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How to quickly judge a cat’s personality?

Update Time:2023/11/9
How to quickly judge a cat’s personality?

A cat's personality is affected by two factors: innate and two-day.
We can roughly judge a cat’s personality when choosing a cat based on these two aspects.

1. Innate factors

(1) Coat color

Black cat

Existing research shows that cats with more eumelanin expression may have bolder personalities and prefer humans.
Pure black cats may be more adaptable to social environments and more friendly.


Tuxedo cats are less aggressive towards strangers.


Cats with lilac color (lilac - eumelanin diluted color) are more likely to experience negative emotions due to separation.

Cats in red (orange) colors are more aggressive than cats in other colors, orange and diluted colors (cream, cinnamon)


Are white cats more aloof and timid? Actually that's not the case. Since white cats are born with irises that lack pigment and cannot block sunlight, they have difficulty moving in brightly lit environments, so they prefer to go out after sunset. From our perspective, this behavior pattern may make us think that "white cats always hide in the shadows because they are timid."


Cats with various stripes In 2016, the University of Pennsylvania used a special questionnaire called "Fe-BARQ" to distribute questionnaires to 100 cat parents to count the behavioral characteristics of cats. The final statistical results showed that cats with multiple colors of hair and tabby spots on their bodies were more aggressive.


Why might coat color affect personality?

The researchers hypothesized that melanin and catecholamine, which affect coat color, are synthesized through the same biochemical pathway. Catecholamines (such as dopamine), as brain neurotransmitters, can transmit fear, anger and other related emotions, thereby affecting the cat's behavior and personality.

(2) Varieties

Whether purebred

As early as 2009, research suggested that crossbred cats are generally friendlier than purebred cats.


This conclusion was confirmed in 2018. A study conducted by the Psychological Laboratory of Kyoto University in Japan proved that individual differences in the oxytocin gene "OXTR" and nearby microsatellites may have a certain impact on the formation of oxytocin receptors, leading to individual differences. And hybrid cats with longer MS3 and 4 (microsatellites) show higher friendliness than purebreds.

Also in 2016, a survey by the University of Pennsylvania included a total of 394 cats from 15 breeds, which listed some of the breeds and their personality traits as evaluated by their owners in the questionnaire. Here are excerpts from three common breeds for everyone: Ragdoll cats are not particularly eager for attention, and have less need for higher places and hiding places than other cats. Russian Blue cats are shyer than other cats. Siamese cats are more defensive and aggressive towards strangers.

(3) The character of the cat father

The personality of the cat's father is one of the most important factors in determining the cat's personality. In 1986, Turner and others proposed that cat fathers may affect kittens' personalities. In 1995, McCune and others conducted an interesting experiment to verify this factor. Experimental process The researchers selected 37 kittens born from 2 male cats and 8 female cats for the experiment. The female cats had no blood relationship with each other before, and the two male cats had completely different attitudes towards people. When a friendly male cat sees a human, he will raise his tail, gently knead his paws, and lightly step on the human. When unfriendly cats see humans, they will retreat, hide, crouch down, tuck their tails under their bodies, etc. The kittens have not been in contact with male cats since they were delivered. At 2-12 weeks, they are divided into groups with and without human contact, and grow up separately. In this way, behavioral observations will be conducted separately until one year old.

The result is as follows:


Kittens born to friendly cat fathers will develop very friendly personalities towards humans if they are exposed to humans early on. Even if there is no contact with humans, it will become neutral.

On the contrary, if the cat father is unfriendly, the cat may need more contact with humans when it is young to achieve a neutral personality.

Therefore, the friendliness of the cat father to people will have a great impact on the kitten's personality.

2、Acquired factors 

(1) Social period For cats

There is a crucial period for the formation of personality - 2 to 8 weeks of age. This period is usually called the "social period". A kitten's contact with its mother cat and different species during the socialization period has a great impact on the cat's personality when it grows up.

When to separate from mother cat

The biggest influence on a kitten’s personality is, of course, the time spent with its mother cat.


If a kitten spends its "social period" with its mother cat, its fear of unknown things will decrease when it grows up, and it will also be less afraid of contact with strangers and strange cats. On the contrary, many problems will arise. A survey by the University of Helsinki in Finland showed that cats weaned before 8 weeks of age are more aggressive towards strangers and more likely to develop behavioral problems (fleece dependence, excessive grooming, shyness and other behavioral problems).
The RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Australia) recommends that kittens should not be separated from their mothers until they are 8 weeks old. But if you are able, you should try to separate the kittens from their mother cats after 14 weeks of age. 

Whether the cat has contact with people or not. 

For cats, whether they have contact with humans during the social period is the key to determining whether the cat likes people.


Researchers tested the impact of human contact on cats' personalities by "hand linking" with cats during their socialization period. Compared with the no-contact group, cats in contact with humans: are more clingy, more likely to develop a familiar personality, and are more confident in exploring unfamiliar things. If you want to raise a cat with a clinging personality, you need to let it come into contact with more people (more than 4 people) during the social period, and interact with it every day, and the interaction time can be about 40 minutes.

With siblings

Compared with letting cats learn by themselves, learning by observing other cats is a more efficient learning method. For example, if one kitten in the same litter uses a litter box, the probability that other kittens it gets along with will use the litter box is higher. Moreover, when cats play with their siblings, they will learn to control their intensity during play by chasing and biting each other. If kittens grow up with siblings, they can promote each other's learning, and at the same time, let the cats know how to behave when getting along with people and other animals.


With other animals

As early as 1930, Kuo and others reported in a paper that a cat that grew up with mice would never harm other mice as an adult. If you want your cat to coexist peacefully with other animals, you can introduce other animals during the socialization period and let the kitten grow up with it. 


The social period is really important! If you want to get a lively and loving kitten, it is best to adopt/purchase a cat that is over 14 weeks old and grows up next to the mother cat!

(2) Physical factors

Is the nutrition sufficient?
Malnutrition when the mother is pregnant or when the kittens are born can also cause changes in the cat's personality. The kitten's personality may become more aggressive and emotionally unstable. This may be due to nutritional deficiencies that lead to delayed brain development.


Effects of sterilization on personality

After cats are neutered, male cats usually become calmer and female cats become a little rebellious. But the cat's own personality has not changed, it is just closer to its true personality due to the decrease in sex hormone levels.


Therefore, when we buy a cat, we can judge the cat’s personality through the above aspects. For example, if we want a bold, gentle and affectionate cat, maybe a black cat that has lived with humans, mother cat, and siblings before 14 weeks will be more in line with our requirements.