If there’s any place to celebrate a fake holiday consecrating the existence of cats, it’s the internet. That’s why it makes perfect, blessed sense that Facebook decided to honor Monday’s National Cat Day with a breakdown of what it means to be a “cat person” versus a “dog person.” If you prefer the company of physics-understanding, superstition-defying fluffy felines over dogs, Facebook has analyzed your soul and figured out why you are the way you are.
In the report, four members of Facebook’s core data science team break down what the company can gather about your personality from your pet preference. To do so, they took aggregate, de-identified data from a sample of 16,000 people in the United States. These people had shared photos of dogs, cats, or both (the Facebook researchers were able to tell what photos had pictures of the animals by using object recognition technology). From there, they compared what animals individuals shared the most pictures of along with their demographic data, relationship status, and “likes.” What they found was a portrait of cat and dog people that’s pretty much along the lines of the stereotypes of the animals themselves.
Cat people feel a lot of feels
The Facebook data scientists examined the frequency of emotions used from the social media company’s “feelings feature,” which is technical speak for when you can attach your current emotion to a status. They found that, overall, cat lovers seemed to express a wider amount of feelings on their account. Those who were identified as cat people not only disproportionately said they were tired and sad, but also expressed that they felt more positive emotions like amusement and happiness compared to dog people. Dog fans, on the other hand, were more likely to cite feeling proud and excited more than their feline-fancying peers.
Cat people are more likely to be single
Relationship status data revealed that cat people are more likely than dog people to be working that solo lifestyle. The difference, however, wasn’t huge: About 30 percent of cat people are single compared to 24 percent of dog people. What’s perhaps more surprising is that while cat lovers are notorious for being single, it wasn’t limited to an older, female set. Cat lovers of all genders and all ages were just as likely to be unhitched. Don’t feel bad for them — it just gives them more time to potty train their cat.
Cat people have less friends, but they shouldn’t really care
Facebook found that on its site, dog people typically have about 26 more “friends” than cat people. However, the data revealed that cat people tend to be invited to more events — so joke’s on you. Cat fans also seem to be the more tolerant sort — they are a bit more likely to be friends with a dog person than a dog person is expected to be friends with a cat person. Still, birds of a feather (cats in a litter?) tend to stick together: Both groups are more likely to be friends with people who prefer the same pet.
Cat people are more likely to be sci-fi nerds
When the Facebook “likes” were broken down, a clear divide in cultural tastes emerged between dog and cat people. Overall, it appeared that cat people consumed and enjoyed a wider range of books, television shows, and movies tha dog people: fitting activities to enjoy on a couch nestling with a fur pillow aka a cat. Cat fans loved reading books like The Hobbit and 1984, watching cartoons like Pokemon and Adventure Time, and watching flicks such as Alien and Terminator 2. Comparatively, the researchers write, dog people enjoyed “love stories and things about, well, dogs.” One choice that dog fans loved regardless of the medium it was told? The Notebook.
Wherever cat people and dog people live, they also seem to “check in” at the same amount of places. Maybe not in the line outside for (forgive me) Cats.
Cat people are more likely to be urbanites
While every region seems to have its own share of cat and dog lovers, Facebook data showed that cat people are more concentrated in urban areas while dog people were more likely to live in rural zones. When you think about the care of the animal this makes sense — it’s easier to have dogs when you have a backyard for it to run around in. According to pet psychologists, city life is better suited to our feline friends — dogs tend to struggle and become depressed when left alone, but cats are pretty cool kicking it by themselves in small areas as long as they have a window to gaze out of.