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There are five types of cat owners, according to science

Published Sep 5th, 2020 11:31AM EDT
cat person
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  • Researchers surveyed cat owners to determine which type of cat owner they are, based on their stance on feline hunting habits.
  • People range from being comfortable with cats killing wildlife to feeling responsible for the animals their pets kill.
  • Which type of cat person are you? Find out right now.

People often claim that they are either a “dog person” or a “cat person.” It’s just an easy way of saying that you like one over the other, I suppose, but science has recently weighed in on the topic and decided that there really are cat people… in fact, there are five kinds of cat people, and you can use their criteria to figure out which one you are.

So, before we get too deep into this it’s important to note that this isn’t like a BuzzFeed quiz or something. For the researchers, where you fall in the cat person hierarchy depends on how comfortable you are with your cat going out and killing other animals. Yeah, it’s kind of a weird study, but let’s go with it and see if we can learn a thing or two.

The research, which was published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, is based on domestic feline predation of wild animals. If you’re a cat owner who keeps your animals inside at all times, you don’t really fall into any category at all. Your cats eat from a dish and don’t chase down birds in their spare time and that’s perfectly okay, but you’re just not part of this study.

For those who allow their cats to be “indoor/outdoor” or strictly outdoor animals, the issue of what animals your pet is hunting is a serious one. You might not think that the occasional bird or chipmunk that winds up dead on your doorstep is having an impact on the environment, but consider the sheer number of domestic cats doing the same thing.

As the researchers note, any given cat doesn’t kill many other animals. They catch a bird or mouse or lizard here and there and that’s about it. Multiply that number by an estimated 10 million pet cats and you start to see where things can get out of hand.

Based on the results of a survey of cat owners in the UK, cat owners fall into one of these five groups:

  • Conscientious caretakers: Pet owners who feel responsible for animals their pets kill.
  • Concerned protectors: Cat owners who are more worried about their cats being hurt while hunting than anything else.
  • Laissez-faire landlords: Individuals who don’t monitor their cats’ hunting habits and don’t really care either way.
  • Tolerant guardians: Dislike the fact that their cats hunt, but don’t do anything to stop it.
  • Freedom defenders: Those who believe that even pet cats have a right to hunt and kill prey as though they were wild.

As an owner of two cats, I can safely say I fall into… none of these categories because my cats never leave the house. And, based on the fact that they freak out every time a door is opened, they don’t want to leave the house, either. I think we’re both happy with our arrangement.

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