A Study Has Found: People choose dogs based on looks; cats, based on interaction

This cute pup would have a good shot and getting adopted, according to the study.

As pet owners, we share a special bond with our cats or dogs, which often take on the roll of a four-legged family member within our homes. Now, a new study has shed light on the mental process that takes place when people choose those beloved pets.

According to an ASPCA study reported by the Wall Street Journal, the reason that people settle on a particular dog is rather superficial, really. The lyrics of a favorite children’s song prove to ring true:

How much is that doggie in the window? (arf! arf!)
The one with the waggley tail

That’s right, it’s all about looks for 76.8 percent of people when they’re picking out a cute, rambunctious puppy, and 78.3 percent of adopters when picking out an adult dog.

When it comes to picking out a cat, though, people tend to look more within. The study shows 77.9 percent of adopters said how a cat interacts with people is the deciding factor on choosing it — probably because they all look the same anyway (full disclosure: we are dog people here at Metro). It’s also the most important factor for 69.3 percent of people picking out a kitten.

The study was particularly important for the ASPCA because it provided insight into how people select pets that are up for adoption. Sure, it’s easy to settle on a cute, clean puppy or a frisky kitten — but many animals that wind up in shelters have had a rough life on the streets or have suffered abuse, causing dogs to sometimes lack that freshly groomed look or cats to shy away from people.

A person’s tendency to choose interactive pets was especially evident when adopters answered the question, “What did this pet do when you first met him/her?”

Sounds like picking out a pet is a pretty similar process to picking out a dating partner.

More adventures in psuedoscience:

  • If someone adopts a pet, they’re probably a pretty nice person, right? A new study says niceness (and meanness) might be in the genes.
  • On that note, nice people probably have a more positive outlook, which could be good for your heart, according to research.
  • Have chinplants replaces breast implants? More women are opting for a chin makeover

News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MIT student, Rhodes scholar, dies

Eliana Hechter, a student at MIT and Harvard, died, her family said. The announcement was posted on MIT's website.

Local

Video: Car crashes into Cambridge store, man arrested…

A Cambridge man was arrested on gun and drug charges after crashing his car into a Massachusetts Avenue storefront early Saturday morning.

Local

Body found believed to be missing Fitchburg boy…

The body of a child found off of a highway in Sterling last week is likely that of missing Fitchburg boy Jeremiah Oliver, authorities said.

Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

Television

'Orphan Black' recap: Episode 1, ‘Nature Under Constraint…

Welcome to your first Season 2 “Orphan Black” recap! Hopefully Tatiana Maslany can help Tatiana Maslany get through this, with the help of Tatiana Maslany,…

Books

Poems from prison: 'How to Survive a Bullet…

Celebrate National Poetry Month with, "'How to Survive a Bullet to the Heart."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox defeat Orioles, 4-2

Brock Holt the difference in the Red Sox' win

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.