One thing that sets us all apart is the fact that we are different.
We have different needs, opinions, desires, and feelings, etc…
Does this have an influence on how we see our pets?
Can it influence how we treat our pets?
Do our pets respond differently to us based on the environment that we create for them?
Researchers from the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom surveyed 56 cat owners to establish what type of cat owners they are.
The survey consisted of statements regarding cats being outdoors and hunting to cats being indoors and protected from outside dangers.
Following this study, the researchers found that the cat owners fell into 5 different categories.
Let’s explore these categories…
Cat owners in this category are concerned about their cats being lost, stolen, or killed.
They also believe that safety is achieved by keeping the cat indoors.
The ‘Concerned Protector’ doesn’t express feelings either way on hunting and doesn’t keep their cat indoors to prevent the cat from hunting.
People in this category believe that cats should have the freedom to go wherever they like and share the freedoms of wild animals.
They may encourage hunting as they see it as natural and that it can control the rodent population.
The ‘Freedom Defender’ is against restrictions that can limit a cat’s access to the outdoors.
People in this category believe that allowing your cat to roam has more positives than negatives.
They see the beauty in wildlife and see the unattractive side of hunting, but see it as a natural thing that cats do.
They don’t see how cat owners can limit or reduce hunting behavior.
This cat owner believes that cats should have access to the outdoors but they also think that limiting this may be a good idea.
They aren’t comfortable with hunting and in particular, don’t like the thought of birds being hunted by cats.
The ‘Conscientious Caretaker’ sees it as the cat owner’s responsibility to contain their cat’s hunting behavior.
This cat owner believes that it’s natural for cats to go out and whatever happens, as a result, is part of nature.
They haven’t really considered the effects of cats on wildlife and tend to deal with things on a case-by-case basis if their cat was killing frequently.
I think it’s important to take into account that this study took place in England.
I’m English and I have a lot of experience with friends and family members having cats.
A lot of people in England allow their cats to roam outdoors.
In fact, now that I live in the Canary Islands, a place where basically everybody keeps their cats indoors, it is strange to see the difference.
My brother lives in Germany and it’s the same there, many people keep their cats indoors too.
So when attempting to place yourself into one of these cat owner types, regional differences have to be taken into account.
Maybe you fit into more than one category or maybe none?
My Cat Owner Type
I’d have to say that I’m a ‘Concerned Protector’.
Our cat called Coco stays indoors unless we open the door to the roof terrace and he sometimes spends time up there.
On this island, there are a lot of street cats and as a result a lot of death and disease amongst the street cat population.
We save as many cats as possible and the difference in their health and appearance when they become house cats is amazing.
My Grandmother lives in England and on a frequent basis, she has lost cats due to them being killed by cars.
In my experience, the lifespan of a cat that roams can be a lot shorter than a house cat.
Is this selfish on my part, wanting to keep the cat alive and healthy for as long as possible?
Am I doing it for me or the cat? Is it both?
That’s up for debate…
Which category do you fall into and why?
Do you agree with these categories?
How well do you know your cat? Want to do a quick quiz about cats? Click here…
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