Own a cat that prowls around like a king, or a feline that jumps at the slightest noise?

Well it could be a reflection of your own personality, according to new research out of the University of Lincoln and Nottingham Trent University in the UK.

A study of more than 3000 people looked at the relationship between the personality of cat owners and the behaviour and wellbeing of their pets.

Just as a parent’s personality can affect that of a child, the findings suggest the “same could be true for a cat and their owner”.

The study found links between cat owners who scored higher on the neuroticism scale and negative displays by their pets.

Neurotic owners were more likely to report behavioural problems, hostility, anxiety and stress-related sicknesses in their animals. They were also less likely to let their cat outside.

Owner personality traits were also found to correlate positively.

Conscientious owners were associated with more sociable cats “displaying less anxious/fearful, aggressive (and) aloof/avoidant” behaviour, researchers said.

“Our results present initial evidence which may indicate that lower levels of owner neuroticism but higher levels of agreeableness, conscientiousness, extroversion and openness may potentially be generally more beneficial for cats; a finding mirroring conclusions from the parent-child literature,” researchers found.

Nottingham Trent animal welfare researcher Lauren Finka said pet owners often consider their pets as a family member, forming close social bonds with them.

“It's therefore no wonder our pets could be affected by the way we interact with and manage them, and that both these factors are in turn influenced by our personality differences,” she said.

“The majority of owners want to provide the best care for their cats, and these results highlight how influential our own personality can be on the wellbeing of our pets.”