Understanding why your cat behaves the way it does is paramount if you want to create a more comfortable and suitable living environment for your furkid. Dr Laura Finka from the University of London carried out a study on 200 cats and their owners and came to the conclusion that felines have five distinct personality types: Human Cat, Hunter Cat, Cats’ Cat, Cantankerous Cat, and Inquisitive Cat.

Interestingly, this has nothing to do with your cat’s breed, said Dr Finka. Instead, it boils down to their genetics, and their experiences during development and in adulthood. You can read more about the study here.

Human Cat

This type of cat is totally comfortable around humans. It would be more than happy to share your life with you, even to the extent of occasionally encroaching onto your personal space. Because the Human Cat is so at home around human company, the best type of environment for it to live in would be one full of people–preferably the kind who’s always ready to offer Puss a backscratch or a chin tickle.

They simply adore lying near (and on) their paw-rents, and can be identified by their constant attempts at gaining human affection through pawing and prodding at their owners.

Hunter Cat

Being the wildest of the five types, the Hunter Cat demonstrates its inner hunting and stalking skills at every given chance. This type of feline can be identified by observing its interaction with its favourite toy–it will play with the toy aggressively, often biting and kicking at the toy.

Your Hunter Cat may bring you a gift from time to time as well–if your idea of a gift is a dead bird or animal, that is. To suit the needs of your furry primal friend, make sure to give it lots of space at home so that it can get all of the pouncing practice that it needs.

Cats’ Cat

Felines are generally quite territorial creatures, and may even choose being alone over being in the company of other cats. However, the Cats’ Cat is one that just loves hanging around other cats, and enjoys grooming and playing with its other furry friends.

They love to shower affection on their feline counterparts–they can be seen touching noses with other cats, or rubbing their bodies against them. This type of feline is purr-fect for households with more than one cat–especially if you don’t want catfights to be a common thing.

Cantankerous Cat

Among the five types of cats, the Cantankerous Cat is the one most prone to frustration and anger. They can come across as being intolerant to a human’s touch, and will definitely take a much longer time to become accustomed to the idea of being handled, carried or hugged by their paw-rents.

In fact, these cats may prefer being the one to make the first move when it comes to making contact with people. If your cat likes having its own personal space, and has an aversion towards your very affectionate cuddles, you might own a Cantankerous Cat of your own.

Inquisitive Cat

Sniffing around and investigating are the two favourite past-times of the Inquisitive Cat. Its urge to explore unfamiliar surroundings may have stemmed from a constant exposure to new sights and sounds–especially from when it was just a kitty.

A home that is filled with the flurry of new people moving in and out of it is a haven for this curious critter, as it takes joy in the arrival of brand new objects of interest for it to discover. They are generally mild-mannered and make good office pets. However, they do have a knack for getting into (literally) anything and everything that isn’t cat-proof.

This article first appeared in Pets Magazine, Jul 2017