The researchers studied the behaviors of over 4,300 different cats, spanning 26 different breeds.
https://www.jpost.com/-By AARON REICH
Cats can recover from COVID-19 faster than humans. What is their secret? (photo credit: AARON REICH)
There’s more than meets the eye to the personalities of our feline friends.
Cats, more so than dogs, are often considered by many as having more mysterious behavioral patterns and being less emotionally expressive. But a new study from the University of Helsinki has deciphered the enigmatic patterns of domestic cats, finding seven distinct personality and behavioral traits.
The researchers studied the behaviors of over 4,300 different cats, spanning 26 different breeds, and found the following traits, which the cats display regularly.
– Aggression towards humans
– Sociability towards humans
– Sociability towards cats
– Litterbox issues
– Excessive grooming
Identifying these traits is especially important, as, despite the popularity of cats as pets, their behavioral and personality traits are far less understood compared to dogs. This can be important, as it can make identifying problems a lot more difficult.
“Compared to dogs, less is known about the behavior and personality of cats, and there is demand for identifying related problems and risk factors. We need more understanding and tools to weed out problematic behavior and improve cat welfare,” University of Helsinki and the Folkhälsan Research Center doctoral researcher Salla Mikkola said in a statement.
“The most common behavioral challenges associated with cats relate to aggression and inappropriate elimination.”
The findings of the study, published in the academic journal Animals and which is the most extensive study of its kind thus far, could help identify genetic, environmental and personality factors that influence problematic behavior from one’s cat.
And genetic factors may play a bigger role than some would think. The study noted that some traits were more common than others based on breed.
“The most fearful breed was the Russian Blue, while the Abyssinian was the least fearful,” said University of Helsinki and the Folkhälsan Research Center Prof. Hannes Lohi.
“The Bengal was the most active breed, while the Persian and Exotic were the most passive. The breeds exhibiting the most excessive grooming were the Siamese and Balinese, while the Turkish Van breed scored considerably 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 overall health.
Cats are one of the most popular pets of choice worldwide and are beloved in all corners of the globe.
In Israel, the cat population is especially high, with estimates placing the number of cats on the street alone at over two million. However, many of these feral cats live in poor conditions, part of the reason for which could be a lack of understanding of their behavior, which many find harder to understand than dogs.