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Pet Lovers


Dog People vs Cat People

There are two main categories of pet lovers in this world: People who prefer dogs as pets, aka “Dog people”,…

There are two main categories of pet lovers in this world: People who prefer dogs as pets, aka “Dog people”, and those who prefer cats as pets, aka “Cat people”. Those who have welcomed both dogs and cats into their family still seem to lean one way or the other in terms of favor. Do you believe that?

At Holiday Barn Pet Resorts, we work with both dog and cat people. Obviously, there are differences in all people, but the fact that one has a dog and another has a cat does not seem to make a noticeable difference. Most of us love animals in general, but statistics show that choosing either a dog over a cat or vise-versa may have something to say about our personality and preferences.

The differences between dog and cat people have long been the topic of research and speculation. The research has gone so far as to drill down on specific occupations and personality based on preference. There are some statistics online that are believed to be factual:

Statistic #1: A dog person is more of an extrovert and a cat person is more of an introvert.

I admit, I can see maybe a smidgeon (a very tiny smidgeon) of truth in a dog person being more of an extrovert. Having a dog means you have to take him out and be among people, right? Dogs must be walked… which entails seeing the neighbors… which entails our dogs sniffing their dogs… which forces us to interact and be sociable (or, perhaps rude, I guess). That does not mean you like being sociable, but over time, you probably become more sociable. However, I am not convinced that choosing a cat over a dog makes you an introvert. Just how deliberate were we when choosing one over the other? When you were at the shelter, did you say to yourself, “I’d better get the cat because I don’t like taking my dog for a walk and seeing the neighbors”? No, you probably said, “That cat is the most adorable thing in the world and I want her.” Generally, choosing a pet is an emotional choice, not a “calculated” one.

Another reason I don’t buy this is personal. I consider myself to be a dog person, but if cat people are more introverted, then I should be a cat person. I am definitely more introverted. And, working in the pet field, I know more introverted dog people than extroverted dog people. In all honesty, I grew up with a cat that I simply adored, so I guess that somewhere along the way, I magically transformed from an introverted cat person to an extroverted dog person. Is that even possible?

Some research suggests that our individual personality aligns with the pet that we choose. If we are introverted, refined, maybe aloof, prefer quiet time and solitude, then we would be like a cat and most likely choose a cat as a pet. If we are extroverted, social, prefer parties to intimate gatherings, we would be more like a dog, and more likely to choose a dog as a pet. Hmmm….

Here are a couple more statistics3 that will make you go “Hmmmm”….

Statistic #2: Dog owners are more likely to work in a business field, whereas cat owners are more likely to work in creative fields.

I just don’t think that there is any logic to this at all. Besides, I think I can prove otherwise…

A few years back, our local chamber hosted some B2B (Business to Business) events. Chamber members would go to a specified place and set up a table with information about their business. There were many types of businesses represented, but predominately “business-type” fields (as opposed to “creative” fields). As is customary for Holiday Barn, we would prepare treats to hand-out to the attendees to take home to their pets. Because our percentage of dog customers are so much higher than our percentage of cat customers at our resorts, we would take a large supply of dog treats to hand out, and a much smaller supply of cat treats. Surprisingly, the cat treats disappeared at the Chamber event, and we barely put a dent in the dog treats. In talking with attendees, I learned that people in business were more likely to have a cat at home because of the long hours that they work. With a cat, they didn’t have to worry about running home to let it out to potty, as they would have had to do with a dog. I tell you that whole story to say that – in my world – there are more cat people in business fields.

A side note… COVID-19 may have changed that tendency because so many of us are working from home now. With the ability to take our dog out to potty whenever we want, I think our choice of a pet would paint a much clearer picture of our true preferences, wouldn’t it?

Statistic #3: Cat people are smarter than Dog people.

So, according to the statistics, the people who chose business finance as their career, and thus handle our “affairs” are not as smart? Shouldn’t we be worried?

There was a study by Carroll University in Wisconsin that surveyed 600 people and found that cat people were more intelligent than dog people. Don’t shoot me, I’m just the messenger. I’m trying to find the truth here. I guess if our introverted cat people stayed home to read a book, while the extroverted dog people were out dancing (or whatever), perhaps the cat people did accumulate more knowledge through reading? But knowledge and intelligence are not the same things. I just don’t buy that one. That’s yet another one of those things that make you go “Hmmm”…

Statistic #4: Dog owners spend more money on clothing, accessories, and entertainment than cat owners do.

This same survey (by Mars Petcare) revealed that dog owners tend to make more money than cat owners. Well, making more money normally equates to spending more money, right? I get that… But I wonder what cat owners spend their money on?

So if Statistic #2 is correct – that dog owners are more likely to work in a business field and cat owners are more likely to work in a creative field – then it all lines up: Business fields do seem to pay better than creative fields. I suppose you could argue that it all depends on what type of creative careers we are talking about when considering who makes the most money. If it’s movie stars (acting), famous authors (writing), and artists (obviously not of the “starving” variety), then our creative cat owners would make more money.

BUT that kind-of destroys my findings (from my B2B experience) that more cat people are in the business field than dog people. Maybe it’s just that there are more cat people in business in Richmond VA as opposed to everywhere else.

(Just kidding)

Maybe I’m over thinking this whole thing.


The most intriguing information I found was done by Facebook. They used pictures of dogs and cats to determine who were “dog people” and who were “cat people” within their social platform. Then they compared the two. Their findings were very interesting. Among other things, they concluded that dog people have more friends than cat people; cat people tend to be friends with other cat people; while dog people prefer friends with dogs; and that cat people are more likely to be single. Facebook also delved into which types of movies dog and cat people preferred, what they like to read, where they live, and so on. They found that cat people preferred more indoor activity, thus reading and watching TV were tops on their list of activities. Likewise, cat people preferred science fiction and fantasy, while dog people liked love stories. And you know that thing on Facebook where you can choose an emoji based on how you’re “feeling”? They learned that cat people are more likely to say they are feeling tired, but also happy and loved, and seemed to express a wider variety of feelings than dog people. Dog people were more likely to express excitement or pride.

How are Dog People and Cat People alike?

According to the study by MarsPetcare that I mentioned earlier, dog people and cat people do have some things in common. “More than a fifth take their pet on vacation with them, a quarter eat meals with their pets and more than a third buy their pets presents on birthdays and holidays.” Well, of course!

Better Homes and Garden Magazine agrees that dog and cat people have several things in common. One is that we greet our pets before greeting our family when we get home. Guilty. Another is that we have several nicknames for our pets. Guilty. They also say that both dog and cat people like to cuddle with their pets. Definitely! But the article had one similarity of dog people and cat people that I just do not get: They said we both like to sing to our pets. Maybe I am the exception, but I don’t sing to my dog. I mean, I have before – being silly – but it is not something I do on a regular basis. Am I missing something? Do you sing to your pet?

Of all the dog lovers and cat lovers that bring their beloved pets to Holiday Barn, I can, with confidence, state a few major similarities between dog lovers and cat lovers: Both adore their pets, both want what is best for their pets, both are friendly and caring (we have the BEST customers!). And we are all so proud of our pets, often sharing pictures from our phones with other pet owners.

Statistically, it may be true that dog and cat people are different in some ways, and they may not see eye-to-eye on many things, but there is one thing we all agree on: There is nothing like having a furry friend in our life to love, regardless of whether they bark or meow.

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