The Political Psychology of Pet Preference



I was reading the other day about pet choice and social and political inclinations. Seems that republicans lean towards dogs and democratic socialists (or Canadian liberal equivalents) towards cats. The latter idea has been promoted in China for some time now…..


It is already well-known that introverts and intellectuals prefer felines and extroverts and those less blessed cognitively favour dogs. That makes sense as republicans are somewhat “challenged” and suffer from PTSD (pre traumatic stress disorder) to begin with.

However this clearly reductionist conclusion fails when we note that a right-wing very smart social-political philosopher of no less a stature than Ayn Rand stated …”Altruism is pointless. So are dogs. A cat is a far more sensible pet. A cat is objectively valuable”. However her view may have been coloured by her urbanization. Dogs are just not as practical in a New York flat vs a Texas ranch. Indeed the current reviled PM of Canada Steve Harper, though very right-wing, is an aloof, introverted, egocentric and intellectual cat fancier…..


Stanley: Vice PM Canada

In addition cats generally are well-known to be classic narcissists and very well read….


So one would assume that the mirroring effect of the self-absorbed narcissist intellectual like Rand would make the cat an obvious choice. Now as socialists are apriori altruistic one would assume they would lean towards dogs. But we need to factor in extroversion- introversion. And the complexity mounts when dogs and owners are subdivided into breed type.

For example no self-respecting grey matter impaired Alabama republican redneck would choose a poodle over a good ‘ole coonhound….


It does makes sense though that a left-wing social theorist like JJ Rousseau and contemporary counterparts would favour the poodle….


Well where does this leave us? My conclusions based on a limited literature review are that left-wing, neurotic, intellectuals prefer cats. I have been around a cat now steadily for several years. If want an opinion on ontology and mention that Descartes says “I think therefore I am” but Beck says “I think therefore I feel” and thus where are the fundamental truths, he stares knowingly. My former lab dog would look quizzically and tongue my face thereby distracting me from the fundamental issues and forcing groundedness to reality- lets do a walk and get some brews.

The right-wing,  substance dependent personality disordered do clearly favour dogs….


This discussion thus far has ignored exotic pets like boas, scorpions, emus, hedgehogs and salt water fish. One study revealed that those fond of reptiles and arachnids were thrill seeking and open to new experiences. The kind that had ADD as kids and a criminal record later in life.

Horse owners were assertive and introspective but not nurturing or warm.The female preference for horses is well-known and reflects the contemporary desire for dominance and control. To be on top as it were. The sexual connotations being quite self-evident.

Hedgehog owners are noted to be hard-working and reliable, bird lovers sociable, expressive and decidedly eccentric. I could not find reliable data on llamas or wallabies though most exotics lovers tended towards adrenaline addiction and novelty. Factors common to type B personality traits.
So then where does this leave us as to the healthy logical universal pet choice? The answer is pretty clear. And the capacity for soccer training is an added plus….

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