Liberals Like Cats And Messy Desks


Tests to tell if someone is liberal or conservative are of uncertain significance but often amusing enough to take a look at. From a survey, Time has found, among other things, that liberals are more likely to like cats than conservatives.

Cats are less likely to follow authority. It does make sense that liberals would have a greater affinity for these freedom-loving animals, while conservatives, who are more into authority and imposing their rules upon others (regardless of their rhetoric) might not like them as much. Other questions show a similar distinction with liberals being more supportive of liberty while conservatives being more interested in authority. For example, conservative authoritarianism leads to a preference for more neat and tidy desks.

If we were to follow the logic that liberals prefer cats more than conservatives due to their preference for liberty, then we might think that libertarians would be ever bigger lovers of this anarchic animal. It turns out that libertarians fall between liberals and conservatives on each question. With a little thought about the state of the libertarian movement, this actually makes sense. Libertarians include those who are true opponents of restrictions on liberty, but many other libertarians are basically conservatives who have smoked marijuana. They have hung out with Republicans for so long that it has become difficult to tell them apart. Some libertarians, such as Ron Paul, share many views with the religious right. Plus, as I have noted in the past, Ron Paul’s views would lead to a less free society. Anyone know his opinion of cats? In researching the question I did find a Cats and Kitties for Dr. Ron Paul Facebook Page, but that doesn’t tell me if the attraction is mutual. I wonder what additional information I can find over at FriendFace.

Of course this data is open to other interpretations. Allahpundit at Hot Air wonders if the survey shows that liberals like cats more than conservatives  because women tend to like cats and more women are liberals than conservatives. It is also possible that cats work better as pets among liberals who are more likely to live in urban areas. Similarly,  the tendency for conservatives to be older than liberals might explain why they are more likely to use Internet Explorer, but it appears that Allahpundit might be as quick to write someone out of the conservative movement for using IE as for supporting a tax increase.


  1. 1
    David Duff says:

    Proudly, I am the exception that proves your rule, er, if ‘rule’ it be!
    Apart from when I was in the army I have always had cats and still do – and my desk top is living proof of chaos theory!  Oh, and I’m what you would call a Right-winger – ‘waddya mean, you knoo already’!

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    If you really want to see if this survey gets it wrong in your case you might take the entire quiz available here. It is possible that it might still call you a conservative even though you don’t fit their pattern on these two questions.

  3. 3
    David Duff says:

    Honestly, Ron, mine is a sad and lonely life but even I have better things to do than that – like adding witty, perceptive comments to your distinguished blog!

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    If it was a long survey I might not have suggested it, but it is very quick to answer the questions.

  5. 5
    Jake Witmer says:

    Modern “liberals” like cats more because:

    1) Cats will eat you if you die, they won’t mourn you. This meshes with their faux-liberal views that allow for people to be ground up into soylent green, after death panels pronounce them “a drain on the tax base.”
    2) The smartest cat isn’t as smart as the smartest dog, and cats in general, are less intelligent than dogs. This means there’s more kinship between cats and liberals, and it also means that the stupid cat-loving people don’t need to try as hard to train their pets, since cats are basically untrainable. (The exception to this are the truly-demented CIA goons as depicted in “Meet the Parents,” who like the challenge of training the intrinsically un-trainable.)
    3) Related to #2, prior: If you throw a pebble at a cat, it will look at the pebble, if you throw a pebble at a dog, the dog will look at you. Dogs meshed with people, because evolution pushed them to combine synergistically with the smartest brains. Cats failed to mesh with people, but were tolerated in their existing evolved state, because they killed the rats (and unknowingly infested innocent humans with invisible toxoplasma gondii germs, leading to brain disease, which allowed modern socialists to hit upon the deranged strategy of calling themselves “liberals” without comprehending basic history, philosophy, law, or economics).
    4) High hierarchical level determinism: Sociopath-driven socialists (who “mistakenly-on-purpose” call themselves liberals because sociopathic power-seekers realized that contaminating that word would destroy history-based unity, and fracture their opposition into warring subgroups) have structured society so that people narrowly specialize, and know nothing of high-hierarchical-level disciplines that unite sub-disciplines into a free market economy. In this regard, they feel more of a kinship with genetically-determined rodent killers, than they do dogs which have numerous DIFFERENT and UNIQUE specializations, based on breed, AND training.
    This meshes with the idiotic socialist idea that as technology puts people out of work, they cannot possibly learn new tasks and remain relevant. After all, evolution programmed them to kill mice, so that’s what they’re going to do, from cradle to grave. Libertarians and dog lovers may believe that neurons are deterministic, but they also understand high-level reinforcement determines who we are.

    Cats and Dogs as metaphors:

    Now, as a jazz fan, the use of the term cat to describe a “self-interested” individual who knows his place in the world, (describing cat actions applied as a metaphor) admires the confidence of the cat as a separate variable. So, there are hip-cool “cats” who have figured out the difficulty of training german shepards to hunt in an organized fashion, or figured out how to train search-and-rescue dogs, or bomb-sniffing dogs.

    There is also the metaphor based on the fact that dogs are lower-level than people, to insult a person by calling him a “dog.” After all, dogs can be trained to work for evil (drug sniffing dogs), whereas cats –being too unintelligent to train– cannot be trained to do evil.

    But seriously: a lot of cat-lovers are infected with toxoplasma, and that is primarily what contributes a lot to their love of cats.

    And, if you think this is a serious critique of people based on which furry animal they like to keep as a pet, then heaven help you, you’ve got really big problems. It’s all in jest, with a few semi-truthful barbs thrown in to make it funny.


  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    So much for my thought that libertarians would prefer cats for many of the same reasons I wrote that liberals do, despite the survey results. I can’t help but wonder if the study had showed liberals preferred dogs if Jake would have made the opposite argument.

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