A lot has been written about cats and their personalities. This is because many of us personify our cat’s behavior. I know I do. I speak about my cats like they are my children. “Maximus gets his fondness of sleeping in from my husband!” Or “Wilbur’s got MY appetite!” There’s just something about attributing personality traits to our cats that seems very natural. Because many of us consider them to be an essential part of our family.
But what happens to our cat’s personality when we go away? Are they different when they are at home with a pet sitter or while staying at a cat boarding facility?
What’s my cat’s personality?
I recently read an article in Catster in which the writer creatively suggests a cat’s personality might be assessed by using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). It’s based on Carl Jung’s theory on personality types. People take the Myers-Briggs to better understand themselves in relation to others. And many of us who have managed people and human children know it’s a very useful communication tool.
But is it useful for us to use it to better understand our cats?
Hard to say. But I’m pretty sure Carl Jung’s contribution to psychology was intended for that of the human – not the feline – persuasion.
The Feline Five
For those of us interested in more of a scientific approach, check this out. Researchers from the University of South Australia asked 2,291 cat owners about 52 behaviors in order to develop a personality index. The 52 behaviors were broken down into five main behaviors: Neurotic, Extraverted, Dominant, Impulsive or Agreeable, dubbed the “Feline Five.” Researchers asked questions like “retreats readily or moves away from other cats” and “unaffected by emotions and equally undisturbed, assured, or calm.”
Cat boarding persona = domestic persona?
As the owner of a new cat boarding hotel, I’m perpetually curious about what happens to our cats’ personalities when we go away and entrust them with a pet sitter or a cat boarding facility. How does their identified personality manifest in a different circumstance? Do they act significantly different whether at home without their humans around or in another environment altogether? In other words, if your kitty cat is already Neurotic, does it become more Neurotic? If your cat is Agreeable, does he chill out when you’re away or does he become Neurotic? Or Aggressive? Or a cat burglar?
Fortunately, you can do several things to keep your cat stimulated when you’re away. Whether you hire a pet sitter or your cats stay at a luxury cat boarding hotel like Club Cat. No matter their personality or disposition, according to the feline medical and behaviorist experts you should:
- Play soothing sounds
Cats are soothed by listening to nature. Chirping birds or playing music you normally play when you are at home can relax kitties.
- Play soothing sounds
- Keep their environment clean
Cats like cleanliness. Make sure your pet sitter cleans up any messes daily. If you board your cat, make sure you choose a hotel that is fastidious about cleanliness like Club Cat.
- Interact with them!
A 2017 Oregon study revealed that cats prefer human interaction above all else. Make sure that your pet sitter is coming around more than once per day. And if you decide to place your cat in a cat boarding facility, make sure they interact with your cats throughout the day. At Club Cat, we do!