Cat owners, listen up. Next time you find yourself watching trashy reality TV while inhaling a bag of chips and shit talking your Alexa, just remember you’re being watched — by your cat.
We all know creepy cats who like to stare into your soul, but it turns out they’re actually picking up your behavioral cues. And you thought you were safe not having kids.
Researchers at Nottingham Trent University and the University of Lincoln found a correlation between the personalities of cats and their human friends.
According to the study, the more neurotic the human, the less likely his/her cat was pedigree. The personality trait was also associated with a decreased likelihood of unlimited access to the outdoors, and cats having behavioral problems, defined as “displaying more aggressive and anxious/fearful behavioral styles and more stress-related sickness behaviours, as well as having an ongoing medical condition and being overweight.”
But that’s not all.
Other, more desirable, owner personality traits were found to correlate more positively with various lifestyle, behavior and welfare parameters, according to the study.
For example, higher owner Extroversion was associated with an increased likelihood that the cat would be provided ad libitum access to the outdoors; higher owner Agreeableness was associated with a higher level of owner reported satisfaction with their cat, and with a greater likelihood of owners reporting their cats as being of a normal weight. Finally higher owner Conscientiousness was associated with the cat displaying less anxious/fearful, aggressive, aloof/avoidant, but more gregarious behavioural styles.
The results of this study demonstrate that the relationship between a caregiver and a dependent may very well extend beyond the human family to animal family.