The truth about cats and dogs

Reports on a study which reveals that some pet owners believe that their pets' personalities bear a distinct resemblance to their own. Possible reasons for the similarities.

By Peter Doskoch, published on December 1, 1996 - last reviewed on January 23, 2015

Further proof that psychologists will never run out of silly human
quirks tostudy: According to researchers at the University of California,
Berkeley, cat and dog owners say their furry little friends'
personalities bear a distinct resemblance to their own. Sociable
individuals, for example, tend to describe their pets as more extroverted
than other pets, while eggheads think their feline or canine companions
are smarter than average. No wonder so many of us treat our pets like
people, signing their pawprints to Christmas cards and proudly displaying
their photos. Thankfully, the trend doesn't hold for a few personality
traits, such as conscientiousness.

While it's likely that pet owners are projecting their own
personalities onto their pets, it could also be a case of the tail
wagging the dog. Outgoing folks may simply prefer sociable breeds,
suggests Berkeley's Samuel D. Gosling, M.A.; or perhaps pets get rewarded
for behaving like their owners.


Edited by Peter Doskoch