Facts About Cats and Women

What is it about cats and women? Why are there “cat ladies” but not “hamster ladies”? Why do so many women seem to gravitate towards cats? The crazy-cat-lady stereotype aside (by the way, every segment of the population has its extremes, cat-loving women shouldn’t have to take a bad rap for a few odd birds) I know many more women than men who have a special bond with their cats. So, what’s the rub?

A new study supports the idea that a special relationship exists between women and cats. To be published in the journal Behavioural Processes, the study explains how researchers observed the interactions between 41 cats and their human families; the scientists noted all behaviors of both cats and humans, and also assessed their personalities as well as their influence over one another. While many people might consider cats to be aloof, self-serving prima donnas, the study concludes otherwise; beyond food-seeking behavior of the cats, they found that cats forge true attachment to their owners.

Here’s a summary of what they found.

The researchers witnessed a mutual social interaction in which both cats and people signaled to each other when they wanted to give or receive affection.

Cats keep track of how their needs are being met. They were more likely to respond to owners’ needs, if their owners had previously responded to theirs.

Cats seem to remember kindness and return favors later. If owners grant their feline’s wishes to interact, then the cat will often reply to the owner’s wishes later.

Cats have an edge in this negotiation, since owners are usually already motivated to establish social contact.

While men got along with their cats, researchers saw more interactions between women and their animals, finding that cats were more likely to approach women than men and to do things like jump on their laps to initiate contact. Study author Manuela Wedl of the University of Vienna told Discovery News that women’s relationships with their cats were “more intense.”

For a humorous look at one feline’s love for his female, watch this hilarious video from BBCComedy:

Related:
10 fantastic Cat Facts
New Study: Cats are Perfect!

546 comments

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus23 days ago

Thank you for sharing.

Amanda M.
Amanda M.1 months ago

I have nothing against dogs (and get to skritch several on a daily basis going to and from my younger daughter's elementary school), but I definitely prefer cats. They don't demand constant entertainment, they don't need to be walked at ungodly hours in equally ungodly weather, they don't chew the furniture or my shoes, they don't spend their waking moments Barking Violently At Nothing (props to Dave Barry for that one), and they don't roll in or eat disgusting stuff. Cats are total cuddlebugs, but they are far more discriminating than dogs-when a cat accepts you, it's for REAL. Cats are the true embodiment of genuine friendship, unconditional love, and true loyalty, and they've been my friends when my human "friends" have proven to be anything but! I can even say that my cat Angel saved my life on that score-when my ex-fiancé jilted me (a week before I was the bridesmaid at my best friend's wedding) and all my girlfriends "abandoned" me at the same time due to their being married and my being single (WTF is it with that stupid-ass rule, anyway?!), Angel gave me something to come back to my apartment for, someone to talk to, and most importantly, she made me laugh and made life a little less lonely. If I hadn't had her, it's all too easy to see how I could've pole-vaulted right over the line between loneliness and suicidal depression. Call me the cat whisperer, I don't care-I just love them!

Alexander Hay-Whitton

Another great set of sweeping generalisations based on observation of twenty American test subjects?

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill2 months ago

I love my kitties!

Muff-Anne York-Haley

What about women and dogs?

Simone H.
Simone H.2 months ago

Oh, I'm definitely waaaayyy more of a hamster lady ^^

Alexander Hay-Whitton

I can readily think of more male than female cat-fanatics (including myself). Just an effect of not being an American, perhaps?

TANIA Smuts
TANIA Smuts3 months ago

I have 20+ cats that I rescued and take care of them, they are all lovable and bonding with me all the time, they are very talkative, some want all day attention, some are bit shy, bit eventialy they all crawl onto my bed when night time come, I am so a huge cat lover, will protect them with my life!♥

Veronica Danie
Veronica Danie3 months ago

Thanks!

Carol S.
Carol S.3 months ago

I think women form attachments with all living creatures easier than men do. But that is just my opinion!