How do you show affection? ❤️
Select...
What’s your ideal bed? 🛏️
Select...
What do you like to eat? 🥫
Select...
What do you do when you’re drunk? 🍷
Select...
What would you do on vacation? 🌴
Select...

Catculator

By Hanna Pamuła, PhD candidate and Jack Bowater

We know you've had a question on your mind for years... "What would I be like if I was a cat? Would I be the sort of cat to meow gleefully whenever my owner comes home, or the type to push that nice, new, expensive vase off the counter onto the floor?" Well, you needn't wait another second, we have the purr-fect calculator for you! (That is not the last terrible cat pun you'll be hearing today, we promise 🐱)

There are over 42.7 million cat owners in the USA alone, and each cat has there own way of doing things. By knowing your cat purr-sonality, you also know more about your human personality, which can help you improve yourself and get more out of life.

So come in, grab a dish of milk, and find a comfortable box to sit in while you find out more about yourself, others, and, most im-paw-tently, our feline friends.

The Big 5 cat purr-sonality traits

If you've spent any time around cats, you will undoubtedly know that no two cats are alike. Some will come up to you for scratches as soon as you meet them, while others will refuse to let you touch them, even though you've known each other for years. Some will happily lie on your shoulders all day if you put them there, while others couldn't imagine a worse place. Some make great friends with other cats, while others go it alone. Why is this?

Cats, like most mammals, are smart creatures. We had to spend millions of years living under the reign of the dinosaurs, so a big brain helped us look at the world around us and choose the right thing to do to survive. But there are many ways of looking at the world, right? All these choices lead to personalities being developed, as different brains began to favor different options.

A 2017 study on 2,802 cats found that there were five main ways cats vary in temperament: Neuroticism, Extraversion, Dominance, Impulsiveness and Agreeableness. Now, those are a lot of claw-ver words 🙀 but fur-tunately, we have an explanation for each of them:

Neuroticism (Skittishness)

Cats who are very neurotic are sensitive, anxious, and on edge most of the time. They don't like new faces or anything that is out of the ordinary, and run away as soon as possible.

If a cat is not very neurotic, it is relaxed most of the time and doesn't mind changes to the world around it - it just adapts.

Extraversion (Outgoingness)

Ever met a cat that just can't wait to explore, be played with, and generally get your attention? Well, what you met there is a very extroverted cat.

An introverted cat is the opposite; they are okay with the same old things, day in, day out. They are also not too fussed about getting, well, fuss.

Dominant

Dominant cats will do all they can be at the top of the cat hierarchy. They need all the mice, birds, cat scratchers, and belly rubs they can get, and no one else is allowed them.

The cats that these tailed tyrants take from are submissive cats, those who can't hold onto their favorite things, always get the scraps of food, and are just pushed around.

Impulsiveness

Why should the same problem always be met with the same solution? If you know a cat that has many "creative" ways of doing things, they're impulsive.

If tried and true methods are always on the menu (just below the fish), and self-restraint is for dessert, then you are looking at a cautious cat.

Agreeableness

Cats are considered agreeable if they like to play, meow, and snuggle up with you. They are great with cats and people alike.

Disagreeable cats are irritable and aggressive - you learn pretty quickly that you shouldn't bother them.

The Big 5 human personality traits

So, how could your cat personality possibly be in any way related to your actual human personality? Well, humans have their own five-factor personality test - the Big Five personality traits. These are: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. As you can see, we share 3 of these traits with cats! Although humans and cats will not express these traits in exactly the same way, they are broadly similar, so we treat them as equivalent in the catculator.

The two other personality traits that are not directly shared between humans and cats are Openness and Conscientiousness. Openness is a measure of your want to experience new things, while Conscientiousness is how self-disciplined you are. While wanting to discover new things is a distinctly human characteristic (no other animal really cares how altitude affects egg boiling time), Conscientiousness can be seen as a measure of how well you control your impulses, and so we have decided to link it to the Impulsiveness cat purr-sonality trait. Isn't that handy (or paws-y)?

You may be asking yourself, "But what about Dominant? Surely humans are dominant like cats?". Well, the short answer is that, no, humans are not dominant like cats. Humans, being much more intelligent and social than cats, cannot rely solely on strength to show others who's boss (they'll likely end up murdered in their sleep). Think about the things that you admire in a person. Someone you admire is likely kind, fair, hard-working, honest, and courageous, as well as strong and smart. These are the things that determine dominance in humans. Therefore the Dominant cat trait is more a measure of "Bullish vs. Submissive".

How to use the catculator

Now that we've gone through what all of the purr-sonality traits mean, it's time to describe how to use the catculator. It's not that difficult, just answer each of the questions as truthfully as possible (you'll even get some cat gifs as a reward!). At the end, you'll get a breakdown of how much of each of the traits you are, and from that you can see what kind of cat you'd be. You'll even get a list of a few traits that best describe your cat self!

Please keep in mind that this test is far from psychologically accurate (maybe that was obvious... it is a catculator after all), so if you feel like the results do not fit you, don't feel bad. Still, don't dismiss them too quickly, as you might learn something about yourself if you sit and meditate on your results - if they represent you, and what you can do to become the person you want to be. Knowing is half the battle, and that's what this catculator is for!

Hanna Pamuła, PhD candidate and Jack Bowater