Are you a cat person or a dog person? Chances are that even if you enjoy both animals and even if you are the proud owner of both animals, you probably like one more than the other. You’ve also undoubtedly been asked which species you prefer at least a few times. New research shows that your answer to that question may actually have a lot to say about your personality.
62 percent of Americans own at least one pet, according to the American Pet Products Association. Several studies have been done to prove that a person’s choice of animal companion does actually reveal a lot about their personality. A recent study performed at the University of California at Berkeley observed pet owners who identified themselves as either a “cat person,” “dog person,” both,” or “neither.”
The research showed that pet owners who voiced the greatest fondness for their animals were also rated as the most neurotic and the most conscientious. Unlike parents who hover over their children constantly, which can smother them and stifle their growth, that hovering can actually be a good thing for pets that require constant care throughout their entire lives. Mike Delgado, co-author of the study, says:
“The fact that higher levels of neuroticism are associated with affection and anxious attachment suggests that people who score higher on that dimension may have high levels of affection and dependence on their pets, which may be a good thing for pets.”
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In the study, 40 percent of those surveyed said they identified with cats and dogs, 38 percent said they were dog people, and only 19 percent of those surveyed said they were cat people.
Another similar study consisted of 4,565 volunteers from the University of Texas at Austin. The end results of this study showed that people who said they were dog people were more agreeable, more extroverted, and more conscientious than cat people. It also showed that dog people are more fun to be with, and they tend to follow rules more closely.
A comparable study performed at Carroll University in Wisconsin also found that dog people were more extroverted, and that they were also more energetic. When you think about it, that makes a lot of sense, as dog owners are going to spend more energy playing with their dog and walking him than cat owners will spend entertaining their feline companions.
Dog owners are also more apt to be out in public with their dog whether they are going for a walk, hanging out at the dog park, or heading to the lake for a swim. This gives them more of an opportunity to meet and socialize with new people. Cats stay inside and are fairly self-sufficient. They don’t require the time or attention that dogs do. Introverted people would probably be more attracted to a pet that wouldn’t require the socialization of a dog.
This all may sound like good news for dog owners, but the studies also revealed a few things about cat owners. The Texas study revealed that cat people are more adventurous, creative and more open than dog people. It also showed that they were more neurotic.
The study performed at Carroll University found that cat people were smarter than dog people. I know. I’m not sure I believe that one either. We’ll have to see the official results to make sure that statistic is accurate.
According to the same study cat owners also tended to be more sensitive and introverted. They proved to be non-conformists that were more apt to break or bend the rules.
Whether we’re smarter or not, we dog people certainly do care about our pets. Maybe our choice of companion animals does say a little something about our personalities, but no study could ever measure the love that we have for our furry friends. Whether you’re a cat person, a dog person, or a reptile person, pet owners are all kind hearted individuals that have opened their hearts and their homes to the animals they love.