Cat Owners More Exotic

15 March 1999

While both cat and dog-owning women are perceived as stylish, interesting, sensual and feminine according to a recent study – with cats it's a case of even more so!

The study, "Women and Cats", conducted in Germany and Austria by Dr. Helene Karmasin, Institute for Motivational Research, looked at the perception of women who own cats, as well as, the importance of cats to women.

The study found that both cat and dog owners in Germany and Austria perceived cat owning women as stylish, interesting, sensual and feminine as well as appearing calm and home-loving.

The study also found that cats improve the quality of a women's life, offer an outlet for nurturing and facilitate sensual experiences, i.e. cats like to be cuddled and stroked.

Dr Karmasin also found that there is a close correlation between the concept of cats and common concept of femininity.

She says that cats, similarly to women, are elegant, and like to be stroked and cuddled. Cats are also beautiful, having big eyes, a small face and a tiny nose (presentation of the female face and make up requirements). Cats, also like women, have supple, silky bodies and must be caressed very gently and sensitively or the advances will be rejected.

Australia has a population of around 2.6 million pet cats according to Dr Joanne Righetti, Animal Behaviour Consultant.

"Australia has the highest incidence of pet ownership in the world and cats continue to be a popular pet for both men and women. Not only do cats provide a better quality of life as Dr Karmasin’s work suggests, but research shows that they can also improve our health", Dr Righetti said.

A 1995 Australian study by
McHarg, Baldock, Headey and Robinson found that people who owned either a cat or a dog visited their doctor less frequently, used less medication and appeared to be in better health than non-pet owners.

Dr Karmasin's research also has some good pointers for men striving to understand the female breed. The research suggests that men who own cats, and therefore understand their desire for independence and the sensitivity and gentleness necessary to caress a cat, may be able to better understand a woman's needs.

The study involved 1000 telephone interviews, as well as discussion groups composed of males and females aged between 20 and 40.

It concluded that dog-owners are generally viewed as more sporty and out-going than cat-owners, while cat-owners are perceived to be more feminine and have more artistic tendencies. Both dog and cat-owners see other pet-owners as sensitive and tolerant.