Cat people 'more intelligent' than dog people, study claims

Dogs are more popular while cats are loved by shy types, according to a US study

Zachary Davies Boren
Tuesday 03 June 2014 16:46 BST
What makes someone prefer a cat to a dog?
What makes someone prefer a cat to a dog? (Getty Images)

Much like their preferred animal, "cat people" are introverted, open-minded, non-conformist and just plain more intelligent than their canine loving counterparts, at least according to a new study.

In a personality experiment conducted in the US, and presented at the annual Association for Psychological Science, participants that described themselves as "cat people" scored higher on intelligence than those who identified as "dog people".

600 university students were surveyed about their pet preferences, and then assessed on a number of other factors, in a test that revealed how people gravitate to animals whose personality traits they share.

Denise Guastello, associate professor of psychology at Caroll University in Wisconson, said: “It makes sense that a dog person is going to be more lively, because they're going to want to be out there, outside, talking to people, bringing their dog.

"Whereas, if you're more introverted, and sensitive, maybe you're more at home reading a book, and your cat doesn't need to go outside for a walk."

The study found that dog lovers are lively, energetic and outgoing whereas cat lovers are more introverted, and while dog lovers respect rules. cat lovers value expedience over obedience.

“If you're like that, you appreciate that in an animal, it’s a better match for you,” Guastello said.

In the survey dogs proved much more popular than their feline frenemies. 60 per cent of participants said they preferred dogs compared to 11 per cent for cats, with the rest saying both or neither.

Those who chose dogs said they valued companionship, whereas cat lovers valued affection.

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