“What greater gift,” wrote Dickens, “than the love of a cat?” If he had had the benefit of reading research by scientists at Boise State University, Idaho, he might have realised that it was a curse too. According to the study, men with cats are perceived as feminine, neurotic and less attractive.
Scientists showed pictures of men in their 20s to a group of university-age women. Half the men were holding a cat. Each woman was asked what she assumed about the personality of the (human) specimen before her, and whether she would “swipe right” on a dating app, to show her interest. Those with furry feline friends fared poorly.
In an age when many singles can attract partners only online, deprived of the opportunity