Is there really a personality difference between cat people and dog people? Absolutely! University of Texas psychologist Dr. Sam Gosling compared personality tests to people’s pet preferences, and here’s what he found: 

  • The biggest difference between dog lovers and cat lovers are their social habits. Dog people tend to score high on measures of extroversion. While cat people prefer to keep to themselves. 

  • Another finding: Dog owners are more trusting. They’re also 13 percent more likely to be altruistic, and do something like volunteer or donate blood. 

  • Cat people tend to be more curious and artistic. The study shows you can also count on your cat-owning friends to help you come up with creative solutions to tough problems. 

Of course, this doesn’t mean a cat owner can’t be the life of a party. And that a dog owner can’t be a great artist. But Dr. Gosling says that we tend to choose pets whose needs fit our personalities. For example, dogs need to be walked, rain or shine. So, it’s no surprise that dog owners tend to be more athletic and self-disciplined. And cat people on the whole are more spontaneous and impulsive. Which makes cats the perfect pet, because they don’t need to be bathed or walked, and they can be left alone for long periods of time. 

Of course, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a dog person or a cat person. Studies show that owning any pet is good for you. And that pet owners in general live longer, healthier lives.