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Dog Person vs. Cat Person: Psychological Differences Explained

Written by: Kathryn Copeland

Last Updated on April 12, 2024 by Dogster Team

Dog Person vs. Cat Person: Psychological Differences Explained

The cat versus dog argument is as old as there have been dogs and cats. The differences between the two animals are quite apparent, but do those differences translate to their owners’ personalities?

Is it possible that you prefer a certain pet because you have a specific personality type? There are studies on this subject that might confirm your suspicions.1

Read on if you’d like to learn more about the differences between cat people and dog people. You might even learn something new about yourself!


Extroverted vs. Introverted

Cat People

Cat people are considered more introverted and less social than dog people. This might be because they enjoy staying inside and curling up with a good book over being forced to go outside every day to walk a dog. Cat people are more likely to be quiet, calm, and introspective.

Dog People

Dog people enjoy going outside, as they get the opportunity to socialize with neighbors and other dog walkers. This means dog people are more likely to be extroverts, which can make them more outgoing, energetic, and enthusiastic.

senior woman cuddling with her dog
Image Credit: Ground Picture, Shutterstock



Cat People

Given that cats are quite independent, it seems likely that cat people are also independent. They tend to have minds of their own and don’t need to spend copious hours taking care of their pet. There are no walks, baths, or separation anxiety to worry about.

Dog People

Since dogs are quite dependent on their owners for almost everything, dog people can be considered dependent on their pets too. They welcome the close companionship and interactions with their dog.

happy young caucasian woman with her cat using laptop at home
Image Credit: Fusso_pics, Shutterstock


Open Mindedness

Cat People

Cat people tend to be more open and relaxed about things. Since cats can be left alone for longer periods than dogs, cat people can be more open to new experiences. They can also be considered almost unconventional at times.

Dog People

Dog people tend to prefer to plan everything in advance and opt for a firm daily routine. This is necessary when owning a dog because it is practically impossible not to have a schedule when your dog relies on you for so much.

man and woman looking at their phone with their dog
Image By: Karolina Grabowska, Pexels


Rules or Rule-Breaking

Cat People

Cats break the rules all the time, and cat people also tend to be non-conformists. Rules and rigidity about things are less important to cat people.

Dog People

Dog people tend to be more rule-bound than cat people. Essentially, they are more obedient, like their dogs, and more likely to follow the rules.

close up woman hugging a cat
Image By: Trusova Evgeniya, Shutterstock


Cat People

Cat people tend to be more anxious, and some might even be more inclined to neurotic disorders.

Dog People

Dog people can be more laidback and easygoing and tend not to sweat the small stuff. Being extroverts can also make them more generally agreeable.

Woman and dog sleeping
Image By: meruyert gonullu, Pexels



Cat People

Cat people generally tend to be less energetic. Choosing a pet that doesn’t need to go for long walks or runs makes things easier if you’re low-key and would rather stay home and cook or read.

Dog People

When you opt to have a dog in your life, you know that you’ll be taking your pet outside for multiple walks daily. Some breeds need long walks and even runs to get the required exercise. So, if you’re a dog person, you tend to be more energetic.

man with cat and laptop
Image By: New Africa, Shutterstock


Cat People

Cat people are stereotypically women and unmarried folks, and the more cats the person has, and the older they get, the more likely they are viewed or even called a “cat lady.” Also, some members of society might consider a man less masculine just for loving or preferring cats.

Dog People

Dog people are luckier than cat people in how the world perceives them. Dogs are generally well-loved except by people who fear them or have had a bad experience with them (though the same can be said for people who don’t like cats).

Dogs are essentially viewed as more masculine than cats. Many members of society tend to erroneously view all dogs as male and all cats as female. Still, there isn’t anything like the “cat lady” symbol for dog people.

man fishing with german sheperd beside him
Image By: Marcus Holman, Shutterstock

divider-dog paw

Extra Facts

Here are a few extra interesting facts about cat people and dog people.

First, there are more dog owners than cat owners in the United States. There are 69 million dogs compared to 45.3 million cats. The opposite is true in Canada, where there are 8.5 million cats and 7.9 million dogs.

What about those who consider themselves both a cat and dog person? Apparently, they still take on more dog people characteristics, but this is debatable, as is the idea that cat people are considered more intelligent than dog people.

Cat people are more likely to be single, live in apartments in a city, and be a woman. Dog people tend to be more likely to live in a house in a rural area.

Finally, dog owners tend to be interested in companionship, and cat lovers are looking for affection. Of course, not every cat is affectionate, but that’s all part and parcel of belonging to a cat.



Please keep in mind that this article includes many generalities. After all, not every cat person is an introvert, not every dog person is agreeable, and not all cat people are cat ladies!

Where there are differences between cat people and dog people, the one thing that we all have in common is a love for an animal that we consider to be a member of our family. And that’s a wonderful similarity!

Featured Image Credit: JumpStory

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