"Dog people" and "cat people" may both fall into the animal lover category, but they're not exactly cut from the same cloth, a new study finds. Carroll University researcher Denise Guastello and her team surveyed 600 college students and found cat lovers to be more open-minded, sensitive, and non-conformist than the dog-fancying majority, which, besides being more outgoing, was more inclined to follow rules. Perhaps the most contentious finding of those presented on Saturday: Cat lovers emerged as more intelligent, LiveScience reports, without elaboration.
The findings echo a 2010 survey that found dog people to be 15% more extroverted and cat people to be 11% more open (indicating they are less likely to have conventional beliefs), Psychology Today reported. Guastello suggests that the mechanics of caring for the respective creatures may play a role—dogs need walks, while introverted cat lovers can curl up with a book. Cat people reported most valuing the affection cats offer, while dog lovers most appreciate the companionship, she adds. As for the breakdown of our own affections, roughly 60% of those surveyed professed to being dog people, while 11% identified as cat people; the rest said they were both or neither. Guastello noted the results could differ among other age groups. (In other dog/cat news, the dog tackled by a "hero cat" has been put down.)