Monday, July 30, 2018

Cat Personality Test: The Feline Five

About a year ago some scientists in South Australia and New Zealand conducted a study on the temperament of cats and called it the Feline Five. A similar model to finding out personality traits in people, they asked over 2500 cat owners to observe their cats and fill out a survey. It's the first study of it's kind done on such a large scale! Relatively little is known about domestic cats, since most researchers gather information from cat colonies or in labs. Captive animals have been monitored for a long time, i.e. animals in zoos, but this is a whole different ball-of-yarn-game since a cats typical environment is in a household. From the results we can ensure our domestic animals are happy, healthy, and basically improve their overall welfare!


This study groups cat behavior into five categories to be graded: Skittishness, Outgoingness, Dominance, Spontaneity, and Friendliness. There is a gray area typical of most cats, but a certain combination of traits are unique to your cat.


Just like a human's personality over a lifetime, a cat's may change over time. As cats get older they are more skiddish, but more dominant than younger cats. They are also more set in their ways. They didn't include any cats under a year old because their personalities are still in flux. This is why I could never adopt a kitten, don't get me wrong they are adorbs, but I want to know what they are like before I bring them into my house. (You can read more about kittens here.)

Take the Cat Personality Test! By taking the test, you can use the findings to personally manage their quality of life. Your cat really skiddish? Make more hiding places or add boxes. Is your cat super dominant? Don't add another cat to the household. Cats that are extroverted can get bored easily, so add some new toys to their life and play with them often. If your cat is very friendly and agreeable, they are probably happy. Basically do what's right for your kitty and they will reward you in love!

I took the survey for both Ginger Rogers and Vicktor Frankenstein. Ginger scored High in Skittishness, which I already knew. She's a nervous cat and was a stray when we adopted her, so I think she had some trauma when she was kitten. She scored very High on Friendliness too, which means she can adjust well to other people and pets in the home. Vicktor scored mostly average, but in Skittishness he scored low, which means he's very well adjusted to his environment. (Also set in his stodgy old man ways.) I wouldn't have them any other way!


My lazy cats on a meow-tain of blankets.

You can read the full summary of the study here.


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