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This article was published on August 9, 2016

Facebook sampled data from 160k users and determined cat people are sad and lonely

Facebook sampled data from 160k users and determined cat people are sad and lonely
Bryan Clark
Story by

Bryan Clark

Former Managing Editor, TNW

Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.

Facebook researchers examined the behavior of over 160,000 users to help put an end to the cat vs dog debate once and for all. Its findings were actually in line with long-held stereotypes that dog people tend to be friendly, outgoing and generally likable while cat people are more likely to be single and sad.

Hey, don’t shoot the messenger.

The data came from sentiment expressed in status updates, of which cat people were much more likely to say they were tired, annoyed, sad or emotional. Dog owners, on the other hand, were a bit more even-keel. The two emotions most often expressed were excitement and pride, and there wasn’t nearly as much variation on the spectrum as their feline-loving counterparts.


If you’re feeling a bit slighted as a cat owner, there is a bright spot. It appears that cat owners get invited to events more often, although researchers were unsure how many of these invitations were accepted. The data points to cat owners having more discerning friends, a quality over quantity approach as opposed to dog lovers.

Also, cat owners seem to have better taste in TV and film than their canine-loving nemeses — at least according to what they’ve “liked” on Facebook. While dog owners prefer films like ‘Fifty Shades of Grey,’ ‘The Hangover and Marley & Me’ (of course), cat people enjoy films like ‘The Hobbit,’ ‘Brave New World’  and ‘A Clockwork Orange.’

The most popular TV series amongst dog people: ‘Duck Dynasty.’ ‘Nuff said.


Books are a bit of a toss-up, as that really boils down to preference.

Cat people were disproportionately skewed toward classics and science fiction, while dog people tend to read more best sellers and current favorites. Both are arguably equal, as there’s no such thing as a bad book… okay, that’s definitely not true (looking at you Stephenie Meyer).


Other findings were that cat and dog people lived all over the US without much disparity in who lives where — aside from a n0-brainer that city-dwellers tend to prefer cats. Dogs obviously require more space, especially when they aren’t the type you can shove in a purse and walk around town with, so that part seems to make some sense.

Dogs did skew slightly rural, but again, both were found in every pocket of the United States without a ton of disparity.

So, there you have it. Now you have some data to back up your argument — whichever side you’re on — when it inevitably comes up again.

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