Even if you don't know exactly when your cat was born, you will be able to pinpoint their starsign. Just watch your feline friend for a few minutes. The way they look and how they behave will soon tip you off about their sign because cats, like people, are greatly influenced by the position of the planets at the time of their birth …
Slender, often ginger and forever knocking your knickknacks flying - that's a typical Aries. But whatever his, or her, coat colour (and some are not as lithe as they think they are), a surefire way to spot your Aries is to glance at their ears. Do they look, dare one say, a bit dog-eared, covered in scars and with the odd chunk missing altogether? That's because lovable Aries is so very direct and impulsive. Thinking is doing, immediately. And that means leaping into a fight as often as into your lap - often with remarkable bravery and at the defence of his owner or a fellow pet.
Aries knows no fear (or doesn't let it show) and his boisterous courage can get him into lots of scrapes. He's naturally lucky, but that's not much comfort to his human owners who are bound to worry about him. His adventurous nature as a young kitten makes him especially vulnerable and he needs to have a close eye kept upon him during this phase.
Now look closer - it won't be easy because Aries cats don't sit still for very long, even when old age ought to rule out those great games of football with a screwed up sheet of paper. He leads with his head - forever shoving it into nooks and crannies and giving people a violent head butt that might be painful if it wasn't so well-meant.
Wild of spirit and a genius at opening doors with a flying lunge (and a wally at leaving his tail behind) Aries is persistent and inventive. He's highly inquisitive and affectionate and only rarely lets slip his naughty, spitty, snarly side - usually when someone or something has made him jump. He'll eat you out of house and home, if you let him, and although he's not fussy (quantity, not quality, is what counts with him) he needs and deserves good food to keep his powerhouse energy levels topped up.
Your Aries will be a lifelong friend. Can't see him at the moment? Try looking up along the curtain pelmet or on a really high shelf!
Big, wide-spreading paws - that's what a Taurus cat needs to keep her anchored to the ground. She's the most earth-bound of cats (did someone dare to call her a cushion or couch-potato?) Perish the thought, even though members of the family have sometimes nearly sat on her by mistake.
It's not that Taurus is lazy - she can shift with the best of them once she's seen a butterfly she fancies chasing or when she takes an instant dislike to a visitor's dog. And make no mistake, she'll rush to the attack, not flee, when she's confronted with what she sees as an unpleasant intrusion. It's just that, most of the time, she can't be bothered. She's often a great favourite with children.
She doesn't even mind car journeys and would rather travel around with her owner than be left behind. She's the most amenable cat around. Most of the time.
Sensuality is her middle name and you'll find her wherever there's a soft bed covering, a glowing log fire or warm radiator. She could spend hours rolling on her back in grit or gravel and is a demon for spreading muddy pawprints around her home. Not surprisingly, her healthy appetite and quest for the easy life conspire to make her a true heavyweight in later life and her owner would do well to harden their heart against her round-the-clock cries for food, keeping her to a sensible diet recommended by their vet.
Stroke her powerful back or tickle her under that soft, fluffy chin and you'll soon turn on that other infallible sign of a Taurus cat - a beautiful, loud, purr that rolls up and down an octave. These cats really sing. You'll notice, too, that she smells rather earthy in a nice sort of way, rather like the leafy floor of a woodland in autumn.
She's a confirmed fan of the great outdoors and despite her cosy preferences - she doesn't mind extremes of temperature provided she can come indoors when she wants. Her love for her favourite humans, once gained, is simple and deep. Reward it with plenty of stroking and cuddling and loving words.
No risk of accidentally tripping over this cat because you'd no idea he was there. The decibel level that always marches alongside a Gemini is enough to herald his arrival - whether it's the cluster of bird-scaring bells (waste of time in his case, he's too fast) around his neck or the wide vocabulary of sounds he produces from his neat, diamond-shape little mouth. He is noisier - and nosier - than any cat has a right to be.
He probably adopted you in the beginning, maybe walking in from the nearby alley or from a shed where he'd been weighing you up as a potential friend. He is a survivor with a whole box of cardtricks to amuse and charm you into submission.
But he's probably one of the hardest starsigns to identify because he's forever switching moods, flashing in one lightning instant from pleasure-seeking playfulness to over-nippy mock fight with your wrist, the next.
One mark of the Gemini cat, though, is his preference for human, as opposed to animal, company. And he can't keep his nose and paws out of whatever you are doing, from preparing a meal (for yourself) to sorting out the accounts on you home computer. As soon as your back is turned, this bundle of hyper-curiosity is guaranteed to be trying his own hand at doing whatever you were doing.
And although he is endlessly sociable, he will also want to go out a lot - a problem if you happen to live eight floors up in a flat with no balcony.
Fidgety, flighty and, at times, completely bonkers, he never seems to need much sleep. Short catnaps suit him and, if you let him curl up on the end of your bed of an evening, you'll pass one of the most disturbed nights of your life.
His changeable nature extends to his taste in catfood, too, and he can suddenly turn up his pink, specked nose at products he has been happily lapping up for months.
Humour him only up to a point because this cat is one of the most likely in the feline galaxy of starsigns to pop into another home part-time. He's a terrible cadger of tasty morsels and you'll probably never suspect that he has another doting 'owner' unless you come face-to-face at the vet's or in the cattery.
He is very vocal and loves to chatter away for ages - and he adores the telephone. Switching from one frantic activity to another in nanoseconds, he particularly enjoys hanging from things with outstretched arms, letting himself paraglide to earth with claws open. Guard you curtains. He can be tiring at times - but never boring.
She may be smoky grey and fuzzy around the edges, or pale as clotted cream and short-haired, but once you catch her gazing wistfully at the moon, her paws neatly folded beneath her rounded tummy, you'll know for sure that you've got a Cancer cat at home. Many of these cats also have a distinctive white crescent on their chests which they are very fussy about keeping clean.
She's a powerful mothering instinct and even if your Cancer cat is a He, the urge to adopt and nurture small, young creatures is very strong. It may even extend to odd socks.
Basically sweet-natured and regular in her habits, your cat is acutely supersensitive. Severe emotional upset can make her avoid human company. Perhaps she was a very shy kitten, standoff-ish to start with, then growing more demonstrative. As an adult, she still needs plenty of security and routine. The company of another cat, preferably a litter-mate, would also stop her becoming lonely and when you are not around.
She is particularly nervous before thunderstorms - she can predict one hours in advance - and fireworks or vehicles backfiring send her into a panic.
Sleep is one of her favourite hobbies and she adores kneading your stomach or giving your face a thorough wash before settling down.
She is a bit of a choosy eater.
It's impossible to hide anything from her - she'll prod and poke, snag and scoop - until she's retrieved the forbidden object. The same applies to your feelings and she has an amazing empathy with your moods. You can confide in a Cancer cat and her manner is always comforting.
She's a home-loving softie whose kind character really merits cherishing.
His fiery ruler, the Sun, ensures that a Leo cat is mighty masterful and his personality larger than life. Even a 'flu jab won't faze him and his love of an audience knows no bounds. He may well be marmalade - at any rate, he'll have a huge shaggy neck ruff of fur and his eyes will probably be wide and golden. Or your Leo could be a loud, extrovert tortoiseshell female with enormous lime-coloured eyes and a queenly bearing.
Highly independent, your Leo cat reckons that he's your owner and he can even dominate dogs. When he's not being a toughie and ruling the roost, he loves to clown around. But although an appreciative human chortle goes down well when your Leo is being deliberately playful, never laugh if you see him miss his footing on a garden fence or misjudge a leap upstairs. He can't stand any loss of dignity and if you poke fun at his mistakes, you'll be rewarded with a look like frozen fire and snubbed for days. This cat's pride is supreme but it is easily wounded.
Another surefire signal of your Leo's birthsign is his attraction to mirrors. He never makes the mistake of thinking his reflection is another, possibly hostile, cat. He knows what he's looking at and he like what he sees. He'll spend hours grooming his fine, usually long, coat - or pointedly staring at the catbrush-and comb set until you decide to help him in this fascinating enterprise.
So strong is his desire to be seen and admired and so noticeable are his looks and talents that he could easily be a performer cat - the star of television adverts or even a film.
He needs lots of attention if he is to thrive, though, and he can get very depressed when neglected. Of course, his idea of neglect might differ from that of his owner. His bad points are his occasional bursts of bad temper and his jealousy - ideally, he makes a good pet when he doesn't have to share you with another cat. He quite likes parrots.
Endlessly courageous, lazy on the quiet, he has an enormous heart and expects to be love back just a powerfully.
If you see a smaller-than-average little female cat fussing around rearranging its bedding or endlessly trying to clean every last scrap of soil from the underside of its claws - then giving its face another wash for luck, chances are she's a Virgo.
When you catch her staring quizzically and rather critically directly into your face, you'll know for sure. This is not going to be a pushover relationship.
Your Virgo cat lays down the ground rules and is very particular indeed about whose settee she curls up on or whose hands she will permit to stroke her. She absolutely hates being picked up and spends ages trying to tidy herself up again afterwards. But once she has found a human who can measure up to her needs and expectations, she's a one-person cat.
Often, Virgo cats smell very sweet - with a hint of parma violet in their fur. And they often look as if they are wearing two pairs of white gloves.
Watchful and sensible to the core, your Virgo rarely comes a cropper through foolishly dashing somewhere without looking. She is highly suspicious of strangers and won't normally stray far from home.
Virgo would never be gauche enough to rush to the door to greet you, but that doesn't mean she doesn't care. She's the most discreet of cats and petting must be gentle and on her terms.
Plants, especially indoor ones, fascinate her and she is prone, alas, to take the odd bite. So guard against any harm by not keeping any plants that contain poisonous or irritating juices.
This cat is ultra-modest and won't use a littertray if anyone is watching. She also covers her tracks with undue vigour, so a cover might be a good idea to prevent scattered litter or newspaper. She is equally fastidious over her food and won't touch grub that's less than fresh or a bowl that smells of soap or disinfectant. Ideally, she'd like you to handfeed her with delicacies from your own plate - not a good idea! Her ever-active brain never switches off - watch out for telltale squeaks, twitches and tail movements when she's asleep.
A bit of a loner deep down, she will put up with other cats in the house - but only just.
If your cat is so charming that he even persuades avowed cat-haters that allowing a feline into their own home would be a good thing, then your fine feline fellow just has to be a Libra. Simply everyone likes him and he plays on this knowledge to ensure that he gets his own way, nine times out of ten.
He's not totally selfish - he'll rush in with fur flying and paws flailing if he believes that any member of his human family are being victimised - but he is a dab hand at looking after his own interests.
Good-natured, good-looking and chronically unable to decide whether to come in or go out, play or snooze, he possesses personality by the bagful. Luxury is the only lifestyle he is interested in and, if he has a weakness, it is snobbery.
Whatever his background, he suffers certain illusions of grandeur and believes he is the epitome of good breeding and fine pedigree. Surroundings that are less than elegant do not please a Libra cat and if he is truly disappointed in his home style, he might become rather dispirited - or shop around for a flashier, prettier home.
Even-featured and well-proportioned, this cat usually looks lovely but his athletic figure can seriously overflow as he gets older, owing to his taste for rich foods. If he cannot wheedle a choice morsel from your plate or fridge, he is not above helping himself when you're not looking!
Snuggly and cuddly, he invites hugs and cuddles and loves having the base of his spine tickled. Music and vibrant colours hold a special appeal from him and he has a quiet, melodious miaow. He's so likeable and winsome that it may be difficult to insist on the amount of hearty, outdoor exercise that he needs - he'd rather watch television or listen to Mozart - but you'll be doing him a real favour if you help him keep fit into old age.
Cats who jump onto buses and end up on the other side of town or who try to follow you all the way to work - they're Scorpio. So are the ones who inadvertently get left behind in a house move - then show up hundreds of miles and months later, on their owner's new doorstep.
Uncanny, obstinate, super-energetic, Scorpio has a spooky way of looking right into your mind. And she doesn't have to see you reach for the cat basket or the car keys to know that a journey's in the offing. And, if it's not an expedition that she's organised herself, she wants none of it. Her habit of hiding on these occasions is both infuriating and infallible.
Hers is a very strong character and she will dominate any other living creature in a household, effortlessly. Tell her off, and she will simmer and sulk for days. Make no mistake, she is the mistress of all she surveys and your rules just don't apply.
If a restriction (such as no ripping of armchairs) makes no sense to her logic, then she sees no reason to obey it. This cat thrives best where she has access to a rather wild garden with a secret jungle she can call her own.
Another distinguishing feature of the Scorpio cat is that she never, but never, comes when called. That would be an admission of weakness. Instead, she mysteriously materialises by your side before you get round to saying her name …
She adores the sun - or heat from any source - so make sure that her nose and eartips don't get sunburned.
She enjoys playing with you but can't, or won't, draw her claws in. And when enraged with an unwelcome feline visitor, she's such a fearsome fighter that she'd probably take on a Shogun four-wheeled drive if it dared to nose into her drive. Her often exotic beauty usually incorporates a healed scar or two …
She is very loyal - to one person only - and glowers like crazy if you make a fuss of any other creature. She might give the object of your other affections a wicked nip on the ankle if you don't make moves to anticipate this odd 'revenge'.
One tip - if your Scorpio comes to you as a very junior explorer, you'll have to guard it against danger extra carefully. Always check under your car, or in your washing machine, before starting either up because this cat is not cautious at all and likes crannies.
Does your cat always look on the bright side? Does his optimism border on the arrogantly misguided? Is he of such a roving nature that you've occasionally considered the possibility of an escape-proof back garden? Does he like horses? Then rest assured that you're sharing your living space with an outrageously rumbustious Sagittarius.
Your adventurous, ever-youthful pal is travel crazy. He even enjoys hitching a ride in a bicycle basket and, if you go for a keep-fit jog, he'll keep pace beside you in comradley style.
For a cat, he's remarkably straightforward and most of the time, you can read him like a book. If he ever goes missing for a spell or his behaviour goes off the rails, the cause is most probably a tangled love-life - nothing else upsets this boy.
His self-esteem is almost undentable - and he doesn't even mind too much if you find his blunders and missed footings a bit of a joke. With his wide, curly mouth and rumbling purr, he seems to enjoy a laugh himself. He likes being near people and is forever rearing up on his hind legs - or leaping onto unsuspecting visitors' heads - trying to be nearer their level.
He is relentlessly matey - even to those who would rather he keep his hairy distance. But every now and then, he'll take himself off on a little holiday, returning with a mysterious smile. Just to show that he's a free agent at heart.
Actually, despite his wanderlust and taste for country living, he'd hate the paw-to-mouth existence of a farmcat or town feral because he lives for mealtimes and eats enormously. Full of trust and resilience (he never learns from a mistake, but no matter), he never quite graduates beyond his kittenish phase. You'll usually find him waiting for you to come home, sitting on the front doormat.
Long legs and a bony back, ice-cool blue eyes and a foxy face, are the hallmarks of your Capricorn cat. Her parentage is a blur but probably included at least one aristo pedigree and her fur is often long and very dark grey. At first glance, she strikes people as a bit aloof. But anyone who knows her well will agree that this cat has a dry sense of humour. And she is very smart indeed - not in a show-off, tricksy, fetching-toys kind of way.
She's canny and cunning and can solve plenty of problems, like how to escape from anywhere you may have temporarily confined her. She's often the kind of cat who prefers travelling on your knee or on the back seat of a car, rather than being in a box or basket she can't see out of - and luckily, she doesn't panic easily. Quiet and cautious, she usually sidesteps danger and takes evasive action early on.
Hers is the sign for a long life - a sign of how tenacious this cat is - but her owner will have to guard against teeth problems. Hard biscuits to clean the tartar off her teeth are a must, particularly as she is rather a lazy eater and prefers sloppy food to crunchy and could fall prey to gum disease in middle age.
Self-reliant, self-controlled, she has more than a measure of self-interest. But that adds to her independent charm. She makes it clear that she stays in a household because she likes its residents, not because she needs them. She does have a pompous streak, and teasing is a definite no-no. But she is, deep-down, highly affectionate. Not inherently playful, she needs companions to draw her out of herself and keep her amused if she is not to grow old mentally.
A sure-footed climber, who adores any kind of high ledge - check she doesn't follow you next time you inspect the loft - she may look quiet. But that's just because she's thinking.
You may have paid a lot of money for this handsome youth. An now you're wondering if someone has slipped you a gremlin by mistake. Complicated, completely unpredictable and not entirely domesticated - no wonder his detractors reckon he's crazy. You prefer to call it highly-strung and sophisticated.
His provocative behaviour — walking away in a huff, nicking your kneecaps with his sharp claws then licking your chin adoringly - has one aim in mind. Your undivided attention. And it is only when this is unavoidably interrupted, by a ringing telephone or a knock at the door, that he goes into overdrive and swipes cups to the floor.
What he needs is gentle, consistent but persistent training. When he acts up, be extra quiet and gentle with him and make it clear by the firmness of your voice that his behaviour is unacceptable.
The trouble is, your Aquarius cat sees the world as his oyster - there are no limits in his mind. So why can't he take that interesting short cut, via the curtains, that would so clearly save effort? What's wrong with unravelling the cuff of that woolly sweater. And why doesn't anyone else realise what a hoot his ankle-level ambushes are - he thinks they're funny?
His biggest wheeze - and one that never ceases to amuse (him) - is hiding. He just loves it when you're in a rush to catch him and get off somewhere important, like an airport. Endearing - oh, yes, he's that too. He's got a limitless need for love and thinks humans are great. If only they were a bit more imaginative. He's always following casual acquaintances he's befriended and turning up in shops and restaurants. He'd like to live above a nightclub.
One thing is certain: no matter whether your Aquarius has a pedigree longer than his body nose-to-tail or he's a rough-living feral who adopted squatter's rights, he'll always make his own rules.
Just put up with his friends (who are probably of different species) and treasure him for what he is: a whacky, one-off.
She's a daydreamer who often goes into a trance midway through a wash - and adopts some comical poses with her front paw or back leg stuck in midair. She's a feely-cat who judges everything on gut reaction and sheer instinct and she's rarely wrong in her judgements about people.
She's of a gentle, though not nervous, disposition and picks up moods a million miles away. She reacts instantly and is one of the most comforting cats to have around. She may be hard to stop, though, once she gets into caring mode and has a liking for licking your hair and eyebrows and kneading your lap into jelly.
One easy way to identify a Pisces cat is by their drinking habits. She loves lapping puddle water —-it seems infinitely preferable to clean, filtered tap water for some reason, but never mind.
She's undeniably pretty, with even mirror-image markings and enormous clear eyes, and moves with a molten smoothness and grace. Yet this cat likes slumming it and can come home looking amazingly grubby.
She sleeps exactly where she likes and may choose a different spot for each night of the week. It is a waste of time investing in a special basket for her because she will probably ignore it - unless you place it on your pillow.
It is also likely that she will treat you as a mother substitute - she may have been an abandoned kitten - and she likes to follow you closely, glued to your heels, wherever you walk.
Your Pisces cat goes overboard with affection when stroked and hates to be ignored - so make sure she is never short of warm, loving company.
Deeply sentimental and totally attuned to emotions around her, she has one of the quietest cries in the cat world. Often, she mimes a miaow with no sound whatsoever. She needs plenty of security in her life and a regular routine. And she'd benefit from being kept indoors overnight! This starsign is particularly prone to unwanted parenthood, so don't delay if you plan to get her neutered - she's an early starter and irresistible to local toms!