In Portland, Oregon, It’s Cat People vs. Dog People

They are declarations heard often in the pet-loving Northwest such as: “I’m a dog person,” or “I’m a cat person.” But they’re rarely followed by much explanation.

So, just what makes someone a dog or cat person? With Portland’s biggest dog show and cat show coming up on back-to-back weekends, Jan. 20-24 and Jan. 29-31 respectively, we asked the experts from each to define these polar titles.

Who Are the Dog People?

“People who declare themselves dog lovers are as varied as the 189 breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club,” said Rose City Classic dog show organizers Patti and Rod Strand.

“Think of what a dog does, and you’ll be on the track to discovering the type of people who own those dogs,” Rod said.

Herding dog owners will be work-oriented, while owners of hounds and sporting dogs are often all about play. As for owners of toy breeds, they are great companions looking for a match.

Most dog breeds carry each one of these traits and more on some level, as do their owners, the Strands said. But if old sayings ring true, one thing dog people share is room inside their hearts for a best friend.

Who Are he Cat people

According to Pamela Barrett, manager of the International Cat Show, those who prefer cats tend to share some of their cat’s traits: independence, intelligence and self-awareness.

“Cats are a very social creature, and they bring out the best in us,” Barrett said. “They’re so easy to take care of. You just have to make a mental connection with them and hope that they want to please you.”

Still, Barrett said cats have a special way of reminding us that we will never be able control them, which brings to mind the old “herding cats” metaphor.

“Oh, that’s nothing,” Barrett said. “Try herding cat people.”

Unfortunately, the jury is still out on what makes a reptile, fish, bird or horse person. But whichever your pet preference, canine or feline, there’ll be no shortage of fur-ridden fun over the next two weeks.

For the dog people, the Rose City Classic runs from Wednesday through Sunday, Jan. 20-24, at the Portland Expo Center. It’s like those dog shows you watch on TV except you get a chance to meet your favorite breeds in person.

Are you thinking about adding a German Shepherd or a Gordon Setter to your family? Well the, go on and meet that puppy.

Events in agility, obedience, and breed standard conformation will keep the entire family busy, with Thursday through Sunday being the best days to catch all the breeds in action.

Cat lovers get their turn in the show ring at the International Cat Show from Friday through Sunday, Jan. 29-31. Felines will fill up the Holiday Inn at the Portland Airport in what Barrett calls “a very touchy-feely show.”

All visitors will get to pet and vote for their favorite cats in a people’s choice contest. Keep an eye out for a white housecat all the way from Russia – one you might call “The Moscow Meow” – who Barrett stated “has more personality than most humans.”

New this year, the first 250 guests to arrive each and every day will receive 20 pounds of Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat kitty litter. And for an example of how best to use those wonderful winnings, see the show’s “Scooper Bowl,” a timed litter box scooping contest in which “certified litter box technicians” compete to remove the most jelly beans from their sandy boxes.

Whichever event you may attend, just make sure you bring a lint roller.


When: Jan. 20-24, daily schedule varies

Where: Portland Expo Center, 2060 N. Marine Dr.

Admission: $10 per person; $20 per family of up to five people; $15 two-day individual pass; $30 two-day family pass


When: Jan. 29-31, daily schedule varies

Where: Holiday in at Portland Airport, 8439 NE Columbia Boulevard

Admission: $8 or $6 and two cans of food for the Oregon Food Bank; children 12 and under enter free.