Cats Are Psychopaths

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“Your cats are going crazy again! Do something.”

Is your cat a psychopath?

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This is the question that’s going around the internet right now. Scientists have developed a questionnaire to identify if your cat is a psychopath.

They’re basing the questions on typical cat behaviors like pushing stuff off shelves, attacking humans and other animals, and whether or not they like to be petted.

Several things are being measured, and you know I had to see where my cats ranked with this questionnaire.


The first twelve questions are all about boldness. Mio and Melody ranked high in this area. No surprise there. The questions in this section are all about how adventurous your cat is and how they perceive dangerous situations.

This high boldness score makes me wish I had more space in my home to put up tall cat trees. To make up for it, I make sure the top of the fridge always has an opening for them and minimize the decor on my shelves so they can run around the room without ever touching the floor.


The next part of the questionnaire it’s all about disinhibition. This is all about how excitable and demanding your cat is. It also asks about how much regard your cat has for personal space. For example, does your cat walk on your keyboard when you’re doing something?

How did Mio and Melody rate?

Their score for disinhibition was pretty close to their score for boldness.

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I’m not bothered by this, for it shows that they are confident to ask for whatever they want. Yes, it’s a little annoying when I’m trying to do something, and one cat or both of them decides to sit behind me to tap me on the shoulder until I give them what they want.

They’re just like children. Sometimes worse.


The third part of the questionnaire is all about meanness. I would say the title is self-explanatory. The questions are all about asking if your cat is a jerk.

On the meanness scale, my cats are moderately mean. This can include things like picking on other animals and attacking people.

Mio and Melody are very territorial and are meanest to neighborhood cats. In contrast, they enjoy the company of humans, even strangers. Interestingly enough, my cats like dogs. Every chance they escape the house there will run right over to the neighbor’s yard to play with their two small dogs.

Pet-Unfriendliness and Human-Unfriendliness

The last two parts of the questionnaire are about whether your cat is unfriendly toward other pets and humans. My girls scored lowest on both of these.

As much as Mio loves the attention, she is anything but unfriendly when it comes to humans. She has no problem with other pets if she is introduced properly. 

Melody prefers to take her time to warm up to people, approaching them within a safe distance several times before allowing them to pet her.

Photo by Anton Darius on Unsplash

Mio and Melody’s final score

My girl’s final score on this questionnaire is moderate to low. So while they might be slightly psychopathic, they aren’t true psychopaths.

Why does this matter?

It doesn’t.

That is unless you are trying to understand how to improve your home and cat training to reduce unwanted behaviors.

How to determine your cat’s needs with the questionnaire

As I mentioned before, my cat’s ranked high on boldness.

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This means they like to climb on things, explore and have no sense of dangerous situations. The best way to keep them happy is to create an environment where they can explore, climb, and jump, just like the wild beasts they are.

For cats who score high on disinhibition, these cats would be happiest with some form of regular stimulation. The best solution for this could be an automatic laser toy, having a variety of treats on hand, catnip, a catio, or some cat TV.

A regularly scheduled playtime at least once a day will help your cats burn off energy.

If your cat is the only pet, consider getting another cat. Before getting Melody, Mio couldn’t be left alone for more than a few minutes at a time. Now they spend their time alone together, playing and cuddling.

For cats who rank high on meanness, you may think there is no hope. These cats may be scared of you or other animals and strike out of fear. Approach them with a firm yet gentle demeanor and plenty of treats and give them time to warm up to you.

Pet unfriendliness cats that score high may be unsocialized towards other animals. When you first introduced your pets, did you just put them in a room together and hope they would figure it out?

Or did you slowly introduce your pets over time through scent, seeing each other across a boundary, and eventually supervised nose to nose meeting?

Photo by Anton Darius on Unsplash

If it was the former instead of the latter introduction, teaching your cat and the pet they have trouble with sitting on command will allow them to find neutral ground.

Human unfriendliness will be higher for ferals and cats who have had primarily negative interactions with humans. To help with socializing your cats to people, check out these two articles, how to socialize your cat and how to socialize your feral cat.

If you have a cat that goes from being human friendly to not being human unfriendly for no apparent reason, they may be in pain or feeling unwell. They may even avoid their favorite person. My aunt had a cat that developed severe arthritis in her old age and wouldn’t let anyone get close enough to touch her.

Check out the questionnaire for yourself

If you’re interested in taking the questionnaire yourself to see if your cat is a psychopath, here’s a direct link to it on OSF.

Your cat, like most cats, likely has some traits of a psychopath. When cats first became involved with humans, these traits were beneficial. So don’t be surprised if your cat ranks somewhere on the psychopathic spectrum.

Do you think your cat is a psychopath? Leave your comments below!

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