It turns out that crazy cat people might not be all that crazy.
A study published in the journal PLOS ONE found that cats mirror the traits of their humans. So all those times that cat people have insisted that their felines are just like them, they may have actually been right.
In fact, the Nottingham Trent University and University of Lincoln researchers who conducted the study found that since humans take on the role of primary caregiver to their pets, the relationship between them tends to be very similar to the one between parents and children. So, just like parents pass on traits to their human babies, apparently they pass them on to their fur babies as well.
In the study, researchers asked the human participants to self-report their personality traits, and then their cats were analyzed. They found that owners who were very neurotic tended to have cats that had behavioral issues. At the other end of the spectrum, mentally well-adjusted owners had cats that were calmer and healthier.
“More and more we are learning that the welfare of pets is driven by the underlying nature of the owner,” Nottingham Trent University Associate Professor Mark Farnworth told The Telegraph, “and not simply by their conscious decisions and behaviors.”
The researchers noted that more work needs to be done to further investigate the connection between humans and cats. But if they really need more evidence of the bond between cats and owners, all they have to do is look at all the many, many cat pictures people post online.