The Pew Research Center has recently reported that 48 percent of young adults in the U.S. (aged from 18 to 29) have used online dating sites at least once in their lives, and 54 of them have reported that they believe relationships that begin on dating site or a dating app are just as successful as relationships that begin in person.
If you’ve ever been on a dating site (or any social media for that matter), you probably know that the central parts of any dating profile are the photos you decide to upload. I mean, you try to impress people you’re interested in, so it’s no wonder that people choose to show only the best version of themselves on dating apps.
However, according to a study conducted by Colorado State University, what you shouldn’t upload if you happen to be a guy are photos with your cats. The study found that women are less likely to say “yes” or swipe right to men that are posing with a cat in the picture. Women that participated in the study were shown photos of two men, both pictured with or without their cat, and the responses showed that women were not a fan of the cat – or better yet, the man and the cat.
The study was conducted by scientists Lori Kogan and Shelly Volsche, and even though many studies conducted in the past show that women view pet owners as more attractive and more dateable than non-pet owners, it was not the case this time.
The researchers explained in the article that they hypothesized that men posing with cats would be considered more attractive and more desirable for short-term casual dating than when posing alone, and they predicted that the cat’s presence would make the men seem more trustworthy, gentle, and caring.
708 young women aged from 18 to 24 were shown these photos and were asked to imagine and rate these guys’ attractiveness, personality traits, and stability.
The results, though, surprised everyone, including the researchers. As it turns out, women rated the man holding the cat as more agreeable and more open, but less masculine, higher on neuroticism, and less dateable in the short or long term. Female respondents that identified themselves as a “cat person” found the men holding a cat more desirable, which is to be expected.
What the study also found is that our perceptions of pet owners as similar or different to us play a huge role in our dating decisions.
The researchers concluded by writing that a follow-up study with a third comparative photo of a man with a dog could serve to further test the impact of pets by looking across species.