What Your Pet Preference Really Says About Your Personality

Photo: Ovchinnikova Stanislava / Shutterstock
woman cuddling with dog

We’ve long established stereotypes associated with pet owners. One of these stereotypes is that cat lovers are more reserved, while dog lovers are more outgoing.

Although these are seen as nothing more than clichés, scientific studies have proven that pet preferences and what they reveal about a person's personality may actually hold some truth to them.

RELATED: 5 Scientific Ways Having A Pet Helps You Be A Better Person

A study conducted by Carroll University has been the talk of pet lovers across the webAccording to the 2014 study, it distinguishes the differences between people who love cats and dogs and highlights how your pet preference is essentially a reflection of your personality.

Associate psychology professor Denise Guastello believes "it’s possible that people select pets based on their personality."

Surveying 600 college students about their pet preference, the study aimed to figure out which qualities the participants found most attractive in their pets along with the qualities they associate with their own personality, as it's also found in a 2019 study.

While 60 percent of the people surveyed considered themselves to be dog people, only 11 percent stated that they preferred cats, while the other 29 percent liked both or neither.

And the most controversial aspect of this study?

Findings showed that pet owners who leaned towards cats received more points in a test designed to determine intelligence. They essentially are suggesting that cat people are smarter than dog people.

While this new evidence might stir up a conflict of interest between cat and dog lovers everywhere, this study along with others acknowledged positive characteristics for pet lovers alike. These differences in personalities tended to be traits that their pets also possessed.

For instance, dog lovers described themselves as being active, enthusiastic, and animated, while cat lovers were found to be more reserved, receptive, and sensitive.

This makes sense considering the fact that cats are generally more of an indoor animal, while dogs are more of an outdoor, "go for a walk" animal.

RELATED: 15 Huge Signs Of A Pet Obsession That's Way Out Of Control

Although the participants of this study were solely college students, previous studies have had similar discoveries.

A 2010 web-based study from The University Of Texas looked at 4,565 individuals and divided them into four categories: cat people, dog people, neither, or both.

After partaking in a 44 question personality assessment, the research revealed, "Dog people were generally about 15 percent more extroverted, 13 percent more agreeable and 11 percent more conscientious than cat people [who were] about 12 percent more neurotic and 11 percent more open."

This means that dog lovers are more self-disciplined and tend to be "planners" when compared to their feline friends.

The best part about this test is that not only does your pet preference say a lot about your personality, it can also lead you one step closer to finding the perfect match.

In fact, a love interest's inclination towards a certain pet could say more about his or her personality than you may think.

The personality traits associated with each pet could help predict your level of compatibility with prospective lovers and friends, making it that much easier for you to connect with Mr. or Mrs. Right.

We can't argue with that.

RELATED: How Letting Pets Sleep In Your Bed Affects You & Your Relationships, According To The Enneagram

Tabitha Blaisdell is a freelance writer whose work can be found all across the web on BuzzFeed, Elite Daily, Thought Catalog, Psych Central, and more.