There Are Five Types of Cat Owner—Take This Quiz to Find out Which One You Are

Cat owners fall into five categories when it comes to their attitudes towards how their pets roam and hunt, according to researchers who have created an online quiz based on their findings.

The study published in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment involved 56 cat owners who ranked their agreement or disagreement with statements on their cats' hunting habits. They were presented with statements like "I worry about roaming cats being lost, stolen, or killed by traffic" or "I don't want my cat to be hunting; I'd rather she didn't hunt. But I am aware that she is a carnivorous wild creature."

The participants also took part in brief interviews and completed questionnaires. The team analyzed the rankings, and grouped participants with similar views.

Five categories emerged in the experiment. "Concerned protectors" who were focused on their cat's safety; "freedom defenders" who prioritized their pet's independence and opposed restrictions on their behavior; "tolerant guardians," who thought outdoor access was important for cats but disliked their hunting; "conscientious caretakers," who felt some responsibility for managing their cat's hunting, and "Laissez-faire Landlords" who were largely unaware their cats may cause problems while roaming and hunting.

The team also created an online quiz which reveals which category users fall into.

Click here to take the quiz.

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The research is part of a project called "Cats, Cat Owners and Wildfire," which works with cat owners to find new, sustainable and cat-friendly ways to manage hunting behavior and cut down on the wildlife they kill, co-author Sarah Crowley, lecturer in human geography at the University of Exeter's Environment and Sustainability Institute in Cornwall, told Newsweek.

"We found [in the study] that even people who are concerned about cats killing wildlife believe their cats should have some outdoor access, but we also found that most owners don't like their cats hunting, and would like to reduce the amount of wild animals their pets killed," she said.

"Often, however, they are not sure how to reduce hunting without keeping cats indoors, which they don't really want to do, generally because they think this compromises cat welfare."

Crowley said the study was limited because while it reflects the views of different owners, it doesn't show what proportion of cat owners ascribe to each viewpoint in the general population. It was also focused on owners in the U.K.

"For example, in the USA we know that people are more likely to keep their cats indoors than in the U.K., and in Australia more people might be concerned about impacts on native wildlife," Crowley said.

Asked what readers should take from the study: Crowley said: "We hope that readers will see themselves reflected in one of our 'types' of cat owner and compare their views with those of their friends and family. Ideally, this research will provide an opportunity for cat owners and non-owners alike to have constructive conversations about the tricky issues we are tackling with this research.

"While this study doesn't tell us about the cats themselves, as part of our broader project we are also carrying out experimental research, with cats and their owners, to test different techniques for managing hunting. We're hoping to identify effective ways of reducing hunting without compromising cat welfare."

Tom Streeter, chairman of the U.K.-based bird charity SongBird Survival said in a statement: "This latest research we have funded reveals the incredibly diverse perspectives amongst cat owners in regard to their pets' hunting behaviour.

"If nature is to 'win' and endangered species thrive, a pragmatic approach is needed whereby cat owners' views are considered as part of wider conservation strategies."

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A stock image shows a woman and her pet cat. Researchers say cat owners fall into five categories in terms of their attitudes to their pets’ roaming and hunting. iStock
There Are Five Types of Cat Owner—Take This Quiz to Find out Which One You Are | Health