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How Are “Dog People” and “Cat People” Different?

Updated May 23, 2024
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Cat people have known it all along: They're smarter than dog owners. Whether that's fact or (cat) fancy depends on how much credit you give to a study of 600 students at Wisconsin's Carroll University.

The study looked at the personality traits and overall intelligence of those who identified either as cat or dog fans. Although many more students prefer dogs to cats -- 60 percent to 11 percent -- the researchers suggested that certain "bookish" traits are more commonly found in cat people than dog people. On the other hand, dog people were found to be more outgoing and interested in other people. "It makes sense that a dog person is going to be more lively, because they’re going to want to be out there, outside, talking to people, bringing their dog," Professor Denise Guastello said. "Whereas, if you’re more introverted, and sensitive, maybe you’re more at home reading a book, and your cat doesn’t need to go outside for a walk."

Although the study involved only college students, previous research has found similar results among other age groups. For example, a 2010 study found that dog lovers were more likely to follow the rules than cat people, who seem more interested in expediency than obedience.

The truth about cat and dog people:

  • For the most part, cat owners like the affection their pet gives them, while dog people like the companionship dogs offer.

  • Although more hearsay than study-based fact, cat people are said to choose George Harrison as their favorite Beatle, while dog people pick Paul McCartney.

  • Dog lovers are 36 percent more likely than cat people to use a pop song as a cell phone ring tone.

PublicPeople is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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