Offender profiling… for cats! Felines that are more outgoing and less neurotic are more likely to HUNTING, study finds
- Cat owners completed a 48-item questionnaire about their cat’s personality
- The results showed that cats that hunt wildlife have certain personality traits
- These cats scored higher on extraversion and less on neuroticism
Cats that prey on wildlife have certain personality traits, a study suggests.
Pets described by their owners as more outgoing or less neurotic were more likely to hunt, researchers found.
The findings could help owners use specific strategies targeting their cat’s personality to reduce hunting appetite, without affecting happiness, the researchers suggested.
Pets described by their owners as more outgoing or less neurotic were more likely to hunt, researchers found (stock image)
Are CATS man’s best friend?
The old adage states that dogs are man’s best friend, but research disputes that long-held title, as experts argue that cats become just as attached to us as dogs.
The study looked for signs of attachment in both cats and kittens when reunited with their owners in a strange place.
It’s the first time scientists have shown that cats exhibit the same kind of behavior as dogs and human babies.
“Hunting cats that showed higher scores for extraversion or lower scores for neuroticism were most likely to be stimulated and encouraged in physical activity, and by opportunities to reproduce natural feline behavior in the home environment,” the University of Exeter team said. .
These activities could potentially include toys that mimic prey, as well as food enrichment, such as hiding food or using puzzle feeders — objects that have to be manipulated in various ways to release the food — they said.
Owners of highly extroverted cats may tend to view general measures such as confinement as particularly restrictive on their pet, so knowing they are tailoring their approach to their cat’s specific needs may provide more support.
Management approaches to reduce predation targeting feline personality may provide benefits for feline welfare, reduce hunting motivation and find greater support among cat owners, who are showing an interest in effective ‘cat-friendly’ measures to reduce predation on wildlife. reduce,” she wrote in the peer-reviewed journal Applied Animal Behavior Science.
For the study, the owners of 162 cats completed a 48-item questionnaire about their cat’s personality.
Like the ‘Big Five’ traits measured in human psychology, the questionnaire measured the ‘Feline Five’ traits of neuroticism, extroversion, dominance, impulsivity, and kindness.
Neuroticism includes criteria such as being insecure, suspicious, and shy; dominance reflects bullying and aggressive behavior towards other cats; and impulsive cats are erratic and reckless.
Like the ‘Big Five’ traits measured in human psychology, the questionnaire measured the ‘Feline Five’ traits of neuroticism, extroversion, dominance, impulsivity, and agreeableness
Adorableness includes being affectionate and kind to people, and gentle, while extroversion includes high scores for factors such as being curious, inventive, and active.
The pets were classified as hunters if they brought home at least one prey during the time they were studied.
The study comes shortly after research has shown that cats really recognize their owner’s voice when spoken to directly.
Researchers from the Université Paris Nanterre analyzed how 16 cats responded to pre-recorded voices from both their owner and a stranger when they uttered sentences aimed at cats or people.
They assessed the behavior of the cats that responded to the audio, checking specifically for things like ear vibration, pupil dilation and tail movement.
The results showed that 10 out of 16 cats showed a reduced response when they heard audio clips of a stranger’s voice calling them by name.
However, upon hearing their owner’s voice, their behavioral intensity increased significantly again.
The cats exhibited behaviors such as turning their ears to the speakers, increased movement around the room, and pupil dilation upon hearing their owner’s voice.
The authors suggest that the sudden uptick in behavior indicates that cats can distinguish their owner’s voice from that of a stranger.
Playing with your cat and feeding them meat-rich foods can deter them from hunting wild animals, scientists say
Outdoor indoor cats can pose a major threat to local wildlife, including birds, small mammals, amphibians and fish.
However, researchers from Exeter have shown that there are some simple strategies that can help temper our cats’ homicidal impulses.
These include making sure cats get all the micronutrients they need from their human-provided diet so that they are not driven to seek out additional food.
It is also important to ensure that cats live enriched lives and have opportunities to discover their natural hunting impulses through play with toys.
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Tired of kitty bringing home “little presents”? Playing with your cat (as with a feather perch, pictured) and feeding them meat-rich foods can keep them from hunting wild animals