Male cat owners less attractive, Colorado State study finds

A recent survey done by Colorado State researchers has found male cat owners to be less attractive.

Male cat owners are perceived to be less attractive, according to a recent study by researchers at Colorado State University.

Why, exactly, such a survey of the dateability of cat dads needed to be done remains unclear, but it took place in January 2020, and the findings were published in earlier this month in a paper titled “Not the Cat’s Meow? The Impact of Posing with Cats on Female Perceptions of Male Datability,” written by Lori Kogan and Shelly Volsche

Given the strict and mainly bland requirements of titles of college papers, this one isn’t bad.

708 women between the ages of 18 and 24 responded to an online survey, which consisted of showing a man’s profile picture with and without a cat, and then ranking various qualities of perceived Big Five personality traits, which are usually abbreviated OCEAN (Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism).

Dog owners are generally seen as more dateable, though the reasoning for this is unclear. This could be because cat owners are more introverted, and so male cat owners would naturally also be more introverted, and thus more cautious when it comes to dating. This could easily be misinterpreted as standoffishness, for example.

“Our respondents perceived a man holding a cat as less masculine and less datable for both short-term encounters and long-term relationships,” the researchers concluded.

For a casual date, 45 percent of respondents said they would not go out with the man on a casual date when they saw the profile picture with the cat, though only 40 percent still refused when he didn’t have the cat.

41 percent of respondents said they would not be likely to consider him for a possible long-term relationship, while that number increased to 45 percent when the cat was added.

Respondents who identified as “dog people” were less likely to swipe right than cat people or dog and cat people.

Stephen King‘s dog Molly, AKA The Thing of Evil, isn’t sure why anyone would have cats at all, so she thought these findings made sense and that male cat owners deserved it.

In defense of felines, cats do their own thing and and only pay attention to you when they actually mean it. Dogs are amazing, of course, but they can be needy sometimes, and if they love everyone, then that can sometimes feel a little shallow, you know?

I (Wesley) love cats and dogs both, because they complement each other well. Rags, a tortoiseshell, claimed me as her human when a kitten and currently works as an editorial assistant.

Is this study right, or are male cat owners getting a raw deal?