Are you a cat person or a dog person? 87



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People often claim to be either a “dog person” or a “cat person”, adamant that their chosen pet is the best. We know that there are differences in the behaviour of cats and dogs, but are there differences in the personalities of their owners?

Many behavioural traits and personality characteristics of pet owners have been analysed by behavioural scientists. Of course, findings are very general and you may not identify with all of the traits and loving both cats and dogs can confuse things even further.

So what are the differences? And can you spot yourself in these personality traits?

Activity and attachment levels

Dog owners tend to be more athletic than cat owners, which is good news for dogs who need the stimulation of a daily walk or other form of exercise. Dog owners also tend to interact more with their pet than cat owners do. Perhaps this is an area that cat owners could improve on but a lack of interactivity doesn’t appear to affect the cat owners’ bond, as they are as equally attached to their pet as dog owners are.

Traditional vs alternative lifestyles

Dog owners are considered to be more traditional in their lifestyle than cat owners. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that cat owners are more artistic and creative than dog owners. Good news for cats, as their owners can create walkways, shelves and tunnels for their cats to play and snooze in.


Dog owners are hard workers, reliable at getting the job done. Faithful, consistent – a bit like their dogs! Cat owners, on the other hand, are more intelligent. Whether their higher level of qualification enables them to make a more intelligent choice of pet or the longer working hours and travel commitments that their high-powered job necessitates, lends itself to cat ownership has yet to be determined.

Love and friendship

Owning a pet practically guarantees you friendship. People love to talk about their cats and dogs and other pet owners like to listen. Pet ownership makes you popular. However, when it comes to love, dog owners are at an advantage. Owning a dog, especially for men, attracts the ladies. Must be something nurturing and caring about those dog-owning gentlemen!

Party animals

Dog owners are extroverts. Being surrounded by people energises them. They are party people. Cat people, on the other hand, tend to be more introverted, preferring a dinner party or a gentle debate or conversation with one or two like-minded (cat) people.

There is, of course, nothing right or wrong about being either a dog or cat person, or even being both. You may identify with these traits completely or not at all. That’s what makes us all interesting. Though, of course, pet people are much more interesting than non-pet people (in my humble opinion!)

Are you a dog person or a cat person? And how is this reflected in your personality?

Dr Jo Righetti

Passionate animal behaviourist and Purina Petcare ambassador, Dr Jo has worked with pets for more than a decade and has been a media favourite, with appearances on Totally Wild, Creature Features, Body & Soul Magazine and The Project. With a PhD in Animal Behaviour, a Degree in Zoology and a Diploma in Counselling under her belt, Dr Jo provides support to individual pet owners, governments and commercial companies on how to best nurture relationships between animal and human.

  1. We now have doggies, a big ass 3 year old alsation and an oldie 17 year old cross…but use to have cats, but a grandson is allergic to them so cannot now. Oh…and a 5 year old doll of a hen 😉

  2. We too live with native wildlife in abundance, our cats are totally inside cats, and we have a run for them they can use…….. Only reason we don’t have a dog as well is we have no fence…. But that will change in the future.

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