Cat people, dog people, bird people, reptile people; you probably know some of each! In fact, according to the American Pet Products Association, 62 percent of the U.S. has some type of pet. Turns out that our ideas about people and their pet choices stem from some amount of truth. Your choice in furry (or feathered … or scaled) companion can say a great deal about your personality. Several studies have been done to determine what characteristics make a “dog person” and what sets them apart from “cat people.”
The Dog Person
Dogs are the most popular pet in the U.S., with 39 percent of U.S. households claiming a canine companion as a member of their family. For dog lovers around the world, it is obvious why (we just think everyone should have a rescue dog).
A study conducted by the University of Texas found that the people who define themselves as dog people tend to be more extroverted, more agreeable and more conscientious than cat people. It was even found that dog people tend to be “the most fun to be around,” when compared to all other people with pets. Seeing the number of dogs and their parents out at the beach, surfing, hiking, and walking around town, we can understand this deduction.
Researchers believe that dog people tend to fall into this category because they want a companion to join them on their social outings and a reason to talk to strangers. A truly random study found that dog people are 18 percent more likely to choose Paul McCartney as their favorite Beatle (the best Beatle) than cat people (cat people pick George Harrison, a noble choice).Who knew so many characteristics rely on your choice of best friend!
The Cat Person
Calm down cat people, we know it isn’t all about the dog. Cats make it a close race, coming in behind dogs for the spot as second most popular pet in U.S. households. A whopping 33 percent of households are home to these bundles of fun and attitude. Though cat households are more likely to have more than one cat than dog households. The Texas study found that, compared to their dog-loving counterparts, cat people tend to be much more creative and adventurous. These pet parents are more prone to more neuroticism and some anxiety, though. Like cat, like parent, we suppose!
Not to worry, oh anxious cat lovers. There are other fun facts in your favor. For example, cat people have been found to be the most dependable and emotionally sensitive. These feline fanatics are the good listeners everyone is looking for in a friend. No guarantees they’ll purr for you though.
The Reptile Person
Reptile parents, not surprisingly, turned out to be the most independent of all the pet people. Considering it is hard to cuddle most reptiles, this independence is probably a good thing. Cat and dog people require a lot more attention than your average snake or iguana parent. Unfortunately, reptile parents had the lowest score on the sense of humor scale, losing to everyone from dog people to horse and bird people. Not to worry reptile parents, we like you’re eccentric pet-loving style.
The Bird Person
A little more strange than your average … well, bird, bird people are a whole different species than their dog and cat loving counterparts. Bird parents are thought to be more socially outgoing and expressive than the rest of the pet parents. Female bird parents, in particular, are high in dominance. If you are interested in being a bird person, remember that, like dogs and cats, there are plenty of them at bird rescues looking for homes. There is no evidence that bird people are flighty, so join the club!
The Animal Person
Lisa Peterson, a spokeswoman for the American Kennel Club, said she recognized some truth in this type of finding.”We tend to gravitate to pets that reflect our own personalities.”
People are drawn to pets that fit in with their lifestyle, personality, and what they want in their lives. Out going and energetic people are going to select an animal that is ready for this type of daily activity to join them. A dog, especially a larger dog, seems like the obvious answer. People who love to stay home and read a good book are going to choose an animal that will love to do the same. They will typically gravitate towards a small dog, a cat, or some other less-energetic animal. Thankfully, shelters across the U.S. have animals perfect for every personality and lifestyle!
Subconsciously, people are often going to choose an animal that they feel displays a message to the rest of the world. Many of the findings of the studies mentioned above also reveled significant similarities between the personalities of guardians and their pets. These similarities even increased over time, indicating that guardians and their pets grow even more to fit one another’s needs and personalities. A person’s pet is a member of their family and a reflection of themself. It only makes sense you’ll make sure to find the most compatible rescue animal out there to be your lifelong companion.
Andrew Rowan, director of the Tufts Center for Animals and Public Policy, states that “there is no question that pets reflect something about what people like. Through their pets, people are making a statement about themselves.”
Lead image source: Rachel/Flickr