Are you a dog person or a cat person? For some people the answer to this question is obvious, but those from multi-pet homes may struggle to choose between Sparky and Whiskers. And for the fervent ferret keepers out there, the query may even seem irrelevant.
Although the cat/dog dichotomy does not fit everyone, scientists and pet industry professionals continue to ask about pet preferences in the hopes of teasing out whether pet choice indicates anything fundamental about a person’s personality or lifestyle. As part of an exploration of this topic in the May/June issue of Scientific American MIND, we want to know about your pets and how they fit into your life. Take a few minutes to answer the questions below by Tuesday, February 10. Your response could appear in the print edition of the magazine or online.
As you’ll find out if you read our upcoming issue, science is just beginning to explore what factors influence a person’s pet choices. Certain personality traits such as conscientiousness appear to correlate to dog ownership, for instance. And proprietary reports such as a 2012 report from the American Veterinary Medicine Association reveal that bird owners are more likely than other pet owners to live in the Pacific region of the U.S.
These findings, of course, don’t mean that a cat person can’t be punctilious or that bird owners must live near the west coast. Everyone’s story is different, and that’s why we want to see how Scientific American MIND readers compare with the participants in these other surveys and studies.
Please note that only submissions entered by February 10, 2015 will be considered for inclusion in the print edition of the magazine, but later submissions may be featured on the Web.