The researchers of the University of South Australia used GPS collars to track the movements and behavior of cats over a longer period of time and in the end they came out with five major cat personality types.
An Important Study
As you know, cats like to explore and wander but they are also quite easily scared so the Cat Tracker project wanted to learn more about their behavior through this major study. Over 400 cats were monitored through the GPS units installed on their collars for a period of one week and this makes the study the largest of its kind in the world.
According to doctor Philip Roetman from the School of Natural and Built Environments of the University of South Australia: “Previous studies have only tracked between 10 and 20 cats, so it has been fascinating to look at this really large sample data.”
Bagheera was one of the cats taking part in the study and the owner thought that she stayed at home most of the time. This was the case with most of the cats’ owners, they thought that the cat barely left the house and thus the study won’t show anything of interest.
Analyzing the GPS data revealed that most cats had adventures during nighttime and the average surface roamed by a cat covered 1.04 hectares which is quite a lot! “We found that roughly 40 percent of the cats that were supposedly inside at night, actually had quite large ranges at night.”
Bagheera was also one of the cats that had a set track each night. The cat would visit a native Australian garden which had a lot of birds and he roamed over a distance of more than 40 hectares during the study!
The researchers managed to identify five types of behavior: skittishness, outgoingness, dominance, spontaneity and friendliness.
Skittishness is similar to neuroticism in people, so people with a high score in this trait tend to be anxious of both people and other cats. The opposite, if the score is low here, means that the cat is trusting and calm most of the time. Skittish cats require a lot of hiding spots thorough the house.
Spontaneity means that the cat tends to be impulsive and erratic whereas a cat with low spontaneity would be reserved and predictable.
Outgoing cats are curious and active so they need a lot of toys and playtime. Researchers compare this trait to extroversion in humans. Friendliness simply means that the cat has good social skills and is affectionate to the people around her.
These traits can help you understand your cat better and are a way of advancing the knowledge we have about our furry friends which will only benefit them in the long run.