Straight women regard men holding cats as less attractive in dating apps

A study carried out at the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, at Colorado State University, USA, found that straight women using a dating app regarded men in pictures of them holding a cat less masculine and therefore less attractive than when they were alone standing up. As a result men holding cats were less datable to the female participants. The women decided that the men holding cats were also more neurotic.

Past research found that women are likely to give their number to a man walking a dog. Comment: this is far removed from a man holding cat! The species of animal counts. The researchers had predicted that a cat’s presence in a photo makes men appear more trustworthy, gentle and caring. Not so apparently. Heterosexaul women, as mentoned, preferred men without a cat.

Out culture still seems to see cats as antithetical [directly opposed] to that unage [an image of being strong, protective and outgoing]. – Professor Volsche from Boise State University in Idaho.

Colorado State Uni study on women’s perceptions of men holding cats is depressing in its predictability.

The women decided this despite believing that men holding a cat are more agreeable. The scientists appear to have concluded that in photos of men standing alone women defaulted to the notion that the men in the photos preferred dogs.

Comment (my personal thoughts, what are yours?): The general feeling is that men prefer dogs to cats. Hence the default position expressed by the female participants in the study.

There is an association between cats and gay men for some reason. I have been slanged off by cat haters for being gay. There is nothing wrong with being gay but I am not gay. I just like cats and animal welfare in general. In fact I am more an animal lover than a specialist cat lover. I like dogs too although I have been bitten by one which has slightly scared me emotionally.

The findings are a little disconcerting really. They show a narrow minded view of life. Stereotypical and unimaginative. But I understand women’s desire for security. They want to feel safe and protected in an ever more dangerous world which often leaves them feeling insecure. The security that they crave can be found, they decide, in alpha male type men who are both intelligent and physically strong. I am generalising of course. I don’t know how prevalent these females desires are. I suspect that they represent the majority of women by a considerable margin by there are many who prefer cat loving men.

The participants association between cat lovers and being neurotic is a little shortsighted perhaps. But men have the same perceptions about single women who are deemed to be “crazy cat ladies”. So it cuts both ways it seems to me. Why people see cat lovers as more likely to be neurotic is strange. I don’t get it. Perhaps the think that neurotic people need the emotional support of domestic cats.

The findings fly in the face of many cat loving male role models. There is a long list of famous and celebrated non-gay men who are known to like cats.

Although the participating women decided that men who like cats are likely to be more agreeable their first priority is security and perhaps likeability is boring to women. The want the excitement too.

Note: I have not read the study itself. The information comes from The Daily Mail online. I may update the page later having read the study although it is not interesting to me – too stereotypical. It just confirms what I already know.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

View Comments

  • Yes, this says more unfortunate truth about most women than anything. Those women are attracted to warrior-like brutes to feel secure, then end up complaining about them being nothing more. It never makes sense but it's human nature, and I guess it's why I have been single for a long time. I always am up front that I like cats and care about all animals, which apparently puts women off instead of sends the message that I'm a decent, caring human being. It's difficult to run across an available woman who is enlightened in this respect, but it really is their loss. I was with a woman who didn't even care about her own cat, which spoke volumes about her entire personality. I wouldn't even give a woman like that the time of day now.

  • Remember, researchers have to come up with something to study or they won’t have jobs. I, for one, in no way find men that love
    Cats unattractive or less masculine. It’s the ones that are afraid to explore how special bonds can enhance their own existence that are less appealing.

    • Excellent response and I agree. I often say something to the same extent: like my appreciation of cats exercises my ability to love in a more real sense than by contrast with dogs. Do women really want to be treated like a dog? Now I have to come up with a better one than yours', but I'm not afraid to explore that... oh wait, I just did.

  • This angers me greatly, although I'm sure it is accurate.

    Of cat haters, most are men. I believe those men are insecure and cannot bear the independence cats represent when it comes to their relationships with women. They want dependent women, like dogs are. I LOVE dogs, but cats are definitely more independent. Some men cannot handle that.
    As for the study about the dating preferences, I just don't get it.

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