Should Men Keep Cats Off Their Dating Profile?
Pet parenthood is typically viewed favorably to potential partners, as it's a representation of a person's sense of responsibility and a display of their caring nature. While studies have shown that dogs have a positive impact on a person’s perceived attractiveness on dating websites, a new study finds that cats may have the opposite effect.
For men, in particular, a study from Colorado State University found that women preferred men in photos alone, rather than in photos with their cats.
“Men holding cats were viewed as less masculine; more neurotic, agreeable and open; and less dateable,” said the study’s authors, Lori Kogan and Shelly Volsche. “These findings suggest that pets continue to play a role in women’s mate choices and dating preferences, but that a closer look at the effects of different species of pets is warranted.”
Around 708 women between the ages of 18 and 24 were surveyed online and rated photos of men alone and men holding cats. Taking into account the different relationships respondents might be looking for, whether it be long-term or short-term, across the board respondents preferred dating the man without the cat in the picture. Due to the fact that dogs are more reliant on humans for their care, cats may not be viewed as much of a symbol of responsiblity, according to the study.
The authors also noted if an individual identified as a dog or cat person to see how this would affect the results. The majority of the respondents said they were a dog person (47.6 percent). Only the 19 percent of respondents to identify as a cat person felt that a man posing with a cat was more attractive as a short-term or long-term partner.
The study states, “that American culture has distinguished ‘cat men’ as less masculine, perhaps creating a cultural preference for ‘dog men’ among most heterosexual women in the studied age group.” It alludes to the idea that these gendered stereotypes are what caused this reaction for participants.
We’ve seen, even our industry, that cat owners have felt snubbed. Maybe one way to tackle these gender stereotypes, and perceptions of cat ownership, is to look at what products and services this industry provides to these owners.
Men out there, if you’re looking for a fellow cat person, having a cat in your profile may be the right move for you. If you don’t want your cat to impact your chances with dog-loving women, it might be best to leave your cat off your profile. At the end of the day, finding a partner that's best for you (and who accepts your pets) is the most important thing.