Are Pets making you Empaths: A Study on the Degree of Empathy of Adult Pet Owners of India


  • Arinjoy Bhattacharjee



Empathy, pet ownership, psychological well-being, animals, human-animal bond.


Background: Some work has been done to test the intuition that having pets might affect the degree of empathy pet owners display. The current literature suggests that no such causal relationship can be established between these two variables, however, these findings are limited in scope. To the best of our knowledge, no such studies have been conducted on the adult population of India and that is the primary driving force behind this study. Objectives: Our objective was to find if owning pets makes adult individuals more empathetic and to see if our findings on adults show congruence with the findings of studies conducted on children. Methods: The Toronto Empathy Questionnaire (TEQ) was self-administered by a sample of adults (n = 196) belonging to two groups: pet owners (n = 100) and controls (n = 96) and their mean TEQ scores were compared. Results: The mean TEQ scores for pet owners was 26.17 ± 10.03 and for the controls was 28.25 ± 12.41. The computed t-score between the TEQ scores of the two groups came out to be statistically insignificant. Conclusion: The findings of the study confirm the findings in the present literature on children that owning pets have no effect on the degree of empathy and the results can be extended to adults as well.


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How to Cite

Arinjoy Bhattacharjee. (2022). Are Pets making you Empaths: A Study on the Degree of Empathy of Adult Pet Owners of India. International Journal of Indian Psychȯlogy, 11(1).