For years, women with cats have been portrayed as lonely, sexless and eccentric in pop culture but as Lucy Jones wrote in The Guardian, “millennial ailurophiles have had enough and over the last few years, there have been multivalent efforts to debunk the crazy cat lady stereotype and project a positive view of women and their cats”.
But while the stereotype of women with cats is being recalibrated, it seems men aren’t having as much luck.
In fact, in Brian Donovan’s hilarious essay titled Confessions of a Male Cat Owner, he writes that he’s "tired of living in the cat closet" and shares a list of 'shameful' admissions like, "I do not use the 'private' function on my Internet browser to hide my use of pornography, but rather the ridiculously weird cat searches I do on a regular basis."
And it seems he’s not alone as stereotypes of male cat owners persist...
Women find single men with cats less attractive
A new study conducted by researchers at Colorado State University suggests that single men with cats may have more trouble attracting women than other men.
The study claims women are less likely to swipe right if the photo of a man shows him posing with a cat in his dating profile.
The researchers asked 708 women aged between 18 and 24 to look at photos of two men, both posed in two separate photos. One showed them with a cat and the other had them posed without one.
Source: Romanno / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images
The women were then asked to rate the man on various attributes, such as personality, masculinity, and date-ability.
"Men holding cats were viewed as less masculine; more neurotic, agreeable, and open; and less dateable," the authors of the study found. "These results varied slightly depending on whether the women self-identified as a 'dog person' or a 'cat person.' "
Researchers suspect the results are likely linked to cultural stereotypes about cat and dog owners.
"It is important to note that these findings were influenced by whether the female viewer self-identified as a 'dog' or 'cat' person, suggesting that American culture has distinguished 'cat men' as less masculine, perhaps creating a cultural preference for 'dog men' among most heterosexual women in the studied age group," the study states.
"Women prefer men with 'good genes,' often defined as more masculine traits," they added. "Clearly, the presence of a cat diminishes that perception.
Of course, not everyone agrees with these results. If you search the internet, you’ll find plenty of articles like this or this, that say otherwise— but until someone conducts a new study, men with cats will continue to get a bad rep.