Cats & Their Personalities

by Melissa R. on April 5, 2010

Cirrhi & Ritter playing

Cirrhi & Ritter playing

Our two new additions to the family have really been entertaining! Cirrhi & Ritter play with each other constantly, and are sleeping well at night (which is a great relief – previously Cirrhi was up all night it seemed!). They stampede throughout the house, and caution must be taken to walk the halls in case a game of chase is going on at the time. It’s been fascinating to watch their personalities develop – and see how different they are! Here’s a rundown:

Cirrhi is ever curious

Cirrhi is ever curious

Cirrhi – 9 month old female:
Cirrhi is made of pure grace, and is a lithe, slinky, petite thing. She leaps great distances with zero effort and you never hear a single paw. She’s often found at the highest point of the room she can find (the refrigerator, the top closet shelf, top of the bookcase). Cirrhi is a delicate eater and saves herself for what she considers “the good stuff.” She eats only what she has to I think, preferring to wait out for some soft food, or better yet, freeze-dried treats. She REFUSES to eat anything other than chicken, although we’ve managed to get her interest with freeze-dried salmon and shrimp. There is no regular old cat treats for this diva! Our other cats used to clamor over Greenies, but Cirrhi turns up her nose. Her favorite spot in the evening is most often on my lap (blanket must be included). She will happily be carried around the house – IF it’s on her terms and she so deems it. Her biggest quirk is that she likes to get up on our shoulders. We have to watch what we do because she’ll take nearly any opportunity to leap up on somebody’s back when they aren’t looking.

Ritter after a long day of playing

Ritter after a long day of playing

Ritter – 6 month old male:
Ritter is a big, loud BOY. He’s plump, and squishy (yes, really! Squishy!). He eats like a horse, and pretty much anything will do. When he jumps – you hear it. THUMP. He has yet to master jumping up on the counter. I guess that is a good thing, except now if Cirrhi is up on the counter, and he isn’t, you get him trying to climb up your leg or have you pick him up. So I’d really rather he just did it himself! One slight stroke on the back and he turns into a purring machine! Quite often you can’t walk because he’s purring and swerving in between your legs, or laying down in the middle of the floor so you’ll pet him. His favorite spot in the evening is currently the “cup” on our cat tree. I’ve even seen him kick Cirrhi out of it. One night, Kai (our older cat) was in it, but Ritter made himself at home. Kai eventually got down – because he wanted to, I’m sure – not because THAT KITTEN kicked him out! Ritter spends HOURS playing with toys of any sort, all by himself. He loves to play with Cirrhi, but she tires of it eventually. The other night we cleaned out FIVE toys from under the bed. I’d understand if they were cat toys, but FOUR of them were dog toys!

Kai loves to use Cirrhi as a pillow

Kai loves to use Cirrhi as a pillow

Kai – 8 year old male:
Kai is an odd duck. He was found as a very young kitten (too young), and has developed some quirks. First, he doesn’t meow.Only very occasionally have we heard him, and it is an odd sounding meow at that! Second, he doesn’t purr – there is one exception to that. You can hear him purr, if you listen very closely, when he comes up on the bed at night. This leads me to #3) He “wool sucks.” This is where a cat sucks and kneads at a blanket for instance, as if they are nursing. He does this at night, or in the morning right away, and it HAS to be on a particular blanket.   This is the ONLY time we ever hear him purr. His favorite spot is on the bed, where he sleeps most of the day. He is a sweetie though, and is always first there rubbing against your legs, or the table, or the cupboards…rub! rub! rub! That’s his way of telling you he’s happy you’re there. He refuses to play with Ritter at all, but will play with Cirrhi sporadically. He does enjoy using Cirrhi for a pillow though – as tiny as she is! Kai will only eat Greenies, or some other “plain” type of cat treat.

All three of them greet us at the door when we come home, and they are always about. It’s very seldom there isn’t a cat watching us somewhere – or “helping” us. They are each so unique I can only imagine the personalities of all the other cats out there. Do your cats have special personalities?

Share your stories & comment below!

About the author: Melissa is a devoted pet owner with several cats: Kai, Cirrhi & Ritter; and the newest addition, Emme a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. Melissa is an avid dog agility enthusiast, and hopes her new pup will someday be an agility champion! She is a Graphic Designer and Project Coordinator for the and websites. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Michigan State University and is a lifelong pet lover and owner. See more articles by Melissa R.

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Janet April 5, 2010 at 8:09 am

The cat I had as a kid would insist on drinking for the bathroom sink. He’d meow until someone came to turn the water on. Then he’s test it with his paw, and if he was to his liking, he’d start drinking away. Too bad back then they didn’t have those pet fountains!

Mari April 5, 2010 at 9:29 pm

My cat is old and loves to lounge on the top of the refrigerator. Warmth & peacefulness up there.

Tinagrrrl April 5, 2010 at 10:05 pm

Our youngest cat, Princess Ursa Major Ariel Thunderclees (Ursa), loves to play secretary. Whenever she hears the printer start up, she comes running! I have to really watch her when I print because she’ll try to “get” the ink carriage and, in the process, ruin the paper and jam the printer. She’s just too cute!

Ruby Ochoa April 6, 2010 at 8:29 am

My cat Beaver is 2 years old and a grey and white tuxedo cat, he is a polydactyl so his paws look like small boxing gloves. Beaver loves to play and will do most anything to get attention, he loves knocking things down off the cabinet just to hear it drop. He lives with 3 other cats in our home and enjoys wrestling with his favorite pal Wally, they will play until Wally gets fed-up and then he will let Beaver have it with a low growl, if Beaver keeps at it Wally hisses. The older cats which are both 13 years old Tigger and Princess is tolerant to a certain extinct for this youngster Beaver.

Susan O April 6, 2010 at 8:31 am

Our office cats @RiverCityStudio provide a moral boost! Our Web site hit an all time traffic high when Melia and Yoda graced the front cover of the business section of the KC Star last wk!

Andi April 6, 2010 at 9:12 am

We have a large handful of cats and I can safely say they all have VERY strong personalities! I love to watch them run around and chase each other, and with a group of cats, you tend to find that they like to travel in packs. Our latest, Reginald Bear (Reggie) was a rescued feral but you’d never know it. He is the most snuggly and loving cat – not to us humans, but to the other cats. He wants snuggles and love from them constantly! I think we’re just the tall food givers to him, he doesn’t quite know that we can snuggle too. 🙂

Mr.Breeze April 6, 2010 at 9:16 am

The book The Domestic Cat: The Biology of its Behaviour, 2nd edition by Dennis C. Turner lists three possible mechanisms for a causal relationship between cat coat color and personality type.

Coloring can affect the animal’s perceptions, putting him at a physical disadvantage that affects his behavior.The chemicals involved in pigmentation are related to, or metabolized to form, neurotransmitters that affect mood.The genetic code for personality is on the same chromosome as the genetic code for coat color.

Erica Scranta April 6, 2010 at 9:55 am

We have the 2 Odd couple cats. On is grouchy and wants left alone, the other is as loveable as can be. He kisses and grooms the kids lol!

Erica R. April 6, 2010 at 10:06 am

Our youngest cat, Gordy, is very curious and is always on the move. He never just walks – always runs. He loves to play fetch with the rings around milk jugs, just like a dog! He also likes to try to drink out of our goldfish bowl!

Nina Saulic April 6, 2010 at 10:17 am

My Tuxedo is very assertive. If he wants something he lets me know. He feels he is the king of the house and doesn’t shy away from showing it. On the other hand, my Tortie with White is a little lady. She patiently waits her turn when it is cookie time, she taps me gently to remind me that she wants attention. I love them both.

Laura Heinzel April 6, 2010 at 11:00 am

is a wild cat from the forrests of Southeast Alaska. She was a kitten about 13 years ago when she adapted me to be her human. I already had a houseful of rescued cats and a Shitzu – Princess that was rescued from Sarasota, FL. Each of my compaions has a unique story and a distinct personality about them. Dahlia is the most unusual because she is more than feral, she is wild and physiologically adapted to live in a very cold enviornment outdoors. She was also terrified of humans. I do not know how she separated from her pride, but she had.
I left food for her in my wood shed and observed her from far off. She started eating and made the wood shed her home and safe place. In a few days she let me in during feeding time – Dahlia in 1 corner and me in the other. I was eyeballed suspiciously and given a warning growl. A routine developed. I came to feed her in the morning She ate high up on the logs where I could not reach her. I would sit on my camping chair and read. She would finish eating and watch me.

In a few weeks I was due to leave for Southern California to complete my Nure Midwifery internship at Kaiser U CSan Diego. I was going to be gone for 6 months. My husband was going
to be responsible for our entire household. Winter was appraoching Alaska and I had many concerns about this young wild feline. AS I did my reading in the shed Dahlia crept into my lap and began to purr. It felt like a young mountain lion had invaded my space and being, but in a wondeful way. I smiled and kept on reading. She continued to sit and spread out on my lap. This went on as long as I did not try to pet her. She did start to follow me around the yard. The day before I left for California she did follow me into the house.

Dahlia’s coloring is tabby. She has a double layer of fir and she is very large. (not obese -just hugh) She lives in Texas with me and 1 other cat (Timex) that she knew frrom Alasksa, who was rescued 16 years agl from Tuscaloosa Alabama. We have a 6 y.o. Chiuwawua Star who is also a rescue.. For the first 10 years of her life she would basically have nothing to do with any other human except for me and my son. My son cared for her when I was away from the house in California. I live in a small apartment. She has no desire to go outside. All my animals are now complete indoors. If anyone comes in my apartment she makes herself into a pancake and is an excellent hider. When she is alone with me, Dahlia talks to me nonstop, I pet and massage her,
Her fir is magnificant- like pure silk. She sleeps at night making sure she makes contact with me. If the other animals get to restless, she sleeps in her own bed next to my bed. She adores the drinkwell fountain – puts her feet and entire head in. I believe she envisions an Alaskan moumtain stream. also loves catnip I spray it on her tree, toys & bed. She plays with all her toys, loves to play catch with me and throws her mice into dogs water so I have to retrieve for her. Loves her tree, runs up and down, hangs upside down, shakes like she is dancing and talks non stop when she is awake.
At 13 – Dahlia is the joy of my life.

kamnel April 6, 2010 at 11:04 am

We have 2 cats with very distinct personalities. Sommer fetches, licks our foreheads, meows as a dog would bark and she begs (despite never being fed human food). She wants to be a part of the action wherever her humans and dogs may be (and grooms the dogs any time she can). That’s her dog side. She is very much cat in that she loves to play with laser toys (we bought a laser stars projector just for her), Da Bird toys, catnip, soft blankets and heated beds.

Nala also loves Da Bird, catnip, blankets and heated beds, but everything else is on her terms. You know that song “We are Siamese if you please”? That’s Nala. She doesn’t “socialize” with us unless she wants to socialize (then she demands it!). She goes from chirping to full-fledged whining in her meows. She loves to be brushed but only if she rubs the brush. That said, she is extremely attentive when she feels you need her. Whenever a loved one died in the past, she would go from doing her own thing to not leaving my side. She would lay on me and purr any time she got the chance until she felt that the worst of the grieving process was over whether it be a few days to a few weeks.

RadioDJGirl April 6, 2010 at 11:07 am

My baby furdaughter, PORTIA DESDEMONA NIKITA—Is a DLH Calico who is totally amazing! She just turned 10 in February, and is incredibly loving!

One thing she does that is totally hilarious—is that recently (9/11/09 arrival) we moved across country to Las Vegas for new job/life…She found a couple of boxes, and (I guess it is beacause she is declawed-front only), she will put her paws on the side/edge of the box, and “pop” it! And, creates some of the most unique sounds! Almost tribal-ish! Now, hubby and I will get up and pretend to start dancing to her ‘beats’!!!

I was just diagnosed with Stage II, B-Cell, Follicular NHL in Feb. ’10, and just finished the first round of chemo last week 3/29/10. I know that having cancer isn’t funny (in the reference), yet, Portia is keeping me in ‘stitches’! She’s also staying very close by, and is my Godsend!

Jacki S April 6, 2010 at 11:22 am

I have 4+ cats, one is feral and still lives outside, and they all have different personalities. My eldest, Winston, is a tan Persian that I adopted from the Humane Society. He is so laid back and friendly. He does expect his meals on time, exactly, and to be petted when he asks but other than that he is always calm and usually purring. He does have a bad habit, he sleeps in the middle of the driveway and, if someone drives up, just looks at them as if expecting them to go around him.

Sometimes we do car trips with all the cats (and the dog too) and Winston is just like, whatever, car trip, hotel, I don’t care as long as meals are on time, the cat box is clean and I get my scratches. I still can’t believe I was lucky enough to get him from the Humane Society over 12 years ago.

Chelsea April 6, 2010 at 11:27 am

We have 5 cats. 2 meezers: The blue point who is our little girl and she is very shy. She will talk to my husband esp. when he is getting ready to leave the house. He will say “bye bye little girl” and wave at her. She will tell him all kinds of things. Our Seal point is very chatty and he will sit very attentively listening to you when you speak to him. He loves to curl up on the bed with my husband and sleeps under the covers.

Our oldest is a tortie named Dinky. She was the runt of the litter when I agreed to help find her a home 18 years ago. She has a very dominant personality and will put the others in their proper place which is behind Queen Dink.

Oreo was adopted from the local shelter in 2008 and as his name implies is all white with a black raccoon mask and black tail. He is a big gentle boy and loves to race threw the house.

Salvia joined our family last year. When I found him under my blue sage in the garden; he was starved, wet, missing a fang and his long persian fur was matted. He now lives inside and is a big love sponge. If mommy has an available lap, he is in it.

Christine April 6, 2010 at 11:32 am

Sunny is 4yrs & full of energy. She loves when my husband gets out of the shower. She waits for him & the smell of his soap get’s her all excited. She also LOVES to drink water from the Bathroom sink. This is something she taught me. She would sit in it & yell… & I told her she would be sorry once I turned the water on, but she surprised me to lean in & drink from it.LOL
Star is 8yrs, & is a little slower now since having Renal Kidney Failure. She is a strong Kitty though & did make it back to almost herself. She is sweet & loves to sit on my lap under a blanket.
Star also puts up w/Sunny wanting to chase her after she gets out of the litter box. LOl

Nicole April 6, 2010 at 12:59 pm

My cat, whisper only shows me all her sides! She’s shy when other people are around, but when its just her, myself, and my dog, she’s all lovey dovey!

brittany April 8, 2010 at 1:55 pm

Impulse is a stalker. He follows me around the house, staying one room away at all times, except when I’m in MY room. Then he comes in. I can go to him, but he won’t come to me!

Eileen May 11, 2010 at 5:43 pm

Right now 8 cats are living with us and all have distinct preferences & personalities. The more time we all spend together the more we learn about their quirks, habits & attitudes. I expect they’re learing plenty about ours, too! LOL

Heidi Baxter May 28, 2010 at 8:11 pm

I have a 3 year old orange and white tabby Tom cat and a 2 year old black and white female and she had 3 kittens recently. I didn’t think Boots,my Tom cat, would like them at all…to my pleasant surprise, the kittens sleep with him all the time…he loves them and I am thrilled!!!!

Brooklyn W. November 23, 2012 at 1:56 am

I used to have a tabby cat. Her name was mommas and she was a round little devil. She was very lazy, and sat on the ground in front of the couch waving her paws like a paying mantis until someone picked her up and put her on the couch. To wake me up for morning meals, she weaved in out of the blind for a while, then come and sit on my chest. When all else failed, she would gnaw on my hands. I miss my little mommas. Well not so Little.

Kerry Turner December 5, 2013 at 11:11 am

Isabel, my Siamese cat is coming up on 14 years and she has always be the ultimate snob. She loves mommy (me) and loves to cuddle with her head and front paws on my right shoulder in the rocking chair at night. She has never played with any of the other cats (she does play with me) and she has always taken a stand hissing and threatening if another cat even got close to her – guess she’s concerned about ‘kitty cuties’. About 5 months ago a kitten was dropped off out where we live (happens all over this county people throwing away their animals) so I took it in hoping, I admit, I could find it another home. NOT! The miracle is – Isabel has taken to the kitten and allows contact with no hissing and I actually witnessed Isabel play with Karma (new kitten) on a couple occassions. Not all the time, mind you, but definitely playing. This is not the first time Isable has encountered a kitten but it is the first time she has priviledged any cat with kindness and patience. Not that I’m not delighted to witness this new phenomenon but after 14 years – “what’s that all about?”

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