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Delivering News From The Source

Are cats plotting our demise?

Do cats really want to kill us?

Do cats really want to kill us?

By Darien Walsh

A study has recently gained popularity showing our lovable, fluffy kitty cats may actually be trying to kill us…or at least want to.

But how true is this notion? There has been a lot of speculation over whether or not cats want to kill us, and several news outlets have varying headlines on the topics.

A study by the University of Edinburgh and the Bronx Zoo compared the personalities of domestic housecats to the Scottish wildcat, clouded leopard, snow leopard and the African Lion. The study found that domestic cats share strikingly similar personality traits with those wild cats.

To conduct the study, the researchers used 100 cats from a Scottish shelter, ranging in age from one month to 19 years. The researchers rated some animals’ behaviors on what psychologists have named ‘the Big Five’ personality traits that humans have: extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and openness.

The study found that, regarding their neuroticism, domesticated cats have “the highest loadings on anxious, insecure, and tense, suspicious and fearful of people.”

They also found that our little house cats have a similar personality structure to that of African lions. There were high similarities towards impulsiveness, neuroticism and dominance.

Is this enough evidence to fear our feline companions? Other news outlets say no.

According to the Huffington Post, people have been taking the information from the study the wrong way. A quote from the lead researcher Marieke Gartner to the Huffington Post says that her “research did not suggest this — in fact, it’s completely unrelated.”

Of course, personality factors do not mean the same thing as individual factors. A lion and a housecat can be studied along a spectrum and each individual will land differently.

So why would people assume that the results of the study mean that cats are ultimately plotting our demise? There are several reasons people associate mischievous or murderous behavior with cats. The Huffington Post got an answer from Mikel Delgado, a certified cat behavior consultant and a Ph.D. candidate in psychology at the University of California, Berkeley.

“They don’t have as many facial muscles [as dogs],” she told the Huffington Post. “Their face is harder to interpret. People do seem to wonder, ‘What’s my cat thinking?'”

Most people agree that cats ended up living with humans because the relationship is beneficial.

The verdict? We have nothing to fear. Our cats, however wild in spirit and instinct they may be, are not out to get us. In fact, we know that cats can love us back. Cat lovers can rest easy knowing they don’t own a mini, vicious lion.