Many people self-categorize as “dog people” or “cat people,” which seems to say something about their personalities, though it isn’t always quantified quite what. It tends to be taken for granted that dog people are most extroverted, people-pleasing, and friendly while cat people are more introverted and curious. This gets complicated, though, as dog owners can self identify as cat people and vice versa.
A study by Sam Gosling and Carson J. Sandy at the University of Texas Austin too this into account by asking about 4500 people whether they identified as dog people or cat people and measuring certain facets of their personality. Findings of the study included that cat people were 12% more neurotic and 11% more open than dog people. Dog people, meanwhile, were 11% more conscientious, 15% more extroverted, and 13% more agreeable than cat people (Gosling and Sandy, 2010).
These differences were not huge, and many self identified cat people and dog people cross the boundaries of personality set out by these results.
The findings this study may have interesting implication for future research, as personality type could help match those who need animal therapy to the most appropriate pet.