U.K. researchers conducted a study to examine if pet owners’ personality and behavior could affect their cats. Cat owners answered questions about their cats and questions about themselves. The results, published in February in the journal PLOS One, were surprising. Humans who scored high in the “neuroticism” category had cats with more ongoing medical issues, including stress-linked illness, and anxious or fearful behaviors. These cats were also more likely to be overweight. At the other end of the spectrum, owners scoring high on agreeableness, extroversion, conscientiousness and openness were more likely to have cats with fewer health and behavior problems.
Jackie Brown is a freelance writer from Southern California who specializes in the pet industry. Reach her at jackiebrownwriter.wordpress.com.