Dog People vs. Cat People: How Does Our Perception of Our Pets Influence Mental Health

UNCP Author/Contributor (non-UNCP co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Sarah Alison Bolling (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP )
Web Site:
Kelly Charlton, Ph.D.

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the differences in the perception of loyalty in dogs and cats as companion animals and how those perceptions may benefit mental health. Participants were 154 adult males and females aged from 19 to74 years old in the United States. Participants answered a survey on companion animals, animal bond, attachment, anthropomorphism, loyalty, and mental health measures if they owned a dog or cat. If participants did not own a pet then they only answered the perceived stress, depressions, loneliness, and social support questionnaire. The hypothesis that dog owners who have a strong loyalty with their pet will have more health benefits than will cat owners was supported. Dog owners experienced less loneliness and stress than cat owners did. Findings in this study extended prior research by exploring the differences in cats and dogs as companion animals.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Esther G. Maynor Honors College
Language: English
Date: 2021
Companion Animal, Bond, Mental Health, Loyalty, Cat, Dog, Anthropomorphism ,

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