Footpath signposted for dogs and cats

I hope that title got your attention. Are you a cat person or a dog person? (Spoiler alert: I prefer a bark to a meow. What do you cat people get out of that creepy back-arched leg hug, anyway?) Really, I’m just being dramatic. While I don’t love your cat, I don’t like you any less for having one. It just means we’re different — which, as it turns out — has actually been studied. The internet is bursting with reports on what it really means to be a cat person or a dog person, and what that choice says about your personality and social preferences.

Let’s dig in.

Benefits of Being a Dog Person

The pluses to being a dog person are numerous. Psychology Today reports that dog people are less neurotic and more extroverted than their feline-loving enemies counterparts. We make friends easily, are very goal-oriented, and enjoy being social. We follow the rules without shying away from challenges or competition. Self-discipline and task completion is kind of our thing.

Dog people tend to be more active (based on my experience, not a study in this case). They’re constantly taking their canine companions on walks or runs or playing in the park. I’m not saying cat people are couch potatoes, so don’t sick your feline on me. I’m just saying I’ve never seen someone out for a quick jog with their cat, that’s all.

Here’s something to think about: if you had to identify a motive for owning your pet of choice, what would it be? The Psychology Today report notes that more dog lovers want companionship, while cat lovers want affection. I don’t know about you, but I’d take a nice conversation or a partner-in-crime over PDA any day.

So, am I a dog person? Yes… but we can still be friends even if you’re not. That must be the social-butterfly-ness of my dog-loving side coming out. See! This is science!

Cat Person? Ok, You’re Not All Bad

There are some benefits to being a cat person, I admit. If you’re a cat person, you’re probably more open to experiences and have a higher degree of intellectual curiosity than a dog person. You like creative endeavors that involve art and imagination, and you’re probably not overly competitive. This combination makes you more sensitive, open-minded, and basically all-around smarter than some of us dog folk. Bustle says you may also approach socialization differently because, while you probably enjoy social situations to a degree, you’re more likely to find them somewhat difficult at the same time.

 A Caveat…

It’s important to take these studies and personality implications with a grain of salt. For example, a survey by Time Magazine showed that cat people tended to be more liberal, while those who preferred dogs were typically more conservative. I — as an uber-liberal, dog-loving Millennial — am happy to be poster child for the exception to this rule.

Whether you own a dog or a cat, I think we can all agree that what’s important is that you take care of your animals and love them like family members. After all, your dog puts up with his obnoxious owner and your cat goes along with her own neurotic guardian. They deserve some credit, too!

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