A group of Australian scientists claimed that cats are just like humans. They discovered that felines possess personality traits that are remarkably alike to their owners.
The Daily Telegraph reported that the researchers formulated their conclusions by conducting almost 3,000 cat personality tests. They also partnered with psychologists to generate more reliable findings.
The researchers utilized a personality test questionnaire that was originally formulated outside Australia and used on both domestic cats and captive wildcats on shelters. It was the first time that the test was applied to a huge a number of domestic cats.
"People are fascinated by cats, they have really intriguing personalities," Dr. Philip Roetman, lead researcher, told The Advertiser. "From a research perspective, it's really interesting to understand and look at the personalities of different animals, especially when we are talking about management."
The study, which is part of the University of South Australia Discovery Circle's Cat Tracker project, has found that felines possess five common personality traits that are akin to those of humans. These human-like characteristics include skittishness, outgoingness, friendliness, dominance and spontaneity.
"Skittishness is similar to neuroticism in people, outgoingness is similar to extroversion and friendliness is akin to agreeableness," Roetman explained. "The big difference in cats is dominance and spontaneity."
Roetman said that the study is relevant because it could help cat owners create a better environment for their feline friends. He added that the results will guide owners to do things differently based on their cat and what it likes.
Experts have always referred cats' behavior as complex and difficult for owners to understand. In the same manner, felines do not really understand their owners the way dogs do, according to John Bradshaw, a cat-behavior expert at the University of Bristol and the author of the book Cat Sense, in one of his interviews with National Geographic.
"They obviously know we're bigger than them, but they don't seem to have adapted their social behavior much. Putting their tails up in the air, rubbing around our legs, and sitting beside us and grooming us are exactly what cats do to each other," Bradshaw stated.
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