Scientists Create Test to Find Out if Your Cat Is a Psychopath

Lydia Veljanovski - Newsweek
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December 10, 2021




Do you ever wonder if your cat might be a psychopath? Perhaps they seem disinterested when you're upset, or they like to toy with dead mice?

Well, now there is a way to find out for is your feline possesses a lack of empathy, or really is just a fluffy bundle of joy.

A group of scientists at Liverpool John Moores University and the University of Liverpool, both in the United Kingdom, have teamed up to develop a detailed questionnaire you can use to see if your pet has psychopathic traits.

There are 46 statements in the test, published in the Journal of Research in Personality, and pet owners have to rate on a five-point scale how accurate these are.

Examples of these include: "My cat torments their prey rather than killing it straight away", "my cat vocalizes loudly (e.g meows, yowls) for no apparent reason", and "my cat is very excitable (e.g goes into 'overdrive' and becomes uncoordinated)".

The results of the test will then go towards measuring the animal's levels of 'meanness' ie. character traits include a lack of empathy and callous aggression.

It will also track the cat's "disinhibition", which relates to problems with behavioral restraint, and 'boldness', which can be characterized by low levels of fear and social dominance.

See the original at Newsweek

Related: Do Dogs Like TV? Americans Are Finding Out as We Try to Ease Their (and Our) Separation Anxiety (Washington Post)

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