Scientists Identify The Seven Distinct Personality Traits Found in All Species of Cats

cat breed rankings

Cats are the second most popular pet out there aside from dogs and far outranking aquarium fish, but until recent research, surprisingly little was known about the distinct personality traits that make up this mysterious mammalian species.

Cat owners will often note that their feline friends have a distinct personality all their own, but as it turns out, most cats actually follow a fairly similar script consisting of seven major personality traits.

To uncover this information, scientists studied thousands of cat breeds, seeking answers to basic behavioral concerns that typically lead to problems such as aggression and urination or defecating in the house.

Results were discovered using a 138-question survey and filled out by the cats’ owners.

Humans were asked to enter the cat’s sex, age, breed, coat color, and main activity. They were later asked to fill out the same survey after an interval of time had passed.
The final sample consisted of 4,316 cats.

The researchers were able to narrow these cats’ traits down to five personality traits and two behavioral traits.

These traits were:

-Aggression towards humans
-Sociability towards humans
-Sociability towards cats
-Litterbox issues
-Excessive grooming

Different breeds skewed towards different personality traits according to the researchers.

“The most fearful breed was the Russian Blue, while the Abyssinian was the least fearful,” said veterinary scientist Hannes Lohi of the University of Helsinki.“

The Bengal was the most active breed, while the Persian and Exotic were the most passive. The breeds exhibiting the most excessive grooming were the Siamese and Balinese, while the Turkish Van breed scored considerably higher in aggression towards humans and lower in sociability towards cats.”

The charts below show breed rankings in terms of fearfulness and aggression toward humans.

Did your cat make the list?

The next chart from the study shows rankings in terms of sociability toward cats, playfulness, and sociability toward humans, respectively.


Oriental cats were the most sociable toward other cats, Siamese the most sociable toward humans, and Bengals ranked the most playful of all cat breeds!

To learn more, check out the full study in the journal Animals here.

Where does your cat’s breed rank in each of these categories, and does he/or she live up to their reputation? All cats may not be exactly alike, but one thing’s for sure: we love them all just the same

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