A new wave of pet-friendly dating websites signal something many have known all along – that pet-owners make better lovers. Well, maybe not lovers, but according to a new study from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas led by anthropology professor Peter Gray, owning a pet indicates you are more likely to possess care-giving tendencies that are inherently attractive. Although there are undeniably health benefits to having either a pet dog or cat, but according to the research owning a dog says something different about you than owning a cat, at least in the minds of others.
Dog owners tend to be extraverted, more agreeable and conscientious
What does owning a boxer say about us? Well, because boxers tend to be high-energy and playful owning a boxer might say we are happy-go-lucky and on the go, but what does the research say? Dog owners represent 47 percent of American’s, and according to another study from the University of Austin, Texas (4,565 volunteers were interviewed,) they do tend to be more extraverted, more agreeable, and more conscientious than cat people.
Cat owners tend to be introverted, intelligent non-conformists
Research shows that owning a cat (37 percent of American households ) may mean you tend to be more introverted and apparently more non-conformist. Of course it makes sense that you might not be as social with a cat – you’re not taking them for a walk every 7 hours so you can sit inside and read (or binge on Netflix) instead if you want. A third study, this time from Carroll University, suggests that cat owners tend to be more intelligent as well.
On average, people see owning a dog as more of indication of compatibility than owning a cat
Returning to the original cited study out of University of Nevada, Las Vegas – it found that an statistically significant number of women and men that a relationship would be likely to work with a “dog person,” but less people surveyed said that it could work with a “cat person.” Surprisingly 25% of men and 33% of women say that they’ve been attracted to someone just because of their pet; and once again, more often dogs have been the cause of that attraction than cats.
Cats in the wild are less social and hunt at night, and dogs run in packs and are active during the day
If we’re really looking for why these studies make sense, we can look at the behavior of cats and dogs in the wild. What are they like socially without humans? Cats in the wild don’t mind being by themselves, they hunt for prey at night. Wild dogs on the other hand run in packs and hunt and socialize during the day. So is this why introspective, iconoclasts might love cats? And friendly happy-go-lucky social creatures might identify with dogs more?
The most hilarious study I read on this topic suggests that cat’s have more in common with their wildcat relatives like lions, and that your cat may actually want to kill you. The three personality traits they point to that house cats have in common with lions are dominance, impulsiveness and neuroticism. Perhaps the erraticism of cats isn’t completely bad though, just like the studies might suggest about their owners, pet cats often display playfulness, excitability and can be impulsive and hilarious.