Exeter's ongoing research project "Cats, Cat Owners and Wildlife" aims to identify how owners manage their cat’s behaviour and lifestyle in an effort to reduce the number of wildlife deaths caused by Felis catus.
So... which type are you?
The study of 56 cat owners - mostly from the rural south west - came up with the following five personality traits of cat owners:
1. Conscientious Caretakers
The cat owner who understands their pet’s environmental and ecological footprint, and feels some responsibility for their cat’s antisocial behaviour.
2. Freedom Defenders
The liberal type who considers any restriction of their cat’s movement or mention of self-responsibility as a subversive attack.
3. Concerned Protectors
Cat comes first! And with that the protector allows the cat free rein (even if that means some wildlife ends up on the front door mat).
4. Tolerant Guardians
Similar to the protector, the guardian will tolerate their cat’s hunting behaviour. Although the guardian is aware of the havoc a cat can wreak upon a neighbourhood, they lack the inclination to do something about it.
5. Laissez-faire Landlords
The most laid-back of the five types. The landlords are ignorant of the environmental impact of cat roaming.
The researchers intend their findings to highlight the differing perspectives of cat owners, and in doing so bring about a greater understanding of the impact the domestic cat has on the environment.
See also: The truth behind what makes you either a dog person or a cat person