Jane Fryer said her kitten Skittles sometimes too closely follows the example of the members at the fraternity where he lives with Fryer’s boyfriend.

“[Skittles] will run around the room at full speed and try to climb up everything. He has no fear, just like the frat boys,” Fryer (sophomore-hotel, restaurant and institutional management) said. “I feel, that being in a fraternity, Skittles has taken on many of the aspects of a person living in that environment: large amounts of sleeping and lounging followed by senseless running in circles around the room.”

Fryer’s concerns could be confirmed by a new British study, which says pet owners may want to consider kicking their bad habits before their pets start following their examples.

The study, conducted by professor Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire in England, states that, over time, animals are likely to pick up their owners’ characteristics.

Results of the yearlong study, which will continue for the next six months, show that pets and their owners share many personality traits.

“I am a pretty happy and independent person. My cat is laid-back, and I am, too,” Amber Grieb (junior-management) said. “I guess in a way our personalities are pretty similar.”

Currently, about 2,500 pet owners have completed the survey.

“When you look at the data, you see that dog owners are spontaneous and fun-loving; cat owners tend to be emotionally sensitive and independent; and reptile owners don’t care too much for other people,” Wiseman said.

Wiseman said the most surprising result of his study is that 60 percent of fish owners said their fish have a good sense of humor.

“They are the most content in our sample and they are the ones claiming their pets make them laugh the most,” he said.

Penn State professor Michael Arthur, who teaches GEOSC 040, (The Sea Around Us), does not believe fish share his sense of humor.

“I’ve detected some whimsy in fish. They’ve never laughed at my jokes, though, so I’d have to disagree with these results,” Arthur said.

Previous studies, like that featured in the Psychological Science journal from the University of California in 2004, have found that pet owners often physically resemble their purebred dogs. Judges in the study found that they could match the dogs and their owners solely by their pictures.

Valerie Beam, owner of Meow Meow Pet Sitting, 214 Homestead Lane, said she believes people choose pets that are most like themselves.

“There are cat people and there are dog people. It makes sense that people who are quiet and busy are going to chose to buy a cat rather than a dog,” Beam said. “But that’s not to say that animals don’t have personalities. If I didn’t have a friend, my cat would be one because I swear she knows what I’m talking about.”

Wiseman said it is likely that animals have a big impact on the way their owners think and behave because owners spend time everyday with their pets. He also said the study results could be a product of perceived personality.