The animals we choose to spend our lives with say a lot about us.
Introverts are known to be cat people, while extroverts tend to prefer dogs.
Of course, this is a brash generalization: there are so many different species we may choose to bring into our families, but some personality types mesh better with certain species more than others.
Some say that one’s Myers-Briggs type can dictate which “pet” (for lack of a better word) will suit one’s personality best.
Here are a few playful suggestions you may wish to consider if you’re thinking of adopting (and we encourage you to adopt wherever possible).
(Not sure what your Myers-Briggs type is? Take this online test.)
ISFP – Norwegian forest cat
If you’re an ISFP, you’re probably an adventurous type who likes things that are unique and interesting. You get bored easily, and don’t like anything that requires too much commitment and dedication.
As such, you should choose an animal friend who’s pretty self-sufficient. You’re unlikely to bond with any being that’s too needy or demanding, and you’ll get resentful if you’re stuck sticking to a stringent schedule.
Try a Norwegian forest cat.
These brilliant beasts are super intelligent, friendly, and won’t cramp your lifestyle. They’re great companions, can be taught all kinds of cool things (including how to feed themselves from an automated food dispenser), and are just awesome overall.
ENFP – Labrador or golden retriever
Gregarious and unbelievably friendly, you folks need animal companions that can match your high energy levels and overall love for humanity.
Like a Labrador or golden retriever.
Fiercely loyal, friendly, affectionate, and smart, these dogs are pretty much ideal for your personality type.
They’ll match your energy levels and will be overjoyed to go for walkies any time you feel like getting out of the house.
Want to socialize? They love everyone! Need a companion that’ll be great with your kids? That dog will be happy to play dress-up and slobber happily over everyone.
They’re loving, eager to please, and just unbelievably sweet.
Who’s a good pupper? YOU ARE. YES YOU ARE.
INFJ – Hedgehog
Hello you sweet, prickly thing. You’re so diligent about causes you believe in, and want to create situations that turn out best for everyone… but you can bristle and foam if faced with any kind of criticism – constructive or otherwise.
An animal companion whose personality mirrors your own rather perfectly would be a hedgehog.
These little friends have adorable little snoots and are quirky to interact with, but are affectionate on their own terms, and roll up into spiky balls if they don’t want to be annoyed.
Kind of like you.
They’re nocturnal and solitary, so you’ll have company when you’re up all night writing letters for social change.
You’re probably the type who’s liked by pretty much everyone, with your effervescent personality and charming smile.
If you haven’t had a guinea pig companion before, you might want to adopt one.
They’re quirky little weirdos who make adorable “kwee kwee” noises as they snuffle around, and are as happy to play and ask for snacks as they are joyous about sitting on your lap for cuddles.
Just be forewarned that they’re little poop machines that can’t be litter trained. They’re wonderful, sweet little friends, but Gatling poo guns.
If you’re cool with that, get a couple of piggles so they can socialize with one another, and prepare for your heart to melt.
ENTP – Rat
Between your love of puzzles and problem solving, and love of good-natured debate, you’re an interesting balance between social and enigmatic.
You might be a bit cheeky and like to push other people’s buttons now and then just to see what happens, but it’s rarely out of malice.
Should you be in the market for a new animal friend, you may wish to consider a rat.
They’re intelligent, curious, friendly little creatures, and can likely hold their own when it comes to antagonism, as well as affection.
As an aside, they only live for a couple of years, so if you fall into your characteristic habit of getting bored and resentful of anything/anyone who bogs you down, you know your relationship with them will be a fairly short commitment.
INTP – Rabbit
If you’re looking for an ideal animal companion, you’d likely do well with a bunny.
In terms of temperament, rabbits are like a cross between cats and dogs. They’re quite independent and incredibly clean, but also curious and intelligent.
Some breeds are more timid, while others are affectionate and playful, so do your research to find one that suits your personality best.
INTPs do well with rabbits because they aren’t too demanding and are unlikely to be startling. They won’t throw off your concentration by barking for no reason, nor keep you up all night by meowing.
They’re quiet and dependable, and just unbelievably sweet.
They’re also vegan, which is likely to mesh well with your ethical leanings.
These wonderful animals should get plenty of space to run around in, rather than just being locked in a hutch all day long.
Learn how to bunny-proof your home so they don’t chew on wires, and you can have a happy house bun cuddling with you on the couch, or curled up by your feet as you write until the wee hours.
ISTJ – Turtle
When it comes to reliability, you folks pretty much wrote the book on it.
Your integrity is flawless, you’re known for being sincere and honest, and even though you like to keep yourself to yourself, you have devoted friends who adore you for your steadfastness.
Have you ever thought about adopting a turtle? Because they’re pretty much perfect for you.
They’re neither loud, nor gregarious, but have a quiet dignity that’s really quite endearing. Since they have such long lifespans, they’re also known for their wisdom. Kind of like you.
Many turtles and tortoises can live as long as we do (if not longer), so if you’d like to befriend a gentle, silent, vegan buddy who’ll be with you forever, this may be your best bet.
ENTJ – Border collie or Australian shepherd dog
So, you know how you like to be in charge all the time? That’s cool, every group needs an assertive, strong-willed leader. The key is to get an animal companion who’s both obedient and eager to please, to best suit your personality.
Aim for a border collie or Australian shepherd dog.
These two breeds are incredibly intelligent, very obedient, and train very quickly and easily.
They’re also highly energetic and can keep up with your extroversion, long working hours, and exorbitant demands.
Since they’re so smart, you’re also less likely to get frustrated by them. Other breeds might be cheeky and disobedient, or downright resentful of you bossing them around and making them stick to rules, but these breeds thrive on those boundaries.
Adopt one of them, and you’ll have a best friend for life.
Most INTJs don’t like anyone who’ll annoy them by wanting too much affection. You might still want to have a relationship with an animal companion, but not have to deal with one that needs to be walked or petted too much.
You might do well with a lizard, like a bearded dragon.
These animals have fairly specialized needs, but you’re so diligent and responsible that you’re pretty much ideal to take care of them.
They won’t cramp your lifestyle, nor make irritating noises, but you’ll be able to interact with them and observe just how freaking cool they are.
Since you’re so analytical, you’ll likely be fascinated by them, and engage with them on a level that most others won’t be able to achieve. You’ll also appreciate the fact that they’re not shedding or slobbering all over you.
INFP – Birman cat
Since you’re most likely the type of person who’ll hole up in the kitchen at a house party, befriending the household cats, they’re definitely the right choice for you.
Birman cats in particular are very quiet, and are both intelligent and affectionate, albeit in a non-demanding manner.
Unlike dogs, which can be quite gregarious, cats tend to have softer, more gentle personalities that are well suited to your super-introverted nature.
Also, much like you, they appreciate their alone time. They’re unlikely to be intrusive with demands for attention and cuddles, but they know when you need them.
Their soft purring will help to quell your natural anxiety, and they’re perfect companions when you’re hiding at home, away from people, on any given Friday or Saturday night.
ESTJ – Fish
Do you like to watch fish? Good, because they’re basically the ideal animal companions for you.
You detail-oriented, inquisitive, reliable folks are really well suited to caring for aquarium fish. You’ll keep their tank’s water temperature and oxygen levels just right, and will be fascinated by observing their behaviors.
And come on, who wouldn’t love to watch a pleco clean tank glass for hours?
These animal companions won’t annoy you with neediness for affection and attention, and can offer you an extraordinary amount of calm when you feel overwhelmed.
Best of all, you can monologue at them for hours and they’ll listen to you without interrupting.
ESTP – Horse
You’re a thrill-seeker and love excitement, and have a tendency to be impulsive. You’re also spontaneous, fun, and immensely caring with those you love.
You might not do well with a pet that’s really needy and demanding. Instead, you’ll want one that can engage with you on several levels.
If you have the financial means to do so, you might do well with a horse. It can match your energy levels, and will be happy running around with you and rolling around in sunny, grassy spots.
Since you’ll keep it stabled elsewhere, you can pay other people for its daily care, and visit it regularly for cuddles, riding, and special grooming/bonding time.
You won’t end up resenting it because its demanding care will be sorted out by dedicated caregivers, but it’ll appreciate your visits beyond measure.
ENFJ – Parrot
You’re an immensely giving, friendly, caring soul whose word is your bond. As such, you’re pretty much the ideal companion for a parrot.
These magnificent birds are fiercely smart, and depending on the breed you gravitate toward, can learn a variety of different tricks/tasks, or even hold conversations with you.
They require a LOT of dedication and patience (which you have in spades), and since they can live for several decades, they need a caregiver who will be devoted to their wellbeing for life.
That’s you to a T.
Try a cockatiel: they’re friendly, sweet, affectionate companions that love to cuddle with their favorite people, and will serenade you with chirps and whistles all day.
Since they can live anywhere from 15 to 30 years, they’ll grow and evolve along with you as you journey through life.
ISTP – Raccoon
Hey, you crafty critter. Are raccoons legal pets in your area? If they are, they’re ideal for your personality type.
These incredibly smart beings are as fun and friendly as dogs, but fiercely curious. You know how you like to take things apart to figure out how they work? Your raccoon pal likes to do the exact same thing.
They also like to chill on the couch with you, especially if they have a bowl full of healthy snacks to chow down on.
They need specialized vet care and can make an unholy mess at times, but if you’re cool with that, you may very well have a winner on your hands.
ESFP – Yorkshire terrier
Considering your flair for the dramatic and need for attention, you’d do best with a pet that matches your energy well.
ESFPs are known for being the “most extroverted extroverts,” so an animal that’s equal parts high-energy and adorable would be perfect for you.
Like a Yorkshire terrier.
Terriers are known for being energetic, and this breed is up for pretty much everything their owners could dream up.
They love affection and attention, but are also cool with doing their own thing while you’re being fussed over by other humans.
They’re also tolerant of being dressed up, and if you go for a Yorkie, you can carry it around with you, much to its delight. They love to cuddle and sit on laps, and are as feisty as they are smart.
Just like you.
ISFJ – Anything
Oh, you sweet, empathic defenders. You folks are suckers for the underdog (no pet-related pun intended, honest), and do well with just about any animal companion.
You’re doting, kind, and make sure that all in your care are well tended and slathered with love.
As such, you’d do well with pretty much any non-human friend, but you might find it particularly rewarding to care for an animal with special needs.
There are so many out there that are in need of loving, caring homes, and you’re just the right person to tend to them.
You’re dependable, you’ll ensure that they’re loved more than they’ve ever imagined, and they’re safe in your gentle hands. They’d be the luckiest creatures ever to be adored by you.
Hopefully this disclaimer isn’t really needed, but it’ll be said anyway: please be responsible when it comes to adopting an animal companion. These are living, sentient beings who need a lot of care and respect, and shouldn’t just be adopted on a whim.
This is especially true for “exotic” species like raccoons. They’ll need specialized care and a lot of attention, and can’t just be dragged in from the wild.
Animal companions shouldn’t just be tossed into a cage and neglected when you get bored. If you can’t dedicate proper time and energy to caring for one as you would a child, then it’s best that you stick with electronic toys instead.
Sharing your life with an animal is immensely rewarding, and if you’re ready to do so, enjoy every moment of it.
Yes, they drive us crazy sometimes (much like children), and they can make huge messes (much like children), but they love unconditionally.
After you’ve had a close relationship with an animal, you’ll never view the world the same way again.