I don’t really like the phrases “cat lover” or “cat lady”. They should be hyphened, probably: “cat-lover” and “cat-lady” although I have not seen them spelled that way. I would prefer the phrases:
- “a lady who loves cats” or:
- “a woman who likes cats a lot” or;
- “a woman who cares about cats”
Why do I believe they are not the best ways to describe a person who likes cats and why am I being so pernickety?
Well, the reason is that, in my opinion, these phrases carry connotations of a more derogatory phrase, “crazy cat lady” or “cat hoarder”. Why is that?
The answer is because they are regularly used by people who dislike, even hate, cats when they are writing about people who like cats. They are phrases that are used by people who dislike (a) cats and (b) the idea of people employing trap-neuter-return while feeding feral cats.
These people also attack men who like cats as “gay”. As this is intended to be an insult the people who write these things are homophobic. Actually it goes wider than that, they possibly hate women too.
The phrases cat-lady and cat-lover should be nice ways to describe someone who likes cats a lot but I tend to avoid them for the above reasons.
There is another issue that I have with “cat lover”. It is a narrow description. People who like and love cats will often have a great concern for all animals. They may not like other animals as much as cats but they will always treat animals with respect.
When people write about a cat lover it gives the impression that the person is obsessive about cats to the exclusion of other animals. This is misleading.
I don’t believe it is possible to love cats and hate dogs or other animals. You might love cats and be unsure or frightened by dogs but you won’t hate them. If you love cats and hate dogs or any other animal I would doubt that you really do love cats while respecting them as cats and as a companion animal. You probably love cats as fluffy plush toys.
My current header to the website reflects my views. I very strongly feel that PoC has become a community of cat lovers, which I truly love, but decided not to use that phrase.
This is a personal viewpoint. If a cat lady who hates dogs disagrees with me I will respect their opinion.
People who love cats should avoid being pigeonholed as crazy cat ladies because you are not.