Each cat is his own unique little being with his own unique personality. I know you’ve seen aggressive cats and timid cats and all ranges of personalities in between. But, what about the science behind the various personality types?
A group of researchers recently discovered there wasn’t much in the way of documented studies about the different personality traits common to pet felines. With this in mind, “’The Feline Five’: An Exploration of Personality in Pet Cats” was written by Carla A. Litchfield and her team of researchers. They studied and documented almost 3,000 cats in their home environments.
These studies are helpful to both cat owners and professionals alike so they can take better care of their felines by recognizing their unique needs based upon their commonalities as well as their differences. Out of 52 different personality traits measured, the researchers narrowed cat personalities to 5 dominant types. You can see where in the continuum of personality you find your own cat…
The Neurotic Cat:This is the high-strung feline who stresses easily. Shy with strangers, this cat will often hide when confronted by new people. Hiding in their Armarkat cat tree is generally the antidote to people that these cats find calming. They sneak into the tree’s condo and hide for hours. A bit of catnip might ease their kitty nerves. Other traits include anxiety, shyness, and insecurity.
The Extroverted Cat: Here is the busy-body cat. He is the attention seeker. This is a smart cat who is always watchful and curious about his surroundings and the people who come into his orbit. This cat is not only friendly to strangers but sometimes seeks out their company. Since they are new, they are of interest! However, do not change up the scenery or bring anything new into the home without expecting him to investigate. Keep this cat occupied with toys and interactive games you can play together. This cat is a social butterfly, so make sure he is included in everything you do.
The Dominant Cat: Watch out for this guy! He wants to be the boss. This cat is best in a single-cat household. If there is more than one cat, dominance and territorial issues can arise. If you don’t want to see his bullying or aggressive behavior towards other cats, best to keep him solitary. Please note that these issues occur mainly with unrelated cats of the same sex. If litter mates grew up together, this does not usually occur. Nor, does it occur with more docile felines. If you have a bully in a multi-cat household, you should keep all food and litter boxes separated. Do whatever you can to help maintain their distinct territories.
The Impulsive Cat: We all know that cats are creatures of habit. However, this cat is a bit odd due to his unpredictable reactions. He tends to lash out against his stressors. His anxiety and can leave a path of destruction in its wake. His boundless energy should be handled with understanding and patience. Positive reinforcement and strict routines can be a lifesaver to calm this savage beast!
The Agreeable Cat: These cats are amongst the most affectionate, gentle, and friendly. See the proverbial lap cat for details! These are the kitties who play well with others and will act like mother hens in multi-cat households. In fact, they are so well-adjusted they are the felines most likely to befriend dogs and even members of different species with whom they regularly come in contact.
Though we can’t all have The Agreeable Cat, the beauty of the feline universe is that all felines have such distinctive and disparate personalities. Though they don’t always fall into such strict categories as detailed above, like people, they should be appreciated for their idiosyncrasies as well as for their similarities.
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