Even though cats outnumber dogs when it comes to pets, people who own more than one feline are always at risk of being judged as different. But a UCLA study appears to have finally put an end to the notion of a "crazy cat lady." Researchers compared the mental health of 500 pet owners and found no evidence that people who prefer pets who purr are any more likely to experience depression or social anxiety. "We found no evidence to support the 'cat lady' stereotype," the study reported. The 2019 UCLA study supports the findings of a similar study conducted at University College London in 2017 that determined there is no link between psychosis and cat ownership. The UCLA study also rated people's reactions to the sound of an animal in distress and found that pet owners are more likely to empathize and feel sadness when hearing such sounds. "We found several subtle differences between how adults with and without pets generally rated animal vocalizations," the researchers concluded.
What it's like to own a cat:
- Cat owners are 11 percent more likely to be introverts than other people.
- People who love cats tend to find irony and puns funny, while dog people prefer slapstick and impressions.
- Generally speaking, women find men who own cats nicer and more sensitive than non-cat owners.