Cat Personalities

Have you noticed that some cats are cuddly and loveable, and some are distant, aloof even? Not much is known regarding domestic cat behavior. To learn more about behavior, a study based on ‘The Big Five’ personality model in humans was conducted on cats. This can help you learn more about your cat, and if perhaps there is an underlying issue.

Cats are on a ‘sliding scale’ of each trait, and are all different! Each factor had distinct traits:

Dominance: Bullying, aggressiveness and dominance toward other cats.

Impulsiveness: Reckless, erratic behavior.

Agreeableness: Affectionate, friendly, gentle.

Extraversion: Active, curious, inquisitive.

Neuroticism: Anxious, insecure, fearful of people.

Personalities can differ for a variety of reasons:

  • Breed – some breeds have been shown to be more affectionate than others, for example
  • Environmental Factors – this can be the single most important factor. Cats thrive off consistency, and a happy, calm environment.
  • Background – if they were raised in a tumultuous environment, they may be more skittish.
  • Hierarchy – if you have other pets, do they show more dominance?

So, why should you know this?

What this means is, if you notice your cat is becoming more impulsive, this could be because they are responding to stressors. If you notice they are less affectionate and more withdrawn, this could be because they are in pain or because of an underlying illness. Or, on the opposite spectrum, if they are becoming more affectionate, they could be warming up to you if they were not before.

It’s important to be aware of these, so you can be a better pet parent. You can improve their daily lives and in the longer run, their health! If you’re interested in reading the journal, I’ve linked it below:

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0183455#sec012

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