(CNN/CBS4) — Men who like cats are less likely to get a date. That’s the takeaway from a study by Colorado State University, which found that women are less likely to swipe right — or say yes — to men if they’re posing with a cat in a picture.

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Scientists showed hundreds of women photos of two men, both men pictured with and without a furry companion. Their responses showed that the men’s luck got noticeably worse when women saw the picture with a cat.

“Men holding cats were viewed as less masculine; more neurotic, agreeable, and open; and less dateable,” the authors wrote.

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When shown the cat-free picture of one of the subjects, 38% of women said they were likely or very likely to casually date him, while 37% said they’d consider a serious relationship with him.

But a picture of the same man holding a cat gave the respondents paws for thought — and those numbers dropped to 33% for each category. Meanwhile, the proportion of women saying they’d never consider getting involved with him rose from 9% to 14%.

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By comparison, positive ratings for the second subject did not decline significantly when he was pictured with a cat — but women were more likely to rule him out as a potential partner.

When he was pictured alone, 40% of respondents said they’d be unlikely or certain not to date him casually. But this rose to 45% when he was joined by a cat. Similarly, 41% said they’d be unlikely to consider him for a relationship, but 45% said the same when they saw him with the pet.

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A total of 708 women aged between 18 and 24 were surveyed in the online experiment.

The findings are likely the result of long-held cultural stereotypes about cat and dog owners, the authors said.

“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,” they wrote.

“Women prefer men with ‘good genes,’ often defined as more masculine traits,” they added, citing previous research. “Clearly, the presence of a cat diminishes that perception.”

A 2018 survey found that men and women got matched more when they included a picture of their dog in their profile. Women received 150% more messages, 100% more super likes and 122% more total interactions, while men saw 75% more messages, 200% more likes and 53% more total interactions.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. CNN contributed to this report.)  


Comments (45)
  1. Sigmund Silber says:

    Women are making a good decision. Dogs are pack animals and will accept a female as another member of the pack. Cats may be possessive of their owner.

    When I was younger I preferred cats. Now I can not stand either. Stray cats or dogs who visit and want a meal and a little attention are fine. But cats and dogs trash a house. And dogs can be dangerous.

    We prefer the wild animals that reside on our property. Most years there is a bobcat family. This year a raven has become pet like. This would never happen if we had a dog and and if we had a cat it would be a coyote snack although a neighbors cat drops by every once in a while but it will probably have a short life.

    I am not looking but would probably (I am a male) avoid females that have cats but a dog would be fine.

    The breed of dog or cat would make a big difference.

  2. unclesmrgol dragon says:

    And, in other news, there were a lot of happy cats in this study.

    1. Stinky Man says:

      Cats do not like to kiss.
      Dogs love to kiss their owners and lick their salty balls, maybe not in that order.

  3. Both cats and dogs are great pets but have differences. Cats respond favorably to baby-talk. Can you just see any man baby-talking to his cat? In fact, I saw a cat video with the male owner doing just that. It was disgusting.

  4. jeff007 says:

    What about stuffed animals?

  5. Gun Smith says:

    I like cats and dogs. Being that I live in a very small studio apartment, I prefer a cat because they are much easier to take care of. Despite that, I’m 100% masculine and exclusively like women. If a woman rejects me over a cat, good, that will save me wasting my time and money on her.

  6. Tom Roberts says:

    A mad screaming witch should not be allowed anywhere near a cat. Did anyone think to report that only diseased hores use these dating apps?

  7. Thomas Lippert says:

    Meh old soldier , former prison guard. Have a gorgeous wife. Love my murder kitties. Have a dufus doggie too. I wouldn’t date a woman who didn’t like cats or dogos.

  8. Ann says:

    Stupid shallow women. Isn’t kindness, sanity and stability are important than what kind of pet he has?

    1. Maryanne says:

      Exactly! I just blogged about this silly study too. To me, men who have cats, or pets in general, are more responsible people. Pets are a stepping stone to children. Great pet dads make great dads.

  9. Derfdnal says:

    Oh I’m sure if he was sitting on the hood of his Maserati holding the cat they would find a way to forget about the cat, don’t you…

  10. Light Horse says:

    Did you ever see Dr. Evil with a date?

  11. Craig Eliot says:

    Gee I wonder why …?

  12. Steve says:

    Why does everyone need a pet? Less are getting married, less married couples are having children, but pet ownership is up.

  13. tommhan says:

    We now need a study to determine if gay men are more likely to have a cat than a dog.

    1. I love cats and dogs. I guess that is supposed to make me bi. The thing is that there are some men so influenced by stupid articles like this that they may actually consider getting rid of their beloved cat just to avoid any possible stigma of being thought effeminate or gay.

  14. Charlie says:

    It took a study to determine that? Hahaha

  15. C Rich says:

    I prefer cats. They are independent, resourceful, clean and easy to care for. Frankly, dogs are needy pains in the ass! In many ways, cats reflect masculinity more than dogs. Sure cats meow, but for the most part they STFU and do their own thing. I can also leave my cat alone with plenty of food, water and a clean litter box for 3 days and he is fine. I don’t pose with my cat, but if he does something funny, I’ll share it…Oh, and I get laid regularly even during the COVID 19 fiasco.

  16. Gamera says:

    It’s all good. On the reverse, I’m unlikely to date a woman who isn’t pretty, doesn’t make an effort to stay in good shape, makes her body filthy with tattoos, or is a closed-minded foul-mouthed beast. Needless to say I have better luck outside of liberal cities.

  17. MsMgs says:

    I met my man online when online dating was new years ago. The photo of him holding his cat is why I contacted him. Today is our anniversary. :)

  18. Tom says:

    I love cats but I don’t have a picture of my cats with me. That’s a little creepy. But if some woman don’t like men with cats that’s too bad. Those woman aren’t worth going out with.

  19. Patrick says:

    I am a man with a cat, and have no problem with my masculinity, confidence, or getting a date with women. I am also an online dater, but I do not have a photo of me with my cat in my dating profile. For me, I’m more likely to choose a women with a cat, rather than a dog, because I have experienced that women with dogs are more needy, and attention seeking than women with cats. I guess everyone has their bias? I have also experienced that dog women are far harder to break up with than cat women, meaning that dog women will continue to pursue your affection after breaking up with them, and cat women are more likely to move on after things didn’t work out. That’s my experience, and very accurate from my perception of both dog and cat women.

    1. C Rich says:

      You are DEAD RIGHT about women with dogs. Reflective of their personality. NEEDY AF

      1. Ben says:

        This is scientism. A few percentage points in what is likely a small sample set size study is dubious at best. I’m masculine, dominant, value honor and authenticity and wouldn’t waste my time on anyone that didn’t respect all life. I’ve been chased by more people of the opposite sex than the person who did this study. I love all animals and currently have two cats that I couldn’t possibly love any more than I do.

  20. Johnny Blade Clark says:

    A guy that has a cat probably has a man-bun.

    1. Susan says:

      Silly stereotype. So what if a man, dog lover OR cat lover, has one? If you don’t like it, don’t wear one.

    2. Scott Cregar says:

      And a fanny pack

  21. tiki886 says:

    It’s BS. Women just don’t like competing for attention.

  22. Eric says:

    Grew up with dogs & raised & trained working dogs most of my life. Brought home a tinystreet kitten – Siamese with bright blue eyes. Mai-Tai enjoyed walking on a leash & sitting on a bench at the nearby park with me. He was THE ultimate Babe Magnet – he got me a lot of dates with some pretty “upscale” women …

  23. Bob G. says:

    I love my cats. Always had cats. They are perfect for a man as they don’t need to be let out to pee and you can leave them home for a week if need be. In other words, easy. It is usually people who are allergic to cats that don’t like them and that is a high percentage of people.

  24. Cankles Clinton says:

    This is what Colorado State wastes its money on! Stupid study. Obviously, the educating element at this “university” has nothing better to do.

  25. Steve of Unknown Kadath says:

    “I can’t compete with another lazy, self-centered affection sponge that drains his wallet if it can be spayed!”

  26. PBR Streetgang says:

    I wasn’t a “cat guy” until two little premature kittens were left on the doorstep of our home one night. Someone left them in shoebox, wrapped in a washcloth with two little paper cups (talking Wendy’s ketchup size) half filled with water. I was 18, had grown up with two Dobermans, and never really been around cats. Long story short, we nursed them with baby bottles and thought we’d “give them away to a good home”. 2 months later I moved cross country to go to college, with these two kittens riding in my lap most of the way. Had them for 17 years and I still miss them to this day. This was right before internet dating was a thing, and I can confirm that having those cats in no way negatively affected my dating life. They were adored. Everything is so superficial now. Girls were always pleasantly surprised when they found out I had them and how I got them. Guess things today have just gone to hell in a handbasket.

    1. Elena George says:

      Purrfect companion!

  27. That’s utterly bizarre. I’m happily married, but if I were dating and using an app to do so (shudder to think), a cat in the picture would make me like the guy more, not less.

    1. Elena George says:

      Amen, sister!

  28. lingsun54 says:

    I worked for an animal shelter for 4 years. Typical cat adopters were either a single woman or a heterosexual couple. Single guys coming in to adopt a cat were much less common. I put it down to a lot of men not being comfortable with their masculinity. I prefer cats. They’re less work. You don’t have to walk them. They poop and pee in a box. They’re not whining the whole time you’re gone. If you’re a guy with a cat you learn to live with the cat’s quirks. Just like you’ll have to live with a woman’s quirks. Some guys want their women to be as obedient as their dogs. I’m married but if I wasn’t I wouldn’t be concerned about women who would judge me because I have a picture of one of my five cats with me on my Facebook profile.

    1. Susan says:

      Absolutely! The CSU researchers gave terrible advice about leaving cats out of dating profiles. Men should not have to cater to women who are influenced by nonsense. Cat-loving men definitely should put their cats in their profile to weed out the undesirable ignorant women. If I was dating, (not likely, married 55 years to wonderful man and fellow cat lover) I would look for a man whose profile included cats.

  29. Minnie Mouse says:

    My guy’s dating profile headline: MUST LOVE CATS. I didn’t have a cat but we met and were happy for nine years until he passed away. His cats still live with me and are very affectionate.

  30. greystoker says:

    Imagine if you will; A woman between the ages of 18-24 struggling with her period and then imagine her Soy Boy is also going through estrogen disruption at the same time.

    Now; imagine what will be read as his eulogy.

  31. Al Reaud says:

    If the lady doesn’t want to date me because I like cats, that is good to know up front. Better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than in the air wishing you were on the ground…

  32. Peter York says:

    I’m wondering about the use of the word ‘stereotype’ in this article. it’s pretty much a negative connotation, suggesting unfair pre-judgment upon specious grounds.

    but hey. if a cat-dude is more touchy-feely (feminine trait?) and a dog-man is more action-oriented, why is that a ‘stereotype’?

    you want stereotype? how about typing the women who have these tastes?

    the women who love to hang with gays, despite the rejection of their femininity.

    the women who dress with their t i t s out from here to Bakersfield, and cop a tude if you look.

    the predatory females who say they love you, then drop your heart on the ground with a splat when the scam runs cold.

    the pretty-faced women with all kinds of undeserved influence over men.

    women: the security sex…who lie about it and everything else…

    let dogs eat them.

  33. John Dallas says:

    Men with cats are less likely to want to date a woman. Surprising that they did not include same sex sites, as the title just refers to dating profile.

    1. Silvestris says:

      Do you have a source for that?

    2. Steve of Unknown Kadath says:

      We already have a lazy, self-centered resource hog in our lives.

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