When you look at your cat does she have that glimmer in her eyes that says, “Give me my food now or I will destroy you”? Does she have this look even when her bowl is half full (because we all know half-full cat food bowls equals empty cat food bowls in our cats’ eyes)? If so, your cat may be plotting your death. Seriously, your cat may want to kill you, according to a recent study.
OK, so maybe it’s not so much serious as how some people are interpreting the study. (Did you really believe Cat Fancy thought our cats are trying to kill us?)
Researchers from the Bronx Zoo and the University of Edinburgh, Scotland conducted the study to find out if there were similarities in the personalities of domestic cats and wild cats. The team looked at domestic cats, clouded leopards, snow leopards, African lions and Scottish wildcats, CNET reports. The researchers discovered that each cat had three distinct personality factors. Scottish wildcats’ factors consisted of dominance, agreeableness and self-control; clouded leopards’ and snow leopards’ had the same factors: dominance/impulsiveness, agreeableness/openness and neuroticism, according to the study. The study also revealed that domestic cats are dominant, impulsive and neurotic – the same three personality factors that are prevalent in African lions.
According to CNET, the study reported that domestic cats show the most neuroticism when humans make them anxious, insecure, fearful, suspicious or tense. While this may be true and our cats may act out when they feel this way (by scratching or biting), does this really mean they’re trying to kill us? Some made the leap to yes given that domestic cats and African lions have the same personality factors. If an African lion were to feel any of those things near a human, it’ll do a lot more than scratch or bite. But to say that our cats are trying to kill us is silly. As Marieke Gartner, a researcher in the study told CNET, saying our cats are trying to kill us is “a pretty far stretch. Cats have different personalities, and they ended up living with us because it was a mutually beneficial situation. Some cats are more independent, some are quite loving. It just depends on the individual. It’s not that cats are self-centered. It’s that they are a more solitary or semi-solitary species. Cats don’t want to bump you off, but people often don’t know how to treat them and then are surprised by their behavior.”
So calm yourself, your cat isn’t plotting your demise. But if you’re still unsure, just watch this video on how to find out if your cat is actually trying to kill you.