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Cat People, Dog People and Personality

 by brian on 30 Apr 2014 |
4 Comment(s)

Dogs and cats are the ultimate human companions in contemporary society. So much so, that people end up self-identifying as either one type of person or another.  Dogs win the popularity contest easily, in both terms of ownership and self-identification. More people like dogs, and more people own them. What’s really interesting about pet ownership is what it says about the pet owners. According to recent studies, someone who considers themselves a cat person is more likely to be independent, creative, and somewhat neurotic. Whereas dog people end up being more eager to please, conscientious, and extroverted. These are of course, only slight differences, in between the 10 to 20 percent range, but are interesting findings nonetheless.

These traits make perfect sense even at first glance. Dog ownership consists of attentive and hands on care, as well as a great deal of social interaction. Cats on the other hand require far less upkeep, and a more individualistic sort of companionship than can be expected from the pack animal mentality of their canine counterparts. The slightly off-kilter attitude of cats, their--shall we say finicky nature has had a very negative impact on their popularity. People are considerably more likely to be anti-cat, and anti-cat owner than with dogs. Though by looking through internet memes, you’d never guess it.

This cat discrimination is probably due to a cat’s antisocial instincts. Cats are territorial creatures as well as fierce and formidable predators. For their size, they pack a lot of power and sharp surfaces into an adorable little package. People often misunderstand the best way to approach cats or take offense at their perceived snotty attitudes. It also doesn’t help that lonely spinsters occasionally settle in large houses with more than ten of them dwelling within. This all adds up to a negative vision of cats and cat people overall.
However, this is a woefully inaccurate portrayal of only a single aspect of cats and their people. Cat resourcefulness, intelligence, and dynamic aptitude at problem solving can be witnessed in their owners as well. A recent British study cited in an article by The Telegraph reveals that cat owners are much more likely to have degrees from a university than dog owners are. Of course, this can be attributed to working longer hours and choosing a pet that better fits their lifestyles, but it is a curious coincidence.

Dog people on the other hand don’t really suffer from any negative stereotypes. Unless they own pit bulls, but that’s a stigma that’s due in the most part to the savage and deplorable practice of dog fighting. Dogs generally get along well with anyone that doesn’t mind a wagging tail and the occasional lick on the face. Dog owners as well, have that reputation for being extroverts. It’s even rumored that single guys have been using puppies as an effective way to meet women… And by rumored, I mean confirmed. It totally works.

Just make sure you’re adopting your pet for the right reasons!



Hipcat - Comment
Hipcat25 Feb 2013Reply
I heard long ago that cats outnumbered dogs by over a million as pet of choice in the U.S. When did the change occur?
Bev - Comment
Bev25 Feb 2013Reply
I think you nailed the cat/cat lover. I'm one, and my Siamese is just like the cartoon. However, my Garfield-looking other cat is just the opposite--very needy and affectionate!
john - Comment
john25 Feb 2013Reply
Being the owner of a border collie, I reflect her desire to have everything in order and its proper place.

Therefore I just have to point out that in the first line the author has used the word penultimate incorrectly.

Dogs and cats are not the last but one companions for humans in contemporary society.

They may be the ultimate companion, the first and last companion, or let's merely say the perfect companion.

Penultimate is a useful word if you know what it means, but it's not to be thrown around just because it sounds good.

Good article otherwise.
Elin48 - Comment
Elin4806 May 2014Reply
I have both a cat and a dog, actually and currently 8 cats and I share 1 dog. What I've noticed throughout the years is that the best cat owners have a dog personality and the best dog owners have a cat personality...meaning it takes a sap to be a great cat owner, and someone who will take the back seat to a cat's desires, but it will take a top dog (I'm the boss) attitude, with love to be a great dog owner.

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