Best City for Cat Ladies? Your Town!

Most female cat fans we know are social, happy and often in relationships, so what is up with the tired cliché of cat lovers being single, lonely women?

According to a recent Nielsen Scarborough poll, in spite of my passion for cats, I am not a cat lady. They questioned half a million people and compiled a list of cities containing the most cat ladies. Their criteria? Single women living with cats. I live with my fiancé, and have for the past 18 years, so I am definitely not single. Apparently having a significant other has kicked me off the cat lady train.

What is up with the cliché of cat lovers being single, usually lonely and middle-aged women? More than half of the female cat lovers I know are married, and the rest lead busy active lives, filled with friends, a career, a lot of joy — and, of course, cats. Yes, there are a handful who are chronically lonely, but it’s far less than the national average (which has been said to be between 10 and 30%), and it’s probably because my friends have cats – and cats are known to reduce depression, stress and loneliness.

If you look deeper into the Nielsen Scarborough statistics, you find the real truth, and one that fits more closely to my group of cat loving friends. The Seattle Times posted the numbers for their city and over half of cat households are married couples, with a little more than half of these without kids, and the other slightly less than half with school age or younger kids. About 19% are living with roommates or in a domestic partnership. 26% are one-person households, of which 16.3% are single women. According to PEW, 27% of U.S. households in general consist of one person, and out of that, 15% are female. So the percentage of single women with cats is not all that different from the national average of single women living alone, period.

While love of cats does skew female, it crosses all economic levels and marital statuses. Way more cat lovers are married or are coupled than are single. And while nobody has done research or a poll on this yet, I bet fewer cat-owned people are lonely than the national average. Much as some people would like to peg cat people into some easy stereotype, it really can’t and shouldn’t be done. We cat lovers are such a huge group, it’s unfair to call us a tribe. We are practically universal.

If you are single and love cats, live wherever you want. You will find lots of people who are of like mind.

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