Are You a Dog or a Cat Person?

Are You a Dog or a Cat Person? What's the Difference? (You Might Be Surprised!)

Dog vs Catspersons

 It's just one of those quirks of human nature. People generally have a preference when it comes to our four legged pets. Bottom line? You're either a "dog person" or a "cat person", and you most definitely already know which camp you're in.

Of course, it usually doesn't take friends, acquaintances or even complete strangers to figure it out, thanks to a few unmistakable clues ...

Dog People

If you're a dog person, you love dogs (obviously!) but you're likely to find cats tolerable, according to Stanley Coren, PhD, DSc, writing for Psychology Today (2010). You're probably also a "people person" (aka an extrovert), his research found.

You're also likely to be willing to risk looking a little -- er -- eccentric on behalf of your pooch. For example, it's not at all unusual to see a dog person walking his best friend in a downpour. (Dogs livefor their daily walks, after all!) Other signs you're a bonafide dog person?

* The side windows in your car are always obscured by nose prints and drool since Fido goes for frequent rides.

* You never completely finish a juicy steak. (Bugsy needs to have a taste, because -- those sad eyes and that long strand of thick drool protruding from the side of his mouth as he watches you tug at your heart strings.)

* Your holiday cards include your dog's "signature". (After all, she's part of the family!)

* Your computer's screen saver features ... yeah, you guessed it!

* You match their furniture and carpets (maybe even your winter coat) to your dog's fur color to hide the dog hair that's everywhere.

* You have nicknames for your dog for those times when you're feeling especially affectionate towards him.

* You sleep on the very edge of your queen size bed because your dog likes to sleep sideways and you hate to disturb his peaceful slumber.

All joking aside, dog owners tend to be a dedicated bunch, to say the least, and according to a recent Associated Press poll, they represent a majority in the world of pet owners. AP's poll, which consisted of just under 2000 people the majority of whom were owners of either a dog or a cat, 74% said they liked dogs "a lot" but only 41% said the same thing about cats.


Cat People

Cat people, says Dr. Coren, tend to be introverts (aka people who need time alone to recoup their energy). Interestingly, while most dog lovers will also tolerate a cat, cat people tend to dislike dogs, preferring their furry (and purr-y) buds to those "in your face" canine critters.

Dogs do tend to demand a lot of attention, but cats are much less demanding when it comes to things like insisting on a walk or some play time, for example. They're also quite content to do their "business" in their litter boxes rather than insisting that you accompany them out into the yard during a hailstorm to give them a little "encouragement".

Here are some signs that you may be a cat person ...

* Most of the time, you prefer your cat's company to the company of an actual person.

* You agonize over what varieties of cat food to choose when doing groceries.

* You tend to save cardboard boxes whenever you get a UPS delivery because your cat loves to play with (and in) them.

* Does your home's décor include scratching posts? How about ramps and shelves that are just for the cat? Uh-huh. Thought so!

* If your cat falls asleep on your lap and nature calls, nature has to weight until you're ready to burst!

* You have pictures of your cat doing various cute things on your iPhone, and you bore your friends by making them look at every one of them.

* Your cat sleeps with you (natch!)

Different Strokes/Different Folks? Psychologists have identified certain personality traits that indicate whether you're a dog or a cat person. You -- no doubt -- already know which furry friend you prefer. Let's see if your personality matches your preference …

Dog people are:

* extraverted and companionable

* self-disciplined

* efficient planners

* agreeable and friendly

* loyal and devoted

* not likely to let their emotions rule their decisions

* action and/or horror movie watchers

* active (enjoying running, dancing, yoga, etc.)

* more likely to work in a technical field like finance

* likely to credit their dogs with helping them lose weight via frequent walks or playtime activities

Cat people, by contrast are:

* creative with vivid imaginations

* open-minded

* cautious and reserved

* witty with a dry sense of humor

* independent and non-conforming

* documentary and musical watchers

* partial to quiet leisure time pursuits like reading, listening to music or gardening

* more likely to work in a creative field

Of course, none of this is set in stone, and there are plenty of people that like both cats and dogs for different reasons. For example, you might prefer a cat as a pet simply because you've got a crazy schedule and cats can fend for themselves for longer periods of time than many dogs can. (Cats are independent whereas dogs are more social when it comes to their masters.) Dog People and Cat People Share Some Common Traits Too

Both dog and cat owners love their pets and consider them an integral part of their lives. Both look to their pets for companionship and are indulgent, sharing behaviors like buying their pets gifts and/or treats on special occasions (like the holidays or their pets' birthdays). Both groups also credit their pets with helping to reduce stress in their lives and providing plenty of reasons to make them smile or laugh. Both are willing to spend money on veterinary care and the best foods for their furry friends, too!

When push comes to shove, it doesn't really matter whether you're a dyed-in-the-wool dog lover or you prefer the company of a dignified feline. Having a pet allows you to give -- and receive -- love, reduce your stress (and by extension, your risk of conditions like heart disease), and appreciate the companionship of a creature who loves you without reservation and without judgement!

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