Study Reveals Surprising Differences Between Dog People and Cat People

dog and cat eating from a food dish
There actually is a difference between dog and cat people. | Humonia/iStock/Getty Images

There are two kinds of people in the world: dog lovers and cat lovers. And while we know there are plenty of folks who have both, a pet owner’s love for one often outshines that of another.

Don’t agree with us? That’s OK; we understand. But there’s one study that begs to differ. Turns out, there are some pretty significant differences between dog people and cat people, at least according to a survey conducted by Mars Petcare. So, do you know to which pet-loving group you belong?

From professional careers to movie preferences, here’s what the research found.

Dog owners are more likely to work in finance

Like math, numbers, and money? If so, you just may be a bona fide dog person. In fact, dog lovers are twice as likely to have careers in finance.

Not only do dog owners prefer canines to kittens, but they stand to make more money on average than cat owners. Dog owners earn an average of $47,000, while cat owners earn about $40,000. Furthermore, dog owners spend 33% more than cat owners on clothing and accessories and 26% more on entertainment purchases.

Next: Cat owners tend to have much different career paths.  

Cat owners are more likely to work in a creative field

woman and her cat taking a selfie
Cat owners were four times as likely as dog owners to work in a creative field. |

One of the biggest differences between cat and dog people, the survey found, was in the careers category. According to the 2,000 participants (1,000 dog owners and 1,000 cat owners), professional paths were quite varied between the two groups.

While dog owners leaned more toward finance jobs, cat owners were four times more likely to work in a creative field, which says a lot about their overall pension for creativity (more on that in a minute).

Next: This group isn’t scared of a horror flick. 

Dog owners prefer horror and action films

Dalmatian peeking around a chair
Dog owners like blockbusters. | Photodisc/iStock/Getty Images

Everyone has their movie preferences, and for dog owners, it tends to be blockbusters. In particular, they love horror and action flicks. They do, however, also enjoy films with a bit of romance — perfect for an evening at home snuggling with their pup.

Next: Cat owners aren’t as into big blockbusters as dog lovers are. 

Cat owners prefer documentaries

Devon Rex cat breed
They also like musicals and indie films. | Heikki Siltala/Wikimedia Commons

Unlike their counterparts, cat owners tend to gravitate toward documentaries. And they’re typically bigger fans of musicals and indie films, as well. It’s a finding that’s not all too surprising, given their tendency to work in a creative field.

Next: This group tends to be a bit more active. 

Dog owners are more likely to be active

spaniel dog running in summer
More dog owners said they went running regularly than cat owners. | Carmelka/iStock/Getty Images

Fancy yourself the adventurous type? If the answer’s yes, then there’s a good chance you fall into the dog person category. In fact, the study revealed that dog owners “are quicker to embrace more active pursuits such as sports, yoga, dancing and travel — displaying a need to expend energy on a similar level to their own furry friends.”

Furthermore, 25% of dog owners said they run regularly, compared to 16% of cat owners.

Next: Here’s how cat owners like to spend their time.  

Cat owners prefer reading, writing, and gardening

Bengal cat
They prefer calmer hobbies. | andreaskrappweis/iStock/Getty Images

Fancy yourself a bit of a bibliophile? Ah, you must be a cat lover, too! If that’s the case, then you can chalk up your love of reading, writing, and gardening to one of the “gentler hobbies” that cat owners tend to prefer.

Next: How do dogs and cats affect people’s lives? 

Dog owners believe their pets improve their lives through exercise

dalmation walking wth owner
Dogs keep you moving. | BilevichOlga/iStock/Getty Images

There’s no denying that owning any kind of pet is good for your health. But according to the survey, one group turned out to be more beneficial for a person’s physical health. “The survey found that dogs are much more likely to improve their owners’ lives through exercise than cats (45 percent vs. 8 percent).”

Next: The value of pet therapy is undeniable. 

Cat owners believe their pets improve their lives by reducing stress

cat lying on floor
Cats can help to keep you calm. | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

There’s something to be said about talking to your pet. And for some, having frequent human-cat chitchats provides a great value.

Almost a quarter of the cat owners surveyed said they “divulge their innermost thoughts and secrets” to their feline friend. For this reason, many cat owners credit their pet with the ability to reduce stress.

Next: Love to travel with your pet? You’re not alone. 

Both dogs and cats play a huge role in their owners’ lives and travel plans

US President Bill Clinton (2nd-L) orders first dog
Both dog and cat owners love spending time with their pets. | Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images

Are you someone who loves to travel with your pet? Us, too. And we’re not alone on this one, either. Turns out, more than a fifth of pet owners take their fur babies on vacation with them. And that’s a good thing, after all, as being with pets is beneficial for us humans. Simple as that.

So, to that point, it’s no wonder why so many pet owners would want to return all that love and affection to their cats and dogs. And according to the survey, plenty of people do just that. More than a third of pet owners buy their pets presents on birthdays and holidays, while a quarter of them say they love dining with their pets.

The feeling’s mutual, we’re sure.

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