Hey, did you know that cat people are smarter than dog people? Or that they’re more sensitive? Or more independent? And dog people, there’s good news for you guys, too. Dog owners tend to be more satisfied with their lives, possibly because they make more money, enjoy more robust social lives, and have more sex. It’s true. Google it.
The stat about dog owners having more sex, for example, came from a small survey conducted by a company that manufactures pet nutraceuticals — but still, it generated a bunch of headlines when it was released.
“We all know perfectly well that people don’t always acquire their pets through their own actions. You might decide to live with and/or marry a person with a beagle named King, and so now you qualify for a new status as part owner of a dog. It’s possible that the reason you were attracted to your intimate partner is because both of you are equally extraverted, but it’s also possible that because like doesn’t always pair up with like, you are the complete introvert.
Taking this one step further, now that you’re King’s co-owner, perhaps having such a large and friendly animal starts to have an impact on you and your personal qualities. Now you have to take this dog out for walks, and because the dog goes ahead and sniffs other dogs, you are almost forced into conversations with strangers that you never would have engaged in otherwise. Over time, perhaps you get a little bit less introverted as you find these conversations to be pretty enjoyable and rewarding. You never thought of yourself as a dog person but now you do.”
The researchers found that dog people scored higher on extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness, while cat people showed higher levels of neuroticism and openness.
A 2007 study in the journal Society and Animals found that cat owners tended to rate their pets as more hostile, while dog owners rated theirs as friendlier, more loving, and more submissive — traits that may speak to to their owners’ emotional needs.