People often describe their personalities in terms of animals: “curious like a cat,” “loyal like a dog.” This got us wondering how personalities are correlated with pet preference?
Most Americans (53%) consider themselves a dog person – unsurprising considering that dogs are the most popular household pet. And the rest of America is split into cat people (22%) or hold no firm preference for either (24%).
Married Americans are significantly more likely to identify as dog people (and signal their preference through Christmas card photos and car decals), while the unmarried among us are more likely to cuddle up with a cat.
After declaring their feline, canine, or untethered allegiance, we asked a representative sample of Americans to complete the Big Five personality test.
Both dog and cat people over-index on openness to experiences compared to those with no furry allegiance. You have to be really open-minded to routinely bag dog poop and filter used kitty litter.
Dog people are more often the outgoing, social, tail-wagging extroverts you’d expect, while cat people tend to be more neurotic and prone to skittishness (back arched and hair raised). They’re called scaredy cats for a reason.
Regardless of furry friend preference, Americans generally have agreeable (60% reveal they are kind & trusting) and conscientious (64% reveal they are self-disciplined & motivated) personalities. Maybe America isn’t the dog-eat-dog world it’s sometimes made out to be.