The research, conducted by leading pet researcher, psychologist Dr June McNicholas on behalf of Cats Protection, found that women – both single and partnered – were more attracted to men who like animals. Men who like cats are also more likely to be perceived by women as being nicer, more caring people.
The findings should come as a pleasant revelation to the UK’s 1.28 million male cat owners, as the survey’s male respondents had a surprisingly limited awareness of how their attractiveness could increase due to the presence of a pet. Female respondents were twice as likely as men to agree that women are more attracted to men who like animals (82% of women as opposed to 42% of men), and over 90% of single women, compared to just 66% of single men, thought men who like cats are nicer.
Dr Scott Miller, TV Vet and celebrity Cats Protection Week supporter, was pleased to hear the survey findings. “I think women find the presence of a cat in a bachelor pad not only a good indication of character, but also confirms our sensitive side which many women hopefully find attractive!As a single man, my two cats give me all the unconditional love I need on a daily basis.”
Although there are almost 3.5 times the number of female cat owners in the UK than their male equivalent, the survey found that our cats are definitely benefiting from men having fe-lines too. “We found that cats are no longer a solely female domain," said researcher, Dr June McNicholas. "Modern men are fast getting in touch with their fe-line side, and enjoy lavishing love and care on their cats just as much as women do, if not more. This can only be a good thing for all concerned.”
According to the findings, single male cat owners are more likely than their female counterparts to have made, or consider making a sacrifice for their cat, including giving up a holiday (to avoid putting the cat in a cattery) and even going into debt for their feline friend if needs be! Single men are also almost as likely as single women to consider choosing their cat over their partner, or break a friendship rather than lose their cat.
The resounding majority of both male and female respondents agreed that it’s not soppy or uncool for a man to love his furry friend, with almost three-quarters of men reporting their cats give them a much-needed cuddle factor, and the same number of single men enjoying lavishing care and attention on their cat.
But descriptions of our relationships with our furry friends are still largely defined along traditional gender roles. Despite there being surprisingly little difference between single men and women when it comes to preferring to have cats than kids, men are more likely to feel that their cat is a good friend, whereas women are more inclined to describe their cat as like a child or baby.