Study: Cats’ Personalities May Be Mirrors Of Their Human Parents’
You are what you…watch? So say scientists from Nottingham Trent University about cats and their owners’ personalities. A new study shows that the personality traits of cat owners to some extent correlated with behaviors that their cats exhibited.
In essence, much like children and DNA aside, your cat’s personality may be mirroring yours!
Lauren Finka is an animal welfare researcher from Nottingham Trent University and a study author. She and her team looked at over 3,000 cat owners and asked them questions they measured on a scale known as the Big Five Inventory (BFI). This inventory assesses people’s personality traits–such as conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeability, neuroticism and openness.
They found that there were significant correlations between cats and their owners that not only gave insight to a cat’s overall welfare, but their personality too.
For instance, owners deemed as ‘higher neuroticism’ on the scale were linked with cats who were believed to have ‘behavioral problems’. These problems were shown in aggression, fear, anxiety or stress-related behaviors as well as physical issues like obesity or hair shedding.
The team also discovered that cat owners who were surveyed as more extroverted were more likely to have cats that were more extroverted as well–roaming around outside and being more social. Those who were more ‘agreeable’ found that they believed they had ‘contented’ (or agreeable) cats.
Finka says the study surely doesn’t show causation, but the results can help cat owners who want to have strong relationships with their cats how to do so. More research into causality will help see how, if at all, owner personality directly affects cats’ behaviors and health.
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