A study conducted at Ball State University in Indiana, USA, found cat owners saw themselves as being more independent while dog owners described themselves as being friendly and outgoing. Those opinions reinforce the stereotypes of a guy and his dog fetching sticks while chatting with other walkers and the cat lady living alone in a high rise apartment.
But whether someone is a cat or dog person can have more to do with their circumstances and not their personality. It may be true that cat owners are more likely to live alone, and that they are more likely to live in a flat or apartment, but the story may actually be they live alone and a cat is the better pet for their lifestyle and accommodation. Also more families have dogs and more older single people have cats but it's easy to see the energy levels in each household would be different and each suited to the right pet.
In many surveys, a single woman was the most likely individual to have a cat but plenty of famous men have had feline companions. Ernest Hemingway, Winston Churchill and Bill Clinton all appreciated cats and of course there was Dr Evil and his cat, Mr. Bigglesworth. Yeah, I probably shouldn't mention that.
It seems if you had a cat as the family pet when you were young you are likely to have a cat now whereas those brought up with a dog in the house are less likely to have just a cat. But interestingly, people who own both dogs and cats seem to be much like people who own only dogs in the surveys and personality test results.
More Don't Like Cats
According to an Associated Press/Petside.com poll, there are a lot more dog people out there; 74% of the test sample liked dogs a lot, while only 41% liked cats a lot, and it seems cats are a lot easier to dislike. Maybe this is because of the independence and solitary predominance of their lifestyle. Juliet Clutton-Brock of the Natural History Museum in London described the cat an "exploited captive" rather than a domesticated animal. In contrast, wild dogs are pack animals and work in groups, and have a need to be social just like most humans.
Other supposed personality traits of cat and dog people include dog people being more conscientious and able to complete tasks whereas cat people are often more neurotic. But cat people often win in the intelligence stakes as researchers from the University of Bristol, UK, found that people who have more education are more likely to own cats and less likely to own dogs.
So are you a cat or dog person? Try this completely unscientific personality quiz and let us know!