While it’s not the best idea to psychoanalyze yourself based on whether you’re a Dog Dad or Cat Mom, what your choice of pet says about you goes beyond your preference for fur, fins, or feathers. Keep in mind I’m simplifying here, many would agree the stereotypes of dog and cat owners are mind-numbingly dull while at the same time being amazingly funny (unless you are the crazy cat lady).
Are dog owners more extroverted than cat owners on average? Probably. Are there extroverted cat owners, most definitely. Do a lot of households have both? Yes, of course they do.
So with that introduction being what it is, here are a few thoughts on what your choice of pet says about your personality!
People Who Dig Dogs
Dog owners like going outdoors, if only because their pets demand it. Dog owners are often extroverted, agreeable, and conscientious. They like rules, schedules, and appreciate loyalty.
Dog owners are also more likely to live with a family of several people, and they’re often energetic and persistent. They often lean conservative and value their pet’s companionship.
Characteristics of Cat Lovers
The stereotype of “the cat lady” is quite extreme, but cat lovers tend to be more introverted and prefer solitude. Cat lovers score higher on intelligence tests, tend to work long hours, describe themselves as independent, present themselves as non-conformists, and often lean liberal in their political views.
Cat people are more likely to live alone than dog owners. And yes, some cat owners can be a bit neurotic and anxious. It’s a good thing that a cat’s purr reduces stress—until the owner realizes that the cat is manipulating them to do their bidding. But that comes with cat territory, right?
Fish owners are more likely to be male and describe themselves as emotionally stable, calm types. If their first experience of pet ownership was a carnival goldfish, their willingness to keep trying is admirable. If you’ve always wanted an aquarium to gaze upon while relaxing at home, start with Natural Environment Aquatics’ information on how to take care of goldfish.
A Bent for Birds
Bird owners are the most likely of all pet owners to be unemployed, but that doesn’t necessarily mean owning a bird will put you out of a job. Bird owners describe themselves as caring, and they tend to be optimistic, socially dominant, and outgoing.
Remember, as with any broad generalizations, there are many exceptions! In fact, Scientific American did a survey in 2015 that turned up some surprises in how pet owners describe themselves. It’s also worth noting that they found for EVERY type of pet, in 8 out of 10 households, the primary caretaker of the pet is female. I wonder if that role is shifting more towards the 50/50 mark, at least I hope it is.
Ultimately, your choice of pet is just that: a choice!
You may pick a pet for companionship, play, or because it makes you feel safe and loved. Whatever your reason, pets become cherished members of your family, and it becomes hard to imagine life without them. So whether you’re walking Fido or brushing out Fluffy’s fur, what your choice of pet says about your personality is just the beginning of your story of pet parenthood. You’ll get to know each other better, grow and change together, and find common ground with other pet parents fond of the same kind of animals.