Cat Vs. Dog People

by Susana Vega
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Jack

Jack prefers quiet atmospheres and minimal social interaction

I think I’m a cat person. Without reading any studies or taking any Facebook quizzes I say this because I prefer a quiet atmosphere late in the evening and minimal social interaction. I also say this the same moment our cat Jack demands my attention by rubbing himself back and forth against my legs; when particularly insistent he head-buts my shin or lifts his paw to my knee. It’s late now, nearly midnight, and the dogs have gone to sleep. It’s these late night or (on occasion if I manage to get up early enough) early morning moments that Jack “deigns” to shower me with his affection. Any other hour of the day he remains withdrawn, even aloof, and apparently irritated by the presence of all our other furbabies. I like to think we understand each other in these somewhat hazy hours; where the only noise is the sound of our beagle snoring. Jack came into my life by way of my partner, who claims to be a dog person. Yet she had Jack since he was a feral kitten and I had Penny, my “cat-like” dog since she was a anxious pup. There are certainly studies pointing to actual personality differences in cat and dog people.  One study is even looking at using their research to assist in pet therapy programs, thereby improving pet/people match-ups. These studies tell us dog people are more extroverted, agreeable, and conscientious. Yet cat people are more open and neurotic (this is not necessarily a bad thing!).  Dog people may be more dominant (i.e. assertive, confident) than the more timid, unaggressive cat folk. Interestingly, despite our shy, withdrawn tendencies cat people are more trusting.

The blogger and her dog, Penny

The blogger and her dog, Penny

I’m not sure how that works, but let’s go with it. So far, this seems fairly accurate for my partner and I.  So perhaps in this case the labeling of dog or cat person is fair and makes sense. Yet, as I type I hear George, our other cat, meowing down the hall. It’s now after midnight and the noise is startling.  There are two possible reasons for his noise at this hour. 1) He wants me to open the door to pester our foster kitty who prefers her own room for now or 2) He wants me to go with him downstairs while he eats.  Not to feed him, no, he just wants someone to be near him while he eats.  George likes his company, cozying up with the dogs, and would live a happy life if I had him attached to my lap the entire day every day.  Our vet assured us he is actually a cat, though she did seem to struggle with that conclusion.  So my cat self and my dog partner care for our odd couple of cats; throw in the 4 dogs, 2 goats, and some fosters and we are simply animal people. Or perhaps as Jackson Galaxy host of Animal Planet’s My Cat from Hell, says “We have to stop this ridiculousness of classifying ourselves. I’m a cat guy, I’m a dog guy. I’m ‘bi-petual.’”

Between Jack and I though, we know cat people are more intelligent just don’t tell the dog people that. They’re aggressive you know.