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How to tell if your cat is mentally ill: torturing its prey, loud meowing may be signs


How to tell if your cat is mentally ill: The study suggests that torturing its prey, meowing loudly, and going in an “overspeed” state can all be signs that your cat has personality problems.

  • Psychologists have studied the relationships between thousands of cats and their owners
  • They have developed a questionnaire to analyze your pet and see if it is mentally disturbed
  • The detailed question set is known as CAT-Tri+, the first ever tool of its kind










If your cat’s bewildered behavior makes you think she might be mentally ill, there is now a way to find out.

Psychologists have studied the relationships between thousands of cats and their owners to develop a detailed questionnaire that you can use to analyze your pet.

It comes in the form of 46 statements, with owners rating how well each statement describes their pet.

Examples include: “My cat is torturing its prey rather than killing it on the spot”; “My cat is vocalizing loudly (like meowing, squeaking) for no apparent reason”; and “My cat is very irritable (for example, it goes into ‘overdrive’ and becomes uncoordinated)”.

The results will help gauge a cat’s levels of ‘meanness’ – traits such as a lack of empathy and cruel aggression – ‘disinhibition’, which are problems with behavioral self-control, and ‘daring’, a measure of social dominance and low levels of fear. .

It also measures an animal’s level of unfriendliness toward people and other pets.

Psychologists have studied the relationships between thousands of cats and their owners to develop a detailed questionnaire, CAT-Tri+, which you can use to analyze your pet.

Called CAT-Tri+, researchers from the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University said it is the first ever available tool to measure psychopathy in cats.

“We think that like any other personality trait, psychopathy is persistent, with some cats scoring higher than others,” said lead researcher Rebecca Evans.

“It is likely that all cats had an element of psychopathy as it would have been beneficial to their ancestors in terms of access to resources, for example food, land, and mating opportunities.”

While figuring out how much Hannibal Lecter you have in your home might sound fun, there’s a serious side to the tool.

The team hopes this will help improve relationships with cat owners, thus reducing the number of pets that end up in shelters or are put down.

Miss Evans, a psychologist at the University of Liverpool, said the questionnaire could be used by owners or veterinarians to highlight undesirable behaviors and make improvements to cats’ environments that fit their personality.

Principal researcher Rebecca Evans said:

“We think that like any other personality trait, psychopathy is persistent, with some cats scoring higher than others,” said lead researcher Rebecca Evans.

“A cat with a high score on the Audacity scale may benefit from large cat trees and tall scratching poles, as Cat-Tri+ items indicate that a bold cat enjoys exploration and climbing,” she said.

Providing environmental enrichment to bold cats may reduce aggressive behaviors toward people, other pets, and property.

The study, which involved 2,042 cat owners, was published in the journal Research in Personality.

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