By Marva Marrow

1. When the doorbell rings, what does your cat do?

a. Runs and hides under the bed
b. Peeks cautiously around the corner
c. Runs to the door, tail straight up in the air
d. Continues sleeping wherever she is and ignores the activity

2. When you bring out the cat carrier, how does your cat react?

a. Runs and hides in one of those places only cats know (and people don't)
b. Looks at you with big eyes and recrimination and won't come near, but will accept pets and food treat bribes with pleasure
c. Immediately runs to investigate and jumps in
d. She opens an eye to take a look and then goes back to sleep

3. You pull out an interactive toy your cat has never seen and you move it through the air. What does your cat do?

a. Watches from afar, but only will approach when you gently drag it on the ground
b. Makes little clicking noises as if she has seen a bird but keeps her distance but is so curious that the hesitation overcomes fear and she is quickly involved
c. Comes running and leaping like an acrobat at the first whoosh of the toy
d. She opens her eyes, waves a paw in the air for a bit, but then loses interest and goes back to sleep, tail gently swishing

4. A friend with a toddler comes to visit. How does your cat react?

a. The friend says, " I thought you had a cat?" But your cat is invisible.
b. Your cat is at the end of the hall, watching (glaring) from the top of the tall cat tree, and even coaxing with her favorite food treat, she won't budge
c. Your cat comes running, stops when she sees the "little person," but if the child doesn't chase, she comes forward purring and accepts pets and praise
d. Your cat, with great dignity and a slight air of annoyance, moves from the couch and heads for the bedroom

5. You are going away for the weekend. The pet sitter, who loves cats and knows your kitty, comes. What does your cat do?

a. Your pet sitter sights your cat running across the room, or a flash of fur leaving the cat tree, but that is all.
b. The first morning the pet sitter comes, she sees only a flash of fur. But that evening, the cat is watching her, especially when she hears the can of cat food opening. The next morning, she is meowing but will only sit across the room.
c. She climbs on the pet sitter's lap and purrs contentedly.
d. She follows the sun in her usual favorite perches, opens an eye when the sitter arrives, purrs and goes back to sleep, keeps the status quo.

6. When you bring out the nail clippers, what does your cat do?

a. She runs in the opposite direction. But if you get her in the bathroom with the door closed, she freezes, lets you clip the nails without an issue.
b. She will let you clip a couple of nails if you give her a food treat before (and after). But only a couple of nails at a time.
c. She will fuss and squirm, but you can hold her upside down and she will let you clip - if you are quick about it
d. She prefers that you don't move her from her post. Then she will permit this intrusion on her person, even letting a purr escape, if you also scratch her behind the ears.

7. When you want to groom your cat, how does she react?

a. She sees the brush come out, runs away. But once you get her, she will give in, even offer a reluctant purr on occasion
b. She fights and tries to bite the brush or comb, grabs your arm and play-kicks. She acts as though she is ticklish (and likely she is!)
c. She wants to play with the brush, but soon settles down and purrs, turns over for you to rub her tummy
d. She stays put and enjoys the massage

8. You bring home a new kitten from the shelter. After keeping the kitten isolated for a week, you begin the face-to-face introductions. What does your cat do?

a. She hisses at the baby, is terrified when the baby arches its back and swells to three times its puny size, and then your cat runs away, very offended
b. She hisses at the baby, fluffs her tail, but ends the aggression there, slinking off, grumbling
c. She runs to the baby, curious, sniffs and gives a slight hiss, but then stands her ground, sniffs again. By the end of the day she is curling up with the baby.
d. She opens her eyes, gives a symbolic hiss when the baby gets too close, but by the end of the day, she allows the baby to curl up with her

9. You have a dinner party at your house and you are serving roast chicken, a favorite of your cat. How does your cat react?

a. She runs and hides in one of her safest spots becomes Ms. Invisible
b. She runs and hides, but then watches from down the hall. If no one moves and no loud sounds, she creeps toward the kitchen. One sound though, and she is gone. No moves and she is up on the counter in a flash and off with a chicken wing.
c. She twines around ankles of the guests, purring and meowing. When the chicken is served, she begs or jumps on laps and ends up in the master bedroom behind closed doors - and with a plate of chicken tidbits.
d. She remains in her favorite, warm and cozy place, watching the party. She is happy to sit up and eat a few bits of proffered chicken - no bones please!

What's your score?


Mostly A's: Your cat is shy and sensitive. Keep her environment calm and stress free. Desensitize her to the cat carrier by leaving it in a cozy place, filled with a plush bed or cushion. Spray the interior with Feliway spray, a pheromone spray that mimics the "friendly scent" that cats leave when they rub their scent glands (in their cheeks) on a surface. When you know friends will be arriving, set up an area in your bedroom or guest room for your cat, with litterbox, food and water. That way she will not have to venture out into "enemy territory" for these necessities. Clicker training will increase her self-confidence and her bond with you.

Mostly B's: Your cat is cautious and sensitive. She doesn't appreciate changes to the household or the routine. But she can be "motivated" with food treats. Choose treats that are healthy, such as cut strips of grilled chicken (buy and freeze in snack bags), cream cheese, meat baby food, dried shrimps or other freeze-dried treats. Speak in a calm, soft voice to her and offer the treats to soothe her nerves. A dab of Rescue Remedy, applied to the inner ear tips, is also good.

Mostly C's: Your cat is very social and outgoing, self-confident. Be sure to include her in the conversation when visitors are present. If she seems to be dominating the attention, offer a fresh new furry mouse, a small catnip toy, an olive or a milk bottle plastic ring to divert her interest. Clicker training will keep her lively intellect energized.

Mostly D's: Your cat is laid-back and easy going. Provide her with soft cushions or cozy beds and put these where she chooses to lie (she will tell you). Watch that she does not become obese - a dangerous condition for her health. Groom her and use T-Touch massage techniques to make her purr with pleasure.

Marva Marrow is a IAABC Certified Cat Behavior consultant. Her website is Or email her:


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