Dog & Cat Lovers, the Differences Between Them
Associate professor of psychology Dr. Denise Guastello at Carroll University in Wisconsin conducted a study that looked at the personality traits that differentiate between dog lovers and cat lovers, and came up with interesting sets of characteristics belonging to each group.
Dr. Guastello’s research involved 600 college students, and brought some interesting and differing temperament traits to the forefront on both sides, as well as preferences in regard to lifestyle.
Cat people, it seems, tend to be non-conformists, those who prefer dogs tend to be more inclined to stick to the rule book, so to speak.
Cat lovers are more reserved and sensitive, while those on the dog side are more gregarious and animated.
“It makes sense that a dog person is going to be more lively, because they’re going to want to be out there, outside, talking to people [and] bringing their dog,” Dr. Guastello said, “whereas if you’re more introverted, and sensitive, maybe you’re more at home reading a book, and your cat doesn’t need to go outside for a walk.”
One study on pets and their owners asked volunteers if they preferred cats or dogs, no pet at all or both, assessing the 44-point personality questionnaire on the “feeling, thinking and behaving” scale.
People are placed into 1 of 5 categories, labeled by the acronym OCEAN:
Each of the 5 points has its opposite, which pet owners typically interpret to mean their pet is rounding out their lives and making them a better person.
Many people believe the saying, “Dogs are man’s best friend.”
Maybe it’s because owners tend to reflect the personalities of their canine companion, or at least aspire to.
Dogs are thought to be more personable than cats, friendlier and generally healthier, both physically and psychologically.
Further, Dog people were less apt to be diagnosed with depression, and said they were not lonely, especially when they were either single or female.
All described themselves as being more outgoing, easier to get along with and more thoughtful than their kitty-loving counterparts.
As it happens, CEOs or Senior VP’s are primarily dog owners.
Now, ask anyone which animal is most prone to ignore, rebuff and demand and the answer will nearly always be a Cat. There might be something to the fact that Cat owners sometimes describe themselves as moodier at times, like Cats.
Cat owners were found to be more adventurous and more creative, with a greater propensity toward neediness in their relationships; more in need of reassurance.
The more introverted and unwilling to “go along to get along” individuals were assessed as more intelligent than Dog owners, which undoubtedly was no surprise to the Cat enthusiasts.
What about Bird owners?
These pet owners were found to be highly communicative and sociable among all the pet owners, including even Dog owners, and more apt to express job satisfaction.
The Big Q: Overall what does this all mean for pet owners?
The Big A: The upshot of why people choose to be either cat or dog people or some other type of pet altogether is that, when picking a pet, particularly a Dog or Cat, both of which definitely have a sense of humor, they should bring out the best in each other.
One of the joys of pet ownership, is that many people love seeing the parts of their personality they enjoy reflected favorably back to them in the form of their pet.
Have a terrific weekend.