Do Cats Reflect Their People's Personality Quirks?

We could shape our cats' personalities more than we think.

By Janiss Garza | Posted: April 7, 2014, 5 p.m. EDT

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Every time I complain about Sparkle's fussy eating habits, I need to take a step back and look at my own dietary quirks. I hate zucchini, peas and cooked carrots – and will pick them out of any dish that has them. Putting sweet potato in a dish can utterly ruin it for me. Apricots? Ew. And when I do eat, it's not much. Lunch at a Chinese restaurant winds up being two additional take-home lunches. Sparkle is small and slim, and a picky, picky eater – just like her human.

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Do People Shape Cat Personality?
Sparkle can be picky with food, much like her person.

Harlot, the cat before Sparkle, had the same awful taste in men as I did. The worse a man was for me, the more she would attach herself to him. Her preference, like mine, was troubled rocker boys. Unlike me, she could wrap them around her petite dewclaw (I always envied her for that). The main reason I knew my fiancé was the right guy was – Harlot didn't like him! He was impervious to her charms and she didn't like that. I don't know how my cat and I had a parting of the minds there – I must have had a moment of clarity.

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Do People Shape Cat Personality?
Binga tends to stir up trouble.

Do cats come to mirror their humans' behavior? It's likely that pets living in close quarters with their human families will take on some of their people's habits. To what degree has never been determined. My three cats keep roughly the same schedule as I do (although they sleep a lot more): they go to bed and get up at the same time as me. We have breakfast and dinner around the same time. But does it end there – or does it really pour over into actual quirks and personality traits?

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One thing that seems clear when it comes to human and feline personalities is that people do tend to gravitate towards certain cats, depending on their own inner workings. I'm a rebel and I enjoy being busy. I like to stir up trouble. Is it any wonder that Binga is in my life? I love a good laugh. Is it any surprise that I'm drawn to Abyssinian and Somali cats? People who value the fine art of relaxing might enjoy the company of Ragdolls and Persians. I think these breeds are gorgeous, wonderful cats but they lack that element of surprise that I crave.

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So perhaps it's a little bit of both: people gravitate toward a cat that already shows elements of their personalities, and the similarities grow from there. Binga was a crazy kitten when I got her. Did I do anything to discourage that? Nope. And I'm afraid I set a terrible example for my tiny diva, Sparkle. Maybe we have more of a hand in molding our cats than we realize.
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