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.
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:
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- 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).