How To Handle Your Cat's Personality

Cats can be quite particular creatures, and pet parents know that their unique purr-sonalities can be very different.

Even in the same household, and from the same litter, our furry friends can vary quite a lot when it comes to their individual habits and quirks.

Researchers have found five cat personality types, and find most cats fall into one of the following categories - Neurotic, Extraverted, Dominant, Impulsive or Agreeable.

"A deeper understanding of cat personality traits can be highly beneficial to their health and wellbeing. Knowing more about our cats allows us to provide the right kind of interactions based on their individual personalities. The “personalities” of domestic cats found in the study (agreeableness, impulsiveness, dominance, extraversion and neuroticism) can help determine how to manage causes of stress in our cats and allow them to be at their very best. These findings are important considerations in human-feline relations."
- Dr Jo Gale BVetMed CertLAS MRCVS

It is worth noting that most “undesirable” behaviours are just cats expressing their natural behaviours, but perhaps in a place or at a time which isn’t appealing to us as humans!

Whether your cat is a Nervous Nala, a Spontaneous Simba or a Bossy Bella, read our top tips for ensuring a fuss-free feline friend below.  


Nervous cat



Cats who score in this category tend to be more highly-strung than others, and can also be the most shy.

These cats love a hiding spot, so give them plenty of spaces around your home for them to retreat to.

Over time, and with the right support, these cats can become just as confident and cuddly as any feline, albeit only to those they truly love (which makes it even better!)

Top Tips for Nervous Cats

Give them space - Boxes, cat tunnels and other “safe spaces” are very important to nervous cats. 

Reduce “triggers” - If possible, try to determine and avoid things that may cause anxiety for your cat. For example, if your cat is scared of the hoover, take them to another room before flipping the switch.

Be patient - It may take a while until your cat is comfortable enough for a cuddle, and some cats just plain don’t like it. Respect your cat’s personal space and try to read their body language.

Try distractions - If your cat is triggered by something beyond your control, such as fireworks, try shutting the curtains and playing soothing music or television (ours love a bit of Attenborough)

Keep calm and purr on - Your cat is an expert at picking up your vibes, so try to stay cool, calm, and collected, and hopefully your cat will do the same.

Make a routine - cats are creatures of habit, and aren’t too fond of change, so bear this in mind, try to sync your schedules and don’t interrupt nap time (this goes for humans, too)


Cat walking outside


Cats in this category are much more extroverted and often more noisy than most cats.

They’re also the kind who like to get into the most trouble, mostly due to how easily they get bored and resort to destructive behaviours to get attention (we’ve all been there).

Top tips for outgoing cats

Work hard on playing hard - Provide plenty of toys for your cat to play with, and be sure to replace them with fresh toys as they can soon stop smelling quite so interesting to cats.

“Baby”-proof your home - If your cat has a naughty habit of opening cupboards and doors, invest in kid-proof door stoppers to keep what’s inside from falling into the wrong paws.

Reward good behaviour - When you notice your cat playing nicely, for example not biting your guests’ ankles, be sure to let them know how pleased you are with a treat or some fuss and attention.

Keep distractions close to hand - A tactically-placed scratching post or well-timed play session can greatly improve the longevity of your sofa.

Use “time-outs” - If your cat gets a bit too overzealous with the rough-housing, consider placing them in “kitty jail”. A few minutes in a designated empty room can help to calm down their zoomies (just make sure it isn’t where you keep your priceless art…)

Be patient - Cats can be quite wild at times, but remember that they lack the capacity to do things out of spite or meanness, though it can seem this way sometimes.



Boss Cat



Cats who fall into this category tend to be the most dominant, and are especially easy to spot in multi-cat households - they are the ones at the top of the pecking order (including you).

These cats know just how to manipulate their owners, and can wrap you around their little toe-beans. 

Top tips for bossy cats

First impressions matter - when introducing new members of your pet family, use the “two-door method” to gradually let them get to know each other, slowly removing the barriers until they can get acquainted.

Share the love - For households with more than one cat, be sure to show equal attention and affection for each member of your clique, you may have a favourite, but they don’t need to know that.

Food, the great motivator - You’d be surprised how quickly your cat can straighten up and fly right when dinnertime comes into question, if you have more than one cat, provide separate feeding areas and bowls to avoid the dominant cat taking the lion’s share.

Tough love - As much as we’d like to let them think our lives revolve around them, sometimes a cat needs to know that it isn’t the boss. Whether it's by feeding yourself first before them, or simply not jumping to attention whenever they call, just don’t expect a pleasant reaction when you try to take back your favourite spot on the sofa…

Consider a permanent “fix” - Neutering or spaying your cat can help to control the hormones responsible for some undesirable behaviours. If needed, a specialist veterinary behaviourist can help you live in harmony with your cat.

Live with it - Cats, while fairly resilient and adaptable, can be set in their ways. If they’ve been “top cat” for too long, you may just have to deal with the fact that you’re seen more as a servant than a parent, in which case you should just be grateful to have such a merciful ruler.



 Spontaneous Cat


These cats are the most impulsive, and tend to have a lot of energy, which sometimes is released all at once.

Whilst all cats go through a “scatty” phase as kittens, some cats stay “young-at-heart” and keep their youthful exuberance. Particularly, it seems, in the middle of the night...

Top tips for spontaneous cats:

Tire them out with play - Keeping your cat amused with plenty of toys can help them spend some of their seemingly boundless energy. Consider an automatic or interactive toy for them to entertain themselves with, especially when you’re trying to sleep.

Never “scold” your cat - Shouting at a spontaneous cat will likely raise their levels of anxiety and increase any erratic behaviour as a result. Plus, it isn’t very nice and rarely works with cats, instead, try positive reinforcement for good behaviour.

Start a regimen - Scheduling feeding and playtime to the same time of day can help to instil a sense of routine that can help keep your cat calm (just be sure NEVER to be late, no one likes waiting for dinner…) 

Read your cat’s body language - Try to identify the things that set your cat off, or how they behave in the lead up to the “zoomies”. This can help single out any triggers that are causing the nervous energy, or if your cat is simply a weirdo (the best ones are, after all…)

Synchronise your time-zones - Some cats are nocturnal, preferring to run around your home in the wee small hours. Try to keep them entertained and awake throughout the day to change their body-clock. If all else fails you could always join them on the night shift, after all, compromise works both ways.



Cool Agreeable Cat



This type is the very definition of a “cool cat”. Super chilled, sociable and with plenty of the laissez-faire attitude that cats are known for.

This agreeable personality is usually the result of proper socialisation as a kitten. The dude abides…

Top tips for agreeable cats (like you need them!)

Consider expanding the family - Agreeable cats are perfect for multi-cat households, often taking younger cats under their wing and passing on good habits. This type of cat is the ideal role model for newer additions, particularly rescues who can re-learn behaviours much quicker than from humans.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it - Whatever you’re doing, it’s working. A well-adjusted cat can provide an endless amount of comfort, care, calm and cuddles. Just know that it’s incredibly rare that a cat will fetch your slippers (though you’re welcome to try).


Of course it goes without saying that every cat is unique and has its own personality, just like us!

However, being attuned to your cat’s personality can help you to understand their individual needs and personal likes (and dislikes), which is one step closer to purr-adise.

05/11/2020 by NatuTeam

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