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The truth behind what makes you either a dog person or a cat person

Do you think cats are the purrfect pets or do dogs have you barking for joy? People are often divided into either a dog or cat person and now science can tell us why.

By Zoë Monk

Published on the 11/08/2020, 12:00

While there are people who love both cats and dogs in equal measure there has long been a divide between cats and dogs. Cats are often seen as the aloof and lack loyalty towards their owners, whereas their canine counterparts are considered blindly loyal, not as savvy and very keen to please. 

But it’s not just the animals who are defined by particular traits, their owners are too. A cat owner might be labelled as an introvert, eccentric or a crazy cat lady while dog owners are thought of as more sociable and active people who like to be in charge.

Cats vs dogs

In a study of 4,500 people, researchers found that dog people are likely to be extroverts, amicable and more conscientious but less open than cat people. It also suggests that people are more likely to prefer dogs because of their own sociable and dominant personality. Meanwhile, cat owners have much less of a say in the lives of their feline friends and as cat owners tend to be more passive they prefer to be around a pet who will play by their own rules.

When it comes to why we are keen to label ourselves as either a dog or cat person, we should look at people who love both cats and dogs. They tend to be the most empathetic people of all. Perhaps it’s time we put our claws away and embrace both types of four-legged friend.

Getting a new pet? Find out the best way to introduce a new pet to your resident cat.