About the Fe-BARQ

Because most cats live inside people’s homes where they are difficult or impossible to observe for extended periods, it is necessary to develop different kinds of measurement techniques in order to study their behavior.

Like its canine predecessor, the C-BARQ, the Feline Behavioral Assessment and Research Questionnaire (or Fe-BARQ) was developed to provide a means of describing and measuring behavior by proxy. In other words, instead of observing and measuring a cat's behavior directly, the Fe-BARQ collects indirect behavioral information provided by the cat's owner or guardian.

photograph of a gray striped cat sitting comfortably on their owner's lap

The Fe-BARQ consists of a 100-item, standardized questionnaire that is simple to use, takes about 10-15 minutes to fill out, and can be completed by anyone who is reasonably familiar with the cat's typical responses to ordinary, day-to-day events and stimuli. It is designed to measure the following 23 behavioral factors or traits:

  1. General activity/Playfulness
  2. Sociability with people
  3. Directed vocalization
  4. Purring
  5. Attention-seeking
  6. Sociability with cats
  7. Stranger-directed aggression
  8. Owner-directed aggression/Touch sensitivity
  9. Resistance to restraint
  10. Familiar cat aggression
  11. Dog aggression
  12. Fear of unfamiliar dogs/cats
  1. Fear of novelty
  2. Separation-related behavior
  3. Trainability
  4. Predatory behavior
  5. Prey interest
  6. Sleeping location preferences
  7. Excessive/compulsive self-grooming
  8. Other compulsive behaviors
  9. Inappropriate elimination
  10. Elimination preferences
  11. Crepuscular activity

In addition, the questionnaire measures a further 14 miscellaneous behaviors that are also of interest to many cat owners.

The Fe-BARQ is available to veterinarians, behavioral consultants, researchers, shelters, and cat breeders with an interest in cat behavior and behavioral problems. For a limited period, it is also open to pet owners interested in comparing their cats to others in the Fe-BARQ database. Enrollment is open to all cat owners and groups from around the world.

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