The term “man’s best friend” is usually exclusive to the canine species. However, more and more American families are bringing feline friends into their homes. An article by ABC News provides the statistics that 39% of U.S. households own a dog, while 33% own a cat. The felines are quickly catching up to their floppy-eared competition as “man’s best friend”.
Many factors contribute to one’s claim of being a “cat person” or a “dog person”, such as age, home style, upbringing, and even personality.
Young adults with energetic children to help play with the pet usually lean toward the ever loyal and active canine family. The sometimes large dog will calm its puppy demeanor as it ages, just as its human family will. A dog serves as an ideal pet for a young owner.
Felines tend to find themselves in the homes of older adults due to their calmer and more independent personality. Cats are not too large and their “curious kitten phase” can be quelled easily with the right treatment. For the most part, they are mellow and tender; a perfect addition to a family looking to own a loving pet without all of the maintenance of a lively dog.
Likewise, those with roomy homes and grassy yards have a tendency to bring a dog into their family, for the energetic puppy will make good use of the room (and hopefully not soil the carpet behind the couch).
Cats, however, integrate themselves into smaller homes and apartment life quite well. They have no need to for a large yard to run around in, the nooks and crannies of a home are their playground. These affectionate felines often don’t understand the concept of a “personal space bubble” and will never hesitate to let you know they’re hanging around (sometimes in the strangest places). Brooke Royals, a junior at Steignbrenner High School describes her pet ownership: “My cat likes to cuddle with me and ride on my shoulder like a parrot, but I’m not sure if that’s a universal thing.”
No matter the pros and cons of pet ownership, people usual lean toward the animal that they were raised with. Those raised with wagging tails and slobbery tongues often consider themselves to be “dog people”, just as those who grew up with playful pounces and soft purring claim the term “cat person”.
Even human personalities resonate with the animals we bring into our homes. Moderndog Magazine’s “Dog people vs. Cat people” article delves into the psychological reasoning behind favoring one species to another. Dog owners tend to be more outgoing much like their canine counterpart. These people are generally friendly and social as well as self-disciplinary. “Dog people” like to have a plan to aid their drive for success. In contrast, “cat people” are usually more introverted and neurotic, yet they have a larger appreciation for the arts, curiosity, and thinking outside of the box.
Dogs and cats have many differences in both needs and behavior. The two species are often put at odds in cartoons and movies, giving them the reputation of “mortal enemies”. In reality, a pet brought into the household serves to be an integral addition to the family.