Not the prettiest cat but the most affectionate: The Sphynx tops the polls when it comes to the friendliest felineThe pedigree pets have come out as the most affectionate and friendly in a survey of all types of catsThe most unfriendly were non-pedigree,
crossbreed 'moggies' — also known as domestic short-haired cats —
Britain's most common variety
09:52 GMT, 3 December 2012
They might not be the prettiest of animals but when it comes to friendliness, the hairless Sphynx is the cat’s whiskers.
A survey of different types of cat found the pedigree breed to be the most affectionate, whereas Britain’s most common variety – the non-pedigree shorthaired domestic moggy – is the most unfriendly.
The study, published in the Journal of Veterinary Behaviour, ranked 129 cats from 14 breeds according to geniality.
Friendliest of them all: Experts have revealed the hairless sphynx cat is actually the friendliest and most affectionate of all the creatures
They may look more friendly, but apparently the domestic tabby is one of the unfriendliest of the lot
Despite their reputation for being
aloof and solitary, the research found that many cats are far friendlier
than they are given credit for.
Pure-breds were found to be the most amiable, with the Sphynx – which can sell for 3,000 – coming top of the list.
And non-pedigrees were found to be the most likely to ignore their owners, shy away from affection and flee from strangers.
Dr Marie Abitbol, of the National
Veterinary School of Alfort in Paris, where the study was carried out,
said: ‘There is a clear difference in friendliness between the pure-bred
cats and the domestic shorthaired. In general, the pedigree cats are
friendlier than non-pedigree.’
It is thought the Sphynx’s
affectionate nature, which even extends to a happiness to visit the vet
or be bathed, is due to its reliance on humans to keep warm.
The survey said pedigrees may also be
friendlier because breeders tend to leave kittens with their mothers for
longer, during a crucial period in their development when they are
becoming used to humans.
The animals studied ranged from
kittens to more than 20 years old. They were a mix of males and females,
with some neutered and some not.
TOP CATS – THE FELINES RANKED IN ORDER OF FRIENDLINESS
The study, which involved 129 cats from
14 breeds, as well as crossbreeds, ranked the felines in order of friendliness
1. The Sphynx
2. Maine Coons
4. Birmans, Somalis, Siamese, Russian blues and exotic shorthairs were all ranked fourth
5. The domestic shorthair – or the common moggy – scored lowest
Some lived in homes with other animals and children, while others lived with only their owner.
The owners were asked a mix of
questions, including how their cat would react when they entered a room,
how often it would rub up against them, whether it would appear to
avoid them, and how it would behave around strangers and vets.
Each cat was then ranked according to friendliness, based on the answers.
The Sphynx scored an average of 22.83, compared with 18.93 for the domestic shorthaired.
Because the numbers of other breeds in
the survey were generally small, they were grouped together to score an
average for pedigrees of 20.40.
In cases where there were more than a
handful of a particular breed, they were found to be friendlier than
moggies. Maine Coons and Persians, for instance, scored 20.76 and 20.38
Other pedigrees to score highly were Birmans, Somalis, Siamese, Russian blues and exotic shorthairs.
Sphynx cats have become increasingly popular, especially with asthma sufferers because of their lack of fur.