Dating with two cats who are rather popular on Instagram can create what I will politely call “dating turbulence.”
In the not too distant past, I went on a date full of potential that culminated in a wonderful Cuban meal at hole in the wall restaurant near my home. My date had not only kept up with my banter, he had nearly made me snort wine out my nose during dinner. Hoping to test the waters further, I invited him back to my place to sit on my catio, have a digestif, and admire the city lights. He walked through my front door and saw this:
<Cue Psycho Music>
Me: Um, did I mention I really like cats
Him: (round eyes) Are those all portraits of your cats?
Me: Yes, but I can explain. People from the internet made them for me.
Him: People from………the internet? Make you…artwork of your cats?
Me: It’s not as weird as it sounds. Most of my friends were random people on the internet at some point. But I promise you, they are all really, really normal. Like me! (side eye)
Let’s face it, dating is hard. Dating as a bona fide Cat Lady? It can be a Sisyphean undertaking. If only our potential soulmates knew that a woman who loves cats is actually quite…purrfect!
In fact, I would argue that you should only date women who love cats. Here’s Why:
6 Reasons to Date a Cat Lady (Or Cat Lover of Any Gender!)
#1: Luxury and Hedonism: A woman who loves cats appreciates their hedonistic side and seeks out the sensual and luxurious. You can look forward to a bed made with high thread count sheets and huge fluffy towels to wrap yourself in after a soak in her giant tub. Her home will be filled with soft throws and pillows always within arm’s reach and you can count on her to have a multitude of lotions, creams, and elixirs in exotic scents. A Cat Lady also delights in the smell, taste, and texture of every morsel of food or drink that crosses her lips.
#2: Independence and Openness to New Experiences: A woman who loves cats appreciates her independence and will encourage you to value yours. She understands that affection and companionship should be balanced with alone time and individual pursuits. She is also likely to be more open to new experiences. (Psychology Today)
#3: Intellectual Curiosity and Appreciation of the Esoteric: A woman who loves cats is more likely to have a graduate degree, a love of books and learning, and a hobby or fascination with something obscure or eclectic. I know cat ladies that collect animal bones, doll babies, and horror film and book paraphernalia. (The Telegraph)
#4: Home is Their Sanctuary: Going out is great, but you know that feeling you get when you come home after a night out? That ahhhhhhh feeling? Cat lovers know exactly how to make their house feel like a cozy escape from the bustle and bother of everyday life.
#5: Less Stress and Anxiety: Studies show that cat guardians have less stress and anxiety and are less likely to die from a heart attack. (Mental Floss)
#6: You Like to Laugh: Nearly every person I have met who owns a cat has a a well developed sense of humor. They laugh at their cats, themselves, and life. Many also have “gallows humor” and are able to find humor in even the most serious of subjects including depression, ill health, and death.
THE ONLINE CAT COMMUNITY’S PERSPECTIVE ON DATING
Knowing I wasn’t the only one who might have had a struggle or two dating as a cat guardian, I asked Cat Ladies and Cat Dads from my online cat community about their own experiences.
For many of us, if you don’t like our cats, that’s a deal breaker. In fact, one person put it perfectly: “The cats are my kids so if the dude doesn’t like them, boy bye.”
Cat people and their cats are a package deal:
“When I was dating, I would only ever date someone who liked cats/was comfortable and happy with Cheddar. Cat comes first!”
“It’s love me love my cat, we are a package.”
“Well, as Diddy’s mother, everyone knows he is my soulmate kitty. I love him more than anything. My current husband was accepting at first, then became very unaccepting, leading to us breaking up and me moving out. A relationship where Diddy isn’t accepted is unacceptable to me. After we left, he missed US. Of course, he realized WE brought a certain something that is irreplaceable. We reunited and now live a very happy life together as a unit. My now husband loves Diddy like a child now. He’s very protective and sacrifices his own comfort and sleep for Diddy. He’s now a full-on cat Dad.”
“If a relationship is going to survive, they’ve got to know their place. It’s always the same with me…1. My Kids 2. My cats 3. My dog 4. Them. If they can’t hang with cats, cat furniture, cat toys, and cat fur throughout the house, then it simply isn’t a fit.”
“I don’t think it’s hard to date, but I guess you have to determine just how important it is for your potential partner to love cats as much as you do. I very briefly dated someone who hated cats and I still regret it to this day. I don’t like people who claim to “hate” any particular animal. It would be like if I had a child and dated someone who hated kids.”
“I would never date someone who didn’t love my cats! Deal breaker for sure. They are my babies!”
What if your potential soulmate has allergies? I myself am actually slightly allergic to dogs and cats, but would never that keep me from having animals. However, some people are deathly allergic. Tamar Arslanian, the author of Shop Cats of New York and ihavecat.com, recently went on a date with someone deathly allergic to cats. Here’s an excerpt from a blog post about being Single in the City, with Cats:
“After a while we did exchange a rather innocent kiss, and he promptly begin scratching at his face and neck.
Will said, “Do you have a cat?” (gulp)
Me: “Um, yeh.” (omitting how many)
Will: “I’m deathly allergic to them.”
Me: Thinking to myself “He’s a doctor, I’m sure we’d find a solution through the miracle of science should it come to that.”
As one Cat Lady said: “I just want to make sure I don’t have to epi pen anyone.”
The good news is, some people who start out allergic get used to having furry creatures around:
“When I met my current partner of almost 10 years now, he was nearly deathly allergic to cats. He would start wheezing and nearly have an asthma attack after moments in my apartment, cats unseen. He knew about them and he just kept trying to stay a little longer each time he came over. He never disliked cats, he just couldn’t be around them. He couldn’t sleep over ever, I always stayed at his place. And he had a Francie pug. We decided to move in after three years together and he had no problems cohabbing with my cat at that point. Since then he has had almost no issues with cats he has met since. Now he is 100% a cat guy. I mean he still loves dogs too but he loves our cats.”
“Ian never had cats and was allergic. When he asked me to move in he knew we would come as a package deal! He fell in love with the girls and somehow became immune to them. They passed a few years ago. It was his idea to get Lilo and Mila! He’s a proud cat dad and wouldn’t change a thing!
But in the end, if your significant other is allergic it could be a problem:
“My ex-husband on the morning he moved out said: ‘the best thing about this is I won’t wake up with a face full of snot every day.’ He was allergic. “
Swipe Right for Love – Finding Your Match
Most people in the online cat community agreed, if the person didn’t like animals and especially cats (or if the cats didn’t like them), they probably would not be a good match:
“If they don’t like cats it isn’t a good match anyway.”
“If she isn’t an animal lover, I’ll probably have a better time hanging out with Wilford anyway.”
“During the first week he lived with me, my until that point otherwise angelic cat peed on his pillow. I should have taken a hint from her. She knew what a dick he was way before me.”
But some claim that people can be converted:
“I actively convert boys from cat haters to cat tolerators to cat lovers. Though they’ll never admit it.”
“I was a CDL (Crazy Dog Lady) and married a CCD (Crazy Cat Dad.)”
“I had an ex who was asthmatic and basically said I will never have a cat if I am with him (this was in college, pre-cat ownership). He married someone else not long after we ended things (during which time I got a cat) and I saw he actually owns multiple cats now which I thought was amusing.”
Overall, the online cat community believes that being a cat or animal guardian is a good thing when you are dating:
“I asked my current partner if he was a dog person or cat person on our very first date 6.5 years ago, and he very quickly said he was a cat person, and he’s the person who got me Rufus so maybe I lucked the hell out.”
“He is SO sweet with his animals. They are all both very well trained and incredibly spoiled. The first time I visited his apartment and met his fur family I immediately felt like 10x more comfortable with him, just seeing how he interacted with them. [He is so nice] my best friend is like, ‘he must have a freezer full of ears somewhere.’ So, when I went to his apartment I was vaguely afraid it would be full of terrifying secrets but instead it was just dogs and cat and books and apparently a tiny pot farm lol.”
“I tend to date guys who have torties. That’s my type!”
Crazy Cat Lady Status
How much should you divulge on a first date about your cats, considering there is still a stigma attached to single women with cats? For me, I would definitely talk about my cats, but perhaps hold back on the details. Some Cat Ladies felt the same:
“I don’t advertise the extent of my CCL status initially however, if I think they might be a keeper, they best be willing to be a proud Crazy Cat Daddy! I think my opening line should be, ‘Yes, there are cats. There will ALWAYS be cats!’”
“When I had 3 cats I never specifically put up how many cats I had on my dating profiles online (I said I had and liked cats, just didn’t go into details!). I don’t show cat photos to a date right away lol! But I don’t lie about it or hide it…though if they don’t ask it’s not the VERY first thing I’ll talk about! LOL!
Some use their Cat Lady status as a litmus test:
“I proudly proclaim my cat lady self and use it as a man deterrent now.”
“I’d exaggerate about how many I had. I have 3, but I’d say 10, just to see how they’d react.”
But the struggle to date as a Cat Lady is real:
“I think the most difficult thing for someone to deal with at this point is the fact that I’m back to living with my mother. We are roomies now, but still. CCL who lives with her mother. Why bother?!”
“I have def struggled with this. I feel like it’s a big part of my life so I don’t want to hide it, but I have friends who have told me I shouldn’t mention it at all. Last boyfriend didn’t mind and he made me cat shaped pizza. Although now he claims to be allergic to cats so I guess it’s good we broke up.”
“I have fairly recently started dating someone who now has two dogs and a cat. He just renewed the lease on his apartment and semi-jokingly asked me if I wanted to move in together to save money on rent. Literally my first thought was, but I don’t think Aleta likes dogs! I’ve spent much more time thinking about pet compatibility than any other aspect of it. I’m like omg maybe it would be the perfect family! But no, maybe Aleta would hate it! How would I coordinate their food???Where would we put the litterboxes?? *barely even thinks about actually living with boyfriend himself*”
Cats in the Bedroom
My first cat Squish would get really hyper and zoom around the house when I was trying to get romantic. I like to think it was a cat’s version of a high-five. Here’s what others said about cats in the bedroom:
“Only awkward thing is Winkle won’t leave the bed no matter what human hijinks is happening. Boyfriend is now used to it…”
“To be fair waking up with Montague screaming in your face for food is not conducive to romance but we manage.”
“Pete is up with the birds. Pilot and I try to ignore him but if he senses a flutter of an eyelash he is relentless.”
“Def have had a cat hop in bed when adult things are going on. Or they just stare from the dresser. #creepy”
“Belle is a voyeur.”
“We did traumatize Henry once when “adult” time happened. His eyes got so big and he was meowing like crazy. Needless to say, we now fight over who is going to kick him out because we don’t want him to be mad at us.”
“Montague just puts his paw under the door to scratch it and scream so we let them stay – le sigh.”
DATING WEBSITES FOR CAT PEOPLE
There are dating websites that may help a single lady or guy with cats find love:
But beware, I haven’t checked out any of these sites myself! If you are interested in a using one of the above websites, I would do a little research on which site has the most users in your area and check their reviews. Don’t give any of your personal information to a possibly sketchy operation!
I wanted to leave you with some hopeful words:
“I am lucky… I married a cat man. They DO exist. Don’t give up.” ~Jinx from @derthecat
*Some names and details have been changed to protect the innocent.