How often do you look at a cat and assign them qualities that are typical to humans? Say: “It was mean, cat!”, “You’re such an attention seeker today”, “Don’t be such an introvert, go out and meet people”. Giving cats our own traits is nothing new and though some of the comparisons are not accurate, there are personality traits that we do share partially with our feline friends. For the World Introvert Day that was yesterday, let’s find out, fabCat if cats can also be intro- and extraverted.
Cat’s take on introversion
Introverts are people who draw their energy and good mood from internal stimuli – they don’t need a crazy social life, being the center of attention, or feeling that something must be going on at all times. It’s their own emotions and feelings that sit at the top of introverts’ priority lists and those people value peace and quiet much more than noise and constant hustle. Introverts aren’t necessarily shy people – if they withdraw from social situations, it’s for their own well-being and they usually feel better being on their own than in a crowd of strangers.
Do those personality traits sound like a “typical cat”? Of course, they do, at least partially. Cats are stereotypically seen as withdrawn, cautious, analyzing their every step, and only interacting with others if they themselves can benefit from it. But not all cats are introverted and it’s good to remember that if we want to assign particular traits to our feline friends – an introverted cat is often scared of people and other animals, they could be withdrawn, skittish, seeing danger in the unknown. And we know for a fact that among our fabCat readers we also have cats who are brave, cheeky, and ready for adventure – the total opposite of an introvert.
How to help a scaredy cat?
An introverted cat doesn’t always want hooman attention, other cats’ company (even if they know each other well), or feel like playing or sniffing around a guest’s backpack. Looking for a perfect hideout, kneading on a cat bed in the bedroom, or watching the world through the window gets much higher on their priority list. It’s nice to help these little introverts by giving them access to some cozy, quiet hiding nooks, observation spots, and tall shelves (or even a cat superhighway) from which they can see everything without getting directly involved in anything.
AN INTROVERTED MYKOTTY TIP: Get your cat a MIA cat house – it’s the purrfect hiding spot for shy cats which they can use to retreat in case of any threats and the best place to slowly get used to the home environment without having to take part in any action.
Find more on the MIA cat house on our blog:
And what about us, cat Carers? Introverted cats can be, contrary to popular belief, quite affectionate towards their Carers, wanting their attention and love time spent on the hooman’s lap. However, they usually find “the one” person to spend their time with. You shouldn’t push for playtime or interactions with an introverted cat – they are the ones who dictate the rules of all social situations because that’s the only time they can feel that they could retreat if something stressful happens. Introverted cats have plenty of energy to play and have fun but to get their full potential out of them it’s on us, their Carers, to understand our cat’s needs and work with them.
An extraverted cat – who are they?
An extravert is a person who’s always ready to go. Hanging out with their “crew”, easygoing, always looking for a new hobby, and living adventurous – they’re quite the interesting persona and it’s no wonder that extraversion is seen as a desirable set of traits in a human. And a cat! Extraverted cats, just like humans, love being sociable, open, and always ready to play. They hate sitting still and can’t spend too much time alone. And here we have an interesting fact – though extroverts are seen as sociable, introverted cats can also have issues with spending time alone. As we said though, for introverts it’s more about having a strong connection and trusting one person which also comes down to being always close to them.
How to live with an extraverted cat?
The answer seems to be simple here – extraversion can be a positive trait if you’re looking for a cat who will spend every minute of the day with you and will expect attention from you, other people in the house, your guests, and everyone at all times. Extraverted cats are technically “easier” to live with since they’re very open, full of energy, and brave. They like spending time in your lap, running around wild chasing a wand toy and wouldn’t be sad if there was another cat at home. If you live with an extraverted cat, don’t forget to give them plenty of stimulation throughout the day unless you like waking up at 3 am to the sound of scratched-up furniture and plant pots flying off the window sill.
How to choose the right cat for you?
Once you know that cats can be both energetic extroverts and closed-off introverts, finding a buddy that fits your life best shouldn’t be an issue. When you’re looking for a cat, be it in a cattery or a shelter, always ask for their personality (not just characteristic of the breed, but for the individual cat). We personally know, having 3 Scottish fold cats in the myKotty team, how individuals within one breed can be different from each other. If you like cats who are open and looking for a buddy who will always be with you, but at the same time you do have time to give them plenty of attention, extraverts will be just the right fit for you. If you’d like a more calm feline, ready to take care of themselves and not looking for adventure where they shouldn’t, a quiet introverted cat will be a better choice 🙂
And now let’s analyze your cat, fabCat – where would you put them on the scale from introverts to extroverts? Are they more of the fun type, a quiet type, or somewhere in between? Let’s talk in the comments.