Are you a cat or a dog lover? Then Facebook has some news for you. Inspired by the eternally fierce rivalry between canine and feline lovers and, more specifically, International Cat Day (August 8), the data-gathering brains at Facebook looked at the behaviour of 160,000 Facebook users in the United States. And the data they found will sadly reinforce many unfair stereotypes... for both parties.
The very first observation, published on Facebook's Research blog, is a corker: cat people are more likely to be single than dog owners, with 30 per cent of cat people listing their relationship status as single compared to 24 per cent of dog folks. But in a win for spinsters everywhere - being single and a cat lovers isn't related to age or gender.
Another reinforced stereotype points to dog lovers as being slightly more outgoing than their feline counterparts: dog owners on average had 26 more friends than cat freaks. However, on the other hand, kitty people were invited to more events, which perhaps suggests they value quality over quantity?
The results get more interesting when you look at the movie, book and TV tastes of dog and cat people. When it comes to books, cat peeps tended towards fantasy (Harry Potter), horror (Dracula), classics (Alice in Wonderland) and sci-fi (Brave New World) while dog lovers went for more mainstream fare like Eat, Pray, Love and Marley & Me (duh) and romances like The Notebook and Water for Elephants. (Of course, this is Facebook, so many of these 'Likes' are knowingly public. Not many people are going to admit to liking Mills & Boon, are they?)
Favourite movies followed a similar vein, with cat people more likely to choose darker or more critically acclaimed flicks such as Trainspotting, A Clockwork Orange, Alien (and weirdly, Child's Play) compared to dog people and their predilection for mainstream crowd pleasers like Step Up, The Notebook, Fifty Shades of Grey and The Hangover.
Similarly, cat owners' TV tastes leaned towards fantasy and anime (Hello Kitty, suddenly makes sense) but dog owners went for romance, drama and reality TV.
Lastly, it seems cat lovers express more of a range of emotions on Facebook than dog lovers - more likely to say they are feeling, tired, amused, annoyed, happy, sad, loved and emotional compared to canine-friendly folks who like to share when they're feeling fabulous, blessed, proud and excited. We think that just about sums up the general personalities of a cat and dog, don't you? Although, of course, that's open to debate...
But before you get narky, we'll leave you with proof that dogs and cats can get along... See more of the study insights here.