Personality in domestic cats
ABSTRACT Personality ratings of 196 cats were made by their owners using a 5-point Likert scale anchored by 1: not at all and 5: a great deal with 12 items: timid, friendly, curious, sociable, obedient, clever, protective, active, independent, aggressive, bad-tempered, and emotional. A principal components analysis with varimax rotation identified three intepretable components. Component I had high loadings by active, clever, curious, and sociable. Component II had high loadings by emotional, friendly, and protective, Component III by aggressive and bad-tempered, and Component IV by timid. Sex was not associated with any component, but age showed a weak negative correlation with Component I. Older animals were rated less social and curious than younger animals.
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ABSTRACT: It is increasingly common to quantify and describe behavioral variation in domestic and wild animals in terms of "personality". Correlating behavioral traits are referred to as personality "dimensions" or "factors" and different dimensions have been reported in different species. "Boldness" is a well-described personality dimension in several species, although some issues remain unclear. Previous models of boldness include both novelty and risk taking, but recent studies indicate that these types of behaviors may reflect separate personality dimensions. In this study, we developed a behavioral test battery for domestic rabbits, and recorded behaviors of 61 individuals in four different situations (novel object, novel arena, social, and predator interactions). We used domestic rabbits as a model because behavioral variation in rabbits has rarely been quantified in terms of personality dimensions, although rabbit behavior is described. We also wanted to investigate behavioral variation in a Swedish rabbit breed of conservation concern - the Gotland rabbit. Factor analysis of the behavioral test measures suggested three personality dimensions: "exploration", "boldness", and "anxiety". Novel object scores clustered in the exploration and boldness factors, whereas scores associated with predator interactions were explained by "anxiety", indicating that novel object and anti-predator behavior reflect different personality dimensions in rabbits.Journal of Ethology 09/2014; 32(3):123-136. DOI:10.1007/s10164-014-0401-9 · 0.79 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Despite growing interest among biologists in animal personality, including in applied contexts, there have been few developmental studies of how and when differences in animal personality arise. And yet, efficient detection of personality differences early in development could be useful in selecting individuals for various management purposes. In a first step towards addressing this, we report results of a study of individual differences in general motor activity among littermates of the domestic cat, obtained using an observational method designed to overcome the difficulties of evaluating the behaviour of newborn altricial young. Three litters (14 kittens) were filmed in the absence of the mother at regular intervals across the 1st postnatal (pre-weaning) month. Six untrained observers independently viewed 10 videos for each litter and ranked the kittens in each video from the least to the most active. Significant differences were found between at least some kittens in all three litters (Friedman tests: Fr = 16.3, 25.8, 11.3; P < 0.0001, 0.0001, 0.0085, respectively), and there was significant agreement on kitten ranks among the six observers (Kendall coefficients of concordance: W = 0.84, 0.84, 0.55; P < 0.01 for the three litters, respectively). There was also significant agreement between the results of two observers using the ranking method and a quantitative method of behavioural assessment (Spearman rank order correlation: rs = 0.93, P = 0.001). We conclude that stable individual differences in general motor activity, possibly indicating differences in temperament, are present in kittens early in development, and that ranking the degree of such behaviour in a naturalistic setting provides a valid and efficient method of detecting such differences. It is now necessary to investigate if such early differences are predictive of later behavioural phenotypes.Applied Animal Behaviour Science 05/2014; 154. DOI:10.1016/j.applanim.2014.01.013 · 1.63 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Associations between mammalian coat color and behavior have been investigated in a number of species, most notably the study of silver foxes by the Institute of Cytology and Genetics at the Russian Academy of Sciences. However, the few studies conducted regarding a potential relation between coat color and domestic cat personality have shown mixed results, even though many people believe that differently colored cats have distinct personalities. Understanding how humans might perceive personality in relation to coat color may have important ramifications regarding whether cats are relinquished to shelters or adopted from them. In order to assess human perceptions of differently colored cats, we conducted an anonymous, online survey, using a 7-point Likert scale and 10 terms describing personality traits that were chosen based on previous studies of animal personality. This survey examined how people assigned these given terms (active, aloof, bold, calm, friendly, intolerant, shy, stubborn, tolerant, and trainable) to five different colors of cats (orange, tricolored, white, black, and bi-colored). There were significant differences in how participants in this study chose to assign personality terms to differently colored cats. For example, participants (n = 189) were more likely to attribute the trait “friendliness” to orange cats, “intolerance” to tri-colored cats, and “aloofness” to white and tri-colored cats. No significant differences were found for “stubbornness” in any colors of cats. White cats were seen as less bold and active and more shy and calm than other colors of cats. While survey respondents stated that they placed more importance on personality than color when selecting a companion cat, there is some evidence that they believe the two qualities are linked. We anticipate our findings will be relevant to further study in domestic cat personality and to those who work in animal rescue, particularly in how shelters promote differently colored cats and educate potential adopters.Anthrozoos A Multidisciplinary Journal of The Interactions of People & Animals 12/2012; 25(4):427-440. DOI:10.2752/175303712X13479798785779 · 0.67 Impact Factor