Researchers from the University of Helsinki have analyzed the personalities and behaviors of more than 4,300 datasets gathered from 56 breeds of domesticated cats and mixed breed cats via online questionnaires.
Ask any cat owner and you're sure to hear how their cat behaves a specific way. This is because, like humans, cats and other animals have personalities and stable behavioral differences between different individuals. The study of various personality types in cats is vital in understanding how individual cats may react to different environmental stimuli to achieve quality of life.
Feline Personality Traits
According to research published in the journal Animal, titled "Reliability and Validity of Seven Feline Behavior and Personality Traits" an individual cat's behavior and personality traits can be defined by using a combination of 7 traits. Salla Mikkola, co-author and veterinary scientist from the University of Helsinki, Finland says that when compared to dogs, little is known about the complexities of cat's personalities and behaviors white a demand in identifying problems and risk factors related to their demeanor.
She adds that more tools and deeper understanding are needed for us to be able to weed out problematic cat behavior and improve their overall h welfare. With the most common personality and behavioral challenges are linked with the cat's aggression and inappropriate urination or defecating in the home reports SciNews.
The research involved a 138-question survey posted on Petsofi, an animal welfare website, and was filled out by cat owners. This was the choice of methodology since cats have been known to behave differently in laboratory settings than how they react at the comforts of their home, hence observing cats via experiment would only yield inaccurate results.
The questionnaire asked owners to enter their cat's sex, breed, age, coat color, main activity, and more. Owners, after an interval, were also asked to fill out the questionnaire again to allow researchers to properly gauge the accuracy of the owner's reports by comparing both surveys.
After removing cats with no verifiable age, duplicate entries, and those with missing vital information, the final dataset consisted of 4,316 cats.
Intricacies of the 7 Cat Personality Traits and Behavior
From the gathered data, researchers narrowed down cat traits to 5 personality traits and 2 behavioral traits:
Aggression towards humans
Sociability towards other cats
Sociability towards humans
Unsurprisingly the data revealed that different breeds tend to skew towards different traits. Hannes Lohi, a veterinary scientist from the University of Helsinki explains that the most fearful breed was the Russian Blue with the Abyssinian being the least fearful.
He adds that the most active breed was the Bengla while Persian and Exotics were perceived as the most passive. On the other hand, the breeds that showed the most excessive grooming were the Balinese and Siamese cats. With the Turkish Van breed scoring significantly higher in terms of aggression towards humans and low sociability towards other cats reports ScienceAlert.
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