But now, scientists believe it might be as simple as having a pet.
In 2008, two French social psychologists ran an experiment: have a twenty-something man approach 240 randomly selected women to ask for their numbers. Half the time, he was alone. The other half, he was accompanied by a cute little dog.
The result? Only 10% of women gave him their number when he was alone compared with 30% when he was with a dog.
More recently, researchers worked with a pet food chain to ask 1,210 single pet owners through Match.com to take a 21-question online survey. 60% were women and 40% were men; 72% were dog owners and 42% cat owners.
Some of the questions included:
Have you ever been more attracted to someone because they had a pet?
Would you judge your date based on how your pet(s) reacted to them?
Would you judge your date based on how they reacted to your pet(s)?
Would you date someone who didn’t like pets?
The study, titled The Roles of Pet Dogs and Cats in Human Courtship and Dating, was published in a recent issue of Anthrozoös, a Multidisciplinary Journal of the Interactions of People and Animals.
Some interesting findings: Does Having A Pet Make You More Attractive?
26% of men and 35% of women were more attracted to another pet owner. In other words, more women found pet owners attractive, especially if the pet was treated well.
Results also showed that a woman paid particular attention to how a date might treat her own pet—using such observations to determine whether he was worth dating.
75% of women wouldn’t consider dating someone who did not like pets compared with only 54% of men.
Rescued animals also won major bonus points with members of the opposite sex. 64% of women and 49% of men were more attracted to a date who owned one.
Cats were used less as dating tools, and numbers indicated that women were less responsive to men who owned cats. In fact, dogs won 500 of the 600 votes when women were asked the question: What is the hottest pet a guy can own? Cats received only 80 votes.
So, what does this all mean?
Nothing new to pet owners, that’s for sure.
Of course, we want to find a partner who cares about pets as much as we do! We know how much work it is to be a responsible pet owner. Caring for an animal is a huge commitment, and it requires compassion, patience, and a certain kind of personality to do it well. Only another pet lover understands what it means when we say our dogs are a part of our family. And as for cats not being the hottest pet a guy can own, this collection of hot dudes with kittens will change your mind!