Scientists are a weird bunch. The truth can be staring them right in the face, but until they’ve collected enough data to verify what is right there, it might as well be invisible. So it goes with cat personalities.
Humans have lived with cats for a few thousand years now, and most of them can tell you that we have personalities. But scientists? They needed to examine approximately 2800 cats, and have their humans rate them on 52 personality traits. The good part of this is a) finally there is scientific proof that cats do have personalities, and b) what’s more, they fall into one of several categories, known as the “feline five.”
The five feline personalities are Neuroticism, Extraversion, Dominance, Agreeableness, and Impulsiveness. While most cats will be a combination of these, one personality type will be more prominent than the others.
Here are the descriptions. Can you guess which one I mostly am?
- Neuroticism: the shy one. The cats who are insecure, anxious, suspicious, and fearful of people. Typical is the cat who mysteriously vanishes every time company comes over.
- Extraversion: the bright one. These kitties are the smarties who are alert, curious, inventive and inquisitive. Who figured out how to break into the treat cabinet you thought was so well hidden? Your extravert!
- Dominance: the bully. The tyrant who rules with an iron paw and aggressive attitude. Have you ever had a cat with a bad attitude that other cats feared? That’s this one.
- Agreeableness: the friendly one. Here’s a happy, affectionate cat with a gentle nature. They are people oriented and get along with almost everybody. If your cat is definitely a lover, not a fighter, this is them.
- Impulsiveness: the troublemaker. This cat acts first and thinks later…well, actually they just never think. They’re reckless, unpredictable and may have a ruthless streak. The cat that wanders inside of that dishwasher you’re trying to fill, or who leaps on top of that 7-foot tall grandfather clock? Impulsive to the core.
If you guessed that I am Agreeable, with a big dose of Extraversion, you are right! The other cats my human has had have run the gamut. Binga was definitely Impulsive and Dominant. Boodie was Neurotic. Sparkle was an Extravert. The cat before Sparkle, Harlot, was a combination of Extravert and Dominant.
Which categories do your cats fit into? Please tell me in the comments! I really want to know.
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