Photo by Milada Vigerova on Unsplash

NEW YORK — Ever feel like you and your pet share a truly deep connection? While some people may think their pets kind of look like them, a new survey finds over half of American pet parents think their animal companion acts like them too.

The OnePoll survey of 2,000 people finds an overwhelming 80 percent believe their pet has a “very distinct personality,” with 55 percent believing that they share similar personality traits with their pet. Commissioned by ZippyPaws, the survey revealed that Americans are also particularly eager to believe that their pets are intelligent.

When asked to choose between “clever” and “oblivious” to define their pet’s personality, 64 percent of respondents think the best of their furry friend’s smarts. Just 24 percent feel their pet doesn’t have a clue. Similarly, 62 percent of pet parents also use the term “smart” when describing their pet.

How do Americans describe their furry friends?

The data also suggests that the majority of American pets are more friendly than shy (50% vs. 42%), more clingy than aloof (50% vs. 35%), more trusting than suspicious (57% vs. 31%), and more hyperactive than lazy (51% vs. 30%).

However, life as a pet isn’t always sunshine and treats. Three in 10 respondents admit their pets are “anxious” and another 33 percent would describe their pet as a “drama queen.”

One in five think their pet is just plain weird and another 48 percent say they’ve seen their pet engage in behavior that’s considered unusual for their size or species. That includes cats who play fetch or big dogs that sit in people’s laps like a puppy. Nearly six in 10 (57%) say their pets behave very differently when they think they’re not being watched.

“My current dog will try to slowly take things out of the trash when she thinks I’m not looking,” one respondent tells the poll. Another reports that they’ve caught their pet “licking a table leg in the living room.”

“Even when we’re not spending so much more time at home, we all love telling stories about our pets,” says ZippyPaws Co-Founder Jen Glaser in a statement. “And with the rise of remote work, we’re now able to observe them during parts of the day they used to have all to themselves, so it’s no surprise that we feel more in tune with their personalities than ever.”

Pet owners can read their companion like a book

Out of the 57 percent of respondents who own multiple pets, 80 percent say that they always know which one is making a noise in another room, even when they aren’t looking. Three in four respondents (76%) even say they can always tell what their pet is thinking just from the look on their face.

However, knowing your pet doesn’t mean you always know what they’re going to like. In fact, 80 percent of Americans have bought their pet a special bed to sleep in, but only 58 percent say their pet actually uses it.

“The stuff we buy for our pet says as much about us as it does about them,” Glaser adds. “You might buy a toy shaped like a bottle of rosé because it’s your favorite wine, but all your dog knows is that it’s fun to chew on!”

About Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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