Big Data Analysis of pet cats: Cats have 7 personality traits
Cats are very popular pets. Although they are "cute" but not "stupid", smart body invincible, no matter how high the top of the cabinet, or how small the container, can become their temporary "playground".
Sometimes they "pester" you, and sometimes they ignore you. For the official, each kitten has its own unique personality, which can be really hard to read.
In fact, as with humans and other animals, there are stable personality and behavioral differences between cats. Yet cat personalities have not been well studied.
Previous studies have analyzed cats' behavior using questionnaires filled out by their owners. However, most of these studies lack adequate validation and reliability assessment of the questionnaires used.
In a recent study published in Animals, researchers from the University of Helsinki in Finland used large data collections of more than 4,300 cats to fully verify reliability and consistency, and found that cat personality and behavior can be defined by a combination of seven traits.
Veterinary scientist Salla Mikkola, lead author of the study, said: "Humans know less about cat behaviour and personality than they do about dogs, and we need to understand more and use ways to eliminate problem behaviours to improve cat wellbeing. The most common behavioral problems associated with cats are related to aggression and loose excretion (raising/urinating in the home)."
For the study, nine experts in cat behavior, welfare, and health were invited to review and comment on the questionnaire used in the original study to improve its quality. The panel members come from diverse professional backgrounds, such as veterinarians, behavioural consultants, trainers, animal welfare committee members and breeders.
The new behavior and personality questionnaire involves a total of 138 questions. Published on the Finnish animal welfare website Petsofi, the researchers collected the information returned from the questionnaire, which was then used to analyse the cat's behaviour and personality. Because cats behave very differently in laboratory Settings than at home, observing them in experiments may yield inaccurate results.
The questionnaire asked for information on the cat's sex, age, breed, coat color and primary activities.
In the final months of data collection, the researchers asked the men to fill out the questionnaire a second time and answer the same questions again. This allowed the researchers to measure the reliability and consistency of the reports by comparing the results of the two questionnaires.
The final sample consisted of 4,316 cats from 56 different breeds, after excluding information about pet cats whose age could not be verified, as well as information that was duplicated and had too much missing information (more than 20%). Their average age was 4.9 years, with the youngest cat three months old and the oldest 22.7 years old. Of these, 49 per cent were female and 69 per cent were neutered. Through analysis, the researchers grouped them into five personality traits and two behavioral traits:
Attack on humans
Friendly to humans
Litter disorder (e.g. refusal to use litter, or inability to use litter)
Over grooming type
Specifically, the most obvious breed of fear is the Russian blue cat.
Russian blue cat
The least obvious fear type is the Abyssinian cat.
The Abyssinian cat
Bengal cats are the most active breed.
Persian and foreign shorthair cats are the least active breeds.
Exotic shorthair cat
The most obvious types of overgrooming are the Siamese and Balinese cats. They are also the most human-friendly cats.
The Siamese cats
Turkish van cats score high on aggression toward humans and low on cat-friendliness.
Turkish Van cat
In addition, the researchers found that different breeds of cats tend to have different personality traits.
Although the study had many limitations, such as the inability to verify human reports on cat breeds and ages, the researchers believe the survey model could provide valuable information for understanding cat behavior and personality. In addition, the data collected helps outline how cat personalities change and lays the foundation for future research.