understand cat personalities

6 Types Of Cat Personalities You’ll Meet‍ (And How To Handle Them)

New cat arrivals can be exciting times for any owner, but introducing a new friend to your family members can come with its challenges. Some cats are more reserved than others, making it difficult for them to adjust to their new home and company. However, with time and patience, they will start to open up and display their true personalities. But what type of cat is yours? Knowing their character traits will give you a better sense of how they might react in different situations, so you can help guide them through these tricky phases.

Cat personality types aren’t black or white: there are many shades of grey between! Each cat has a unique set of characteristics that combine to make them who they are. Understanding your cat’s dominant personality traits will help you understand their needs better so you can provide them with the best possible care. Here’s a look at the six types of cat personalities that you’ll meet.

The Shy Cat

The Shy Cat
A shy cat hiding under a rug (Mikhail Vasilyev – Unsplash)

A shy cat often won’t initiate play or cuddling with you, so you’ll have to be patient with them and make the first move. They will also likely be more reserved with new people and animals, but with time and patience, they can learn to trust others.

It’s important to try to keep them in a space that feels safe and secure. Which rooms are the noisiest in your home? These could be the rooms you should try to keep your shy cat out of, so they don’t feel overwhelmed. Shy cats are often very sensitive to touch, so try to keep your handling to a minimum, especially when they’re eating or playing. While you should be careful not to frighten them, it’s also essential to let them know you’re there for them, too.

If they’re not responding to you, try using a more gentle approach. Speak softly, using a soothing tone, and offer them plenty of gentle petting, especially on their heads.

The Confident Cat

cat with a confident trait personality
A confident cat preparing his next move (Paul Hanaoka – Unsplash)

Cats that are confident in their surroundings are normally the friendliest and most outgoing of the bunch. They often get along with almost all types of animals, and they like to play and snuggle with their humans. Confident cats are very adaptable, so introducing them to new people and places won’t faze them at all. They are usually the first to greet you when you walk through the door, too.

If your cat is confident, don’t be afraid to let them loose in your home. If they’re confined to either a single room or a space that restricts their movement, they’ll become bored, stressed, and frustrated.

Confident cats like to have lots of space to move around in. If you notice that your cat is getting antsy, try creating them a comfy space they can climb, scratch, and play in.

The Aggressive Cat

aggressive cat showing teeth
Don’t disturb a cat with an aggressive personality (Erik-Jan Leusink – Unsplash)

Aggressive cats are on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. They’re normally not too keen on new people or animals, and they might lash out if they’re feeling threatened in any way. These types of cats sometimes come from a history of abuse or bad experiences, but they can also just be born that way.

If you have an aggressive cat, you’ll have to be careful about who is allowed in your home, especially if you have other pets. When you have a new guest, try to keep it in a single room to prevent them from interacting with other animals and people. This will give it a place to retreat to when it feels stressed. In this case, make sure his room is stocked with their favorite things, such as toys, climbing spots, and scratching posts.

The Domesticated Cat

the domesticated and house cat
Domesticated cats love to be petted and cuddled (Yerlin Matu – Unsplash)

Domesticated cats are very friendly, social, and adventurous. They often love to explore and are curious about their surroundings. They might also be interested in playing with other animals and people, and they love to be petted and cuddled. They are normally great with kids, too.

Actually, they’re often very comfortable in new environments, so they’re excellent for families who travel frequently. When you’re bringing home a domesticated cat, make sure to provide them with plenty of toys and climbing spots, so they have lots of places to explore. If you have other pets in the home, make sure to keep your cat’s playtime supervised to prevent them from being too rough with the other animals.

The Wandering Cat

The Wandering Cat
The wandered cat likes to explore (Timothy Meinberg – Unsplash)

Wandering cats are curious about their surroundings as well, but they love to go above and beyond by exploring the world around them, and so, hanging out is one of their favorite activities. They also need plenty of attention and affection, so they don’t get bored and start looking for new things to do.

Wandering cats are normally friendly, but they might keep you on your toes when it comes to keeping them contained indoors. If you have cats with such personalities, make sure to give them plenty of enrichment in the form of toys and places to scratch and climb.

You also want to make sure that they don’t have any easy access to doors or windows, or you might need to look for them in the neighborhood, every now and then. You can try installing magnetic cat flap doors or investing in an indoor fence to keep them contained in your home.

The Lonely Cat

cats with lonely personalities are quiet
A lonely cat sleeping (Paul Hanaoka – Unsplash)

These cats are normally very shy and don’t engage with others, even if they’re pets. They won’t initiate play or affection, and they might not be interested in being petted or spending time with their owners. Lonely cats might also just be adjusting to their surroundings and need some time to warm up to their new owners and surroundings. If you have a lonely cat, try to give them plenty of space.

Don’t put too much pressure on them by constantly trying to engage with them and pull them out of their shell. Instead, provide them with toys and places to climb and scratch that they can retreat to when they want to be alone and in a calmer environment.


Finding out your cat’s dominant personality traits can help you understand their needs better so you can provide them with the best possible care. Cats are indoor animals, so they need plenty of enrichment to keep them busy and happy in their new environment. You should also keep an eye on your feline friend to make sure they’re adjusting well and that they don’t show any signs of loneliness or aggression.

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Claire Howell

Claire Howell

Claire Howell is a Knoxville-based veterinarian who loves nature and all types of animals, from dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, and rabbits. She graduated from a vet diploma in 2013 and has been working as a vet since. Claire lives with her husband and two children - both of whom are also animal lovers!

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