Cat People vs. Dog People

As I’ve mentioned before, I like both cats and dogs. Picking one or the other is not something I’m keen on, but gun to my head?:

*earmuffs Patronus*

Dog.

 

Obviously, I have an unhealthy obsession with my cat and love him very much. I just grew up with dogs, I’m not allergic to them (I wash my hands a lot with Patronus and avoid touching my eyes at all times), and I’ve always felt like they kind of looked into my soul in a way my cats didn’t always do (except my first cat, Shadow).

Side story: Shadow was my first real pet (I don’t count parakeets. You can’t cuddle a parakeet). I loved Shadow. He was the PB to my J. He would let me lay my head on his belly and when I was sad, he knew. I swear. He had these orb-like eyes that just said “I know, I love you, it’s okay.”

After seeing Beauty and the Beast as a young, impressionable child, I was convinced that shadow was a man in some animal-type prison. For a good week, I tried casting spells on him to see if he’d turn into a prince or something. No dice. Eventually I realized he was just a really empathic cat.

Anyway, besides Shadow and now Patronus, I’ve had a more of a kinship with dogs my whole life. I must have been a dog in a past life or something. Who knows.

I posted this slideshow on my facebook yesterday and after talking with Jesse (he’s a self-professed cat person) about it during dinner last night, I thought it would be a cool post. I found the article it’s based from that was published in January 2010 (sidenote: Good job recycling news, WebMD!).

Disclaimer: I have no idea what personality inventory they used to do this survey, so as someone who generally backs validity and reliability in assessments, I can’t technically support the findings of this survey. It’s fun to talk about anyway though, right?

They measured the following personality traits (pasted from the article):

  • Conscientiousness – behaviors include self-discipline, sense of duty, and a tendency toward planned vs. spontaneous behavior.
  • Extraversion – tendency toward being gregarious, enthusiastic, positive, and energetic.
  • Agreeableness – attributes such as trust, altruism, kindness, affection, and sociability.
  • Openness – traits such as appreciation for the arts, curiosity, creativity, and nontraditional thinking and behavior.
  • Neuroticism – characteristics such as being easily stressed, anxious, or easily worried.

Their findings?:

Dog people are:

  • 15 percent more extroverted
  • 13 percent more agreeable
  • 11 percent more conscientious

Cat people are:

  • 12 percent more neurotic
  • 11 percent more open

Jesse and I talked about the results. We definitely feel like to a certain extent we debunk some of the outcomes of the study. While I feel (and Jesse agreed, ha) I am definitely more agreeable out of the two of us, I channel my love for Patronus when I’m neurotic. I am easily stressed, worried, and anxious and Jesse just… isn’t. He doesn’t get ruffled by much of anything.

We both felt we strongly exhibited the remainder of the traits, including extroversion, openness, and conscientiousness. I wouldn’t say either of us are more of one than the other person.

It was an interesting read and conversation. The researcher who did the study was quick to say that it’s not necessarily law that cat people and dog people exhibit these traits uniformly.

“These are not huge differences,” Gosling says. “There are certainly many, many cat people who are extroverts and many, many dog people who aren’t.”

What about everyone else?

Are you a cat person or a dog person?

Do you agree with the study?

 



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Posted on by Jen Bingaman, M.A. LMHCA Posted in Mind
Jen Bingaman, M.A. LMHCA

About Jen Bingaman, M.A. LMHCA

Hi, I’m Jen. I’m a mental health counselor newly residing in Seattle, Washington. I strongly believe in the mind-body connection as the cornerstone of my professional ideology, along with the healing possibilities of puppies, a good glass of red wine, the smell of a new book, and the importance of travel.

  • Heather

    I’m a cat person. Dogs make me feel guilty for not loving on them 24/7.