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Health

Study identifies 5 common cat personality factors. (No, "cat-itude" isn't one of them.)

Seriously, Science?By Seriously ScienceSeptember 25, 2017 3:00 PM
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Image:Flickr/FelinestIf you're a "cat person", I'm willing to bet that you are already saying "Of course cats have personalities!" But which parts of your feline friend's personality are just part of being a cat, and which vary from cat to cat? Well, according to this study, there are five traits that account for the majority of the variability between cat personalities: Neuroticism, Extraversion, Dominance, Impulsiveness and Agreeableness. Not only that, but this variation can sometimes be attributed to environmental or health differences: "Highly Impulsive cats for example, may be reacting to something stressful in their environment, whereas cats with low Agreeableness scores, showing irritability may indicate underlying pain or illness." Of course, if you are a dog person, I'm willing to bet you are already assigning those personality factors to your cat-owning relatives.The 'Feline Five': An exploration of personality in pet cats (Felis catus). "The idea of animals possessing personalities was once dismissed by the scientific community, but has since gained traction with evidence for potential application to improve captive animal management and welfare. Although domestic cats are popular companion animals, research has tended to overlook the value of personality assessment for management and care of pet cats. The aim of this study was to investigate personality in a large sample of pet cats with a view to understanding practical implications for pet cats in the home. Personality of 2,802 pet cats, from South Australia and New Zealand, was rated by their owners utilising a survey measuring 52 personality traits. Five reliable personality factors were found using principal axis factor analysis: Neuroticism, Extraversion, Dominance, Impulsiveness and Agreeableness. Implications for the 'Feline Five' are discussed in relation to their potential application to improving the management and welfare of pet cats. Highly Impulsive cats for example, may be reacting to something stressful in their environment, whereas cats with low Agreeableness scores, showing irritability may indicate underlying pain or illness. Thus, the need for a systematic and holistic approach to personality that includes both the individual pet cat and its environment is recommended, and opens the door to future interdisciplinary intervention." Related content: Yes, cats really do have facial expressions.Scientists make “species-appropriate” music just for cats. Listen here!Surprising study finds that cats actually prefer people over food.

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