Straight men are seen as ‘less masculine’ and ‘less dateable’ if they hold a cat in their dating app profile. No, really

cats masculine

Straight women find straight men holding cats “less masculine” and not as “dateable”, according to an actual scientific study.

The study, titled “Not the Cat’s Meow? The Impact of Posing with Cats on Female Perceptions of Male Dateability” was published in the scientific journal Animals. 

Researchers from Colorado State University and Boise State University surveyed 708 women aged 18 to 24 and showed them pictures of men both holding cats and not holding cats.

According to the study: “After a picture was displayed, the participants were asked to rate the men on several attributes, including perceived personality, perceived masculinity or femininity and perceived dateability, asking directly if each participant would consider dating the man in the photo for a short or long term.”

When shown a picture of a man alone, 38 per cent of the women said they were likely or very likely to “swipe right” or casually date him, and 37 per cent said they would consider a serious relationship with the cat-free man.

But when a cat was shown on the lap of the same man, both figures dropped to 33 percent, and the number of women who said they would never even consider dating him rose from nine percent to 14 per cent.

Straight men seen as less masculine if they hold a cat. This is actual science.

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

Citing previous research, they said: “Women prefer men with ‘good genes,’ often defined as more masculine traits.

“Clearly, the presence of a cat diminishes that perception.”

They added: “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.”

Although the study may seem humorous, it also points to larger issues of toxic masculinity, which can be hugely detrimental to men’s health, as well as wider society.