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Posted on Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 2:41 p.m.

Cats prefer women? A new study says so, but the jury is out on this one

By Lorrie Shaw


flickr photo courtesy of Takashi(aes256)

Cats are interesting creatures to say the least. They do communicate differently than their canine counterparts do (or at best, we simply process their respective ways of communicating differently). Cats, for many of their owners, can be a little challenging to understand.

But do felines have a preference for men or women? It's fair to say that most people would have a tendency to think that women are favored by the species.

But why? This got me thinking.

It makes logical sense to many for several reasons, I think:

  • Cats are physically more delicate than most dogs. In history, dogs were associated more with men and more "sturdy" activities like hunting and gaming. Traditionally — and albeit to some, misguided — women are seen as being more delicate than men.
  • Most people believe that women are more intuitive than men. Ditto for cats as opposed to dogs. (Is that because cats may not seem physically and vocally expressive as canines?)
  • The seemingly mysterious nature of felines baffles some, and in literature, the female essense has been popularly associated as being mystical.


Are connections like this behind the popular thought that cats prefer women, or is there a more concrete basis for this theory? Research led by Kurt Kotrschal of the Konrad Lorenz Research Station and the University of Vienna says so.

In studying 41 cats and their owners, there was evidence that cats were more drawn to their female owners more frequently than male owners, but there is some skepicism.

What do you think? Has this been your experience? Take the poll and leave your comments below.

Read more on the study here.

Lorrie Shaw is lead pets blogger for and frequently writes about dogs. She welcomes your contact via email, and to follow her daily adventures as owner of Professional Pet Sitting on Twitter.



Thu, Mar 31, 2011 : 2:02 p.m.

I am a guy, and I am also a cat *magnet* ... your friend's cat that doesn't like or is afraid of strangers, will come right up to me. Strange cats outside who are afraid of everyone, I can coax over quite easily. We have three cats of our own, indoor only and I have several pictures of me with one cat on my lap, one on the floor in front of me and one on the back of the chair behind my head. They just gravitate toward me. And in turn, they are just a ball to have. Contrary to all the stereotypical things I always see people writing about cats, ours are super friendly and intelligent and love interaction. We have 1800 square feet of house, and you'd think they'd be off by themselves, but nope, 9 out of 10 times everyone can be found in the same room. I'll come home, and find my wife lying on the bed reading, along with the 3 furballs, and she'll tell me they hung out with her all day long. I love all animals, and grew up with a big lab mutt. Being part of the fire service, my wife and I were very tempted several years ago when a national organization was looking for emergency personnel to receive trained working dogs (search and rescue, cadaver, etc.) They were giving the dogs for free, as long as you committed to caring for them obviously and also committing to travel 3-4 times per year for training events for the dogs as well as do regular training locally. But we ultimately decided that we didn't really have enough space in the city as our yard is very small. I often joke about how it'd be great to be able to train search and rescue cats; they'd be awesome in collapsed buildings, etc.

Lorrie Shaw

Tue, Apr 5, 2011 : 4:15 a.m.

acd: Isn't that funny? Yep, some people are magnets. Funny to see a cat respond to that ONE person and no one else. It is a gift. Our little guy will sit on either of our laps, whichever is free. It sounds like your furry friends have a great life. Enjoy!


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 11 p.m.

Males own cats? Wow, that is news.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 9:34 p.m.

Cats gravitate towards whomever's body provides the warmest bed. That's all you are to a cat - an object that provides food and acts as a space heater. If you believe otherwise it's because your cat has tricked you into believing otherwise. If they could figure out how to get a constant stream of food from the heater vent then cats would lose all interest in you.

Lorrie Shaw

Tue, Apr 5, 2011 : 4:10 a.m.

Our first home had boiler heat, and our Silver knew nothing else. Our next house had forced air heat. One morning, after we turned the heat on, he walked past the heat vent, stopped suddenly - and the look on his face was priceless... "I just hit the motherlode!"


Thu, Mar 31, 2011 : 2:16 a.m.

I am the alpha maqle of the all female household, fed the csat from day one, changed the litter box from day one due to airborne particle and a fetus in the household. After 6 years the cat knows i am its only chance in lucifers playground for surviving, As a parting shot I offer this great scene from a great movie about a great cat. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 9:47 p.m.

there are many marriages that survive on less...

Bertha Venation

Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 8:36 p.m.

I agree, my little Phyllis and Vivian will go to whoever feeds and pets them. (Harlots!!)

Lorrie Shaw

Tue, Apr 5, 2011 : 4:08 a.m.

Phyllis and Vivian - love those names. I'll bet that they have a very happy life!


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 7:57 p.m.

Scratch them right-- feed them-- let them out--and you in, and equal opportunity pet.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 7:24 p.m.

Cats like people?


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 7:16 p.m.

I suspect cats, like any intelligent animal, respond to whoever likes ( and feeds!!) them...and statistically that may be more women than men ( per the rudyard kipling story &quot;the cat who walks alone'). But i'm a guy who became a cat lover slowly ( and even a bit reluctantly after marrying into a cat situation, having always been more into dogs) but has found it to be amply least by our 3 cats, one of whom is postively dog-like in its trainability and desire to interact . I especially like the litter box feature ( compared to obligatory bad weather early morning dog -relief walks).

Sarah Rigg

Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 1:36 p.m.

41 isn't a very big sample size, for starters. I also think it has to do more with socialization than gender. For instance, I know for a fact that cats tend to be friendlier and bond more closely with whatever owner is the primary feeder, and I wonder if women are more likely to be the feeder in a household with both men and women in it.