A study by UC Berkely and California State University, East Bay, concluded that cat owners who’d be described as overprotective parents (in relation to their children) were the best personality types for cat caretaking. They described these parents are exhibiting “anxious attachment” compared to “avoidance attachment” (a principle of human attachment theory). Over-protectiveness equates to high levels of concern resulting in more committed cat ownership.
People who score highly on anxious attachment tend to require reassurance from their kids or companion animal. Therefore they are more dependent on their cat. In the survey this tended to apply to younger people who preferred cats.
‘Helicopter parenting of cats’ is good because a cat depends on the care and attention of their human guardian throughout his life, whereas children need to be taught independence. Over-protectiveness can hold back the development of a child in becoming independent minded.
People whose behavior in relation to the objects of their affection displayed ‘anxious attachment’ tended to be more conscientiously neurotic but also more creative and adventurous. In contrast dog owners were more extroverted and less open to new experiences. This supports previous research in a 2010 study by University of Texas psychologist Sam Gosling.
Of the 1,000 people in the study who came from Reddit, Facebook and Graigslist, 40% said they like cats and dogs equally, 38% preferred dogs and 19% preferred cats. I wonder why there are more cats than dogs in the USA. It can only be because there are many multi-cat households.