Do domestic cats prefer to interact with women or men?

In general, domestic cats prefer to interact with women but this is not a black-and-white issue and the differences are not enormous between how domestic cats interact between men and women. However, my research based upon studies and employing general knowledge, the indication is that cats have a positive bias towards women. I will try and explain why that is.

Cat loves woman and it is reciprocated
Cat loves woman and it is reciprocated. Photo: Pinterest.
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In general, women have more time with domestic cats

Cats are bound to spend more time with a person if they are at home more often than their partner and for longer periods. And it seems to me, without in any way being judgemental, that the workplace allows women, in general, to be at home more often than men (subject to enormous changes brought about by Covid and home working and hybrid working). This background factor is going to allow cats to be with women more than men which will cement the bond.

Quality of interaction

Despite the increased quantity of interaction mentioned in the above paragraph, a study entitled: “Human-Cat Interactions in the Home Setting” concluded that “woman-cat dyads have the best and juvenile-cat dyads the worst relationships”. A “dyad” is something which consists of two parts, which in this instance means a cat and a person. This conclusion states that the more successful and better interactions between human and cat come from the woman-to-cat interactions compared to the man-to-cat interactions and child-to-cat interactions which were the worst.

They made this conclusion on the basis of 504 hours of observations in 51 cat-owning Swiss families in which 162 persons and 72 cats participated. So, it was quite a big study and therefore I would suggest that the results are reliable.

What follows comes from a study from University of Vienna’s Konrad Lorenz Research Station and department of behavioral biology and personal thoughts.

Women tend to spend more time with domestic cat anyway

In the first paragraph I suggested that employment allowed women more time with their cats but even on an equality of available time at home basis, women like to spend more time with the domestic cat companion and in doing so they give their cat more attention which is going to be reciprocated.

The reward in having a cat companion is giving to the cat because they will inevitably reciprocate that in their affection. And of course, a deeper bond is created which creates a relationship which is more emotionally satisfying. Also, when cats initiate the interaction, it is a better one and it lasts longer than when initiated by a person. Women initiate interactions more than men I guess because they tend to prefer cats more than men in general. This will be reciprocated by cats.

Cat loves man
Cat loves man. Photo: Pinterest. In the public domain in my opinion.

Cleanliness

Perhaps in a sexist remark one website states that women are cleaner than men and as cats are fastidiously clean, they prefer women! That may be simplifying things and it may simply be incorrect. However, scientists would agree that women are cleaner than men. In terms of hand bacteria there is no difference but men wash their hands after going to the toilet 77% of the time but they claim to wash their hands 93% of the time. Women, by contrast, genuinely do wash their hands after going to the toilet 93% of the time. And there’s more bacteria in the armpits of men compared to women.

Motherly instincts

Women have motherly instincts and this is transferred to a domestic cat in their relationship. This draws a woman to a cat more often than a man will be drawn to a cat. However, there is a negative here because humans should not relate to their cat as a baby. It can lead to problems of handling and expectation. Good expectation management is important in the human-to-cat relationship. If a person expects a cat to behave like a toddler, they are going to be disappointed. Cats need to be respected as cats.

RELATED: Message to Taylor Swift: please don’t think your cat is a baby.

Feminine touch

It is said that women have a more delicate touch and therefore when they pet their cat, they are going to enjoy it more. Men can be more heavy-handed. I tend to agree with that. I have said before that men should handle and pet cats with gentleness because they prefer it and, in any case, it is less likely to stimulate the play-fight response which is likely to weaken the relationship because the man might get scratched or bitten on the hand.

RELATED: Handling cats properly.

Softer voice

Cat caregivers should speak to their cat in a melodious voice in my opinion. Loud, harsh voices are less successful in communicating with a cat. Shouting at a cat is going to frightened and confuse them, which will weaken the bond. A softer voice is part of the general criteria for successful interactions with a cat which can be added to a softer touch.

Conclusion

Cats probably prefer women to men and dogs probably prefer men to women but there’s lots of gray areas in the middle. It is a spectrum because after all a lot of men have feminine qualities and a lot of women have masculine qualities. And you have to add in the different personalities of domestic cats which dictates their preferences. This is not black-and-white.

Below are some more articles on the human-to-cat relationship. Comments welcome.

3 thoughts on “Do domestic cats prefer to interact with women or men?”

  1. I think it depends on which human sex they interacted with most when they were kittens. The cats I raised from kittens preferred men. My present cat is devoted to me, but he came from a woman cat breeder, and whenever a woman comes by, he goes soft and grovels at her feet.

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