Dog Lover or Cat Lover? What Your Pet Reveals About Your Personality.

Are you a dog person or a cat person? While the differences between dogs and cats are almost as stark as black and white, and pet owners know it, a new study revealed that the owners’ themselves may have very contrasting personalities as well.

The study revealed that the livelier of the two were the dog owners. They proved to be more energetic and outgoing and tended to follow rules closely. In contrast, cat lovers were more introverted, more open-minded and more sensitive than dog lovers. Cat people also tended to be non-conformists, preferring to be expedient rather than follow the rules. Lastly, and sure to spark controversy, cat lovers scored higher in the area of intelligence than dog lovers.

Study researcher Denise Guastello, an associate professor of psychology at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin, who presented the findings at the annual Association for Psychological Science meeting said that part of the reason for the personality differences may be related to the types of environments cat or dog people prefer.

“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, bringing their dog,” 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.”

The participants were comprised of 600 college students, and were asked whether they would identify themselves as dog lovers or cat lovers, and what qualities they found most attractive in their pets. Researchers also asked a slew of questions to assess their personality.

The majority of people, about 60 percent of participants, identified themselves as dog people, compared with 11 percent who said they were cat people. The rest said they liked both or neither animals.

Dog lovers found companionship to be the most attractive quality in their pet dogs, while cat people liked the affection they received from their cats.

According to Guastello, it’s possible that people may select pets based on their own personality. For example, cats are often seen as independent animals that keep to themselves, and are cautious of others.

“If you’re like that, you appreciate that in an animal, it’s a better match for you,” Guastello said.

Further study of the reasons people identify as cat or dog lovers may improve pet therapy, allowing them to better match owners and pets who participate in the therapy, the researcher said.

Because the study involved college students, it’s not known whether the results apply to other age groups as well, Guastello said. But previous studies have had similar findings. A 2010 study of more than 4,500 people found that dog lovers tend to be more extroverted (or outgoing), and conscientious (or rule-following).

Whichever you prefer: dog, cat, or both, each pet is unique and equally so is each pet owner. Show your pet your appreciation today!

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