Pet Ownership and Personality


This may seem like a funny topic, although I have always wondered what made a person a dog lover, or a cat lover. There has to be a reason, considering most people are very partial towards one or the other. I personally, have a dog, and have been a dog person all my life. I have grown up with Shih Tzu's, and am actually extremely partial towards Shih Tzu's as well, but that is another story. To me, I feel dogs have more of a personality and can act more as a family member.

            On the contrary, cat lovers really tend to find some kind of personality in their cat. Maybe, they feel that cats are easier going, quiet, and easy to take care of.

            I have made a theory, that people determine if they are dog or cat lovers based on their personality.

            Similarly, I have found an article that has done tests based on a similar theory. There was a study conducted at the Ball State University, where several pet owners were surveyed. They were surveyed about their personalities and the kind of pet they own. Similar to my theory, their results showed, "People believe their own personalities are similar to those of the pets they keep,. Cat owners saw themselves as being more independent while dog owners described themselves as being friendly".  I feel this makes complete sense for many reasons.

1)  1)  Dogs show the need for more love and emotion

2)   2 )Cats are more independent, thus working well with an independent person

3)   3 )Dogs need to be walked, owners have to leave the house

4)   4)  Dogs attract a lot of attention

5)    5) Cats are invisible during the day

6)    6) Dog will intrude on a persons activities if they are feeling lonely

The list can go on and on...

As for some statistics, the Associate Press/ poll has shown there are a significant amount of more dog people then cat people. Forty One percent of this testing sample preferred cats, while seventy four percent of this test sample preferred dogs.

Similarly, fifteen percent of adults showed that they disliked cats a lot, while only two percent of individuals said they dislike dogs. I feel this shows a lot about how the majority of the people feel about cats and dogs.

On a different note, studies have showen that pet owners who have both dogs and cats tend to show a personality similar to dog owners.

When thinking if personality is correlated with pet ownership, I believe this is absolutely correct. It is not often that people look into relationships such as this, but it has always sparked my curiosity.

I hope this topic has intrigued you as much as it has me!



Hi Karly! I enjoyed reading your post and found it to be interesting. I am a dog lover myself and would never consider getting a cat. I would consider myself to be an extrovert, which seems to match up well with your theory that dog lovers are generally more friendly. Based on my own experiences I would agree that dog lovers are generally more friendly than cat people, who I feel are more reserved. I found a test online that shows a person what their inner animal is, I encourage you to give it a try, I was a rhinoceros! Overall though I would agree with you that personality is a big reason as to why someone is more partial to either cats or dogs, dogs lovers being more extroverted and cat lovers being more introverted.

The world of pets in a very interesting topic and the psychology behind it has always baffled me. I personally a huge animal fan both cats and dogs. But in the end I would probably chose a dog over a cat because they are truly man’s best friend. My dog is more loyal than any person I know to me. I think a big factor in which type you prefer could have to do with demographic location or simply you’re lifestyle. Psychologists have looked at this through Psychology Today on whether cat people are more distinctive than dog people. In the article it talks about how the typical dog person has traits similar to a dog such as being loyal, direct, kind, faithful, utilitarian, helpful, and a team player. On the other hand a cat person could be described as graceful, delicate, independent, wise, thoughtful and mysterious. This is really interesting to me that one little animal can have so much influence on an individual’s life and especially on someone’s personality. I’ve seen animals that look like their owners but I guess some people may act like their animals too!

I think that personality does have a play in being either a dog or cat lover. I am pretty standoffish, but deep inside I am sweet and crave attention. Kind of like dogs, they seem tough but then they're just balls of love!

CNN reported about research at the University of Texas where researchers questioned 4500 people on 5 different personality categories:
and if they liked cats, dogs or both.

"It turns out that the "dog people" -- based on how people identified themselves, not on what animals they actually own -- tend to be more social and outgoing, whereas "cat people" tend to be more neurotic but "open," which means creative, philosophical, or nontraditional in this context."

I think the findings are pretty accurate because that's how I see dog people vs cat people in respect to personalities.

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