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Jun 04, 2014 07:26 AM EDT

Cat Owners Are Smarter Than Dog Owners, Study

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A recent study, conducted by researchers at the Carroll University, found that cat owners are smarter than dog owners.

Researchers said that there are personality differences between dog and cat lovers.

Dog lovers are more likely to be lively, energetic, outgoing and tend to follow rules obediently. While feline lovers are non-conformists, introverts, open-minded and sensitive than dog lovers. Cat owners are also considered to be more intelligent than dog lovers.

Researchers said that the personality differences can be attributed to the choice of environments a cat or a dog prefers.

"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," said Dr. Denise Guastello, an associate professor of psychology, in a statement. "Whereas, if you're more introvert and sensitive, maybe you're more at home reading a book, and your cat doesn't need to go outside for a walk."

Researchers said that cats as pets are best suited to those with bookish and introvert personalities, who are cautious of others and prefer staying indoors, whereas dogs are compatible with people who have extrovert personalities.

For the study, around 600 students were asked about their personality traits and whether they were cat or dog lovers.

The researchers found a large percentage of dog lovers than cat lovers at the end of the survey. About 60 percent of participants were reported to be a dog person, while just 11 percent of them said they were cat lovers. The rest of them either liked or disliked both animals.

Researchers said that people select a pet based on their personality, meaning that an energetic individual prefers an equally energetic pet like dogs.

The findings can enhance the effectiveness of pet therapy by making better matches between pets and patients.

The study complements a 2010 University of Bristol study that found cat owners to be more educated than dog owners.

Researchers said that educated people are more likely to be occupied throughout the day and therefore tend to choose a pet that fits their lifestyle. Unlike dogs, cats do not require long walks outdoor and can manage with little human company.

"We don't think it is associated with income because that was one of the variables we looked at, and there was little difference," said Dr Jane Murray, Cats Protection Lecturer in Feline Epidemiology, who led the study. "Cats require less time per day than a dog, so they are more popular with educated people who work late and have long commutes," Telegraph reports.

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