The aim of this study was to investigate whether men were considered more attractive when posing for a photo alone or holding a cat. Prior research suggests that women view pet owners as more attractive and dateable than non-pet owners; however, this effect was strongest with dog owners. We hypothesized that men posing with cats would be more attractive than those posing alone. Using an online survey, women viewed images of a man posing alone or with a cat and rated the men on the Bem Sex Role Inventory (BSRI) and the Big Five Inventory. Women viewed men as less masculine when holding the cat; higher in neuroticism, agreeableness, and openness; and less dateable. 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.
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Kogan, Lori and Volsche, Shelly. (2020). "Not the Cat’s Meow?: The Impact of Posing with Cats on Female Perceptions of Male Dateability". Animals, 10(6), 1007-1 - 1007-11. https://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani10061007