Narcissists prefer dogs. Think about it; it just makes sense! Many narcissists like to be the center of attention. A dog will always make the master its primary focus. When the master is on the move, the dog follows, when the master sits, the dog lies down nearby and keeps a steady eye on them. When the master gets up, the dog follows again, eagerly awaiting a command or other recognition.
A cat, on the other hand, isn’t focused on the master at all. Well, unless it's hungry. If the master wants attention from the cat, they must give treats, brush its fur, get out the laser pointer and play (technically this doesn’t create heedfulness of the master), or otherwise cajole the cat’s attention. In other words, you must serve the cat; it’s the perfect role for codependents because they understand doing this so well.
No, I haven’t done any formal study on this, but as a narcissist-magnet for much of my life, it has been my personal observation of the many narcissists who have come through my life over the years. And, as an admitted codependent, I am a natural cat lover, who has served many a mysterious and aloof cat.
Narcissists are control freaks, and dogs are easily trained to do what their master commands. Tasks make the dog, who always wants to please, feel useful. Dogs will come when you call. On your command, they will sit, lie down, shake hands, roll over, fetch, walk on their hind legs, and many more entertaining activities that thrill the narcissist’s need to dominate and control.
Cats can’t be controlled at all. They certainly don’t come when you call (unless they hear a can of food opening at the same time). While somewhat domesticated (they do enjoy living in houses which have plenty of soft things to lie on), cats still retain an independent wild streak. They don’t need humans, turn them loose outside, and they’ll kill their own food: birds, rodents, snakes, and bugs. If they like you, they might even bring home some of their fresh kill so that you can partake in the feasting as well (this represents the apex of giving from a cat). Now that’s the kind of approval that a codependent can really sink his or her teeth into.
Dogs, however, can’t fend for themselves out in the world on their own. They don’t know how to find food, other than raiding garbage cans, and will soon starve to death. They are completely dependent on their masters. Narcissists love this.
Codependents and dogs just don’t work as well together because they are both constantly competing to see who can give the most love to the other. Codependents, who never received parental love, who had to give and give and give in the hopes of getting a scrap of affection, find the unrelenting love of dogs disconcerting. Cats, however, provide the familiar emotionally unavailable attitude to which they are accustomed. Codependents are used to lack of love, of having to patiently wait for attention, and spending their lives hoping, praying, and trying ever harder to please... until they can finally get their cat to sit in their lap, cuddle, and purr. Dogs can never supply this same sense of satisfaction.
Dogs love their masters unconditionally, so unconditionally that they will endure abuse and neglect yet still love and adore their master. This is perfect for the self-centered narcissist, whose needs must come first, who is sometimes simply too busy to play with the dog, feed it, walk it, or take it to the vet. A dog patiently waits, doesn’t judge or complain, and is ready to serve its master at a moment’s notice. What human would do that? A dog is a readily available, low-cost, low obligation, source of narcissistic supply. And, when dogs no longer serve the narcissist's needs — they’re disposable — no messy break-ups. No wonder narcissists prefer dogs.
Note to Reader: My intention in this piece is to be somewhat funny in a self-deprecatory manner, as well as, bring attention to the pet preferences of personality types in a satirical manner. I am in no way implying that all dog owners are narcissists, or that all cat owners are codependents (hmm, I may have to take that back, if you’re a happy and satisfied cat owner, then you’re most likely codependent, yep, totally codependent).