Cat Personalities: Feline-ality and Meet Your Match

Updated on July 12, 2016
My feline-ality is clearly class clown!
My feline-ality is clearly class clown! | Source

I wanted an affectionate cat. I had always heard that boy cats were more affectionate than girls, and that orange cats were the most affectionate of all. Armed with this hearsay, I traveled to the Boulder Vally Humane Society prepared to risk my next feline relationship.

Luckily the Boulder Valley Humane Society was armed with a more scientific approach to matching companions: the Feline-ality assessment and the Meet Your Match Program.

I'm a Private Investigator, and I'm watching you.
I'm a Private Investigator, and I'm watching you. | Source

Feline-ality – What it is and How it Works

Feline-ality provides a way to document a cat's personality. Animal shelter workers implementing Feline-ality assess a cat's behavior and interests in an effort to create a profile for a cat needing a home. They then note that profile in an effort to match the adopter's preferences with the cat's behavior patterns. The Feline-ality assessment is an integral part of the Meet Your Match program, a way of ensuring cat and new parent make a good match.

The ASPCA and animal shelters in general want to ensure pets and their new owners click so that people are less likely to return the animal. Animal shelters using the Feline-ality assessment run adoption cats through a series of exercises. The evaluators note the cat's behavior patterns in terms of exploring, vocalization, interest in play, etc. Based on these observations, the evaluator places the cat within a grid that determines what personality type he or she is. Each personality is color-coded green, orange, or purple.

Potential adopters are asked to fill out a survey consisting of 19 questions called a Cat Adopter Survey. This survey aims to assess how potential adopters envisions the cat's role in their lifestyle. As with the cats, human preferences are color-coded green, orange, or purple. Based on the results of this survey, cat and person can be matched according to color, though people are not limited to choosing cats only within that personality type. However, according to the ASPCA website, shelters using Feline-ality and Meet Your Match saw around 40% increase in adoptions and similar decrease in the number of returns.

According to Feline-ality, green cats tend to be adventurous and self-sufficient. Therefore, people who want an adaptable cat that can entertain himself – perhaps the adventurous sort themselves, or frequent movers – would do well to choose a green-coded cat.

Orange cats are companion felines. Orange owners don't mind a feline that integrates herself into their life. Both want lots of affection and communication.

Purple-coded adopters are the patient sort who don't mind a cat that needs time to adjust. Purple cats may be shy, but they just need some encouragement; their perfect companion will probably appreciate that these cats stay out of trouble.

I secretly admire you from afar.
I secretly admire you from afar. | Source

Adopting Animals from a Shelter

Have you ever adopted an animal from a shelter?

See results

Cat Personalities Defined

The ASPCA identified nine cat personality types classified under the three color codes.

They call adventurous green cats Party Animal, MVP, or Leader of the Band.

  • Party Animal: As you can imagine, these are the most playful type of cat. These are the felines who will look at a hair tie and call it a toy. Or become obsessed with that roving red light on the wall. Or bat at the dust motes in the sunlight. Of course, when their human companion gets out a cat toy, the party animal will romp and play all evening. These cats are likely to end up on funny cat video segments.
  • MVP: Have you ever seen a cat that could open doors, flush toilets, or back into a box at least a size too small? That is the MVP, a resourceful, sometimes too-smart cat. These felines will get themselves into and, hopefully, out of many ridiculous situations. MVPs are also good candidates for funny cat videos.
  • Leader of the Band: These are vocal, confident cats. A leader of the band will talk to his human companion and show lots of affection. These fearless cats, though, are not afraid of new situations. If you've ever read Six Dinner Sid (a cat that mooched dinner from six "owners"), you'll know what a Leader of the band is capable of.


According to Feline-ality, quiet purple cats are Love Bugs, Private Investigators, and Secret Admirers.

  • Love Bug: These are lap cats. These felines love nothing more than to sit in their human companion's lap, kneading and purring contentedly. If you're looking for unconditional love and support, seek out a Love Bug cat.
  • Private Investigator: Have you ever heard someone say "I have a cat around here somewhere"? That person probably had a Private Investigator. These are the shy cats, the ones who skitter away from new people. Yes, these felines might hide under the bed at first, just watching. However, for the patient new companion, the Private Investigator can provide years of relatively trouble-free co-existence.
  • Secret Admirer: If you've ever wanted a secret admirer in a non-creepy way, these are the cats for you. Secret Admirers take their time getting to know new people and surroundings. Eventually they have the potential to become pretty affectionate. Like a quintessential Secret Admirer, this cat will likely become very loyal to her companion or family.

Friendly orange cats earn the titles the Sidekick, the Executive, and the Personal Assistant.

  • Sidekick: Sidekicks are a good mix of friendliness and self-reliance. These cats like to play and be stroked, but they don’t seek it out first thing. If you're looking for a cat that will give you both love and alone-time, you want a Sidekick.
  • The Executive: Executive cats are always on the move. They are the quintessential curious cats, and they will be out exploring the world. Executives adapt well to new circumstances without having to lean too heavily on their companion. These cats are great for people who don't want a high-maintenance pet.
  • Personal Assistant: Speaking of high-maintenance and co-dependent, that's the Personal Assistant. If you've ever heard someone say, "My cat acts just like a dog," they probably had a Personal Assistant. These are the cats that come when called -- and when they're not. Personal Assistants are also the cats that "help:" with the computer, the newspaper, puzzles. These are companion cats.

I'll be your Personal Assistant -- someone needs to help with all this paperwork.
I'll be your Personal Assistant -- someone needs to help with all this paperwork. | Source

What Type of Cat Would You be?

view quiz statistics

Lindemann's Assessment

Lindemann was a rescue cat at the Boulder Valley Humane Society. A police officer spotted him over time around some dumpsters at an apartment building and called animal rescue. He ended up with a cushy gig at the Gift and Thrift Shop associated with the shelter. However, when he first arrived, he had a very upset stomach, and, well, it was coming out both ends. Lindemann was not a feral cat; he had been someone's pet as evidenced by the fact he'd been spayed and by how quickly he took to being a tame cat again – not to mention his upset stomach.

Boulder Valley runs the Feline-ality assessment and Meet Your Match Program. So, at a suitable time, one of the shelter workers ran him through the following test:

  • Step 1: In order to determine if he was a friendly sort, the evaluator approached his cage while speaking in a calm but normal tone of voice. She noted that Lindemann (called Crosby at the time – right idea, wrong rock star!) came to the front of the cage after some encouragement.
  • Step 2: Next she removed Lindemann from his cage, placed him in a crate, and moved him to a brand new room. She then timed how long he took to get out and noted his interaction with the evaluator. Lindemann exited in under 25 seconds with tall body posture. Still tall he investigated the room. He also spent 25 seconds interacting with the evaluator. He showed a fair amount of ability to adapt to a new situation with minimal fear and encouragement.
  • Step 3: Next, the evaluator crouched across the room from Lindemann and called out to him. She also extended a closed hand to time how long it would take him to approach. Lindemann made eye contact and went to her in under 30 seconds. Once there, he sniffed and head-butted her hand. He received 7 out of 10 points, showing a decent amount of friendliness.
  • Step 4: Again testing for valiance, the evaluator opened her hand and extended towards Lindemann. He reacted by sniffing and rubbing the open hand, showing an average level of valiance.
  • Step 5: The evaluator, still testing courage, used a cupped hand to stroke Lindemann from heat to tail. He rubbed against her hand and head-butted her hand, showing another average level of valiance.
  • Step 6: In testing for willingness to play in new surroundings, the evaluator moved a string along the floor to initiate play. She also tried to engage him by using two other toys, none of which had catnip in them. Lindemann watched intently and chased the toy. (From experience, I can say he likely preferred the cat charmer since those are his favorites.)
  • Step 7: Back the assessing independence vs. gregariousness, the evaluator tested his "hug." She stroked him and, since he was calm, picked him up. She cradled him to her chest with his body sideways for two seconds. Lindemann was relaxed but did not extend his paw to her shoulder in a true "hug."
  • Step 8: This last procedure tests sensitivity. The evaluator sat and allowed Lindemann to approach. Once he had done so, she stroked his back and gently grasped his tail at the base. She pulled up with steady pressure until just before his back feet lifted off the floor, holding the position for 1 second. Lindemann did nothing, showing he is a trusting sort.

After Lindemann had been returned to his cage, the evaluator plugged the results into a grid and came up with the verdict: Lindemann is a Personal Assistant.

Feline-ality at Work

How accurate do I think this assessment is? Well, as I'm writing this Lindemann is behind the monitor watching the sights. In a minute he'll take a leisurely stroll to the front, to see what I'm doing. After awhile I'll go get a snack for myself, and he'll likely trot along after me. We've had battles about whether or not he gets to sleep in my bed (I'm a light sleeper and have insomnia), and his subtle war has included gauging when I might go to bed and turning up there just minutes before, looking too cute to remove. In short, oh, yes, Lindemann is a Personal Assistant as defined by Feline-ality.

Cats have personalities – cat-lovers to cat-haters agree on that at least. Have you ever wondered what's going on in that cat's mind? The ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) developed a method for assessing a pet's behavior and describing the cat or dog's personality -- in the case of cats, their "feline-alities." It probably won't work to try the assessment on a cat you already have (the relationship already exists, skewing the results), but peruse the descriptions and see which personality you think cohabitates your home.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • nArchuleta profile imageAUTHOR

        Nadia Archuleta 

        5 years ago from Denver, Colorado

        What a helpful cat Stella is! Thanks for stopping by.

      • FlourishAnyway profile image

        FlourishAnyway 

        5 years ago from USA

        Great hub! I have 5 indoor cats. My favorite, Stella, is a Personal Assistant. She consults with me regularly on hubs, reading, cooking, sleeping, everything I do. She keeps me on the straight and narrow.

      • nArchuleta profile imageAUTHOR

        Nadia Archuleta 

        5 years ago from Denver, Colorado

        Did you see what feline-ality you or your cat has? ;) Thanks for stopping by!

      • Eric Prado profile image

        Eric Prado 

        5 years ago from Webster, Texas

        Great article! I love cats. Voted up and interesting. =)

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, pethelpful.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://pethelpful.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)