Wednesday, October 7, 2009 2:53 PM

Study: Women Like Men Who Like Cats and Dogs

We've all heard the saying, "Love me, love my dog (or cat!)". Do people really look for pet-friendly-ness in a prospective mate? Well, according to a study published last year in the British Journal of Psychology, although both sexes find altruism an attractive characteristic in a mate, women particularly do. More specifically, women rated behavior scenarios such as, "climbed a tree to rescue a cat" or "cared for a dog injured by a car" as very highly desirable traits in a life partner.

No big surprises here, right? I worked for years with a man who constantly complained that his wife loved her cat more than she loved him (he was serious) and was more attentive to the animal's comfort than to his (ditto). I myself required husband material to either be a cat lover or, at minimum, cat-tolerant. So, when J. first told me he didn't like cats, I wondered if things would work out between us. No worries. It turned out that he just didn't know what he was missing, and the constant parade of cute cats and kittens marching through my life won him over.

On the other hand, everyone knows how an adorable puppy or kitten can break the ice with almost anyone, including that someone who hadn't given you a second look before! Adult animals work just as well, especially if they are well-behaved. I have seen many examples of attractive women slobbering over obedient canines whose master is just waiting for the right moment to ask the sweet young thing for her phone number. "Love my dog, love me", he seems to be thinking!

Of course, attracting a partner is far from the only reason to bring a cat or dog into one's life. But, as they say, it sure doesn't hurt!

Just So You Know: No matter what your gender or gender preference, a loving animal companion will make the good times better and brighten those occasional dark days. If you haven't already, take a trip to your local shelter and pick out a special someone (or two, or three) to make your house more of a home. You'll be glad you did.
Chat later!

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Amanda has worked with animals for many years and has always had cats in her life. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two excellent cats.
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