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You are here: Home / Journal Articles / My Dog Is Not My Cat: Owner Perception of the Personalities of Dogs and Cats Living in the Same Household / About

My Dog Is Not My Cat: Owner Perception of the Personalities of Dogs and Cats Living in the Same Household

By Laura Menchetti, Silvia Calipari, Gabriella Guelfi, Alice Catanzaro, Silvana Diverio

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Abstract

This study aims to define the personality traits perceived by the owners of multiple pets and to evaluate how they are modulated by experiential-environmental factors. A questionnaire was administered to 1270 owners of multiple pets (dogs and cats) to collect data on the demographics, management, and personality of their pets. Data were analysed by principal component analysis, bivariate, and multivariable models. Five personality traits emerged in dogs and cats: sociability, reactivity, protectiveness, neuroticism, and fearfulness. The owners perceived differences in the personality of their pet: dogs scored higher in sociability, protectiveness, and reactivity, while lower in the neuroticism dimension compared with cats (p < 0.001). Age similarly affected sociability (p < 0.01), and reactivity (p < 0.001) in both dogs and cats, while species-specific gender differences were found as to fearfulness (p < 0.05) and neuroticism (p < 0.001). The age of acquisition modulated several traits in dog personality, while living with conspecifics especially influenced cats. Physiological, behavioural, and evolutionary characteristics could explain species differences. Moreover, intrinsic and extrinsic factors modulated the five dimensions of dogs and cats in a diversified fashion, suggesting complex interactions between species and the environment. However, owners could have had different attitudes with their animals which could have influenced personality perception.

Submitter

Katie Osborn

Publication Title Animals
Volume 8
Issue 6
ISBN/ISSN 2076-2615
Publisher Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
DOI https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8060080
URL http://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/8/6/80
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Laura Menchetti; Silvia Calipari; Gabriella Guelfi; Alice Catanzaro; Silvana Diverio (2018), "My Dog Is Not My Cat: Owner Perception of the Personalities of Dogs and Cats Living in the Same Household," http://habricentral.org/resources/62955.

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Tags
  1. Animal roles
  2. Cats
  3. Dogs
  4. Environment
  5. five-factor model
  6. Genetic factors
  7. Mammals
  8. open access
  9. Personality
  10. Pets and companion animals
Badges
  1. open access
  2. peer-reviewed