Reasons why men don’t like cats (or is it true?)

There is actually a main reason why some men genuinely don’t like cats and a different reason why men don’t want to admit that they like cats. Although, to be clear, in this article I’m taking a stereotypical view of men. That’s slightly dangerous to put it mildly because as is the case for women, there are a wide range of attitudes and characteristics among men. We need to be tolerant of these variations. It is slightly dangerous to brand all men as having a certain character and attitude. We tend to do it but it oversimplifies things.

Jackson Galaxy giving an interview
Jackson Galaxy giving an interview. Image in public domain.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

This feeds into the “woke” movement. The woke movement has been derided by a lot of people as being a bit unrealistic with the people who promote the concept as being snowflakes i.e. too gentle. But the woke movement has advantages. It encourages people to take a more enlightened viewpoint about the attitude and behaviours of others. It engenders acceptance of others which must be a good thing.

In writing this article, I have come to believe that it is a little too polarising and not woke enough which is why I have amended it as I have gone along!

The thoughts, in this article, essentially come from Jackson Galaxy in an interview on the website. He’s an interesting man in that his physical appearance is not that of the kind of person that the general public might perceive as being a cat lover but he obviously is a very high-profile cat lover.

Jackson Galaxy loved and misses his cat Barry
Barry checks over some of Jackson’s text for one of his books. I believe the photo is in the public domain.

Main reason why men don’t like cats

First point: it’s obvious but a lot of men like cats and live with cats. It is just that in general men dislike cats more often than women and it is not because they are more often frightened of cats. It is because, in general they like their companion animal to be obedient and under their control; looking up at them adoringly to massage their egos. Dogs have been bred to do that as they are often working animals going back many centuries.

The argument is that men need to feel that they are in control of a pet (and generally if they’re particularly insecure).

It is said that cats are too independent-minded to be an ideal pet for the stereotypical man. Cats are harder to train and the old adage is that dogs are servants of humans but the roles are reversed for cats. Not good for the male of the human species.

Certainly, cats often gently and with persistence train their caregiver almost without the owner realising it. Also, not great for the male human. I know that my cat is training me and I like it and allow it. Yes, cats train their human caregiver but as a mutual arrangement in which both the human a cat allow it to happen for mutual benefit.

Jackson Galaxy sums it up like this:

“Men do not like mystery. Men like to have things handed them on a silver platter. Men like to dominate; that’s our history, we want to dominate, we want to put our fist over something and say ‘this is mine’. That’s why we [men] like dogs. Because, by and large, we have made them – we took them out of the wild, said ‘do this job for me, roll over on your back, wag your tail like this, smile, let me scratch your tummy, bring me my slippers and look at me like I’m the sun god’, and your dog does that.”

Jackson Galaxy

He added:

“But your cat won’t do it. Men can’t put up with that. They’re very black and white. I think that the female perspective is one that embraces mystery, that understands grey areas the way men don’t appreciate. They show more patience that way and that’s why they understand the concept of cats and appreciate cats – more so than men. Maybe that’s also why men are so hesitant to come out of the closet, so to speak, as cat guys. It’s because they feel so unmasculine, you know? To not have dominion over an animal. You know how they say that dogs have masters and cats have servants? No man wants to be a servant to an animal, in my experience anyway. And that’s why, I think, we’ve historically had a problem with men and cats.”

Jackson Galaxy

Jackson was talking about the stereotypical male. I guess he wanted to simplify the discussion. He is a cat lover who is not a stereotypical male despite the fact that he has a masculine image and appearance.

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


Men are in the closet over cats! Well, it’s not quite like that but some men who are concerned about their masculine image don’t want it to be known that they like cats. It’ll dent their carefully nurtured image. There are probably quite a lot of men who like cats who keep quiet about it. But that said a substantial percentage of men are perfectly relaxed about ‘coming out’ about their love of cats. I don’t have statistics.

It depends whether you care about your public image. I don’t give a damn about it. I like cats and I like all animals. All people should be relaxed about their public image. This should be confident about their own personality and be themselves while respecting others. It is a bad idea to try and be somebody you are not. It is perfectly okay for a man to like cats which is obvious.

The thoughts on this page come from Jackson himself in an interview on the website. And I tend to agree with him as you can see. But he presented a very strong, polarised viewpoint whereas I think the reality is far more nuanced than that.

Jackson says that when he goes to big public meetings to speak and a man stands up (I guess to talk about the issues I’ve mentioned above) he tries to remind them that, “Women like those guys. Who are in touch with that [cat affection] thing.”

He admits that he doesn’t look like a “cat guy” and he is happy about it because he wants people to realise that you don’t have to look like a cat guy whatever that is. I think that he is gently indicating that the perception is cat-loving men being effeminate or even gay. I don’t know. That is hinted in the words he has used. And that I think is a little unfortunate to be honest because it seems that he is reinforcing a stereotypical image.

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