Black Cat vs Golden Retriever Duo Trend: Which One You Are?

Written by

Amy Sawy

Veterinarian. DVM


Joseph M. Plummer

Veterinarian, DVM, MVZ

black cat vs golden retriever

For decades, psychologists have studied couples to determine whether “opposites attract” is true. Research findings remain inconclusive, but many people still believe in it to this day.

In recent years, Tiktokers developed a new term that refers to an unlikely relationship between a sociable person and a reserved individual: The black cat vs golden retriever theory.

How do these animals behave anyway? Why do people get compared with them?

Let’s answer these questions blow by blow!

Decoding Animal Personalities

Black Cats Golden Retriever
Breed 22 cat breeds have a pure black coat A golden retriever is a dog breed.
Temperament Depends on the breed, environment, and how pet owners nurture them.

Notable temperaments: aloof, curious, shy, playful, aggressive, loveable

Intelligent, friendly, affectionate, and playful.
Interaction with pet owners Tends to be more independent and likes to be alone Loves human companion
Communication style Subtle expressions and movements Expresses their emotions with facial and body movements.
Popularity Unpopular in certain cultures as they are associated with bad luck and witchcraft Golden retrievers are the third most popular breed.

Cats are deemed solitary creatures. As such, they are the “introverts” in the golden retriever vs black cat trope. Meanwhile, dogs are fun, loyal four-legged friends, which is why they are seen as extroverts.

1. Black Cats

In reality, it is impossible to pin down specific behaviors of black cats, since each of the 22 breeds has different temperaments. Bombay cats, for instance, crave attention from their owners. They are anything but introverts.

Black cats are introverts, quiet and reserved personality

However, when discussing black cat energy meaning, people tend to refer to the following characteristics:

  • A reserved and chill personality
  • Mysterious and doesn’t fit into a group
  • Quiet and somewhat distant, yet strong and capable
  • Intelligent, observant, and possibly supercilious
  • Rarely smiles or displays emotion

One possible reason most people associate black cats with a quiet and reserved personality is that they are unable to read the felines’ emotions or facial expressions. As such, they can be mistakenly considered unfriendly.

Another reason black cats are considered the “odd one out” is that they used to be a symbol of bad luck and witchcraft. Although most people nowadays no longer believe in the misconception, the cats’ association with the mythical still lingers.

2. Golden Retrievers

On the other hand, golden retrievers have only been around for one-and-a-half centuries. Trivia: These mutts are descendants of a yellow flat-coated retriever and tweed water spaniel that a Scotsman named Dudley Coutts Marjoribanks bred.

Golden retrievers are outgoing and thus considered extroverts

Unlike black cats, golden retrievers are more outgoing and thus considered extroverts. A few notable characteristics of golden retrievers are:

  • Sociable, energetic, and sporty
  • Playful and gentle with those around them
  • Eager-to-please and loving
  • Somewhat goofy
  • Able to communicate with people and sense emotions

As you can see, black cats and golden retrievers are usually starkly different in terms of temperament. Whereas the former is usually more reserved, aloof, and quiet, the latter is more outgoing, energetic, and affectionate.

The Human Connection: Why We See Ourselves in Pets


Regardless of the cultural background, people have a habit of ascribing human traits to non-human beings. In psychology, this process is called anthropomorphism.

You may not notice it, but anthropomorphism is quite popular in cultures and literature, as seen in, for instance, George Orwell’s Animal Farm. Similarly, doves are considered a symbol of peace, owls are wisdom, and foxes are cunning—the list of examples goes on.

Similarly, the “black cat and golden retriever” assigns a set of human traits to animals. It makes sense that Tiktokers use them to refer to couples and friendships where one is self-contained and the other is outgoing.


If you’re not clear yet, black cats are used to symbolize people who are introverted, calm, and broody. Meanwhile, golden retrievers refer to an extroverted, loving, and loyal personality type.

For example, in Netflix’s Wednesday series, Enid’s sunshine personality and outgoing demeanor make her the golden retriever of the duo. In contrast, the titular character’s broody and antisocial behavior make her the black cat.


Now that you know what the “black cat vs golden retriever” is, can you tell which one your partner or best friend is and which one you are?

If you are fun, approachable, and extroverted, you probably have a golden retriever energy. On the flip side, you may be exuding a black cat vibe if you like to keep to yourself. But if you’re unsure, you can always take a personality test online!

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