Have you ever wondered what your pet choice says about you? We all know people who resemble their pets to an uncanny degree, your extroverted BFF who’s just as excited to hit up the dog park as her puppy, your flighty cousin who has full-fledged conversations with her parrot, and, of course, yours truly. Just like my cat, I spend a solid 40 percent of my free time trying to avoid human interaction, and another 10 percent is devoted to staring out the window at birds. (The remaining 50 percent is sleeping.) As hilarious as it is to compare people with their pets, though, anecdotes aren’t exactly a great basis for making assumptions. Is there actually any truth to stereotypes about pet owners?
According to Scientific American, the short answer is… Well, yes. Researchers for the magazine analyzed available data on the subject, which largely consists of market surveys and a few peer-reviewed studies, and they found that our pets — or lack thereof — reveal more about us than you’d expect. Some findings are more intuitive than others; for instance, people who don’t have pets are more likely to value cleanliness, consider themselves independent, and live in urban areas, which makes sense considering the demands of pet ownership.