Personality (temperament type) in people has a significant affect on learning style, job aptitude, and success in relationships. Use of psychometric instruments (questionnaires) to categorize and describe a person's temperament type is accepted practice. Anyone who has spent time with cats knows that they too have unique individual personalities.
Generalizations about cat behavior often fail to predict the behavior of an individual cat. Research which includes consideration of temperament traits has produced more useful insights. Shelter adoption programs which identify owner expectations and match them with a cat likely to exhibit those behaviors have improved placement success. ASPCA®'s Meet Your Match® Program.
How can we continue to improve our understanding of companion cat behavior? A consistent classification scheme that is simple enough to be useful but still reflects the complexity of cat personality would help in comparing the results of studies.
This Feline Temperament Type Sorter is based on the model developed by Myers-Briggs for people. It is designed to separate cats into 16 possible temperament types based on situational behaviors observed by the respondent. Identifying and understanding an individual cat's temperament type, will allow better understanding, and interactions with that particular cat.
There are 64 questions. Each has two possible responses. When scored at the end of the test, responses will determine which of each of the four pairs of traits the cat exhibits most often. The four pairs of traits were chosen to represent the opposite ends of the spectrum for confidence, sociability, control, and communication style.