LONDON — Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all? Dog owners, it seems — and it’s not even close.
In a recent study conducted by British match-making company Elite Singles, 1,000 UK singles were asked which group of pet owners they found more “attractive.”
Nearly two-thirds (63%) chose dog owners while less than a fifth (18%) favored cat owners, a whopping 7-2 margin. Why such a huge gap?
It mainly comes down to personality differences. Dog owners, like their pets, are seen as highly sociable and energetic. Cat owners, by contrast, tend to be viewed as more selfish and aloof.
Still, 57% of respondents said that any pet-owner would be a good mate because caring for an animal was a reflection of a “nurturing personality.”
Nearly three-quarters (71%) of respondents also thought highly of pet owners that told stories about their furry friends online. Sixty-three percent said it would be a good idea for posters to include pets in their Facebook profile photo. Just 11% disagreed.
Dog lovers also tend to rate each other highly, the study found. Nine in 10 said they would look especially favorably on another dog owner as a prospective dating partner. And 32% said they would end a relationship with a beau that couldn’t get along with their furry friend.
The demographics of the survey sample were likely skewed toward dog lovers. Recent studies have shown that 71% of men in the 18 to 34 age bracket – where singles predominate – own a beloved pooch, far above the national average.
Not surprisingly, some cat lovers have already begun hissing about the new study. In one recent op-ed, entitled “15 reasons cat people are way hotter than dog people,” Metro magazine contributor Ellen Scott suggested that cat owners “smell better,” “aren’t needy like dog people,” are “smarter,” “more patient,” and “more independent.”
And she noted, cheekily, “They also know how to stroke a pussy.” (“Important,” she added).
A day later, dog-lover Edith Griffith sought to rebuff Scott’s arguments. Because dog owners are so personable, they’re more likely to be approved of by your prospective mate’s parents, she growled. And to keep up with their rambunctious “best friends,” they tend to be more physically fit, she snapped, citing a recent Kennel Club study.
In fact, dog owner pet care habits may be one of the secrets to their appeal. Dogs must be walked regularly so their owners tend to come in contact with strangers, including other owners, more readily. Impromptu conversation and even dating may follow.
Cats, by contrast, are largely house-bound.
But their owners are not the stereotypical “cat ladies,” either. In fact, young single men are driving the recent rise in cat ownership, a recent UK study shows.
That trend — fueled in part by high-profile feline flaunting by celebrities like George Clooney and Russell Brand — could one day transform “cool cats” into the very epitome of “hot.”