#bumble | #tinder | #pof Women less likely to swipe right if men have cats in their dating app photos

Selecting your dating app images is a difficult business: making sure there’s a mixture of selfies and group shots to prove you have friends, but your friends aren’t way better looking than you. It’s a process that can take a while.

According to a study by Colorado State University and Boise State University, there’s one thing that can cause many heterosexual women to swipe left on a man: cat pictures.

Previous research on pets and dating have found that the presence of a pet may add to a woman’s perceptions of male attractiveness and dateability. As a result, this study decided to look into the effect of posing with a cat had on women looking for someone to date.


During the study, more than 700 women aged between 18 and 24 were shown photos of two men: two pictures of the men showed them with their cats and two without. The participants were then asked to what degree they thought each man fit the following categories: agreeableness, conscientiousness, extraversion, neuroticism, and openness.

Overall, the participants found that the men holding cats were viewed as less masculine; more neurotic, agreeable and open; and less dateable, according to the authors.

However, there may be a reason for this. The participants were also asked if they believed themselves to be dog people and 47.3 per cent said yes. This may have skewed the results into thinking men with cats were less desirable to date. The researchers think American culture is to blame for this.

“These findings were influenced by whether the female viewer self-identified as as “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,” said the authors.

Previous research has shown that heterosexual women see men with dogs in their dating app pictures as more masculine (Victor Grabarczyk / Unsplash )

If you’re a cat person and want to attract another cat person, then, by all means, include a picture of your furry pal in your dating app profile. But if this isn’t the desired effect, you might want to re-think that picture line up.

Dating apps have been given a new lease of life during the Covid-19 lockdown, given that many people were stuck inside and unable to meet new people for months. According to research by Bumble, 42 per cent of UK users said dating apps were more important now compared to pre-Covid-19 times, with 29 per cent saying the pandemic had changed dating “for the better.”

According to the app, lockdown has given way to a new ‘slow love trend’, with people spending more time chatting online before meeting, allowing them to develop romance more slowly which should allow it to flourish in the long term.


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