Earlier this year Dr Lauren Finka, a research fellow at Lincoln University in the UK, published findings of a study conducted as part of her PhD which looked at cat personalities. She identified that cat personalities fall into 5 major types. Rather than being determined by breed she concluded it was dependent upon interaction of genetics and personalities of the cat’s parents, the cat’s own DNA and their experiences during development and adulthood. Sounds just like humans don’t you think?
Which personality type does your cat belong to?
- Human Cat: These are your classic personal-space-invaders. They sleep on your bed, sit on your lap, follow you around like a shadow. These cats crave human attention and are especially happy when there is more than one human with which they can interact. Domestic cats don’t commonly have an automatic affinity with humans, but are nurtured towards it especially if positive human interaction occurs when they are very young;
- Hunter Cat: While most cats are born with some degree of hunting instinct these cats excel at it. They verge on being obsessed with their toys, especially realistic once like our Mice, where they will stalk and pounce and carry their prey around. Cats with this type of personality need space. They are happy in large cat enclosures where they can play amongst the plants and the bugs, while watching the birds;
- Cat’s Cat: This is the cat that loves to be around their fellow felines. They groom other cats, maybe sleep in the same bed, always try to touch noses. This behaviour is quite contradictory to what would occur in the wild, but it is most often seen in cats who when they were kittens were raised in close proximity to other cats;
- Cantankerous Cat: We can thank this personality type for the reputation cats have for being aloof. These are the cats who want to operate independently and only interact with humans on their terms. These are also the cats who appear to get stressed easily such as at the arrival of a new piece of furniture or a visit from someone they don’t know;
- Inquisitive Cat: These cats are those who are into everything. Open a cupboard, they’re in; unpack a box, they’ll sleep in it; go to the bathroom, they’ll push the door open. They are the social butterflies, and love it when people come visiting or you bring something new home.
Dr Finka’s research involved 200 cats and their owners, and then putting them through a series of behavioural tests (the cats, not the owners….just clarifying). Clearly the major benefit of understanding a cat’s personality is to make sure that he or she would be a good fit to live with you and your family.
While I can see elements of each of these personality types in both Pussa and Soph if I had to categorise them into one I think I’m living with 2 Human Cats. Given that as I write this I have Pussa lying on my legs and Soph at my shoulder I’m fairly confident in my assessment.
What personality type is your cat?