A cat looking funny, surprised or concerned.
Has this funny-looking kitty just had some catnip? Photography by fotostok_pdv/Thinkstock.

Study Identifies 5 Feline Personality Types

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Researchers in Australia and New Zealand applied a model of describing human personality traits to pet cats, and the results are fascinating. The study, published in August in the online journal PLOS One, surveyed the owners of 2,802 cats. The owners rated their cats’ personalities based on 52 personality traits. Researchers narrowed down five feline personality types.

The feline personality types are dubbed “The Feline Five,” and include:

5 kittens or a group of cats on a white background.
Which of these feline personality types does your cat fit into? Photography ©adogslifephoto | Thinkstock.
  1. Neuroticism (insecurity, anxious, fearful of people, suspicious and shy)
  2. Etraversion (active,  vigilant, curious, inquisitive, inventive and smart)
  3. Dominance (bullying and dominance and aggressiveness toward other cats)
  4. Impulsiveness (erratic and reckless)
  5. Agreeableness (affectionate, friendly to people and gentle)

Tell us: Which of these feline personality types fits your cat?

Thumbnail: Photography by fotostok_pdv/Thinkstock. 

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in Catster magazine. Have you seen the new Catster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting area of your vet’s office? Click here to subscribe to Catster and get the bimonthly magazine delivered to your home. 

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25 thoughts on “Study Identifies 5 Feline Personality Types”

  1. Pingback: Why You Should Consider Adopting an Older Cat Instead | Cat Central

  2. Nancy Cameron Armstrong

    Marmalade, 19 # neutered male Maine Coon approximate age 5, is definitely #2 AND #5. I think that fits, more or less, ALL Maine Coons.

  3. rescued our little ‘cheeky’ last easter from an elderly woman who couldn’t care for her. Cheeky is 7 years old and the description of no1 would suit her the best, the poor little mite doesn’t trust easily, only recently has she allowed me near her to groom her and its all on her terms – be it 1 brush stroke or i believe 12 has been my limit so far.
    Having her claws clipped at the local Vet has been traumatic for both of us she is so scared. Will not allow you to lift her but very rarely she will come and sit on me, for a minute or so. Loves to lie on the back of my sofa on my hair……….yep they are all unique and special xxxx

  4. My Cat is all of them except #5. And she tries to bully me! I guess that she thinks that I am a cat with hands. She is 2 years old almost. I thought about getting her a playmate, but I can’t decide if she would appreciate another cat or bully us both. But, she is also a loving and sweet lap kitty sometimes. She is totally scared of other people. Not sure why, except we haven’t had many visitors in her young life.

  5. My Maine Coon mix rescue was a #2 and #5 when I got him at 9 weeks, altho MUCH more active than any other cat including Maine Coons that I’ve ever known over the years (I’m 68)
    Now he’s almost 7, has mellowed quite a bit, and is still the greeter, supervisor, and cuddler.

  6. My 10-month old boy (Norwegian Forest?) has the traits of #2 and #5. He is really smart and is curious and friendly when visitors show up. He jumped on top of the washer, slipped off and got stuck between the washer and wall. I managed to save him — he hasn’t tried to jump on it since.

  7. Both my cats are 5’s.One adopted and one a stray,now adopted,both show their thankfulness in being Hugely affectionate.Minnie,now aged 17,a bit more neurotic but not to crippling degree.
    Pat.B.

  8. Our cat is definitely a #1. She came from the humane society, but she was born there so I don’t think she was ever abused. She has never liked to be held and will not sit on a lap. She has only allowed our grandchildren and us to see her. She will lay beside me and let me pet her, but that is as loving as it gets

  9. I have a 10 month old Maine Coon who is equal parts of #2 and #5.

    I think this study may be flawed.

    As I type this I can’t help but wonder…perhaps we shouldn’t label people or cats.

  10. My oldest boy is very serious; he’s been serious since he was a kitten. He doesn’t really play with toys and is usually busy patrolling the house making sure everyone and everything is where it should be. He’s friendly with people, tolerates his “younger sisters” and is rarely far from my side. One of my girls is a huge diva/princess and the other is a total nutcase – she’s hilarious and goofy. So not fitting the The Feline Five!

  11. Those aren’t types, they’re traits. You would measure for each trait in one cat. A cat would have a certain rating on neuroticism and a certain rating on extraversion. They’re not simply neurotic or extraverted.
    Also, the link doesn’t work.

    1. Thank you! The traits are essentially adapted from the Big Five system. Someone didn’t do much research when they wrote this article.

  12. Patricia J Beckett

    Lotus and big boy are number 5 type of cats. Scarlet is the youngest and is a type 3 kind of cat. Athena is a new cat and a Maine coin cat and she is a number 1 kind of cat. She does well around lotus and big boy but doesn’t like the female cat scarlet.

  13. Hmmm well i’d have to say this study failed as none of my cats fall into any of these categories. Cats are as individual as people. Did anyone on the study actually own a cat??? Very superficial study.

    1. I agree- We have four fur babies and one doesn’t fit in at all. Cats are so individual even among the same breed. Ours are all papered Maine Coons. I think five ‘categories ‘ barely scratches (pun) the surface.

  14. Current cat:
    2, 3 and 5

    Previous cat:
    1e, 2b, c and e. 5 to his tribe in his own shy way, esp. If you were ill – he’d wrap himself around your head and purr in your ear. Otherwise, he’d be watching from the other side of the room or from under your chair.

    Cats are as hard to categorize as people.

  15. Used to have a #3 but had to give her back due to her bites causing us infections. We have a #5 now and she is absolutely purrfect for us!

  16. My cat of almost ten years ( we believe she was a young new mother of 2ish when we adopted & she rejected her kitts) is definitely aggressive towards other felines but warms up to humans. She despised both our resident Simese (who, admittedly was a troubled child, very aggressive /standoffish) and a gold tabby who was a male but neutered. This Calico was so mean to him it later caused us to have to separate . Anyway she’s still here the other two succumbed in their old age. She a twisted Calico sister! Lol

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