“Who are better: dogs or cats?” This topic has been passionately debated numerous times. I see dogs as the archetypes of a perfect best friend; loving, loyal, happy. On the other side, I see cats as emotionally apathetic. They perch on their edges of couches, look out at their living-room kingdom, and see their humans not as masters or even fellow pack mates, but as their servants. The human’s sole purpose in life is to serve them food.
I have not met a cat who did not find my friendliness overbearing. They always promptly morph from a cute fluffy kitten to a ravenous, livid lion. I still have a white scar on the thumb of my right hand given to me by one of many angry cat. I simply just don’t relate with these animals. However, my friends can swoon over a cat in a box, playing with yarn for hours. So why I am so unable to relate to cats? Is there something personality answers the age old question: are you a dog lover or a cat lover?
To answer this question, I looked at a study from Stanely Coren, Ph.D. on psychologytoday.com. There is a great division between cat and d. og lovers. 70% of cat owners said they would not own dogs. 68% of dog owners said they would never own cats. So what is it about cats and dogs that seem to separate us humans distinctly? According to this study, it can be traced back the main criteria in the Myer Brigg’s personality test: whether one is introverted or extroverted.
The study showed that generally dog lovers are more social as opposed to cat owner. Dog people are 15% more extroverted than cat people. It seemed to me that when people choose their preferred pet, they tend to look for their own qualities in their animals.This makes sense. When forming relationships, we tend to find people with similar interests as ourselves.
So why do my friends love their feline friends while I love my delightful dogs? In other words, what attracts people to cats? People who own cats tend to score low in warmth and dominance. In un-psychological terms, this is a person who is shy and uncomfortable in social gatherings. A cat seems to stray away from groups of people. Its comfort zone is in the comfy cardboard box in the corner rather than the center of attention.
The cat owner relates to this behavior. Cat owners have an affinity for art, curiosity, unconventional ideas, and adventure. All of these traits are part of a cat’s daily lives. They explore the outdoors like it is their kingdom. They have an aura of confidence and grace when they walk which definitely awakens an aesthetic sense in humans.They can experiment on a ball of yarn for hours.
By studying the different personalities, I finally understand where people’s love for cats come from. They see themselves in the personalities of the cats: slightly emotionally aloof, adventurous, curious, and unique. Perhaps the next time I come in contact with a cat, I will treat it as I would a poet deep in thought; I will leave it alone so it can create joy for people far more sophisticated than me. Then I will find something far more my style: a dog with a wagging tail
Photo by Trish Hamme