Study Shows Preferring Cats Is Associated With High Intelligence

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Although there are more people in the world who own cats, it seems that dogs have long-since reigned supreme. And I can understand their appeal. But I think it goes without saying that dogs are not for everyone. Dogs are a lot of work. And dogs also require walking. Cats can be demanding at times, but dogs are demanding over all, basically. Preferring cats is something you should never have to explain, defend, or justify. Although dog people like to tease the cat lovers of the world, we are thick-skinned—just like our feline friends!

For some people, like us, we just naturally gravitate towards cats. And there’s nothing wrong with that. At the end of the day, it’s your decision to like what you like. And you should never have to feel as if preferring cats is a bad thing!

But whatever your preferences may be, many people have unfairly labeled cat owners as “reclusive” or “introverted” and even “anti-social” as compared to those who are dedicated dog people.

Thankfully now cat people can have a new and much more favorable connotation attached: highly intelligent!

Yep, that’s right. According to a study on the subject among 600 participants, it’s been shown that cat owners, and those who are drawn to the feline kind in general, are reported to have a higher IQ.

What about preferring cats makes you smarter, exactly? Well, here’s what they found…

A researcher associated with the study, Denise Guastello, an associate professor of psychology at Carroll University out of Waukesha, Wisconsin says:

“It makes sense that a dog person is going to be more lively, because they’re going to want to be out there, outside, talking to people, bringing their dog…Whereas, if you’re more introverted, and sensitive, maybe you’re more at home reading a book, and your cat doesn’t need to go outside for a walk.”

To conduct their research of cat and dog preferences, the researchers analyzed 600 students at Carroll University. They assessed a number of other factors, including personality traits and interests. While 60 percent of those polls were self-professed dog lovers, only 11 percent were cat lovers, while the other percentages claimed to like both pets equally, or neither.

It seems that based off of all the questions and scoring among those in the study, cat people were found to score higher intellectually speaking and were considered to be more “intellectually curious” compared to others.

In relation to the study, psychoanalyst and owner of the McKeown Clinic, Steve McKeown tells UNILAD:

“…dog people may be more social and outgoing and cat people are far more sensitive and open-minded. It also noted cat owners were no more neurotic than dog owners.

Those who prefer cats tend be non-conformist, somebody who stands up for what they believe in despite what anyone thinks, which in many ways, perhaps mirrors the independence for which cats are renowned? And cat people also score higher on intelligence tests and are more educated.

Cat people are more likely to possess university degrees than dog owners. Educated people tend to work longer hours and opt for pets that compliment their personal circumstances and lifestyle.

Coincidentally, a study conducted in 2010 found that out of 4,500 participants, dog lovers tend to be more outgoing. This same study showed that cat lovers were reported as being conscientious, with a strong desire to follow rules. Just like felines, it seems that us cat people prefer a rhyme and reason to everything that we do!

Did you find this information from this study surprising? I know I didn’t!

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Related Story: Who is Smarter – Cats or Dogs?

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    • I’ve had many cats who hide from children, and many of those just hide from strangers. However, I have also had cats who don’t care and a few who adored some children. I never have had a lot of children over, but those few that did, it was always the same cats who loved any of them. I had one who adored a certain little boy. She went to a family who had an autistic young adult son and they totally fell in love with each other. The mother might’ve thought she was getting herself a new cat… nope.

  1. Had a dog growing up always wanted a cat wasn’t allowed to have one. So I’ve saved many kitties over the years taking them in wherever I lived. My current two are very smart older kitties. Missy i actually adopted and jazz i saved from the outdoors. Hes so sweet with weird toenails and black as the night. Missy is very smart . . and picky about who touches her

  2. I’ve always had cats. They are intelligent, don’t tolerate nonsense,and have a magical charm I find irresistible.

  3. I like dogs, but I love cats! Also, I’m one of those people who are interested in others and their stories, but after an hour or two, I have to be alone for a while to recharge my social batteries. So to speak.

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Written by Modi Ramos

Crazy cat lady since birth and lover of all things feline. Owner of CattitudeDaily and former Editor of iHeartCats. Meow!

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