Have you been thinking your cat's almost as introverted as you are? Turns out that's not just the idle thought of a slightly crazy cat lady. A new study shows that cats and their people share personality traits. Or that's what the humans think. No one asked the cats.
Researchers in Australia asked people who live with cats to complete a 52-question online survey about their personalities and their cats'. Then, they used a sophisticated computer program to analyze the data. What it came up with was five general types of cat personalities. Three overlap with human personality traits.
How Cats And Their People Share Personality Traits
So what personality traits do you and your cat have in common? Check this list. Do you see yourself in any of them? Look at them on a scale from "very" to "not even close."
- Skittish. In a human, this would be nervous or neurotic.
- Outgoing. That would be a human extrovert.
- Dominant. Despite what the researchers say, I think cats and their people share this personality trait, too. A dominant cat tends to either bully other cats, or at the opposite end of the scale, submit to them. But don't you know humans like that?
- Spontaneous. This is the other category that doesn't match any human personality traits. It measures whether a cat's behavior is erratic or predictable.
- Friendly. In humans, this is agreeable. But in cats, it doesn't mean what you might think. The researchers used "friendly" to describe cats who range from affectionate to grouchy loners.
My Cat, Myself
When researchers from the University of Liverpool saw the study done by the Australians, they sifted through the data and compared the personality traits of 126 humans with those of their cats. The findings of their October 2018 study were published in Personality and Individual Differences.
They found that most of the people were attracted to cats whose personalities matched theirs. So if you score low on the "friendly" scale, probably your cat does, too.
Or maybe he doesn't. The researchers concede that the way people see their cats isn't necessarily the way they are.
And our cats pick up on our thoughts and perhaps our personality traits. So if you're feeling like a grouchy loner, chances are your cat is, too.