Cat people can get a bad rap. From “crazy cat ladies” to the assumption that cat fans hate other people, there are a lot of negative associations. But cat lovers do have a lot of positive traits in common, many of them backed by science.
Cat people can get a bad rap. From "crazy cat ladies" to the assumption that cat fans hate other people, there are a lot of negative associations. But cat lovers do have a lot of positive traits in common, many of them backed by science. "Researchers agree, and studies have been done that give some insight on people who prefer one species of pet over the other," says Somyr Perry, retired veterinary nurse and undefined Now Pets expert. Do you consider yourself a cat person? Or do you know someone who fits that description? Read on to find out the traits that nearly all cat lovers have in common.
1. You're totally OK with everyone living life on their own terms.
"Cats are known to be quite independent, and although they crave and appreciate attention, they tend to like it only on their terms," says retired veterinarian Somyr Perry, "coming and going as they please and choosing who they want to hang out with." While some (including those who conducted a 2007 study at Ball State University) might see this as hostile or standoffish, to you it just means that the people in your life know what they want and how to get it. You don't need to be needed, and, in turn, you probably appreciate a sense of independence in your own life as well.
2. Youâ€™ve got an open mind.
In a 2010 study published in the journal Anthrozoos, researchers surveyed more than 4,000 pet owners and scored them on five personality traits: extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and openness. They found that self-identified cat people tended to score higher than dog owners when it came to openness. Researchers correlate this to greater intellectual curiosity and artistic creativity. So take advantage of this trait by finding what truly appeals to you and pursuing it.
3. You think your cats are your equals.
Cat people respect cats and can't bear to think of these intelligent creatures out on the streets without a home. They are a compassionate crew, often making special effort to rescue or rehabilitate homeless cats. "Most of these types of people participate in rescuing and rehabilitation of cats, in addition to caring for their own, but it definitely takes a special person to do that," says retired veterinarian Somyr Perry. And no matter how your cats arrived home, once they're in, they're part of the family. According to data from a 2011 Harris Poll, 91 percent of cat owners consider their pets part of the family, and 60 percent frequently or occasionally buy them presents.
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4. You're introverted and sensitive.
By nature, cats don't need to be friends with everybody, and the same can be said of their owners. "Many 'cat people' I know live alone. And while I wouldn't go so far as to call them loners, they tend to be content with an independent lifestyle," says retired veterinarian Somyr Perry. A 2014 study from Carroll University backs up this assessment. Researchers surveyed 600 college students and found that those who favored cats over dogs were more likely to be introverted. While introverts can be perfectly comfortable hanging around other people, they need solitude to relax and recharge.
5. You lean to the left (politically speaking).
Take this one with a grain of salt, conservative cat lovers. Data collected from a 2014 quiz from Time.com shows a correlation between self-reported liberal political leanings and preferring cats to dogs. So while it's absolutely possible to be a conservative cat owner or a liberal dog lover, odds are if you're a liberal, you also love cats.
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6. You never leave the house without lint rolling first.
Your grooming may be impeccable, but you always double check your clothes for stray hairs before leaving the house. Or if you've had cats for a while, you've learned that it can be easier to just coordinate the colors of your wardrobe to your cat's fur so it isn't as noticeable. And yes, you might even stash an extra a lint roller with you in your purse or car just in case. Plus, since nearly 10 percent of people are allergic to pet dander, your friends and coworkers likely appreciate all your lint rolling and clothes washing, too.
7. You're grateful for your cat's attention.
Several studies published in the journal Anthrozoos have found that cat owners often rely on their pets for emotional support and, in some cases, even replaced people in their social networks. Perhaps this is because cat owners see their relationship as a twinship, meaning cats understand and experience similar emotional states to their owners, according to a 2007 study from Tuskegee University. Therefore, you appreciate it when your cat takes time out of his busy cleaning-napping-eating schedule to listen thoughtfully to your problems and soothe your jangled nerves with deep rhythmic purring.
8. People give you cat stuff all the time.
You know how the typical crazy cat lady's decor = cats on cats on cats? If you're a cat person, you're about two birthdays away from that. "'Crazy cat people' have cat paraphernalia -- mugs, cat signs, cat clocks, cat dish towels -- all over their houses," says retired veterinarian Somyr Perry. And a lot of it has probably been gifted to you, which can have a snowball effect over the years. But maybe, just maybe, some of it you bought yourself. So wear that label with pride, cat lovers. The collection of cat clocks you found on Etsy and the cat condos that now resemble cat villages are what make you unique. Anyone that tells you differently is just a hater. And haters gonna hate.
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What Do YOU Think?
Are you a cat person? How many of these traits do you exhibit? Or after reading this do you think you're more of a dog person? What other traits should have been included on the list? Share your thoughts, suggestions and stories in the comments section below.