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Brainiac

Big Data: 2,802 cats

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2,802: That’s the number of pet cats from South Australia and New Zealand that were evaluated in a recent personality survey. You know, for science. Owners rated their cats on numerous personality traits. Five categories proved most important: neuroticism, extraversion, dominance, impulsiveness, and agreeableness. In a paper in the journal PLOS1, researchers concluded that the variety of feline personalities called for a greater understanding of their needs as pets. “Highly impulsive cats, for example, may be reacting to something stressful in their environment, whereas cats with low agreeableness scores, showing irritability, may indicate underlying pain or illness.”

Alex Kingsbury can be reached at alex.kingsbury@globe.com.