Do cats act like their owners? Have you ever got the impression that a pet behaves exactly how their owner? I got this impression in a few instances, last but not least, watching my cat personality traits, and I started to think that he behaved a bit as I do. Did he take my personality, or did I?
Based on recent studies, cats are influenced by their owner’s personalities; they can act like them and take on certain traits. A cat owner’s negative behavior or displaying anxiety in the house can influence a cat to feel anxious and unsafe. A cat owner who is happy and playful can influence a cat to be more secure and open toward the environment. Therefore the owner’s behavior can reflect in the cat’s behavior and result in a cat acting like his owner.
Let’s give some more examples.
DO CATS ACT LIKE THEIR OWNERS?
One day I have this revelation looking at my cat. I watched him complaining about me not opening the door for him or something one moment, and the moment later complaining about something else. I looked at him carefully, and I saw his eyes looked anxious and worried.
We were only the two of us in the house, and I wasn’t moving. He was roaming around the room, looking like an invisible predator was hunting him.
At that point, I got the realization. He looked exactly like me. Worried most of the time and feeling like something is about to happen all the time, and of course, complaining. It really strokes me!
Until that moment, I haven’t searched the internet to read all the research done by scientists. I just observed what my cat was doing. I then started to be curious and search around to see if others got the same idea.
This then led me to another thought, was I being too dramatic and raising my cat to be dramatic as well?
Honestly, I haven’t even thought that my cat could come to act like me; I, for sure, know that cats need a peaceful environment as they stress easily. I have been good at that; I love my cats, I do not scare them on purpose, they have a nice place, noise-free, and If they stress over something, I remove it, have plenty of toys and play with them. But yet, it is not all!
For me, this realization was very revealing; cats are like children; they grow up taking examples from their pet parents!
DO CATS ACT LIKE THEIR OWNER IN THE GOOD AND BAD WAY?
Let’s look at the research and science point of view on this, and let’s see what we can get out of it. That a cat can mirror my personality is a bit scary because one thing is to make a cat happy as to his needs; another is to be a sort of role-model.
Here some excerpts from different researches, so you can take out the most important points without reading the other boring stuff:
Higher owner Neuroticism was associated with an increased likelihood of non-pedigree rather than pedigree cat ownership, a decreased likelihood of ad libitum access to the outdoors, cats being reported as having a ‘behavioral problem,’ displaying more aggressive and anxious/fearful behavioral styles, and more stress-related sickness behaviors, as well as having an ongoing medical condition and being overweight.From: journals.plos.org
It is interesting the point of attracting a type of cat personality instead of another; I have more to say later on this. Now, let’s what they have to say about positive behaviors:
Higher owner Extroversion was associated with an increased likelihood that the cat would be provided ad libitum access to the outdoors; higher owner Agreeableness was associated with a higher level of owner-reported satisfaction with their cat, and with a greater likelihood of owners reporting their cats as being of a normal weightFrom: journals.plos.org
Do cats act like their owners? It seems that they mirror the owner’s personality, and I can say that cats grow up with a person who gives them a bad example can become un-easy cats to live with. This made me remember my brother’s cat. I have mentioned his story in another article. I was writing about if a cat could be evil, to then realize that a bad parent just raised that cat.
I did not make much of that situation because I thought more that my brother did not spend any time to train him or socialize with him, making him almost a feral cat indoor. I haven’t connected with their personalities, even though I made once a joke about my brother having an evil twist sometimes.
Most probably because his cat was not educated or trained and had a role model that showed him examples of behaviors that he should not have taken, he has made that cat what he is today.
DO CATS ACT LIKE THEIR OWNERS? OR OWNERS ACT LIKE THEIR CATS?
Do cats act like their owners, or is it the other way around? I have found myself sometimes thinking that I was behaving like my cat. Sometimes when he comes on my bed, I roll on my back and try to get him, like he would do while we play. In more than one instance, I thought that I became like him. I have even told him that it was his fault.
It has happened in other instances, too. Therefore it can very well be that living entities growing up together can influence each other in their day-to-day existence. I never gave too much significance to those thoughts until the day I saw my cat resembling me.
I also had the idea that people with a certain personality can attract animals with the same characteristics; it is, in fact, mentioned in the research quoted above. It makes sense because when people go an search for a pet to adopt, surely are checking if they are matching with each other most of the time.
In my case, I adopted Coco, my first cat, without really knowing him. I saw the picture, he looked too cute, and I took him. The second cat, his friend, I was a bit more checking if she would like me actually. I went to the shelter and picked her up, she kissed me immediately, and I just took her.
She had a bad eye, I thought she would have fewer chances to be adopted, so I was thrilled because all I cared about was that she was ok with me and we got along, more than if she was cute. She is cute anyway, and a little love ball.
All this to say that we can be attracted by pets that have personalities similar to ours, maybe we do not do it on purpose, but it happens as a natural consequence.
Here some related questions to: “Do cats act like their owners?” and related answers:
- Do cats see us as parents?
In my experience with cats, I can say that sometimes cats can see us as parents, especially kittens who lost their mother too early. I have a kitten who was found lost in the street with a severe eye infection. She often comes to curly on me and sleeps and purr. I often thought that she was trying to get some motherly attention and affection. Kittens like to do it with mother cats.
I managed to bond with some other cats, and I do not think cats believe or understand they have parents when they are grown up, but I think they consider us as best friends or one of the most important figures in their cat life.
- How do you tell if your cat is bonded with you?
I have a good metric that can tell you if your cat is really bonded with you. This is when your cat allows you to do things that other people cannot do. For example, I am the only living being that can touch my cat belly. Others have tried and found themselves bleeding! I am the only one that he let come close, and that allows to pick him up. My cat is very picky, and even with me, he is pretty snobbish. But, I am the only one who can touch him and cuddle with him ( on his terms, of course!).
When you are the only one that can do a certain thing with a cat, know that he has bonded with you. Sure there are other signs, like slow blinking, purring, rubbing against you and so on. In my view, the above describe the true bond.
- Do introverts prefer cats?
Apparently, there is a study showing that people who own cats are more intelligent and, at the same time, more introverted. Cats do not need to be walked outside and are more reserved. If you think about it, they can be a good fit for an introverted person. But it is not always the case, as in many things.
Do cats act like their owners? What do you think? Let us know your experience. Write it in the comments below.
Read also: CAN A CAT BE EVIL? CATS HAVE A SECRET AGENDA