Categories: ailurophile

Women tend to prefer men who have dogs as pets rather than cats

Women tend to prefer men who have dogs as pets rather than cats. That’s the raw conclusion from a study published on thefrisky.com via match.com. We are confined to heterosexual relationships in this discussion. Specifically of the 1,210 participants in the study, 733 were women and 97% of them said that they could date a male dog owner while 60% said the same about male cat owners. A significant difference.

Ian Somerhalder with his cat who was deemed feral at a shelter. Ian is married to a woman.

They report that the reason is that dog ownership presented the men as being more responsible and loyal as well be having nurturing and paternal traits. The impression was that the men were safe and sensitive. These are attractive characteristics for women. But surely the same male traits can be seen and are required in men who like cats and look after cats.

Gay associations?

I also wonder whether a small percentage of the female participants subconsciously or overtly associate gay men with loving cats and being cat owners. If that’s the case it would not surprise me because there is still this desire in women for a strong, dominant, high earning, alpha-type males to protect them in a difficult world and they don’t associate that sort of man with cat ownership. There’s this background story going on I believe.

I am stereotyping but in this instance it is correct to stereotype because we are discussing the problems of stereotyping. I appreciate that there are many untypical personalities which brings me to the next point.

There is this peculiar (for me) perception that women love cats and men love dogs and that the divide is clearly defined. But life is not like that. There is always a spectrum of personality types from one extreme to the other.

Most people are in the middle. The point is that it is incorrect to associate gay men with domestic cats. It is too simplistic. It is also wrong to assume that a man who loves cats cannot be a high earner and be mentally and physically strong.

But people do tend to stereotype people which is misguided. Of course there are many women who find a cat-owning man attractive. I am reminded of fire-fighters saving the life of a cat followed by a great picture of said cat and firefighter which always provokes admiration among female internet surfers. Women like to see the sensitive side of men.

Flip it

We should flip the coin and ask whether men prefer dog owning or cat owning women. I don’t know of a study on that topic but I’d be pretty sure that men would lean towards preferring women who like cats rather than dogs. Dog owning and loving women might been seen as being too masculine. There is a caveat though. Men don’t like ‘crazy cat ladies’. This is another interesting topic. Cat loving women can bring out misogyny in men. Men use a women’s love of cats, if she has a lot of them, to unfairly denigrate women in general.

The crazy cat lady label is very misogynistic. The ‘war’ between men and women is sometimes played out in their relationship with companion dogs and cats.

P.S. A very well-known gay celebrity now deceased who loved cats was Freddie Mercury.

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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

  • Actually, that is not true for me. I prefer cats myself. Although, I have had the honor of having cats and a dog living with me in my home for many years. They all got along great! Actually, in today's society any man who loves an animal and is not afraid to show it is perfect!

    • Haha, totally agree. If he had a ferret or a budgie that would be good enough for me. I have dogs and cats, kids and a tortoise. They all get on great too.

  • In a social media world people make assumptions over someone's personality over a few pictures. Men and women should keep in mind that in many dating sites pets are props for more contacts.
    Considering the over 50% divorce rate it's obvious men and women are focusing on the right criteria for a mate. If I was judging someone based on a choice of pet I would always choose a cat owner. Dog owners are controlling and cat lovers ( we don't own them ) have to be more flexible and accepting. I am of course talking about acceptable animal care which of course you can't discern from any picture.
    As to the crazy cat lady label I have plenty for dog owners. Most of them include words that describe inconsiderate and anti social behaviors.

    • Nice comment as usual. Do you mean people are focusing on the 'wrong' criteria? If so I'll correct it.

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