Is there really a difference between cat people and dog people? A room full of pet owners would say yes! But are dog people really more social, and are cat people really more creative?
The scientific study
Sam Gosling, a psychologist at the University of Texas, recently published a study that reveals a true personality difference between people who identify as “cat people” vs. “dog people.” Those who prefer cats exclusively tend to be more neurotic and introverted, but scored higher on openness, (related to creativity and imagination). Those who prefer dogs really are more extroverted, but tend to prefer planned activities over spontaneous behavior.
So if there really is a difference between dog people and cat people, can the two ever co-exist in a relationship? Can love conquer puppy slobber or a dirty litter box?
My husband and I are living proof that dog people and cat people can have a great relationship! I’m a cat person; I love all animals, but the only pet I need is a cat. He very much prefers dogs, and doesn’t understand my feline obsession. To make matters worse, my husband is allergic to cats. It’s more of an annoyance than a full-blown medical issue, but it still caused weeks of itchy eyes and sniffles when he moved in. Although I love our dog, his constant attention-seeking behavior and rigid schedule just confirm my cat-person status. My husband pretends to hate the cat, yet I sometimes catch him cooing at her when he thinks no one is listening. She’s slowly won him over, but he is adamant about keeping us a one-cat household.
Part of the success of our relationship is that we both take on pet duty, but it’s definitely skewed to our preferred pets. Because the cat is “mine,” I’m on full-time litter box patrol. My husband is much better about feeding both pets on time, and keeping us stocked up on pet food. We both do walks and trips to the dog park.
I believe our relationship works because neither of of us are extreme examples of our pet-preference personality. Yes, he’s less spontaneous and I’m more scatter-brained, but we’re both social and creative people. The animals themselves help by being loveable, and getting along so we don’t have to have a “cat room” or a “dog floor” like my mom and step-dad.
Dog people and cat people can live peacefully together, but it takes compromise and an appreciation for the unique qualities of both parties. So what if your wife is an outgoing, type-A dog person? Maybe she can help you make friends or stay organized. Is your husband a quiet, artistic cat person? Perhaps he’s the one to diffuse arguments and come up with weird, fun stuff to do!
Celebrating your differences might just be the best part of a successful relationship!