Highly Sensitive Pet (HSPet) Quiz

Learn about highly sensitive pets with animal intuitive Shannon Cutts of Animal Love Languages

Take this short & sweet quiz and learn more about your pet.

Instructions: Answer “True” or “False” for each of the statements below. Then complete the rating section that follows to gauge where your pet may fall on the spectrum of high sensitivity.

  1. My animal startles easily and often (over)reacts to sudden or sustained loud sounds, bright lights or shadows, unfamiliar environments or even textures.
  2. My animal has a hard time coping with any changes to their regular daily routine – this inflexibility is not linked to known past trauma and has always been present.
  3. My animal exhibits a strong preference (that is not part of another known breed or species-specific trait group) for the company of one or two well known individuals (people and/or animals) and typically gives all others a wide berth.
  4. My animal craves closeness with me and/or other trusted and loved individuals (people or animals) but is easily overwhelmed by the same and may suddenly retreat or withdraw into solitude.
  5. My animal either a) dislikes being touched or b) likes being touched but cannot tolerate it for long.
  6. My animal enjoys their own company and even seeks out solitude in other rooms or outdoors where no other people or pets are present.
  7. My animal has a hard time in the spotlight (such as during shows or agility competitions or in training classes) and may act out, retreat or “forget” even well-known commands or abilities in these situations.
  8. My animal can become reactive or intensely solicitous when I am feeling unwell physically, emotionally or mentally.
  9. My animal has a low pain tolerance that is not related to other breed or species-specific traits.
  10. When my animal loves someone or something, they love hard. When they do not like someone or something, everyone knows it.
  11. My animal is a natural caretaker and just seems to have a knack for knowing who in a group of people needs extra attention or support.
  12. My animal tends to have a sensitive stomach and even a little nibble of the wrong thing can trigger digestive upset which is often accompanied by mental or emotional as well as physical symptoms.
  13. My animal absolutely has to eat all meals and snacks right on time and strongly prefers the same daily menu – it is hard to get them to try anything new.
  14. My animal has a hard time bouncing back after setbacks or changes of any kind (examples might be discipline/punishment, veterinary visits, moves, losses, vacation separations and similar).
  15. My animal loves to be comfortable and will go to great lengths to find the coziest position or the softest place or the warmest/coolest surface to relax on.
  16. If anything changes in my animal’s regular environment, they notice right away – often even before I notice it myself – and may change their behavior until the changed thing is removed or corrected.
  17. My animal often responds to situations differently than the norm for their breed or species.
  18. My animal has a strong drive for safety and security to the point where submission/aggression, resource guarding, reactivity and separation anxiety can at times crop up.
  19. My animal is always on alert in a way that often appears to be anxiety or uneasiness.
  20. My animal has been labeled by others as “different,” “special,” “shy,” “avoidant,” “extra” or even “unsociable” by others….and, if I’m being totally honest, by me as well.

Results: If you answered “True” to at least 10 of these statements, and your response is not linked to another known species or breed trait or issue, your pet may have the trait of high sensitivity.

Additional helpful resources

NOTE: Information found here is not meant to be a substitute or replacement for proper training or medical care provided by a trained species-specific veterinary or animal behavior professional.