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Why are more men adopting cats than women?

BY Daniel Warren-Cummings

4th Apr 2024 Animals & Pets

3 min read

Why are more men adopting cats than women?
A recent survey has shown that more men are adopting cats than women in recent years. Here are some of the reasons why this might be
Forget any age-old stereotypes around cats being preferred by women, with dogs being the trusty "man’s best friend". New research from UK Pet Food as part of its annual Pet Population Report has revealed a noteworthy gender difference in pet adoption demographics—with more men opting to adopt adult cats. Over the past four years, 27 per cent of men have chosen to take on an adult cat as a pet, compared to 18 per cent of women, translating to 1.5 million new male households benefiting from the addition of an adult cat, compared to around 1 million female households. 
The research findings highlight the strength of the bond that can exist between a man and his feline friend. While kittens may capture hearts with their playful antics and wide-eyed innocence, there's a compelling case to be made for adopting an adult cat, especially for men seeking a loyal and entertaining companion.
"There's a case for adopting an adult cat, especially for men seeking a loyal and entertaining companion"
“Cats have always been a popular choice of pet but we’re particularly delighted to see that more men are seeing the benefits of older cats, as well as kittens” says Daniel Warren-Cummings, Behaviour Officer at Cats Protection and owner of Lady Bug the cat. “We often hear from men who tell us their cats are not only great companions, they’re also incredibly entertaining which can be a great stress-buster.”
Michael Bellingham, Chief Executive of UK Pet Food—and the owner of Sooty—added: “As the owner of an older cat, I was particularly interested to see that more men are adopting older cats. Our research this year highlights the profound therapeutic impact of pets—from combating loneliness to having a positive effect on our mental health. We were pleasantly surprised to see that one fifth of the people we questioned called for pets to be available on prescription. We couldn’t agree more.”

Instant companionship

Man on laptop computer with cat sitting on his lap
Unlike the intense process of raising a kitten, adult cats come ready-made with their personalities fully formed. This means that from day one, you can enjoy the companionship of a furry friend that has already settled into their temperament and behaviours.
For men with busy schedules or limited time for pet training, an adult cat provides instant companionship without the demanding needs of a young kitten.

Less fuss

Although all pets have different personalities and potential owners need to do lots of research before adopting, adult cats typically require less intensive care than kittens. They're often already litter-trained and accustomed to basic grooming routines, making them an ideal choice for busy men.
"Adult cats are litter-trained and accustomed to grooming, making them an ideal choice for busy men"
With regular feeding, occasional vet check-ups, and plenty of love and attention, adult cats thrive in domestic environments with minimal fuss.

Independent spirit

Cats are renowned for their independent nature, making them well-suited for men who value freedom and autonomy. Unlike dogs, who may require constant attention and exercise, adult cats are often content to keep themselves entertained for much of the time—but this doesn’t mean you should leave them entirely to their own devices, as short bursts of playful interaction will be hugely beneficial for their mental and physical wellbeing.
Whether you're busy with work or simply enjoy your solitude though, a cat's independent spirit means you won't have to worry about constant companionship.

Stress relief and emotional support

Older man with his nose to a cat's nose
Research has shown that the presence of a cat can have a calming effect on humans, reducing stress and anxiety levels. For men navigating the pressures of work, relationships, or even just everyday life, the soothing presence of a feline companion can provide much-needed emotional support.
Whether curled up on your lap or purring contentedly beside you, adult cats have a remarkable ability to lift spirits and offer unconditional love.

Bonding through care

Caring for an adult cat can be a deeply rewarding experience, fostering a sense of responsibility and empathy in men of all ages. From providing nourishing meals to offering affectionate scratches behind the ears, the daily rituals of cat care strengthen the bond between human and feline.
Through acts of kindness and compassion, men can forge a meaningful connection with their furry companions, enriching both their lives in the process.

A cat in need is a friend indeed

Opening your home to an older pet can be extremely rewarding for so many reasons and if you adopt a cat (or dog) from a rescue centre, you are giving a pet an amazing  new start in life, which is also likely to boost your happiness and sense of well-being.
By embracing the joys of feline companionship, it would seem that more and more men are discovering a world of love, loyalty, and laughter in the company of their whiskered friends.
"Opening your home to an older pet can be extremely rewarding and give them a new start in life"
Daniel Warren-Cummings adds “Just like humans, cats are all different and this is what makes them great pets for men from all walks of life—whether it’s indoor cats suited to living in a quiet home, or more adventurous ones, which thrive in a busy household, and love exploring the outdoors.” So, for men considering bringing a feline companion into their life, adopting an adult cat might just be the purr-fect choice.
Banner photo: Some men are adopting older cats for companionship and stress relief. Credit: Yuliya Kota
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