A study led by two British universities has proved that cats aren’t just influenced by their owner’s actions. They can understand and feel their owner’s personality, and this is reflected in their behaviour.
Does your cat behave strangely? You may partly be the reason for that. In fact, two universities have carried out studies that prove that an owner’s personality can be echoed in their cat’s behaviour.
Like owner, like cat
The universities of Nottingham Trent and Lincoln have conducted studies with 3,000 cat owners in the United Kingdom. The questions they asked the owners focus around their personality and the health and lifestyle of their cats.
The results of the study show that people susceptible of suffering from anxiety, depression, anger, usually have pets with similar behavioural traits. Their cats seem more aggressive and apprehensive and suffer from recurring health problems. They are also more stressed and are often overweight.
The study also shows this trend to be true when the conditions are reversed. People in good physical and psychological condition and health have happier and calmer cats.
The influence of our subconscious
Mark Farnworth, professor at Nottingham Trent University, explains that these results have just confirmed hypotheses that were proposed a long time ago.
‘More and more we are learning that the welfare of pets is driven by the underlying nature of the owner, and not simply by their conscious decisions and behaviours.’ Animals are often considered members of the family and therefore, they behave similarly to children. They can be influenced by their parents’ behaviour, but also by other factors, our unconscious actions. Cats are very sensitive to their owner’s mood and personality and so act in the same way.