Cat Owners’ Personalities, and Satisfaction With Their Cats [research study]

Evidence mounts about what kinds of cat owners are satisfied with their cats. This new study explains:

The Purrfect Match: The Influence of Personality on Owner Satisfaction with Their Domestic Cat (Felis silvestris catus),” Rebecca Evans, Minna Lyons, Gayle Brewer, Sonia Tucci, Personality and Individual Differences, vol. 138, 2019, pp. 252–256.

The authors (one of whom—Minna Lyons—is a 2014 Ig Nobel Prize winner for amassing evidence that people who habitually stay up late are, on average, more self-admiring, more manipulative, and more psychopathic than people who habitually arise early in the morning), at the University of Liverpool, UK, explain:

“Participants (11 men and 115 women) were recruited via advertisements placed on social media and in a local cattery….

“[C]at owners (N=126) completed a two section questionnaire. The owner section assessed three of the Big Five traits (agreeableness, extraversion, neuroticism), dominance, impulsiveness, the Dark Triad (narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy), and owner satisfaction with their cat. The pet section assessed the Feline Five (agreeableness, dominance, extraversion, impulsiveness, neuroticism). Positive associations were identified between owner and pet dominance and owner and pet impulsivity. Higher owner dominance also positively correlated with cat extraversion, impulsivity, and neuroticism and owner Dark Triad traits were positively correlated with cat dominance, impulsivity, and neuroticism. None of the owner personality traits related to satisfaction with the cat. Overall, owners were more satisfied with cats high in agreeableness and low in neuroticism. Dissimilarity in owner dominance and cat agreeableness, and owner impulsivity and cat agreeableness were correlated with higher satisfaction. Satisfaction was also positively associated with similarity in scores for owner Dark Triad and cat agreeableness.”

UPDATE (October 19, 2018): Study co-author Minna Lyons writes: “We had a research meeting in the local cat cafe, planning Becky’s (Rebecca Evans) Master’s project…. Gayle Brewer joined me in dressing up appropriately for the meeting.” Lyons included these photos: