Why Felines Prefer Females Over Males?

It’s no secret that cats can form strong bonds with their human companions. But have you noticed your furry feline friend seems to cozy up to the women in your home more than the men? You’re not alone. Studies and surveys reveal that cats do indeed tend to show a preference for female owners over males.

So why do cats like women more than men? There are several possible reasons rooted in feline behavior, biology, and sensing abilities. Female humans tend to have higher-pitched voices, smoother skin, and more nurturing personalities—traits that appeal to a cat’s sensibilities. Additionally, the natural maternal instincts of women align with a cat’s needs for care and affection.

Understanding the factors that draw cats to women can help strengthen your relationship with your feline, regardless of your gender. With a few easy tips, men can also become the favorite human in their cat’s world.

Do Cats Really Prefer Women? The Research Says Yes

Multiple studies support the idea that cats form closer bonds with women compared to men. Here’s a look at some of the key research:

  • A study surveyed 132 cat owners and found cats were more affectionate, active, and playful with women. Female cats were even more biased, spending significantly more time with women.
  • Another large survey of over 1000 cat owners revealed that cats showed more affection, closeness, and enthusiasm toward female owners.
  • Experiments observing cat behavior in the presence of men vs women found cats approached women more frequently and were more receptive to petting from women.
  • Research at Manhattan College tested cats’ responses to male and female strangers. Cats rubbed against women’s legs more often and purred more frequently with women.
  • Data from vet clinics show over 60% of cats are owned by women. This suggests cats may gravitate toward women during the adoption process as well.

The preference is especially pronounced in cats who have minimal interactions with men. But cats with both male and female owners still demonstrate a partiality toward the ladies.

So science gives a clear meow of approval—when given the choice, cats go ga-ga for girls. Now let’s explore why felines favor females.

7 Reasons Cats Are Attracted to Women

1. Higher-Pitched Voices

Cats have extremely sensitive hearing and can detect frequencies up to two octaves higher than humans. High-pitched sounds are less threatening to a cat.

The average female voice is higher in pitch than a male’s. So a lady’s dulcet tones are more comforting and appealing to a cat.

Kittens use high-pitched meows to get their mother’s attention. So a female owner’s voice may subconsciously remind a cat of its mom’s nurturing presence.

2. Physical Touch

Between their silky hair and smooth skin, women offer a soft tactile sensation cats love.

A woman’s skin is about 20% thinner than a man’s. Female skin also contains more fat just beneath the surface, giving it a plush feel.

The thicker, rougher hands and fingers of men don’t deliver the same pleasant stroking cats adore. So they gravitate toward the light, luxurious pets women provide.

3. Maternal Instinct

Cats have a strong drive to receive motherly affection. They thrive when their needs for care and comfort are met.

Women are stereotypically more nurturing and doting. They’re also more likely to baby talk and fuss over a furry feline. So cats often see women as fulfilling surrogate moms.

4. Pheromones

Cats have an acute sense of smell and can pick up on pheromones – chemical scent signals that convey mood.

Some research suggests human pheromones may differ between men and women. Subtle feminine pheromones could create an environment cats find welcoming.

Male pheromones linked to aggression could be less appealing to cats. But more research is still needed in this area.

5. Body Language

Female body language and movements around cats tend to be less threatening.

Women smile more often than men. They’re also more likely to crouch down to a cat’s level rather than loom over them. Soft, soothing gestures signal safety to a cat.

Men more commonly use direct eye contact and assertive postures that can seem intimidating. Cats pick up on even subtle body language cues.

6. Prey Drive

Some cat behaviorists theorize that cats associate men with their prey drive.

In the wild, male big cats like lions do most of the hunting. House cats still retain hunting instincts and may see men as competition for food.

Women gardening or cooking may seem less “predatory” in a cat’s ancestral view.

7. Confidence

Cats often select the human who offers them the most patience and doesn’t force interactions.

Men are statistically more likely to approach cats rather than waiting to be approached. Their well-meaning eagerness can overwhelm a cat.

Many women hold back and let the cat warm up to them first. This builds trust and shows respect for the cat’s boundaries.

Now that you know why kitties play favorites, here are some tips to become the cat charmer of your home.

7 Purrfect Tips for Men to Bond With Cats

As a man, you may feel snubbed by felines who fawn over the women in your household. But with the right techniques, you can become your cat’s number one human.

1. Use a Gentle Voice

Speak softly and avoid abrupt loud noises around cats. Use a higher pitch and loving tone when addressing them.

Avoid shouting or disciplining in a harsh tone. This can frighten them and ruin trust.

2. Let the Cat Approach First

Cats prefer to initiate contact on their terms. Respect their space and don’t force interactions.

Sit quietly and let the cat come to investigate you. Offer a hand for them to sniff, but don’t immediately pet. Let the cat rub against you first before you start petting.

3. Slow Blinks

Slow blinking communicates affection in the feline world. When your cat locks eyes, respond with long, slow blinks.

This mimics cat body language and shows you’re not a threat. With time, your cat will return the slow blinks.

4. Establish a Routine

Cats feel safest with predictable routines. Feed, groom, and play with your cat at consistent times each day.

Make sure the cat has positive associations with you providing for their basic needs.

5. Give Treats

Offer tasty treats when your cat seeks you out or hops on your lap. This rewards the behavior you want to encourage.

Place treats near you on the couch or bed to motivate your cat to snuggle up close.

6. Equip a Cat Tree Near Your Spots

Entice your cat to hang out near you by placing cat trees, beds, and toys in your favorite lounging spots.

Put a tall cat tree right by the couch so your cat can perch close to you. Toss toys on your desk or bed for playtime.

7. Get Down to the Cat’s Level

When interacting with cats, get down on the floor instead of hovering over them. Avoid direct stares and let the cat sniff your hand first.

Mimic calm, gentle female body language. Pet with a soft touch from head to tail.

With patience and the right tactics, men can become just as good of a cuddle buddy as any cat lady out there.

The Bottom Line

Studies confirm cats do form closer attachments to women compared to men, on average. But gender biases don’t have to get between you and feline fun.

By understanding your cat’s perspective and speaking their language, any human can win over a cat. With soft voices, peaceful gestures, routine care, and rewards, men can become the favorite in their cat’s world.

The secret is to show your cat you’re a gentle, non-threatening friend ready to provide for their needs. Building trust through respect, routine and yummy treats will have your kitty purring in your lap in no time.

So enhance your cat charming skills through these tips. Before you know it, you’ll be the most meow-velous human in your feline’s life.