Men who share photos of themselves with cats on dating apps are less likely to appeal to potential partners, new research has found.
The discrepancy between cats and dogs is an interesting one, as men go out of their way to use their friend’s dogs in dating app photos because women react so well.
This isn’t the case for those who have chosen a cat as their fluffy companion, though.
The study carried out by Colorado State University found that women perceived men who were holding cats in their photos as “less masculine”, “higher in neuroticism” and “less dateable”.
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To carry out this research, 1,380 women aged 18-24 were shown two photographs of the same man in his early 20s. In one photo he was holding a tabby cat and in the other he wasn’t.
The photo was kept neutral – he wore a blue shirt and the background was white – to discourage the women from making a decision based on any external factors.
Women were asked to rate the man on a variety of different attributes.
Everything from what they thought their personality would be like to their masculinity and dateability were considered. Women were even asked to note whether they’d consider a short or long-term relationship with the man in the photo.
Sure, it’s a lot to take into consideration from one photo, but the evidence speaks for itself.
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When the man posed with the cat, he was perceived more negatively than when he didn’t have the cat in his arms.
It wasn’t all negative for our cat-loving males, though.
Despite being described as “less dateable”, men who were holding cats were seen as more open and agreeable than the photos without the cat.
Men holding the tabby cat were also seen as more confident and outgoing than those pictured alone.
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The 18-24 age bracket is quite a young one, so it could be seen that women of that age are less into the responsibility of having an animal than those who are a bit older.
“This study found that college-age women viewing a photo of a man alone versus a photo of the same man holding a cat rated the man holding the cat as less masculine,” the study author explained.
“Yet, 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.
“These findings suggest that pets continue to play a role in women’s mate choices and dating preferences, but that a closer look at the effects of different species of pets is warranted.”
There we have it cat-people; don’t give up hope for dating app love just yet.