Me and My Cat course

The “Me and My Cat” Course

Dear Cat Owner,

The course“Me and My Cat” delves into feline behavior and personality, and the relationship between cats and owners in the light of the latest research.

At the same time, the course collects new research data for behavioral research and the study of cat owners’ personality and well-being. The data is collected with self-report surveys that participants answer on the MOOC platform during the course. The research is conducted at the University of Helsinki and the Folkhälsan Research Center by the research group of Hannes Lohi. All adult owners can participate in the study, regardless of their cat’s age, breed, or personality. Participation is entirely voluntary, and you can withdraw from the study at any time.

The objective of behavioral research is to investigate what factors influence behavior and to explain personality differences between individuals. The study of cat owners' personality and well-being, on the other hand, aims to examine how the owner's personality, well-being, and attachment are related to their cat's personality and unwanted behavior. Since we aim to collect a large survey data, your participation is very important to us.

Participation in the study consists of answering various surveys during the “Me and My Cat” course. The surveys ask you to evaluate your pet's personality and unwanted behavior, your own personality and psychological well-being, as well as the emotions and thoughts that you experienced during your pet's kittenhood. In addition, we will ask you about your pet's background and current living environment and basic information about you and your pet. It is important that you answer the surveys carefully. Participation in the research will not affect your daily life, but it requires participating in the course and responding to its various surveys.

When registering for the course, you provide your personal information. We will use this information later to link it with your survey responses. We may also use your personal information, for example, to contact you about a follow-up study and ask you for a voluntary blood sample from your pet.

We adhere to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union in collecting and processing data. Your information will be stored on a secure server. All data collected in the study is confidential, and it will be analyzed, and the results published in a way that no one can identify you. If you decide to withdraw from the study, we will retain the information collected about you and your pet unless you request its deletion. After the study, the data will be archived with identifiers at the University of Helsinki indefinitely. The need for data retention will be reassessed every ten years.

Participation in the study poses no significant risks to the participants. Data security risks have been minimized in the ways described above.

The research is funded by the Open University of the University of Helsinki, and additional funders may still join. The funders of the research will be updated on the course registration page. The funders and the corporate partners of the study do not influence the research design, methods, or results, nor their publication.

The privacy notice of the study is attached below.

During the study, you are free to contact the researchers at any time. Contact information: Research Director Hannes Lohi,, mobile +358294125085 Behavioral Research Unit: