Animal

There are five types of cat personalities – which one is yours?


Which type is your cat? (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

All cat owners will have strong opinions on who their pet truly is.

You know, beyond being the best and most adorable animal in the entire world.

Some cats are snooty, others are needy cuddle monsters, some are intellectual, others can’t seem to tell when a door is open.

But no matter how individual your cat’s quirks may be, they might still fit into one of these five personality types.

That’s according to the team at Natusan and animal behaviourist Peter Neville, anyway, who have analysed data from over 3,700 cat parents to distill all felines into five distinct types.

‘Understanding your cat’s personality traits and recognising their idiosyncrasies are essential ingredients in maintaining their health and wellbeing,’ said Professor Neville.

‘Even in the same household, and from the same litter, our furry friends can be like chalk and cheese when it comes to their individual behaviours and preferences.

‘Like humans, the more we appreciate what makes them tick, the more we can fine tune our interactions, and create environments that encourage them to thrive by accommodating their social and emotional needs.’

Below, Peter and Natusan break down the types as well tips on how to deal with each kitty character.

So, which one is your feline friend?

The nervous Nala

The shy one (Picture: Getty Images)

Cats who fit into the nervous Nala type have a more delicate disposition and can be highly-strung.

These are cats who you’d describe as shy, who get easily spooked and will hide under the sofa when anyone new pops in for a chat.

Top tips:

  • Give this type of cat plenty of ‘safe spaces’, such as boxes and cat tunnels. Nervous cats love a hiding spot where they can retreat and relax
  • Provide high perches and shelves where cats can view the world from a safe, high-up vantage point
  • Be patient. This type might only enjoy attention and cuddles when they initiate, so always go at their pace and never force snuggles on them
  • Make a routine. Nervous cats love having predictable mealtimes
  • Reduce triggers. Identify things that can cause anxiety and work to reduce their impact. For example, if your cat hates the vacuum cleaner, make sure they’re in another room before you start the big clean-up
  • Scoop their litter regularly. Cats are neat and clean creatures, so a urine-soaked tray will only make them more stressed out
  • Lead by calm example. Your cat will pick up on your mood, so try to stay chilled when you’re at home

The outgoing Oliver

Schedule in plenty of play with a high-energy cat (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Cats with this type of personality are much more extroverted and often noisier than most.

They’re the type that will meow at you the moment you get home, and is very vocal about wanting treats.

They also love to explore, and have a low threshold for boredom, often resulting in destructive behaviour. Your poor sofa.

Top tips:

  • Make sure you schedule in playtime. Provide plenty of different toys to keep your cat engaged
  • Reward good behaviour with loving praise and favourite treats
  • Cat-proof your home. Make sure cupboard doors have stoppers if your pet loves to rifle through your belongings
  • Distraction is key. Get a scratching post or climbing centre to keep your cat clear of your furniture
  • Never shout at or punish your cat for bad behaviour. They won’t understand, so there’s no use in negative reinforcement. You’ll only end up scaring them
  • Use time outs. If your cat is getting a little too excitable, pop them in another room with plenty of toys so they can work out all their excess energy.
  • Be patient – your cat doesn’t mean to be naughty!

The bossy Bella

Some cats like to take charge (Picture: Getty Images)

Your cat is this type if they’re very assertive and rule the roost of other pets in the household.

These kitties are masters in the art of manipulation, and can effortlessly wrap you around their little paws.

Top tips:

  • Gradually introduce new members of the household
  • Share the love – but perhaps with each cat individually or with groups while your bossy Bella is asleep or secure and alone in a different room – as this will avoid provoking competition
  • Use food as motivation. You’d be surprised how quickly your cat can straighten up and fly right when dinnertime comes into question. If you have more than one cat, provide separate feeding areas and bowls to prevent your bossy type from monopolising the bowls or bullying their way to extra food
  • Consider neutering or spaying. Hormones can be responsible for undesirable behaviour
  • Learn to accept them. Cats, while fairly resilient and adaptable, can be set in their ways. If they’ve been ‘top cat’ for too long, you may just have to deal with the fact that you’re seen more as a servant than a parent, in which case you should just be grateful to have such a merciful ruler.

The spontaneous Simba

This type gets pretty hyper (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

According to Natusan’s research, 22% of British cat parents live with a spontaneous Simba.

These cats are the most impulsive, and tend to have a lot of energy, which sometimes is released all at once.

If your cat wakes you up every night with a mad hour of running up and down the stairs, they’re probably this type.

Top tips:

  • Burn off excess energy with frequent short sessions of interactive play and activity
  • Consider daily walks on a leash if you have an indoor cat
  • Never scold your cat. Shouting at a spontaneous Simba will likely raise their levels of anxiety and increase any erratic behaviour as a result. Plus, a telling-off rarely works with cats. Instead, try positive reinforcement for good behaviour.
  • Make a routine. Scheduling feeding and playtime at the same time of day can help keep your cat calm.
  • Read your cat’s body language. Try to identify the things that set your cat off, or how they behave in the lead up to the zoomies. This can help single out any triggers that are causing the nervous energy.
  • Synchronise your activity cycles. Some cats are more nocturnal than others and prefer to run around your home in the small hours. Try to keep them entertained and awake throughout the day to change their body clock.

The agreeable Alfie

A sweet and sensible boy (Picture: Getty Images)

An easygoing cat that’s super relaxed, sociable, and just gets on with things.

No problem behaviour here.

Top tips:

  • Consider expanding the family. Agreeable cats are perfect for multi-cat households, often taking younger cats under their wing and passing on good habits. This type of cat is the ideal role model for newer additions, particularly rescues who can re-learn behaviours much quicker than from humans.
  • Keep doing what you’re doing – it’s clearly working. A well-adjusted cat can provide an endless amount of comfort, care, calm and cuddles.

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Get in touch by emailing MetroLifestyleTeam@Metro.co.uk.


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