We think of our cats as independent, almost standoffish creatures who march to the beat of their own drum. But according to one study that came out in the journal PLOS ONE, they might be more conformist than first believed.
The study found that cats were capable of mimicry – particularly of certain personality traits of their owners, such as extroversion, openness, neuroticism, or emotional stability.
Researchers conducted a study of more than 3,000 cat owners. They gave them survey questions to answer which looked at the Big Five Inventory, a psychological model that looks at the link between language and vocabulary, particularly in the five categories of extroversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism.
What this study found was that some traits were observed in both cats and their owners. For example, if an owner demonstrated more neurotic traits as their dominant personality trait then their cat was more likely to show similar behaviors. This particular study was going off previous studies that were conducted on how different parenting approaches could potentially affect a kid’s personality.
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Speaking to The Telegraph, the co-author of the study and animal welfare researcher, Lauren Finka of Nottingham Trent University, stated that, “Many owners consider their pets as a family member, forming close social bonds with them. It’s therefore very possible that pets could be affected by the way we interact with and manage them, and that both these factors are in turn influenced by our personality differences.”
Of course, Finka did note that their findings still needed a lot of additional follow-up work to be done in order to understand and study just how personality traits are shared between cats and their owners. However, it seems like they’re our little mini-mes to a certain degree.
Do you agree with the study’s findings? Have you observed your cat acting exactly like you? Let us know!
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