Most people immediately know where they stand with pet preferences. Some folks are devoted dog-lovers, while others wouldn’t think of owning anything other than a cat. Then there are those people that would happily house anything with (or without) fur!  But if you fall in neither category, and are undecided about your own preference, can’t decide what you want, or if you have simply never owned a cat or dog, here are some thoughts for your consideration.

First of all, there are plenty of reasons why you should adopt a cat.  (While we think cats and dogs are equally superb companions, not everyone agrees!)  Numerous studies and observations have been found about people who claim to be cat owners, including their different traits, habits and personalities. For those looking to self-diagnose, the below observations might help you assess whether or not owning a cat really might be for you!

Are You a Cat-Person?

Cat people: Between the two, cat-lovers seem to get more flack than dog-lovers. While we are not sure why that might be the case, those who prefer cats have as many likeable and commendable qualities as those that choose dogs. It is merely a matter of personal preference.  See if your lifestyle and habits line up with any of the below qualities many cat people seem to share.

  • You enjoy independence. Even in friendships and with family, you do not need to be needed and you may enjoy a good amount of alone time. The concept of someone demanding your constant attention, or displaying overt neediness might really put you off.
  • You consider yourself an “open” person. It might be hard to believe that “cat people” are open when cats themselves can be so exact and picky about their diet, taste or lifestyle. However, a recent study in the Anthrozoos journal showed people who are self-described cat fanatics tested higher in open-mindedness than dog lovers. (Another study in 2014 by com found that cat-owners were more likely to lean toward liberal political points of view. While this is not universally true, it is interesting to note in regard to the “open-minded” observation.)
  • You consider yourself sensitive and refined. Whether it is your taste in music, your favorite conversation topics, restaurants, or the way you spend a Saturday night, an appreciation for the “high life” and refinery is in your bloodstream. You might be an avid reader, loving to learn or study, or fascinated by people-watching.  You might enjoy insightful documentaries, or might be a comedy snob, only choosing the most well-written or witty shows.  You put a lot of thought into your life choices, are sensitive to your own needs. When it comes down to it, you really prefer things to be a certain way.
  • You greatly value your cat’s affection. Because cats can be independent and at times withdrawn, you appreciate the value of their attention and affection, whenever it is offered to you. In 2007, Tuskegee University found that cat owners see their pets as equals in the relationship, like that of a friend or roommate.  (You just happen to be the one who knows where all the goodies are stored!)
  • You tend to be more introverted. Not every extrovert is drawn to dogs, and not every introvert prefers a cat. But a study conducted by Carroll University just last year, found that out of 600 college students, those that described themselves as introverted were more likely to select “cat” as their pet of choice than “dog.”
  • You are self-aware. If your personal appearance is almost always intact. You like to keep a lint-roller close by, a comb in your bag, and some hand sanitizer in your car. In this way your habits mirror that of a cat’s more than a dog’s.  If pet hair on your jeans or couch pillow is just not something you’d abide, then the groom-happy cat might be the best pet for you.   (Dog-lovers don’t despair! Just because you’d choose a Golden Retriever over a silky Persian does not mean you have no sense of self-grooming. It just means that other things in life have more of your focus.)   
  • You like cat paraphernalia. Does that sound strange? Picture this: your kitchen has that poster that says “Paris” and has a black cat facing the Eiffel Tower.  You just couldn’t resist the cat mug, or cat clock, and you follow celebrity cats or feline fan group (like Grumpy Cat) on Twitter so you won’t miss any cute GIFs or memes! If you would rather watch that fluffy kitten try to squeeze into a box, rather than a puppy roll around on the grass… then you might be a cat person in the making!

NOTE: These observations are largely based on studies and characteristics about feline behaviors. They are meant to be generalizations, not all-encompassing or irrefutable truths. Not every person who prefers cats will identify with the items on this list, and dog-lovers might find they connect with many of the below tendencies. The world is a richly varied place, and though these are fascinating correlations, there is always room to wiggle in the great animal kingdom!