According to new research, cat owners may find their feline friends mirroring their personality traits.
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By Alexandra Lim-Chua Wee, Martha Stewart
Your furry friend might be more of a copycat than you thought. According to a recent study published in the journal PLOS ONE, these notoriously independent creatures were found to mimic their owners' personalities, particularly with traits like extroversion, openness, and neuroticism or emotional stability.
While surveying over 3,000 cat owners, researchers asked a variety of questions measuring participants' personality traits of the Big Five Inventory. This psychological model focuses on the link between language and vocabulary and the evidence of five broad traits: extroversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism. The findings? Certain traits that appeared more dominant in owners were also observed in their cats. For instance, owners who rated higher in the neuroticism category had cats who demonstrated behavioral problems, while owners who rated themselves more extroverted had cats who also enjoyed being outside more. This study builds upon previous studies on how parenting styles can influence a child's personality.
"Many owners consider their pets as a family member, forming close social bonds with them," co-author of the study and animal welfare researcher Lauren Finka from Nottingham Trent University tells The Telegraph. "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."
However, Finka notes that there is still much research to be done on the workings of this relationship, and to what degree a cat owner's traits and habits differently influence the well-being and behaviors of their felines. In other words, if you've been deemed the "crazy cat lady" of your friends, no need to worry...just yet.