Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Healthy Pets

Font Size

Your Pet May Predict Your Personality

Study Shows 'Dog People' May Be More Outgoing, 'Cat People' More Creative
WebMD Pet Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Jan. 14, 2010 -- Are you a "cat person" or a "dog person"? Even people who don't own either pet tend to self-identify as one or the other, and the answer may say something about their personalities, a study shows.

As a rule, dogs are more social and eager to please, while cats are more introverted and curious.

In the new study, self-described cat and dog people appeared to share these traits.

"Even though we have this widely held idea that dog people and cat people are somehow different, we haven't really known how they are different and previous research has failed to tell us," psychologist and study researcher Sam Gosling, PhD, of the University of Texas at Austin, tells WebMD.

He believes this is because earlier studies examined personality differences in cat and dog owners, failing to account for the fact that a dog person may actually own a cat and vice versa.

As part of a larger online personality survey, Gosling and colleague Carson J. Sandy, asked about 4,500 people if they considered themselves dog people or cat people.

The 44-question survey delved into the five dimensions of personality thought to encompass the spectrum of personality types:

  • Conscientiousness. Common behaviors include self-discipline, sense of duty, and a tendency toward planned vs. spontaneous behavior.
  • Extraversion. Tendency toward being gregarious, enthusiastic, positive, and energetic.
  • Agreeableness. Includes attributes such as trust, altruism, kindness, affection, and sociability.
  • Openness. Includes traits such as appreciation for the arts, curiosity, creativity, and nontraditional thinking and behavior.
  • Neuroticism. Includes characteristics such as being easily stressed, anxious, or easily worried.

"In terms of personalities I would say Woody Allen is at one end of this spectrum and the "Dude" from the Big Lebowski is at the other," Gosling says.

Forty-six percent of those who took the survey identified themselves as dog people, while 12% said they were cat people. Twenty-eight percent said they were both and 15% said they were neither.

Cat People vs. Dog People

According to the findings, self-identified dog people were 15% more extroverted, 13% more agreeable, and 11% more conscientious than cat people.

Today on WebMD

Puppy digging hole
Are you putting your pet at risk?
Cat looking at fish
Things we can learn from our pets.
dog and kitten
27 ways pets help your health.
Get the facts about prevention.
Woman holding puppy
Sad dog and guacamole
Siamese cat eating from bowl
cat on couch
Cat People vs Dog People Slideshow
Kitten playing
Orange cat nuzzling woman
German shephard reading a book