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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Lynn McCoy says
I am definitely an extrovert and agreeable, and all brothers and sisters with me! Maybe because my human mommy and daddy always have lots of human company. We especially love our daddy’s violin playing and his students love me!
The friendly one. That’s me.
BellaDharma an BellaSita Mum says
Hello Summer BellaSita Mum here!
I gotta say BellaDharma is a BIG combo of Bully mixed with Shy One….
She bullies me alot in her kitty way & yet runs rom most people who come in.
She is a very unusual cat. Still acts Semi-Feral too….I love her alot but she sure can be ‘trying’…
(((hugs))) BellaSita Mum & “Who MEE?” BellaDharma
CRAIG S. C. OKAJIMA says
My Sydney is neurotic, I would say.
Catherine A Lingg says
Princess definitely extroversion. Too smart for her own good. Keeps me on my toes. Rosie is like you, agreeable. Sweet gentle disposition. You have Prinny’s smarts and Rosie’s disposition
I love the explanation of the character traits. My Ella was an extravert and Lily is the agreeable one. When they came home as kittens, Ella who was and remained the smaller of the two marched right up to me and made herself at home. She was my velcro kitty and could open any cabinet.
Lily is still the shy one and is easily startled by noises but she is very lovable.
This is really interesting.
Tylan is a mix of Extravert and Impulsive. Carmine is Agreeable all the way!
Hmm. Ava is a mix of 4 and 1!
3, 5 and 2 in that order.
Mudpie is extrovert and agreeable too!!! With people, not other cats though!
Ellen J Pilch says
With 13 cats, I have it all. 🙂
We have a lot of cats now so I think we’ve got at least one of each type, with a little overlap of a few traits!
I have known all these cat personalities. Guess I like them
all too. I pretty much recognize these same personalities in
the people I know too.
Gee! Categories for cat purrsonalities! I guess it makes sense though 😉
I qualify as #4, Agreeable. Even if I an a bit shy at first, I am super loving when I like you 🙂
Hi there I knew you were the agreeable one! I have lots of kitties so I have some of each with different combos of the traits.