When it comes to finding a new mate, some women are acting downright catty.
According to anew studyfrom Colorado State University, women find men with cats less “dateable” than their dog-owning counterparts. Meee-OW!
“Men with cats: It’s not as bad as living with your mother, but worse than playing Dungeons & Dragons,” Mishka Shubaly, a 43-year-old single writer, says jokingly. “I’m a proud cat dad, but still, when I meet another guy who has a cat, I’m like, ‘Huh. Weirdo.’ We perceive that it’s OK for a man to have a dog because dogs are sort of sporty, adventurous, gregarious, outdoorsy — even macho. There are no cat dads in Norman Rockwell paintings, you know?”
When the longtime New Yorker moved to Phoenix last year and found an “ancient” cat on his new property, the longtime “dog guy” converted into a veritable feline freak. Then, in April, Shubaly adopted “helpless and adorable” Elsie, who has cerebellar hypoplasia, also known as “wobbly cat syndrome.”
But though he’s known to tote Elsie around in a creatively fashioned “cat sling,” he says she hasn’t been a deal-breaker for dating — at least as far as he knows.
“I think she’s a good filter, because I don’t want anyone in my life who doesn’t have empathy for a helpless animal. The meanest comments she’s provoked are along the lines of, ‘You love her more than me.’ Sadly, there’s a grain of truth there. Elsie gives me unconditional love.”
Despite their many charms, cats still give some single ladies paws.
“I have not dated girls because of my cat for sure,” says 40-year-old Alex Katz, who has a 13-year-old American shorthair tabby named Mischa. “She always comes first.”
The Forest Hills-based Katz recalls one instance in which a date came back to his place, only to demand that he lock up Mischa in another room. Katz’s response? “I kicked out the girl. It’s simple: I won’t date you if you don’t like animals."
Audrey Kuhner is co-author, with her friend Carolyn Newman, of the best-selling 2014 book, “Hot Guys and Kittens,” which features sizzling photographs of hunks with newborn cats.
She tells The Post:“The book did really well, and we got a lot of positive comments from women saying how hot the men look with the kittens.
“I think they appeal to the maternal part in women: They like seeing men with cute, cuddly animals and regard them as potential life partners who can help them take care of their babies.”
Still, she admits, “For some reason, owning a dog is deemed inherently more masculine than having a cat.
“There is the stereotype of the cat lady and cat ownership connotes introversion, so the stereotype could be applied to men, too.”
While some cat dudes have escaped unscratched by their pet of choice, they say a “Sophie’s Choice”-like conflict will never end well — for the girl, at least.
“I’ll tell you this right now: It will never be a dilemma. I’m not leaving him,” says Alex Abramowicz, owner of Link, a 5-year-old Siamese “with gorgeous blue eyes.”
The Long Island-based social worker, 36, even taught Link how to sit on command, do high fives and stay on a leash.
While friends advised him not to pose with Link on any dating apps, Abramowicz carefully weighed the suggestion — and promptly posted an adorable photo of the pair.
“I’m not going to hide who I am,” he says.
Besides, these cat daddies say they’re the purrfect match for the right girl.
“I don’t disagree with the perception that cat dads appear less masculine. But if we’re talking dateability, I don’t know, maybe it’s worth passing over a swaggering Neanderthal who lives for football and hunting season for a guy who reads and thinks, a guy who’s passionate about culture, a guy who isn’t afraid of emotions,” says Shubaly.
“I’m not too worried about my own masculinity. I box. I ran a marathon last month. I have a couple of old pickup trucks in pieces in my yard. Yesterday, I asked my cat if she was a pretty little princess, and then I informed her that yes, she is indeed a pretty little princess. Being a man shouldn’t mean you can’t express love, even in the corniest ways possible.”
And don’t get these guys started on the supposed manliness of their canine-loving counterparts.
Says Abramowicz: “What if I had a poodle or Pomeranian?”
Photo: Getty Images