- A study by Carroll University, Wisconsin found that cat owners scored more highly on an intelligence test than dog owners and are more sensitive too
- Dog lovers tend to be more energetic, outgoing and rule-abiding
- One psychologist believes the reason for the personality differences may be down to the types of environment that pet owners are drawn to
Pet owners have long fought like cats and dogs about whether felines or canines make the best furry companions.
But now a new study claims that cat owners are smarter than dog owners – regardless of their pet's intelligence.
The research revealed that the owners of the two animals tend to have different personalities - with cat lovers being more sensitive and open-minded than dog lovers who are largely energetic.
A study by Carroll University, Wisconsin found that cat owners scored more highly on an intelligence test than dog owners.
Dog lovers tend to be more energetic and outgoing than cat owners and follow rules more obediently, Live Science reported.
Speaking at the annual Association for Psychological Science meeting in Chicago, psychology professor Denise Guastello said that cat owners are more introverted, sensitive and open-minded than dog people. They also tend to be better at breaking rules.
She thinks that the reason for these differences if the types of environment that cat and dog owners are drawn to.
‘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.’
A total of 600 students took a survey to reveal their personality traits and were asked whether they are cat or dog lovers.
Around 60 per cent of people identified themselves as 'dog people' – around six times as many as the number of students who said they love cats. Around a third of those questioned claimed they liked or disliked both animals equally.
Professor Guastello thinks that people might select a pet based on their own personality so that energetic people are attracted to energetic pets, like dogs.
While the study might seem like a bit of fun, the findings could be used to improve the effectiveness of pet therapy in order to make better matches between pets and people.