Science Proves There’s Such A Thing As Dog People And Cat People

Mary Simpson
by Mary Simpson
Some people prefer cats, others are drawn to dogs. A new study shows that it all boils down to specific personality traits.

You are competitive and constantly try to out-perform others. You believe in a social hierarchy, you like structure in your life and you tend to dominate. Think this is your horoscope? Your online dating profile? Nope to both. You are a dog owner.

Let’s try again. You are less dominant and tend to go with the flow. You lack that need to compete, prefer to fly solo and tend to be neurotic. Neurotic? Hang on a sec, that’s me we’re talking about now!

And yes, we share our homes with cats.

Related: Study Shows That Dogs Look Like Their Owners

Recent research by Australian researchers Beatrice Alba from Macquarie University and Nick Haslam from the University of Melbourne, show that the personalities of dog versus cat lovers really are different. I just knew it!

The two researchers posted online surveys that collected data from two samples with 506 participants in the first study and 528 participants in the second. The one-half hour session was completed primarily by Americans and results were consistent across the two samples, confirming many of the researchers’ predictions (and what I’ve always known)… dog people really are more bossy!

Existing data already supports these findings and suggests that your preference for dogs or cats extends to not only your general personality but also to your dating behavior and even political preferences. Okay, so having a cat influences my political decisions? Only if that cat was running for office – she’s totally get my vote!

Related: HABRI Proves Animals Provide Amazing Health Benefits

According to the study, the general pattern found in his research does indeed show dog owners tend to be more social, interactive, and dominant (think forceful, assertive, and self-assured) while cat owners were more introverted, self-contained, and trusting. And for pet parents of both, its “dogs rule and cats drool” as the canine trait of “interactive” appears to prevail.

Further research at the University of Texas not only supports these findings but expands further, claiming dog people are generally more extroverted, agreeable and conscientious than cat people. Meaning they show a tendency to self-discipline, to complete tasks as well as a preference for planned rather than spontaneous behavior. In comparison cat people are generally more neurotic, but are also more open than dog people. This translates into a general appreciation for art, emotion, adventure, unusual ideas, imagination, curiosity, and varied experiences.

So we understand who gravitates towards Fido versus Fluffy, but why? Research suggests the relationship between a cat and her owner and a dog and his owner are likely related to the pet’s pre-domestication behaviours. In the wild, cats are solitary hunters and often active at night. In contrast, wild canines are more sociable pack animals that work in groups and are active between dawn and dusk. Fido has retained this need for social interaction to the degree that without a master and a family, he’s pretty unhappy. Fluffy, on the other hand, can often be invisible during the day, seeming only to appear in the evening and will only occasionally engage in social activities or play. Her interest is limited and will typically not last more than a few minutes while Fido could fetch a ball or play for hours at a time.

And if science doesn’t sway you, watch this video – it has nothing to do with science, but it’s a super funny bit about REAL cat people and dog people.

[Source: Psychology Today]

Mary Simpson
Mary Simpson

Sharing space with three seriously judgy Schnoodles and a feline who prefers to be left alone. #LivingMyBestLife

More by Mary Simpson