Are you a cat or a dog person?

No doubt you have heard the expression, "pets end up looking like their owners," perhaps by imitation or habit, although not always. But did you know that depending on the pet you have, a lot can be told about your personality? So the experts say, or at least for dog and cat owners.

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21 June 2017

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Would you define yourself as a family person, responsible and outgoing? If so, you're more likely to prefer dogs to cats. At least, so says an investigation conducted by the psychologist Sam Gosling of the University of Texas in Austin. After analysing 4,565 interviews conducted with volunteers about pets and lifestyle, he concluded that there are "notable personality differences" between dog owners and those who have cats.

According to this study, 46% of those interviewed were considered to be dog lovers, while 12% said the same about cats. Twenty-eight percent of respondents said they loved dogs and cats alike, and 15 percent said they did not like either of these pets.


Identifying with your pet

"Given that there are close psychological connections between people and their pets it is very likely that the differences between dogs and cats can correspond to different human personalities," says Gosling. Thus, the University of Texas psychologist believes that there is a connection between the attributes of dogs and cats, and the perception that one has of oneself.

Dogs are sociable animals. They participate in interactive games with other dogs and their owners. They like human company and greet or warn us when someone arrives at our home. Cats, on the other hand, show quite different behaviour; they are solitary animals, silent and secretive, and do not like group play, nor do they tend to show much attention to visitors.

Therefore, "when someone claims to be more dog lover than cat, or vice versa, they are indirectly projecting the dog or cat personality onto themselves," Gosling explains.




If you have a dog, you are…

According to the study, dog lovers compared to people with cats are:

- more extroverted

-  more friendly

-  more applied, conscientious and serious in their chores.

- feel more at ease with planned behaviours, rather than spontaneous ones.

- tend to think traditionally


If you have a cat, however…

On the other hand, cat lovers, as compared to dog lovers presented the following characteristics:

- They are more neurotic

- have a more open mind

- tend to appreciate the arts, adventure, imagination and emotions more

- are more creative and curious

- are more introverted