You can tell if your cat is psychopath by how it behaves. A study has shown that your feline friend may be torturing its prey or going into “overdrive”.

  • Psychologists looked at the interactions between hundreds of cats and their owners.
  • The questionnaire was developed to analyze your pet’s personality and determine if it is psychopath.
  • The CAT-Tri+ detailed set of questions, also known as the CAT Tri+ is the most important tool ever created. 










If your cat’s baffling behaviour leaves you thinking it may be a feline psychopath, there’s now a way to find out.

Psychologists have studied thousands of cat owners and created a questionnaire that can be used to analyze your pet’s behavior.

The form includes 46 statements. Owners can rate how each one describes their pet.

Examples include: ‘My cat torments their prey rather than killing it straight away’; ‘my cat vocalises loudly (eg meows, yowls) for no apparent reason’; and ‘my cat is very excitable (eg 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 – ‘disinhibition’, which is problems with behavioural restraint, and ‘boldness’, which is a measure of social dominance and low levels of fear.

It also measures the animal’s level of unfriendliness towards people, and towards other pets. 

Psychologists looked at the interactions between hundreds of cats and their owners in order to create the CAT-Tri+ questionnaire that you can use for your pet analysis.

It is called the CAT Tri+ and it was developed by researchers from Liverpool University, Liverpool John Moores University.

Lead researcher Rebecca Evans 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, for example food, territory and mating opportunities.’

While finding out how much of a Hannibal Lecter you’ve got in your home may seem like fun, there is a serious side to the tool. 

This project is expected to improve relationships between cat owners and help reduce the number pet deaths or shelter placements.

Miss Evans, a psychologist at Liverpool University, said the questionnaire can be used by owners or vets to highlight undesirable behaviours and make improvements to the cats’ environments that suit their character.

Lead researcher Rebecca Evans said: ‘We believe that like any other personality trait, psychopathy is on a continuum, where some cats will score more highly than others' (stock image)

Lead researcher Rebecca Evans said: ‘We believe that like any other personality trait, psychopathy is on a continuum, where some cats will score more highly than others’ (stock image)

‘A cat that has a high score on the boldness scale may benefit from large cat trees and tall scratching posts, as the Cat-Tri+ items suggest that a bold cat enjoys exploring and climbing,’ she said.

‘Providing environmental enrichment for bold cats may reduce agonistic behaviours towards people, other pets, and possessions.’ 

This study involved 2 042 cats owners and is published in Journal of Research in Personality.

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