Study Says That Pet Type Says A Lot About You

Being a dog, cat, bird or other kind of pet owner says a lot about you. Perhaps more than you expected – do any of these things ring true with you?


Growing up, we always had pets. A dog, a cat, painted turtles and even a couple of classroom gerbils my mom allowed me to bring home one weekend (stress on the one). When I started to work and was out on my own I found that I still wanted to come home to a living being so hit the local humane society and picked up feline “Snuff” who remained a part of my life for close to 17 years. I would love to have been able to bring home a dog but the lifestyle of a working girl in an apartment didn’t support canine companionship. To this day, I would love to share my home with a terrier of some sort but one of my felines is deathly afraid of dogs, so the pooch plans are on hold for the time being.


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This begs the question: Am I a “dog person” because I really want one or a “cat person” because I already have them?


It seems that how, or even if, our choice of pet reveals anything about our inner personalities was deemed worthy of research by those clever folk at Scientific American MIND who did a little digging to come up with some interesting findings.


Related: Study Finds That Dogs Think Mean People Suck


The data they used came from a mixed bag of sources including market surveys taken by pet industry stakeholders such as the American Veterinary Medical Association who track demographics, spend and pet ownership over a period of time. Some of the commonalities from the 2,000 respondents?


Pet ownership is highest amongst:


  • People with households of five or more
  • People who work full time
  • People who are home owners
  • People who are social or empathetic


Non-pet ownership is highest amongst:


  • People who live in urban areas
  • People who value a neat and tidy home
  • People who describe themselves as independent


If you share your home with a pooch, you are more likely to:


  • Have picked up Rover from a shelter
  • Have not completed college
  • Consider your pet part of the family


If you share your home with a cat, you are more likely to:


  • Be divorced
  • Live in an apartment
  • Be college educated
  • Eat TV dinners (okay, I just added that one cuz this thread was looking kind of spinster-y)


But more interesting than stats and demographics is how pet owners actually perceive themselves based on their choice of pet.


While I have been quite successful at blocking the “crazy cat lady” image from mind, do others do the same? Well, no. The survey shows that overall we feel our animal companions are integral to how we see ourselves. No surprise that guys who like to be seen as tough may get a tough-looking dog to help them project that image. Those who keep less common pets such as spiders or snakes seem to feel they are creatures who are misunderstood, much like themselves.


While the survey sample was small when compared to the millions of pet owners out there, it did capture some interesting responses to the question: Are you a Dog or a Cat person? Of note, “When you finally win over a cat, it’s so worth it”. And “Dogs are living Buddhas – compassionate beings who live completely in the present moment”. So the one thing we can all agree on is that whoever shares our pillow at night, has gained our love and respect.


[Source: Scientific American]

Mary Simpson
Mary Simpson

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