The use of pejorative terms to describe human personalities especially when applied to stressed, reactive and newly captive cats in a shelter environment borders on anthropomorphism in the most negative sense. Cats in shelters are called "neurotic " in the study, we can fill in the attendant negative connotations of the word. The researchers define neuroticism here as "fearful of people," "suspicious" and "insecure." The description can aptly describe any cat who has lost his home and been thrust into confinement in a small metal cage in an unknown place attended to by strange people, sights, smells and sounds- it does not however describe the domestic cat's personality.
The study further stumbles by asking zoo keepers and shelter workers to rate their own charges. Statistical tests seek to filter out observer bias but more valid results might have been obtained by polling keepers who were not responsible of the animals for more objective observations.
Veterinarian and animal behavior expert, Steve Dale said about the study ""What this study did was take an inkling of truth, position it to get headlines, and as a result - and I am quite serious about this - misconceptions about cats are perpetuated. Those misconceptions allow humane trap/neuter/return programs to be cancelled. Those misconceptions lead to fewer veterinary visits (compared to dogs), and more cats given up to shelters (than dogs) and fewer adopted from shelters." That and it's bad science too.