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Being a fan of dogs or cats could define your personality

Being a fan of dogs or cats could define your personality

June 21, 2024

Dogs and cats are not only separated by an age-old enmity . Also their customs are very different and you can sense that so is their way of understanding the world.

Dogs tend to be gregarious, just as wolves are, and they appreciate samples of affection that even the most uninhibited people may consider inopportune. Cats are much more independent, more unpredictable and do not always welcome caresses and hugs.

Being a fan of dogs or cats could define your personality

It is clear that they are different animals, because they do not have too many reasons to look alike. They are not exactly like water and oil, but neither have they been carved by evolution to be inseparable companions, and their way of behaving has developed to adapt to different environments and in different ways.

But nevertheless, these obvious differences that exist between dogs and cats could result in subtle differences in personality and the ideology of its "fans".

Some people insist that any human being can be defined depending on their response to the following question: "Do you like dogs or cats more?"  . 

The answer to this question, whatever it is, admits few nuances and will hardly provide as much information about someone as a personal interview. However, it is easy to think that, since dogs and cats act so differently, the personality of their caregivers may also be different.

But ... to what extent is this true? Does the mere fact of preferring one or the other animal say enough about people to be able to construct two personality profiles? Some studies give reasons to think so.


Anyone who has an interest in psychology, sociology or economics knows that there is an immense ocean of research in which the most insane correlations are shown. Virtually any data series is likely to be compared to another to see if there are relationships between them, and the world of dogs and cats could not be left out, taking into account the money that moves and the interest it generates.

If there are already market studies in which you try to draw the profile of the typical consumer of coffee capsules, it is easy to imagine why there are studies that try to define the personality of people according to their degree of hobby to dogs or cats . However, the correlations found between the preference for one or the other animal and the scores in psychological tests do have a minimum theoretical support: the description of the "personality" of one or another species and the degree to which they complement the human being that they fill the response forms.

Are you dominant? This cat is not for you

Two researchers hypothesized that dominant people tend to prefer dogs . These people would be more inclined to prefer animals more dependent on them, more predictable and more sensitive to a system of punishments and rewards. The results seemed to agree with them in part.

The group of dog lovers got higher scores than the fans of the cats in competitiveness and in Social Dominance Orientation , which implies that its members accept more social inequality and hierarchical systems. However, lovers of dogs and cats showed no differences in their scores of assertiveness and narcissism, something that was not contemplated in the initial hypothesis.

The friends of cats are more introverted

Neither dogs nor cats are characterized by wanting to stay at home, but the latter are going to take walks on their own. That means the relationship between humans and cats is more domestic and that the responsibility of taking care of one of these animals does not imply having to leave the park every day to meet other pet owners. If one of the two animals is more related to the social, as we understand humans, that is the dog.

Does this mean that dog lovers appreciate new and unforeseen social contacts more? It could be yes, according to research conducted by Samuel D. Gosling, Carlson J. Sandy and Jeff Potter. This team found correlations between the preference of people between dogs or cats and their personality scores according to the Big Five test, or 5 major personality traits. Volunteers who preferred dogs scored high on extraversion, cordiality and responsibility / organization. Cat lovers, on the other hand, scored more in the two remaining personality dimensions: neuroticism and openness to experience.

The main course: the level of intelligence

The psychologist Denise Guastello, of Carroll University, participated in a study in which it was intended to address the differences in the intelligence scores between supporters of one or another animal.

The amateurs to the cats obtained a higher score in the intelligence tests, thus fulfilling that stereotype that associates introversion and higher intellectual coefficient. However, this would only apply to people, since in general terms cats do not show signs of being smarter than dogs.

In short, if you give a voice to statistics, this seems to be able to speak in favor of some psychological differences between dog and cat supporters . However, it is not yet known if these differences are due only to cultural factors, too small volunteer samples or if they reflect more or less solid psychological mechanisms.

Therefore, the subject can not be considered closed and the psychological profiles are irremovable. It may be that the preference for dogs or cats unleashes passions, but these should be left aside when interpreting the results.

Bibliographic references:

  • Alba, B. and Haslam, N. Dog People and Cat People Differ on Dominance-Related Traits. Anthrozoos (link).
  • Gosling, S. D., Sandy, C. J. and Potter, J. (2010). Personalities of Self-Identified Dog People and Cat People. Anthrozoo, 23 (2), pp. 213-222.

Dallas Fuel's Burning Questions - Cats or Dogs? (June 2024).

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