What Personality Type is Your Pet?

Apart from pets that get lost as a result of some kind of natural disaster, professional pet detectives who search for missing pets say that it’s the pet’s personality has a lot of do with them going missing from their homes in the first place.

“If your pet has easy access to the outdoors and suddenly vanishes, ask yourself ‘what’s happened?’” says Kat Albrecht founder of an organization known as Missing Pet Partnership and author of The Lost Pet Chronicles.

Albrecht says for anyone finding a lost pet, its important to think “lost” not “stray” and thus take appropriate steps to try and re-unite the pet with its rightful owner.

According to Albrecht, all cats fall into one of the following behavior categories:


With its gregarious personality, a curious feline will run to the door to greet a stranger, is generally unafraid and consequently, easily gets into trouble. When displaced, she will hide initially but thereafter, will most likely begin to travel and could easily get within a five-block radius of home quite quickly. Don’t assume she will come when called.


This cat is aloof and doesn’t care for people. When a stranger is present, she tends to stand back and watch. When displaced, she’s likely to hide but eventually will break cover and attempt to come back home and meow to be let in. However, there is also the possibility that she will travel further a field.


Generally, a cautious cat likes people but is shy and will dart and hide if a stranger comes to the door. Sometimes she’ll peek around the corner and slowly come out to investigate. However, when displaced, she will immediately hide in fear. If not scared out of hiding by people or another animals, she’s likely to return home on her own or meow to attract attention when her owner comes looking. This could happen within two days. But it could take as long as ten days before hunger or thirst prompts her to attempt to break cover.


Xenophobia is a fear or hatred of anything strange or foreign. This fearful behavior is either part of the cat’s genetic make-up or the result of kitten hood experiences. The xenophobic cat will hide when a stranger comes into the home and will not come out until well after the company has left.  She doesn’t enjoy being held or petted and is easily disturbed by any environmental changes. When displaced, she will bolt and hide in silence, remaining in the same hiding place, immobilized by fear.  If someone other than her owner finds her, she could be mistaken as being wild and homeless, splitting and hissing out of fright. Sadly, as a result, xenophobic cats are often absorbed into the feral cat population.

And Albrecht says that the same applies to dogs:


A gregarious dog is friendly and will usually come up to the first person that attracts her attention, wagging her tail. Depending on the surroundings and the population density of the area, she generally won’t stray far from home. Because of her responsive disposition, a stranger finding her may adopt her on the spot.


A dog with an aloof temperament is very wary of strangers and will initially avoid any human contact, traveling a great distance from home. However, if hungry, she can be enticed with food. Strangers often misinterpret this wariness for having been abused. Often a distrustful dog is not recovered for weeks or even months after escaping. By then, her physical appearance may have deteriorated and she may appear to be homeless and unloved. She could also be injured as a result of having to negotiate traffic.


Xenophobia is a fear of anything strange or foreign. A xenophobic temperament is either a genetic disposition or the result of a puppy hood experience. If a dog panics easily, then a loud noise like fireworks is enough to make her bolt and run for miles. Consequently, a xenophobic dog can travel great distances and is at high risk of being hit by a car.  Because of her cowering, fearful behavior, people assume she has been abused. Even if the dog has an ID tag, a rescuer often refuses to contact the owner on the assumption they mistreated the animal. A xenophobic dog can be so overcome with terror that she will even run from her owner!

Whatever you pet’s personality, as I mentioned in my previous post, it is incredibly important to plan ahead with proper identification.

What type of personality does your pet have? Share your story in the comments below.

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