Women are Better Cat Caretakers than Men?

This is a brief discussion on the subject that women are better at taking care of companion cats than men. In order to discuss it we need to look at one major difference between men and women: the intuition and sensitivity of women compared to men. This aspect of a woman’s character is probably what makes a woman, in general, better at cat caretaking than a man. I have to stress “in general” because there are many millions of fantastic male, human cat owners.

Women are better cat caretakers than men

Women are better cat caretakers than men. Cat whisperer (bottom left) is Jan. The photo is by yi. Top two photos are bought from iStockphoto.

I remember Ruth (Monty’s mom) criticizing me (correctly) for adopting a stereotypical viewpoint about a certain subject. There are individuals who fit stereotypes but there are also many people who don’t fit into any stereotype. They are individuals with their own special personalities.

You could say that a sensitive male is better at cat caretaking than a female. However, I don’t want to discuss that and, in any case, it is a provocative statement. I want to discuss the general view that women are better cat caretakers than men because they are more sensitive and intuitive. These characteristics are so in tune with a cat’s character. I think that is a key factor.

A sensitive person is more alert and it is said that intuition makes people more sensitive. Also women are said to have more empathy and patience than men who tend to want to get their own way and achieve immediate results. Often a tender, slow process, which is in tune with nature, is much better when dealing with a cat.

Men who are successful –  “success” usually means in business or making money – are good at applying logic and getting “results”; whatever “results” means. Men are more used to dictating opinion whereas women are more in tune with the idea of achieving a consensus amongst others to achieve a goal. This attitude is potentially better when dealing with a cat companion as you cannot “dictate” to a cat ;).

You can’t make a cat do things. It is far better and more productive to work with a cat on a cat’s terms than to try and force a cat to do something.

Women are more in tune with how we say things to others to get a result. The tone and demeanor is more important to a woman. A man will tend to just say it and sod it. If the recipient doesn’t like it: tough.

These are my conclusions:

  • You cannot stereotype a woman and a man. It is too black-and-white. There are vast areas of grey in between the sexes. This alone could render meaningless the idea that women are better cat caretakers than men.
  • Women are more consensus orientated, which might mean they are better cat owners.
  • Women work more slowly or to put that in a more acceptable way: they are more patient in getting “results” – good for cats.
  • Women are more intuitive and sensitive. That is perhaps a stereotype that I have to question. I believe that men are equally sensitive but they are trained to lock that sensitivity away because at the sharp end of life you can’t afford to be too sensitive because you get walked over.
  • Women are more in tune with cats (solitary animals) and men are more in tune with dogs (pack animals).
Facebook Discussion

Comments

Women are Better Cat Caretakers than Men? — 22 Comments

  1. It depends on the man of course, if he is a sensitive and caring sort like you are Michael and some of the other male visitors who come to PoC are, they are equally as good a cat caretaker as a woman.
    The problem with some men is that they won’t admit to their sensitive side, they think it’s not manly.
    That is silly because I for one and I should think many other women too, admire a man who will show his feelings and isn’t afraid to say how much he loves cats.
    The sensitive cat loving men of PoC are definately my kind of man!

    • That is a very sensible, wise comment 😉 It is what I’d expect from you. So perhaps it is not so much a question whether women are better cat caretakers/guardians but more about whether a man will allow himself to be sensitive. That could be the point.

      Men are trained or conditioned to hide their emotions in the pack animal atmosphere of the workplace.

      • Yes. Those men who are truly sensitive seem to have no egotistical need to repress that sensitivity. That, IMHO, is what we love most in our men. Very well said, Michael. Thank you to both of you.

  2. Meow 😉

    I believe men are equally as sensitive as women… Since joining here I have seen an abundance of very sensitive loving men toward their furry family members. Overall society sterotypes men and women. Women are the tender touch and men are the rough sorts, manly don’t cry etc. which is rubbish. But, because society has put us in this mold “we” feel we have to live up to it to a certain degree. See how men and women are type cast in movies and commercials (well here in the U.S.) I’m not aware of your age Michael so I can only “assume” but when I was growing up it was expected girls were the weaker sex and cried where boys don’t cry or it’s a sign of weakness (I’m getting carried away here).

    Basically I’m emphasizing what you’ve both said. Men are just as sensitive as women (my view if they get over that conditioning they were taught as children) and make excellent caretakers…

    See –> Michael 🙂

    Love and Light
    Carol

    • Well, great. We can call ourselves friends 😉 Seriously, I agree, there is too much stereotyping. A lot of men are uncertain about declaring a love of cats for fear of being branded as gay by homophobic men. These idiots are appalling.

      There is this stereotype of the “crazy cat lady”. Completely wrong and probably misogynistic (difficult to spell that).

      • 🙂

        Stereotyping is why our young children suffer from anorexia! That’s another story…

        Friends happily Michael

        Love and Light
        Carol

        P.S. I have been called the crazy cat lady lol!

        • Stereotyping is why our young children suffer from anorexia

          Agreed. Terrible thing. It affects people of all ages even 92 year olds. We have to be ourselves and like ourselves. I’ve always been a bit of an anarchist, never accepting the status quo unless it deserves to be accepted, which helps to shut out the bombardment of media pressures.

        • This is something that doesn’t often come to the surface: misogynistic men are usually not woman-haters. (Yes, i’m repeating what you just emphasized? Many men are not really misogynists, but appear to be. because they are so afraid of showing their true feelings. They are afraid, due to our silly stereotypes –in this day and age? come’on, guys, it’s time to BE A MAN! get over it! haha, you have not emasculated yourselves; other men do not respect you for being macho. They may be just waiting for you to express your sensitivity first, so that can follow suit.

          There. I’ve just reiterated what you all have said. There will always be the “virulent” adolescent males (and females) who feel a strong urge to continue “the status quo” human race. But by god, grateful I am that the older, wiser males on this planet of ours…know better.

  3. For years our stupid patriarchal society included women in the ‘social other’ or otherwise untameable force of nature to be controlled and objectified by men. Now women have been accepted in some parts of the world to some extent but I am not suprised that they are better caretakers because they are more in touch with their own true nature. It would be nice to think that women were never as stupid enough as men to actually separate themselves from nature but there are plenty of women who are totally sucked in by culture and all it’s self effacing qualities that lack intuition or organic logic. Nowadays there are alot of men women, or women who really seem to go for being like men in the stereotypical old fashioned dinosaur personality sense. There are many reptilian people out there still but I reckon that the premise of this article is true in that there is a higher likelihood that a woman will be a better cat caretaker than a man because men face alot more ridiculous and stupid culturally based character demands and ideas and stereotypes than women so they are more likely to not even know who they really are than women who are allowed to be a little bit organic per se. I’m glad I don’t run into too many tough guys and klug sheisse’s (derogatory for know it all wise man not but thinks he is – in german – literally meaning ‘knowledge shit’, love it!) but in the past it has always been refreshing to hang out with girls, especially when I was younger and surrounded by people struggling with their identities. The guys were often just wierdo’s whereas you could have a laugh with the girls and express love without being called a pansy etc etc

    I could go on- when it comes to the cultural contructs I get carried away.

    Just to be clear about one thing though:

    In this world there is male and female, however masculine and feminine are cultural constructs and probably the underlying cause of why alot of guys couldn’t understand a cat if it was talking plain english to them.

    Like I said, I get carried away. I just skimmed the surface here – yes, women are probably better on average than men when it comes to animals, love, love, love and love – and empathy and a bunch of other stuff which is probably also love.

    🙂

    • I think I get the drift — women are able to be themselves more whereas men have to play this stupid male dinosaur game. Well that is one point. The surveys say intelligent, independent minded women are attracted to cats. They are more likely to be in tune with their true selves and be confident.

      • My friend Bob prefers to hire female mechanics. If they don’t know how to do something they just ask or look it up or both. When the men don’t know how to do something they pretend they do and proceed to “fix” it anyway. The women have the confidence to admit they don’t know. These are stereotypes, I know, but Bob said this has been his experience more than once.

        • I like to read that. Interesting. In my experience women endure things better. When I went overland to India from London in a bus in 1970 (I was one of the drivers) the women just got on with the difficult things without complaint. The men reacted slightly differently and slightly less well.

          • Interesting, Michael. That fits with another stereotype that men are big babies when they get sick. My husband is not. He just gets on with it and goes to work so long as he can safely do so. He does have a lot harder time than I do if Monty keeps us awake. Loss of sleep is really hard on him, whereas when I had a bout of depression in 2001 I went without any sleep for two weeks. I didn’t feel depressed, just tired, but I coped with it until I couldn’t anymore and got on Prozac for awhile.

            So I do kind of feel like calling him a big baby when one night of Monty jumping on and off our bed and he’s crabby and can’t function. I also wonder how he’d deal with being premenopausal and having menstrual cramps. Not well, I bet. Maybe women are more tolerant of discomfort because they have to survive childbirth and the sleeplessness that follows when the baby is tiny and requires round the clock feedings.

            But my friend Bob says this works against women when they will tolerate men who beat them and are emotionally cruel to them. His best mechanic had to quit when her brute of a husband forbade her to work anymore. He was beating her. Bob could not understand why such a brilliant, capable woman allowed herself to be treated like that. The sad thing is that pets are often abused or used as pawns in domestic abuse situations. If women were less able to tolerate the intolerable these things would happen less frequently.

            • Maybe women are more tolerant of discomfort because they have to survive childbirth

              I think this is it. Women are programmed to deal with this and are accepting of discomfort because of hundreds of thousands of years of being in the shadow of men. It is changing and that is causing problems too.

  4. In the “CAT WORLD” women definitely hold prominent positions of authority as indicated by the “Cat Clubs” administrative boards.Stereotyping has also made men more biased towards dogs while women a re biased towards cats.As usual, there are both men and women who do not fir the “Stereotype Pet owner” as happens in many other walks and facets of life and living.I owned dogs and changed over to cats due to personal reasons and today very contended with my cats, an accidental cat owner!Cats are very independent by nature unlike dogs and hence do not obey orders or instantly respond to human commands as do dogs.I personally feel that this is the main reason that makes many men prefer dogs to cats as pets, proudly walking their dogs on a leash, better if the dog is a rare and ferocious breed, total macho image .In my house, both my cats are very fond of my house-keeper Sabina who also feeds them and i have observed that cats do tend to favour female household members rather than the males.This is my personal observation of my household cats.As for male cat owners being branded as “Gays” is utter nonsense, a total stereotype myth akin to branding all effeminate men as “Gays” or all masculine women as “lesbians”!Both, Gays and straights own dogs as well as cats and just stereotyping people by their pet ownership is utter non-sense.Women do have a preference for owning cats and a Psychologist could answer the reasons with reasonable qualified authority unlike our discussions.

  5. Perhaps the better discussion is whether behaviors commonly attributed to men or the behaviors commonly attributed to women are better when it comes to cat caretaking. Obviously, we can all come up with examples wherein men and women we know do not fit the common stereotypes. But if we divorce these stereotyped behavior patterns and attitudes from which gender is more likely, and just look at the behaviors and attitudes themselves, we can certainly discuss which are better for cats.

    Jeff says cats have a hierarchy in the wild so in the home, the human should be at the top of that pinnacle. He can tell Monty to “drop the mouse and get in your house” and Monty does it. Wow. But Monty’s not afraid of Jeff– he prefers petting and attention from Jeff. My husband says that Monty prefers attention from the alpha cat, it means more. When I am feeding Monty because he begs for it, I’m doing the opposite: letting Monty be dominant and then turning around and doing something that isn’t even good for him– over feeding him. A willingness to be the alpha cat when necessary is probably a good thing for a cat caretaker, at least at dinner time. Also, for safety outside it is nice that if I feel Monty should come in for some reason, Jeff can make him come in.

    But when Monty is frightened of thunder or rain on the window panes Jeff displays another male stereotype when he insists that Monty should not be “a pussy” (ha, ha) and that I am encouraging his neurosis when I allow him to hide under the bed. He should sleep in his own room even when it’s stormy out. I say that is wrong because Monty gets so stressed and freaked out with his need to go to his safe place that we have to let him in our room so he can hide under our bed. It’s not like Monty is hiding over every little thing. For an ex feral he’s pretty brave, coming out and growling at company and all. But if rain against the window scares him and going under the bed or in the basement helps him feel better I am more nurturing, I guess, in that I allow him that comfort. Maybe some animal behaviorists would agree with my husband, but I just can’t bear to have Monty so frightened.

    So together we make a pretty good combination for Monty and maybe only one or the other viewpoint would not be the best caretaking he could have.

  6. The problem with stereotypes is when a person holds him or herself back from what he/she is truly called to do because of the stereotype. The stereotypes do contain a grain of truth– most men have larger parietal lobes of their brains than do women, so men are often better at spatial sense and math. But we don’t want to hold back the woman who is a mathematical genius because of this stereotype. Could a person with a real gift for something really be kept away from doing that by a stereotype? Yes. If I had been born a male I would probably have become an auto mechanic or have worked in some other field repairing things. But my dad actually said, when I showed interest in the workings of my car’s engine, “You don’t really care how it works, you just like the sound it makes.” (meaning the glasspack muffler) Well, yeah, I liked how it sounded, but I really did want to be able to work on my own car, but I constantly got the message from him that as a girl I wouldn’t want to. Even though half the time it was my mom who fixed my car when something went wrong and it was my mom who taught me to change a flat tire, my father’s almost outright prohibition to show any interest beyond the very basics kept me from learning more. Later, I read a lot of books and my friend Bob taught me a lot– but it was too little, too late. Had I been a boy, my father would have taught me everything he knew and sent me to learn from Uncle Ralph everything he knew. My dad watched me buy one old typewriter after another and clean and fix them and pour over the mechanical workings for hours, he watched me at seven years old try to read the home study course in small engine repair he had taken, yet later told me that because I was a girl I obviously didn’t have any interest in mechanical things. Instead, I had an incredible aptitude for them! Oh, well, the human body is a machine and working in physical therapy pays more and is easier than working in an auto shop, so maybe he did me a favor. But if I challenged you on stereotypes before, Michael, it might have been because it can really hurt when you are told that you are one way because of a stereotype when everything you think and feel screams the opposite.

  7. I think men and women can be equally good cat caretakers,I know some very gentle and kind men who aren’t afraid to say they love cats.
    We have house husbands nowadays where if the wife has a better job the husband stays home to look after the house and kids,it’s not men work and women stay home now.
    Maybe the tide is turning,I hope so because like Ruth I much prefer men who love cats,they are good men.
    I’m a secret fan of Micheals because he is a good man 🙂

  8. Correction: Women with serious emotional and mental problems are better caretakers of cats. 1. No humans want to be around them due to their emotional and mental problems. 2. They are desperate to live out some maternal instincts that no man on earth will give to them. 3. Anyone who views them letting cats roam free is a sign that they are criminally irresponsible caretakers that will do to any children what they will do to their cats. i.e. the chances of any male’s offspring surviving in their care is minimal at best, they are not a good genetic choice.

    • Correction: Women with serious emotional and mental problems are better caretakers of cats.

      You have to be a rampart misogynist to write that. Tofu, I know you are Woody or one of his gang. That is the last comment you’ll make unless it is more polite and well reasoned.

      • ‘Criminally irresponsible caretakers’ is what put me onto him Michael. Anyway I’ve no time for Trolls all I wanted to say was you were spot on when you said ‘Also women are said to have more empathy and patience than men who tend to want to get their own way and achieve immediate results. Often a tender, slow process, which is in tune with nature, is much better when dealing with a cat’ Men tend to expect things to happen immediately and they really can’t understand it when they don’t 🙂 I tend to think its evolution not quite where it should be.

        In terms of women having more empathy I would say thats generally correct however if you could see some of the examples of ‘women’ where I live (going back to what Marc said) they look more like men and don’t even have any empathy for their offspring never mind the ability to understand the complex needs of a feline 🙁 I know I sound superior but I look at some of them and I think my God you are a disgrace to womankind. They have no grace, character or womanly appeal as far as I’m concerned anyway thats a whole other topic but just to say on the whole I agree 🙂

  9. Pingback: American Feminism Is Bad For The Cat! | Pictures of Cats

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please only upload photos that are small in size of max 500px width and 50 KB size. Large images typical of most default settings on digital cameras may fail to upload. Thanks.