Cats, Dogs, and Relationships

Cats, Dogs, and Relationships What do different pets say about their owners? It’s true that owners of different pets tend to have certain traits that would make them a match for such an animal. In other words, the choice of animal a person makes gives you some insight into the individual: their personality, their outlook on life, what they are interested in, and so on. An important element of relationships is the need for new people to be sharp and effective new relationship detectives. The sooner you find out what the other is like and about, the better ability you will have to decide whether or not this person would be a good fit and match for you. Therefore, in this article, a few personality characteristics will be given regarding what having certain animals says about their owner. Now, while these are generalizations that often apply, of course there are exceptions to the rule. Nevertheless, please utilize this information for what it is meant for: some insight into what a prospective long-term partner is about. And while this information alone isn’t enough to make your decision about a person (to continue or end a relationship), it can be a part of the decision equation. It says something about them, often something important.

Animal Types

Cats and Dogs:

"Dog people" and "cat people" really do have different personalities, according to studies. People who said they were dog lovers in the study tended to be more lively -- meaning they were more energetic and outgoing -- and also tended to follow rules closely. Cat lovers, on the other hand, were more introverted, more open-minded and more sensitive than dog lovers. Cat people also tended to be non-conformists, preferring to be expedient rather than follow the rules.

And in a finding that's sure to spark rivalries among pet owners, cat lovers scored higher on intelligence than dog lovers. Part of the reason for the personality differences may be related to the types of environments cat or dog people prefer.
It makes sense that a dog person is going to be more lively, because they're going to want to be out there, outside, talking to people, bringing their dog. Whereas, if you're more introverted, and sensitive, maybe you're more at home reading a book, and your cat doesn't need to go outside for a walk.

In a researchers survey of 600 college students, more people said they were dog lovers than cat lovers: About 60 percent of participants identified themselves as dog people, compared with 11 percent who said they were cat people. (The rest said they liked both animals, or neither animal.) Dog lovers found companionship to be the most attractive quality in their pet dogs, while cat people liked the affection from their cats. Another study of more than 4,500 people found that dog lovers tend to be more extroverted (or outgoing), and conscientious (or rule-following).

It's possible that people may select pets based on their own personality. For example, cats are often seen as independent animals that keep to themselves, and are cautious of others. If you're like that, you appreciate that in an animal, it's a better match for you.


Other Animals/General Rule of Thumb: Besides cats and dogs, people may own a variety of other pets as well. Rule of thumb: the lower maintenance the type of animal, the less invested and important that pet is to the person, and the less important their pets are to them in general. This may possibly indicate less willingness to invest and make efforts towards others in general, such as with owners or fish, birds, gerbils, turtles, reptiles, etc. Conversely, a person having a horse or large farm animals requires higher effort and maintenance, possibly showing higher commitment and effort to other humans as well—as long as this effort is not given to animals only. Such animals usually play a larger role in the person’s life.

Final Thoughts:

As mentioned previously, what pets a person chooses to have tells you something about them as the owner. Beyond their choice in pet, take a further look at how they treat and interact with their animals for further information. How important are these animals to them? Are their pets acting as human relationship substitutes? Do these people treat their pets as more important that other humans, including you? Is the care they give their animals more/better than what they give to their other family members? Conversely, do they ignore, neglect, or mistreat their pets? Or are they kind, loving, doting, and affectionate to their pets—and you? Is any of this treatment similar to or different from the treatment you see them give the other humans in their life—especially you? Final thought: remember that humans and human relationships are ultimately the most important ones, especially that of man and woman, husband and wife. Look for a significant other who clearly understands that. Because “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 11:1.

Dr. G
P.S. If you have any questions, comments, or a future article request for me, feel free to contact me at

2022-08-06 Randy Gilchrist Dating, Healthy relationships, Conflict resolution

Previous article Next article

About the author

Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (, practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at; email me questions to