Who’s Smarter–Dog People or Cat People?

What does your preference say about you?

The battle of dogs versus cats is age-old. Perhaps just as longstanding is the debate of dog people vs. cat people: which is the smarter, better bunch? A new study that was recently presented at the Association for Psychological Science’s annual meeting shows that one group trumps the other when it comes to intelligence.

The study surveyed 600 college students to find out whether they considered themselves “dog people” or “cat people”. The participants were then asked to respond to a host of questions meant to gauge personality traits and knowledge levels.

All said and done, the dog lovers ranked higher in the areas of energy and sociability, but the cat lovers pulled in higher marks in intelligence. Cat lovers tended to be independent thinkers and rule-breakers, while the dog lovers reported being more likely to err on the side of caution when it comes to following rules.

The researchers found that a higher percentage of people said they were dog lovers–60 percent–while self-reporting cat lovers accounted for just 11 percent of the study group (the rest said they liked both or neither of the animals).

Researchers say the study results may be due to the fact that people seek out pets that are like themselves. For example, a more introverted person may prefer a cat, because felines tend to be more independent and demand less socialization than dogs. Extroverted people, on the other hand, may jump at the opportunity a new dog presents to get out and meet other dog lovers for playdates.

Are the results conclusive? Of course not. The survey only focused on college students, so it’s unclear how the results would translate for other age groups. But it certainly adds some fuel to the dog people vs. cat people fire! So how about you–are you a dog person or cat person? Do you agree with the survey’s findings?

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