Dog people and cat people: Can they co-exist?

The battle has been ongoing for years. Relationships have been broken over it, wars have raged, blood has been shed – all over one simple question: Are you a dog person, or a cat person?

OK so maybe it hasn’t been that serious. But ask someone that question and depending on their answer, you could have a rage-filled debate on your hands. I’m more of a dog person, and my boyfriend is more of a cat person, so we have both a dog and a cat in the household. But just because I’m a dog person doesn’t mean I don’t like cats, and same goes for Awesome. In fact, I think Awesome may have become more of a dog person since we got our cat Blackie, because Blackie is kind of an asshole.

And apparently, whether you prefer canine or feline says a lot about your own personality, according to several studies done over the years, the newest being one that was introduced at the annual Association for Psychological Science last week. The study found that dog lovers tended to be more energetic, outgoing and tended to follow rules closely, while cat lovers scored higher in sensitivity, open-mindedness, and intelligence. Cat lovers also leaned more towards being non-conformist.

The real question is: can a dog lover and a cat lover have a good, lasting, healthy relationship? It almost sounds like a Seinfeld episode (“She just liked cats TOO much, it’s weird”) but it’s a legitimate question about chemistry and personalities, two very important aspects in any relationship. I am extremely outgoing, so I already know right off the bat that I probably wouldn’t have a very fun time with someone who was extremely introverted.

I used to be, very strictly I might add, a dog person ONLY. No cats for me, no way, never. When I was 14 a cat ended up scratching my entire face, which was super scary and made me hate cats for a very long time. I never even thought about getting a cat until Awesome and I moved in together. He had so many cute stories about his former cat that I thought maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to have both. Plus I wanted him to be happy — he really does love cats. So we got Blackie. Ever since, I consider myself to be a cat-dog person.

Now if you are a cat-person dating a dog-person and you read this, please don’t go sabotage the relationship, thinking it will never work out. This is just one of those fun studies not to be taken too seriously. Like when people say their personality matches their astrological sign — it doesn’t mean you have ALL of those qualities and that you should limit yourself within those confines.

One more fun fact to let you in on: cat owners were 1/3 more likely to live alone than dog owners, and single women were the most likely individuals to own cats. So that whole crazy cat lady thing? It actually has a basis in reality.