The classic rivalry between dogs and cats is an accepted fact of life, a natural occurrence. In fact, the clash between the two species is so strong that it has translated to their owners, creating a disparity between people whose pet preference has affected their personalities. There’s always an ongoing debate about whether a dog or a cat is an ideal pet, and each side is as adamant about their choice as the other.
But looking beyond pet companionship, is it possible that your pet preference is somehow a reflection of your attitude and personality? And can the fact that you’re a dog person or a cat person influence your career choice? A published study has sought to discover the link between pet preference and personality by conducting a survey with 600 college students. Their answers revealed telling signs of the different personality traits of cat and dog owners in connection with their pet preference.
See also: Are you a Cat Person or a Dog Person?
Extraversion vs. Introversion
According to the study, dog people are outgoing and lively. Much like their pets, they love being outdoors, meeting people, having conversations, and playing games. It’s because of these traits that they often thrive in social gatherings. From this, we can assume that dog owners would excel more in professions that require much socializing, creativity, and energy such as public relations, sales, marketing, sports and theatre arts, to name a few.
Cat people, on the other hand, are introverted, preferring solitude over social gatherings. This is not necessarily a bad thing, nor does it mean that cat people can’t be sociable, creative or energetic, if they choose to be. This just means that cat owners are at their best in professions that require more concentration and focus such as accounting, finance, science, and research. Dog people would probably find these career choices a bit boring but cat people would be at their element and would thoroughly enjoy them.
Trust vs. Caution
Rarely will you see a dog who won’t immediately take a liking to their new owner. It’s not impossible for a dog to love you after 10 seconds of meeting each other. A great thing about dog people is that they are friendly and loyal. They are very approachable and trusting, which makes them very popular and easily pleased. However, even though these are good traits to have, dog people can learn a thing or two from cat people on caution. Cats won’t immediately love you, but over time, when they find that you are worthy of their trust, you’ll be rewarded with their affection.
In the career world, cat people would make great bosses while dog people would be the best you’ll ever work with.
Companionship vs. Affection
According to Denise Guastello, an associate professor of psychology at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin, people who prefer dogs are those looking for companionship while those who prefer cats are more into affection. Their need for constant companionship could mean that dog people want someone they can work with every step of the way. We can infer that they perform best in teams and they will be more willing to delegate and share the load as a boss.
Meanwhile, the need for affection may mean that cat people aim more to please and receive recognition for their achievements. They work hard, and work well by themselves. They would still be able to work with teams but their cautious nature will hinder them from effective collaboration, though how much would still depend on the person. In short, their productivity is better when they work alone.
Sensitivity vs. Rule Adherence
By nature, cats have a heightened awareness of their surroundings, including people. Following from their pet preference, cat owners are more sensitive of other people’s feelings and opinions. This is not to say that dog owners are intentionally insensitive. It’s just that, due to their energetic and outgoing nature, they tend to be less concerned of details and signals, and are more likely to focus on the bigger picture. Think of it like this: a cat would stop, assess and prepare before they leap on you, while a dog, in their overwhelming excitement to see you, won’t hesitate to hurl themselves at you though it’ll hurt.
However, when it comes to rules, dog people tend to follow them obediently. While cat people wouldn’t hesitate to bend the rules a little or ignore some completely, dog people normally wouldn’t have the courage to step out of their boundaries.
Intelligence and Open-Mindedness
In the study’s most controversial finding, cat people scored higher on intelligence than dog people, and were found to be more open-minded as well. Though it’s not necessarily true of all people, we can infer that this result can be connected to the cat owners’ tendency to be introverted. As mentioned above, dog people would more likely focus on the bigger picture while cat people are detail-oriented and would excel more in focused professions involving math and science.
From this conclusion, we can say that their different level of intelligence can mean that dog people will most likely be more in tune with abstract thinking than hard logic. But again, it varies with different people. Dog owners can have a healthy balance of both, making them suitable for professions that require it, like lawyers.
Dominance and Independence
The study also revealed that dog owners possess more qualities associated with dominance such as assertiveness, self-confidence, forcefulness, and persistence. This may be a factor of their outgoing nature. They would be more likely to influence other people with their beliefs and convince them to act on it. Again, dog people would make great salesmen and their self-confidence, coupled with their preference of interdependence, means they would also be great team leaders.
On the other hand, cat people have a higher sense of independence than dog people. They tend to follow their own path and be more goal-oriented.
See also: 5 Jobs for Animals Lovers
Many of us may not have known or even thought that our pet preference can actually be a factor of our personalities. The conducted study has been especially enlightening on how our pet preferences can influence or are influencing our career paths. Are you a cat person or a dog person, or both? Were you able to identify with some of the traits revealed in your preference? Let us know in the comments section!