Curious cat? Scientists identify 7 feline behavioral, personality traits

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The personalities of our cat friends are more than meets the eye.

Cats, more than dogs, are often viewed by many as mysterious behavior patterns and as less emotionally expressive. But a new study from the University of Helsinki has deciphered the enigmatic patterns of domestic cats and found seven different personality and behavioral traits.

The researchers looked at the behavior of over 4,300 different cats from 26 different breeds and found the following traits that the cats display on a regular basis.

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– Activity / playfulness

– anxiety

– aggression towards people

– socializing with people

– socializing with cats

– Problems with the litter box

– Excessive maintenance

Identifying these traits is especially important because, despite the popularity of cats as pets, their behavioral and personality traits are far less understood than dogs. This can be important as it can make identifying problems much more difficult.

“Compared to dogs, less is known about cat behavior and personality and there is a need to identify related problems and risk factors. We need more understanding and tools to eradicate problem behaviors and improve cat welfare, ”Salla Mikkola, PhD student at Helsinki University and the Folkhälsan Research Center, said in a statement.

“The most common behavioral problems in cats relate to aggression and inappropriate elimination.”

Israeli rescue cat Dwight K. Schrute is seen at her home in Ra’anana. (Credit: ELISHEVA JACOBSON)The results of the study, which was published in the journal Animals and is the largest study of its kind to date, could help identify genetic, environmental and personality factors that influence the cat’s problematic behavior.

And genetic factors may play a bigger role than some think. The study found that some traits were more common than others depending on the breed.

“The most fearful breed was the Russian Blue, while the Abyssinians were the least fearful,” said the University of Helsinki and the Folkhälsan Research Center Prof. Hannes Lohi.

“The Bengal races were the most active, while the Persians and Exotics were the most passive. The breeds with the most excessive grooming were the Siamese and Balinese, while the Turkish Van breed scores significantly higher in aggression towards humans and lower in sociability towards cats. “

More complex studies are needed to better examine these personality traits and the influence of other factors such as age, gender, and general health.

Cats are one of the most popular pets of choice in the world and are loved in all parts of the world.

The cat population is particularly high in Israel, with estimates of over two million cats on the street alone. However, many of these wildcats live in poor conditions, in part because they fail to understand their behavior, which for many is harder to understand than dogs.