them themselves. They do like the air of mystery that surrounds them!

The extensive research yielded exceptional results as the team was able to determine five different personality types for cats, similar to the way psychologists define human personalities by using 5-factor model (also known as the “big five”). Here’s how scientists describe cat personas:

  • Neuroticism: insecure, anxious, fearful of people, suspicious and shy
  • Extraversion: active, vigilant, curious, inquisitive, inventive, and smart
  • Dominance: bullying, dominant and aggressive to other cats
  • Impulsiveness: erratic and reckless
  • Agreeableness: affectionate, friendly to people and gentle

To find out which personality type your cat has, all you had to do is try and decide which are his or her most prominent traits and see which category they fall into- simple!

Apart from providing us with a better understanding of our four-legged overlords, this feline personality study can have useful applications, too. Pawrents whose kitties score extremely low or high on any of the personality scales could get an early warning for underlying health or behavioral problem that caused the anomalous results. For example, cats with high Extraversion score would benefit from environmental enrichment, to prevent any destructive behaviors stemming from boredom.

What about your cats? Can you determine which of the “feline five” is a match for their personality?