The Psychoanalysis of Dog People and Cat People


     Our sociability can play a huge role in which pet we prefer. Studies show that those who want more contact with people prefer cats, whereas those who don’t want more human attention would prefer dogs.

     For people who prefer dogs, it’s possible that they either don’t enjoy the company of people or think they have too much human contact in their lives. This is because dogs’ personalities are loyal and love their owners as long as they love them in return, a simple transaction. The people who choose dogs could have been in previous toxic relationships and need a reliable source of friendship. The author of “ When Pets Come Between Partners”, Joel Gavriele- Gold, said “dogs are not harmful and humans are. People are inconsistent and dogs are fairly consistent.” The reason why dogs are the most loyal of pets dates back to the Paleolithic Era when man gave food to wolves in exchange for their protection. This gene of human loyalty passed down to domesticated dogs. Service, therapy, and police dogs came from the loyalty they have to humans. Dog owners, from having a trust-based relationship with their dogs, can be more sociable with people from the amount of loyalty with their dogs. When exposed to that amount of devotion, dog owners can become more trusting of humans. Or, less trusting from comparing the relationships with their dogs to the ones with humans.

    Those who prefer cats over dogs want more human contact rather than less, unlike dog people. Cats are a lot like humans because they require more than a dog does to be loyal and present in someone’s life. Psychologists discovered five traits that correspond with human ones; they are known as the “Feline Five.” The traits are: Skittishness, Outgoingness, Dominance, Friendliness, and Spontaneity. Cat owners, who want more human connections, are more likely to be widowed, divorced, or separated (according to a study conducted in 2015 by Scientific American). In human-cat relationships, there is always the possibility of change in the relationship because cats are less dependent on their owners. Cats also care less about pleasing their owners than a dog would.

       Your sociability can change as a result to what animal you choose. You may not be a cat or a dog person, but owning one can change your perspective or personality as a result. A study conducted in 2010 concluded that dog people tend to be more socially extroverted than cat people, but also showed a higher level of mental instability. On the other hand, people with a large number of cats are exposed to the effects of Toxoplasmosis. Being exposed to an animal with Toxoplasmosis causes the people around to be at higher risk for  mental health disorders such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. The notion of the “crazy cat person” was not created by the mental health issues people have prior to adopting a cat or by their personalities, but by the cats with Toxoplasmosis.

     The people who like both dogs and cats could have adopted them for emotional support. Dr. Gavriele-Gold also stated in 2008 that he saw plenty of patients who turned to cats and dogs after facing abuse or betrayal during childhood. In other situations, people choose to adopt a cat or dog to satisfy their need for control. Among all people who own either a cat or dog, it’s likely that the owners live with families including five or more members and are generally empathetic people (also according to the Scientific American 2015 study). Those who like neither cats nor dogs are more likely to have an advanced degree, live in an urban area, and tend to be more independent.

     The complications of human relationships make some choose the presence of dogs. Additionally, dogs prove to be so dependent on their owners, they decide to not leave the presence of their owners, giving the owners a sense of security or appreciation. Cat people may not have experienced the types of relationships that make them want less human interactions. By owning cats, one may have a more realistic relationship to a human than a dog would provide.


Goode, rica. “Sit. Stay. Love. - Is Friendship for the Dogs?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 6 July 2008,

Admin. “How Many People in the World Own Pets?” Yo Doggy Dog, 24 May 2016,

“Just How Different Are Cat People and Dog People?” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers,

Than, Ker. “Study: Cat Parasite Affects Human Culture.” LiveScience, Purch, 3 Aug. 2006,

Washington Post, and The Washington Post. “Feline Five: Cat Personality Types Have a Lot in Common with Humans.” The Denver Post, The Denver Post, 23 Mar. 2016,

“What Does Your Pet Say About You? - Blog.” Bow & Wow,