We’ve been slightly cynical of cats for a long time now, a frame of mind that was only heightened last week when we posted this to Facebook:
Which on first look is just a hilarious video involving cats being nasty to young children, but following a new study by University of Edinburgh and the Bronx Zoo, it could be a lot more sinister indeed.
In fact, to put it bluntly: your cat is a pint-sized psychopath and most likely wants to kill you, or at the very least, wouldn’t think twice about ending your life and eating you if the opportunity arose.
The study that was imaginatively entitled "Personality Structure in the Domestic Cat (Felis silvestris catus), Scottish Wildcat (Felis silvestris grampia), Clouded Leopard (Neofelis nebulosa), Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia), and African Lion (Panthera leo)" looked to discover consistent similarities in the personalities of felines.
It discovered along the way that each variety of cat had three dominant personality types. For domestic cats these were: Dominance, impulsiveness and neuroticism.
Interestingly, these were also the same traits found in African lions and apparently show a strong fear or distrust of people that’s nestled more in the ‘fight’ camp than ‘flight.’
All of which basically means that if it came down to it and you annoyed your cat or it saw you as a threat, it would totally try to take you out of the game.
Reseacher Marieke Gartner said: "Cats have different personalities, and they ended up living with us because it was a mutually beneficial situation. Some cats are more independent, some are quite loving. It just depends on the individual. It's not that cats are self-centered. It's that they are a more solitary or semisolitary species."
"Across the five felid species we assessed, personality structure was strikingly similar."
The findings follow a book from last year by Anthrozoologist John Bradshaw who claimed that studies of cats saw that they didn’t really respect us as masters at all. They just assume we’re great big stupid cats prone to being a bit of a pushover.
So remember – the next time your cat is pawing you for attention, it’s probably also thinking you’re an expendable slave that it’ll probably kill one day in an effort to put you out of your misery and achieve peak dominance.