Published by: Ingrid King. Last Updated on: February 6, 2023 by Crystal Uys
You may have seen the headlines: “Study: Cats May Legitimately Be Psychopaths.” “Is Your Cat a Psychopath? Probably, Researchers Say.” “If Cats Were People, They’d Probably be Psychopaths, Scientists Say.” I cringed every time I saw one of those headlines, not just because they are simply ridiculous and ultimately harmful to cats, but also, because the referenced study is extremely flawed.
Feline behaviorist Mikel Delgado, PhD, who has been working with cats for over 20 years and was a postdoctoral researcher at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis, published a comprehensive article debunking this ridiculous study.
“The authors propose that there has been a lack of research on feline psychopathy because there’s no available questionnaire for exploring these traits in cats. I might instead argue that there’s no point in studying something that doesn’t really exist.” writes Mikel. As she dove further into the study, she found herself wondering “have these researchers lived with any cats?”
I encourage you to read Mikel’s article on her excellent blog, What Your Cat Wants – and to cut to the chase, no, your cat is not a psychopath!
Image Pixabay stock photo
About the author
Ingrid King is an award-winning author, former veterinary hospital manager, and veterinary journalist who is passionate about cats.