Cats mirror their owners' personalities, new study reveals
They were worshipped as gods back in Ancient Egypt, but in modern times, cats get somewhat of a bad rep. All over the internet, people are quick to sing the praises of dogs, and while they are great, it is cats who are unfairly branded as jerks.
But I don't think that's true at all; all the cats I know well are lovely, and a new study says that if a cat is a jerk, it's probably a good idea to take a look at its owner.
That's according to a new study published in the journal Plos One, which explains that cats, previously thought to be independent to the point of indifference, actually tend to mimic the traits of the human closest to them, including traits like extraversion, agreeableness, emotional stability, and openness to new experiences.
This cat got far too excited about being on live TV:
To make this incredible discovery, scientists surveyed over 3,000 cat owners, asking them a number of questions relating to the Big Five of personality traits; agreeableness, extraversion, openness to new experiences, conscientiousness (a measure of carefulness and diligence) and neuroticism (a measure of emotional instability).
They found - weirdly enough - that the traits pronounced in the cat owners were also pronounced in their cats. So if a cat owner was not very extraverted but neurotic and generally open to new experiences, then their cats tended to be more introverted and emotionally unstable, but open to new experiences in the same fashion.
"This study provides the best evidence to date of the relationship between owner personality and cat behaviour, welfare and lifestyle parameters, showing for the first time clear parallels with the parent-child relationship and the associated wellbeing outcomes for children," the study explained, but warned that there was plenty of research left to be conducted to understand why this happened.
Further steps would be taken to ascertain ideas like "if and how owner personality influences the selection of cats with more health and behavioural problems and certain personality attributes," added the study.