Why do some people prefer canines as pets more than felines, and vice versa? Research has shown that dogs are far more popular than cats. Also, it is notable that children prefer dogs over cats. In the U. S., it is estimated that a whopping 60.2 million households own dogs while cat owners number 47.1 million. But why?

Evidently, this has something to do with a concept called “psychological ownership.” The New York Institute of Technology states that it has to do with dogs being more controllable than cats. Also, the psychological makeup of dog people is less neurotic, and they seem to have an overall sense of well-being. In an online survey, it was found that people who are self-proclaimed dog people are self-disciplined, have a strong sense of duty, and are planners. The survey also revealed that dog owners are 15% more extroverted than cat owners. Psychological ownership also has to do with “emotional attachment” to the animal. Therefore, we become attached to our pets and treat them as four-legged family members.

Moreover, the same online survey revealed that people who prefer cats are 11% more open, in that they are nontraditional thinkers, creative, curious, and artistic. However, cat people seem to be easily stressed and worry more than dog people. Cat lovers also like to spend time alone, and are open to new things. But dog people are faithful and trusting just like their canine counterparts. Survey author and psychologist at the University of Texas in Austin, Sam Gosling, says, “There is a widely held cultural belief that the pet species–dog or cat–with which a person has the strongest affinity says something about the individual’s personality, and this research suggests there are significant differences on major personality traits between dog people and cat people.”

While dogs give you an opportunity to have social interaction with others when walking your dog or taking him to the park, they are a lot more work than cats. Since cats tend to live longer than dogs, cat owners are entering into a longer period of commitment than dog people. It is said that “cats own the people” rather than “people owning the cats.” Cats will not provide you with the social interaction that dogs will since cats have an independent nature and may hide or simply walk away should you have company. However, they are the stars of cyberspace, and appear regularly on social media sites.

Whether you are a dog person or a cat person, it is important that you are an animal lover. Owning a pet does relieve loneliness, and has been proven to reduce stress. If you are a dog lover, you have a four-legged, little friend that is always happy to see you, and will greet you at the door, wagging his tail. Even if you have had a difficult day, his demeanor can cheer you and let you know that you are loved unconditionally. If you are a cat lover, he may or may not greet you at the door, but his purring can soothe the soul, and give you a sense of peace and contentment. It is no wonder that animal ownership is so prevalent in our society.

Sources:

https://bigthink.com/surprising-science/dogs-versus-cats

https://pets.webmd.com/ss/slideshow-truth-about-cat-people-and-dog-people

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/tech-support/201501/3-things-being-cat-person-or-dog-person-reveals-about-you

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/canine-corner/201002/personality-differences-between-dog-and-cat-owners

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