All cats are psychopaths as they are descended from savage ancestors, scientists believe.
Boffins reckon all pussycats contain a little bit of craziness in them because of their wildcat lineage.
They believe it sets them apart from humans and makes them more skilled at finding food, territory and other moggies to bonk.
Researchers have also developed a scale that pet owners can use to analyse the level of mania in their kitty.
Lead researcher Rebecca Evans, from the University of Liverpool’s school of psychology, said: “We believe that like any other personality trait, psychopathy is on a continuum, where some cats will score more highly than others.
“It is likely that all cats have an element of psychopathy as it would have once been helpful for their ancestors in terms of acquiring resources – e.g. food, territory, mating opportunities.”
All domestic cats are thought to be descended from the Middle Eastern wildcat, Felis Sylvestris – “cat of the woods”.
The University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University academics said their CAT-Tri+ it is the first tool available to measure psychopathy in cats.
The 46-question cat psycho quiz uses the same model used to assess whether humans are Hannibal Lecter-style loons.
It measures a creature’s meanness, lack of inhibition and boldness.
And it ranks the cat’s bloodthirsty ruthlessness and level of anti-social behaviour to people and fellow pets.
Owners rate whether their cat toys with prey instead of slaughtering it immediately, how loudly it meows and yowls for “no apparent reason” and whether their pussy goes into “overdrive”.
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The researchers also hope the results will improve relationships between cats and owners and slash the number of pets that end up in shelters or put down.
Ms Evans added: “Behavioural issues such as aggression – conceptually related to meanness – and disobedience, conceptually related to disinhibition, are reported as the reason for around 38% of cat relinquishments to UK shelters.
“Euthanasia of unwanted animals is also the leading cause of death for domestic cats.
“That is why it is important that we seek to understand how feline personality affects the quality of the cat-owner relationship.”
The tool can be used by owners, or vets, to highlight undesirable behaviours so improvements can be made in cat environments that suit their nature.
Researchers hope it will stop humans judge their cat as if it was human.
Ms Evans said: “Feline expressions of fear – e.g. blinking, nose licking – are subtle and often misread by owners.
“Therefore, sudden changes in mood – e.g. acts of aggression – can appear unprovoked, but may in fact be motivated by fear.
“This could help to reduce agonistic cat-owner interactions and foster more positive feline training practices.”
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