View Full Version : Dogs vs. Cats- A Freudian Theory

02-29-2000, 06:17 PM
I have this theory that women tend to prefer cats as pets because cats exhibit "typical" or "stereotypical" male behavior: emotionally detatched, independent to the point of being distant, cuddly - but only when they want to be, etc. etc.

Similarly, I think men prefer dogs as pets because we see in dogs various "female" (or idealized female) traits: nurturing (always there for you when you need 'em), unconditionally loving, plus they will fetch things for you! ;) [putting on asbestos long johns...]

Now maybe I'm wrong about my basic premise, that women (with exceptions) tend to prefer cats, and men (again with exceptions) tend to prefer dogs. But just based upon my own observations, that seems to be the trend.

So I guess this debate has two levels:

1. Do you agree with my premise that women prefer cats and men prefer dogs; and

2. If so, is there anything to this Freudian analysis? (And if not, how do you explain the gender difference in pet preference?)

(OK, maybe three levels...)

I open the floor...

02-29-2000, 06:33 PM
I think statistics would probably bear out your observation about preferences, but you could just as well argue that women like cats because they are graceful and fastidious ("feminine" traits)and men like dogs because they are hierarchical animals who like to hang around in packs ("masculine" traits). Of course, it's typical of Freudian explanations for things that you can twist them to come out anyway you want.

02-29-2000, 06:33 PM
I think it may be simpler than that.
Continuing the generalities;
Dogs do as they're told. Men like that, women don't care.
Cats are peaceful. Women like that, men don't care.
mangeorge (1 cat, 0 dogs)

I only know two things;
I know what I need to know
I know what I want to know
Mangeorge, 2000

02-29-2000, 06:46 PM
I think analyzing this kind of thing by gender tends to obscure the often more interesting underlying trends. Yes, women are more often cat people and men are dog people, but cat people and dog people seem to exhibit certain traits regardless of their gender. In my observation, cat people tend to be those tend to form intense attachments, but often to relatively few people at a time. Dog people tend to be more easy going and to have casual relationships with lots of people. There, how's that for a load of psychobabble?

03-01-2000, 08:01 AM
Related issue:

How come we have so-called "crazy cat ladies" with 27 running around their homes, with no apparent male equivalent? When's the last time you saw a "crazy dog man"?

I still say that for women, cats provide the closest animal equivalent to male companionship.

03-01-2000, 08:26 AM
Related side issue to the side issue.

Have you seen the chicken lady? She is appalled by the "chicken holocaust" that is taking place in Amerca today and is sheltering all the chickens she can get.

No joke.

I'm going to try and find a link to her story. :)

03-01-2000, 10:52 AM
Ok...here's a WAG with absolutely no basis in science...but it's my observation that "outdoor"-type people like dogs and "indoor"-type people prefer cats.

It may seem like the outdoor-types should prefer cats because you can leave cats alone for a longer time as long as you've left food, water and a litter box. That doesn't work very well with a dog, especially a big one.

But, you don't often hear of people taking their cat camping or for a run around the park.

I guess dogs simply require more outdoor time than cats, so people that are outdoors more often tend toward dogs.


03-01-2000, 10:59 AM
How come we have so-called "crazy cat ladies" with 27 running around their homes, with no apparent male equivalent? When's the last time you saw a "crazy dog man"?

Well, gee, Spoke, refer back to your original thesis...you know polyandry is illegal! :cool:

03-01-2000, 01:00 PM
Do you agree with my premise that women prefer cats and men prefer dogs
I don't know if I agree or not, but among my personal acquaintances, this seems almost exactly reversed. Most of my male friends like cats, and most of my female friends prefer dogs. Go figure. Then there's the odd few who prefer birds and one with a lizard named "Bob".

bantmof (male, prefers cats)

peas on earth

03-01-2000, 04:29 PM
I, like Rysdad, go with the theory that dogs are more for the outdoor type and cats the indoor. Although, I know of cats that live on farms that are only outside cats, but they are mean to people, and hiss and bite when picked up. I guess there are a lot of people who can't take the time to take care of dogs, and cats are better for them, but I prefer dogs.

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