Tell-tale signs your cat is a psychopath after scientists discover all felines possess ‘craziness’

Tell-tale signs your cat is a psychopath after scientists discover all felines possess ‘craziness’

Loud meowing and tormenting prey could be signs that your cat is a psychopath, according to top scientists.

Researchers reckon all felines have psychopathic traits and contain a little bit of craziness in them because they descended from savage wildcats.

Boffins from the University of Liverpool’s school of psychology have developed a scale that pet owners can use to analyse the level of psycho in their beloved cat, the Daily Star reports.

Tell-tale signs include:

  • Tormenting their prey rather than killing it straight away
  • Vocalises loudly (e.g meows, yowls) for no apparent reason
  • Very excitable (e.g goes into ‘overdrive’ and becomes uncoordinated)

The results will help measure the cat’s levels of ‘meanness’ – traits such as a lack of empathy and callous aggression.

It also ranks the cat’s bloodthirsty ruthlessness and level of anti-social behaviour to people and fellow pets.

It can also help measure a creature’s lack of inhibition and boldness.

The University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University academics said their CAT-Tri+ it is the first tool available to measure psychopathy in cats.

Owners rate whether their cat toys with prey instead of slaughtering it immediately, how loudly it meows and yowls for “no apparent reason” and whether their moggy goes into “overdrive”.



Loud meowing and tormenting prey could be signs that your cat is a psychopath

Lead researcher Rebecca Evans, from the University of Liverpool’s school of psychology, said: “We believe that like any other personality trait, psychopathy is on a continuum, where some cats will score more highly than others.

“It is likely that all cats have an element of psychopathy as it would have once been helpful for their ancestors in terms of acquiring resources – e.g. food, territory, mating opportunities.”

The researchers also hope the results will improve relationships between cats and owners and slash the number of pets that end up in shelters or put down.

Ms Evans added: “Behavioural issues such as aggression – conceptually related to meanness – and disobedience, conceptually related to disinhibition, are reported as the reason for around 38{aa306df364483ed8c06b6842f2b7c3ab56b70d0f5156cbd2df60de6b4288a84f} of cat relinquishments to UK shelters.

“Euthanasia of unwanted animals is also the leading cause of death for domestic cats.

“That is why it is important that we seek to understand how feline personality affects the quality of the cat-owner relationship.”

The tool can be used by owners, or vets, to highlight undesirable behaviours so improvements can be made in cat environments that suit their nature.

Researchers hope it will stop humans judge their cat as if it was human.

Ms Evans said: “Feline expressions of fear – e.g. blinking, nose licking – are subtle and often misread by owners.

“Therefore, sudden changes in mood – e.g. acts of aggression – can appear unprovoked, but may in fact be motivated by fear.

“This could help to reduce agonistic cat-owner interactions and foster more positive feline training practices.”

Don’t miss the latest news from around Scotland and beyond – Sign up to our daily newsletter here .