When it comes to our pets, most of us will profess to being either a 'dog person' or a 'cat person', depending on whether we'd rather run around with our pooch in the park or kick back and feed our feline friend cat food treats on the sofa.

And now it seems that the particular camp we call into when it comes to our pet preferences could say something about our own personality.

Led by Sam Gosling, researchers from the University of Texas in Austin have revealed that not only is there is a distinct difference between cat people and their canine loving counterparts, but each group shows distinct qualities depending on their preferred pet.

"There is a widely held cultural belief that the pet species - dog or cat - with which a person has the strongest affinity says something about the individual's personality," said Mr Gosling.

The researchers investigated the question by finding out the pet preferences of 4,565 volunteers and then assessing their personality by measuring them on the Big Five personality dimensions commonly used by psychologists.

They found that those participants who described themselves as dog people were more agreeable, extroverted and conscientious than those who would rather spend their time with their feline friends.

On the other hand, cat lovers were shown to be more neurotic but were also found to have more open personalities than self-defined dog lovers.

In the past researchers have struggled to find consistent differences between cat and dog people, and this study is the first to suggest what these two groups tend to be like.

"This research suggests there are significant differences on major personality traits between dog people and cat people," Mr Gosling added.

"Given the tight psychological connections between people and their pets, it is likely that the differences between dogs and cats may be suited to different human personalities."

Written by: Hannah