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Personality in felids: A review

By Marieke Cassia Gartner, Alexander Weiss

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Although there has been an increase in felid personality research, much more work is needed, with only 20 published studies, 17 of which focused on the domestic cat. Most studies show important implications for this type of research, but there is no consensus on terminology, method, or conclusions for felids, even at the species level. Felid personality research comes from various fields, and is often carried out with different methods, with diverse goals. This review evaluates the published research on felid personality, and addresses its reliability and validity. Only 60% of the studies reported reliability estimates, and these varied greatly across personality dimensions. The sample weighted mean correlation of the reliability estimates was 0.68 (based on three studies). Fifty-five percent of the studies assessed validity. The personality dimensions with the highest validity for all species were Sociable, Dominant, and Curious, with a mean correlation of 0.82. Recommendations for future research and implications for aiding in conservation and captive animal management efforts and improving health and well-being and welfare are discussed.

Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 144
Issue 1
Pages 1-13
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2012.11.010
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Cats
  2. Meta-analysis
  3. Personality
  4. reliability
  5. temperament
  6. validity