An excellent Norwegian study on the domestic cat, both pure and random bred, provides us with some useful information on both behaviour and health issues. The study was conducted through social media and there are limitations to it in part because they cannot survey all the cat breeds as Norway is a small country in terms of human population. However these days social media provides lots of information. Facebook knows more about you than your parents, spouse or best friend.
The researchers explain…
“We used social media to gather our data, and the study benefitted greatly from the active participation of cat enthusiasts. Most of the data was collected in just over six months. Our research material is unique in its structure and scope, and it highlights important breed-specific genetic illnesses which are ripe for further study..”
I am interested in various conclusions one of which I discuss here (I’ll discuss others in subsequent posts): behavioural traits of some cat breeds. The study calls them “behavioural abnormalities” which I find rather strange.
The researchers found considerable variation in the behaviour of the cat breeds under survey.
Ten percent (10%) of the “British” (presumed to mean the British Shorthair – Brit SH) cats had low activity levels. This means little activity or “not at all” (static 😉 ).
This compares to low activity amongst 5% of all pedigree cats and just 1% of Bengal cats. This result regarding activity levels confirms what people know about the Brit SH and the Bengal, the latter being a known active cat. In fact, all wild cat hybrids (e.g. Savannah) are active compared to typical cat breeds and random bred cats in general.
Turkish Vans and Bengals were reported to be more aggressive towards strangers at 6% of the cats being aggressive often or very often when compared to the other pedigree cats at less then 3% each.
The following cats were slightly more sensitive to new things and new people than for other pedigree cats:
Turkish Van, Russian Blue, Bengal, Siamese/Balinese (long haired Siamese)/Oriental (part of Siamese family of cats) and Seychellois.
The percentage of these cats sensitive to new things was greater than 3% and to new people at more than 4%. This compares to all other pedigree cats surveyed at 2% being sensitive to new things and people.
The Turkish Van was the most aggressive breed towards people “aggressiveness towards people”. Therefore under this study the Turkish Van is the most aggressive breed.
The breeds under survey were: Persian, Exotic SH, Brit Sh, Sphynx, Devon Rex, Cornish Rex, Ragdoll, Maine Coon, European SH, Siberian, Norwegian FC, Cymric (longhaired Manx), Tuskish Van, Russian Blue, Bengal, Abyssinian, Burmese, Burmilla, Singapura, Birman, Korat, Siamese, Balinese, Oriental SH, Seychellois, random bred (non-pedigree).
The study. More to follow on health issues and the breeds versus non-pedigree.