Study Says Your Cat May Be Destroying Your Love Life

Cats that love to cuddle

If you’ve been laboring under the illusion that your cat is a one-way ticket to dating success, then I’ve got bad news for you. They’re not. If you’re a straight man looking for a woman, you might want to think twice before posting that cute snap of you and your cat to your dating profile. According to the latest research, the presence of a cat in a profile picture has a big impact on how women perceive male attractiveness and dateability…. and unfortunately, that impact doesn’t spell good things for your love life. Cats are cute, right? So it stands to reason that a picture of a guy holding a cat is instantly going to get more swipes to the right than one all on his lonesome. But as it turns out, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

In a study titled ‘Not the Cat’s Meow? The Impact of Posing with Cats on Female Perceptions of Male Dateability’ published by MDPI, Lori Kogan and Shelly Volsche set out to understand the degree that the presence of a cat has on women’s perception of male attractiveness. 1300 women were asked to respond to an online survey and rate photos of men alone and photos of men holding cats. They were asked to judge each man on measures of personality and masculinity. Although the results varied to some extent depending on whether the woman identified as a “dog person” or a “cat person,” the answers were conclusive. Men holding cats were considered less masculine; more neurotic, agreeable, and open; and less dateable.

Dating Websites Agree

Sometimes, the results of scientific studies can seem a world away from reality. And in fairness, the authors of this particular study have admitted that their findings are somewhat limited. As Chron.com says, most of the men pictured were thin, white, college-aged, and ‘clearly preppy.’ The authors are now planning on completing a more in-depth study covering a wider range of demographics. But even despite the study’s limitations, its findings certainly seem to hold weight in the dating community. Speaking to Wall Street Journal, Rachel DeAlto, chief dating expert for Match, confirmed that the findings held true to her own experiences of the dating scene. “Chicks don’t want a guy with a cat,” she said.

Blunt though it sounds, she seems to be right. Straight men who reveal via their dating profile that they own a cat have a 5% lower “like” rate on average compared with those that don’t. It’s not just guys that are affected by the phenomenon, either: straight women who have a cat have a 7% lower “like” rate than their counterparts. Cats aren’t a turnoff for everyone, though. The “like” rate for gay men who admit they own a cat is 5% higher than it is for those without any feline friends. But considering fessing up to owing a dog gives both straight and gay men a 20% higher chance of getting a “like,” it’s clear that if you want to get ahead in the dating world, it’s better to have a pet that barks than one that meows.

The Bad News Keeps Coming

If it wasn’t enough that cats could stop you from getting a date in the first place, they might also be stopping you from staying in a relationship once you do eventually land one. In a study conducted by woodstreambrands.ca, 1000 people were asked what they considered to be relationship deal breakers. 32% of men and 41% of women cited bad pet behavior as a relationship deal-breaker. A further 31% of participants said they’d take bad pet behavior to be a reflection on the owner. Owning too many pets can also be a problem, with 33% of men and 27% of women saying they didn’t want to be around more than three cats.

How to Stop Your Cat Destroying Your Love Life

If the evidence is to be believed, owning a cat isn’t going to do your dating life any favors. But is there a way of mitigating the damage? According to MSN, there certainly is. Whether you’re embarking on a new relationship or looking to restore the sizzle to an existing one, here’s what you can do to stop your cat from destroying your love life.

  • Don’t Get Too Snap Happy – As we’ve already found out, posting pictures of yourself posing with a cat doesn’t go down well on dating sites. By all accounts, it doesn’t go down well on social media either, especially if you like dressing your cat up in cute outfits. 30% of men say they find images of clothed cats on social media creepy, while another 54% of men would run for the hills if their potential love interest gave their pet their own social media account. If you can’t resist filling your phone with pictures of your cat, just be sure to keep them for your eyes only.
  • Find Another Topic Of Conversation – No matter how much you love your cat, talking about them 24/7 is a no-no. 24% of men and 19% of women have admitted it’s a massive turn-off to listen to a date or partner talk constantly about their pet. If you want to keep the sparkle in your relationship, keep the pet chat to a minimum.
  • Keep Your Cat Out Of The Bedroom – A curious cat can put the dampener on your love life faster than you can count to three. Keep your private life private by making your bedroom off-limits to anything with four legs. A special cat bed just for them will help encourage them to sleep elsewhere. If they’re used to sleeping in the same bed as you, they might find the initial separation hard. But persevere – most cats will usually adjust soon enough. If you really can’t find it in your heart to ban them from the bedroom completely, at least make your bed a no-cat zone. This might require a little more effort than simply closing the door to the room, but with training and lots of positive reinforcement, even the most persistent cat will eventually get the message.

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