According to the APPA National Pet Owner Survey, cats are the second most popular pet in America, trailing behind only their canine counterpart and long-term competitor–dogs. Close to 43 million households own a cat. That accounts for about 30% of the 130 million households in the US. That means if you’re dating someone, there’s a real chance that they are a cat owner.
Wondering what is it like to date a cat parent who seriously loves cats? Or perhaps you’re a cat lover yourself and you’re curious about what is it like to be in a relationship with you? Well, here are 15 things that happen when the person you date is a cat owner.
- They’ll talk about their cats. In general, there are two kinds of topics people enjoy talking about. First is the things that irk them. Second is the things that they are passionate about. In the case of a cat lover, their passion is their feline companion. So you can be certain that the cat lover will talk about them–such as how cute they are and their peculiarities.
- Spontaneous sleepover is impossible. Say the night is going really well in your apartment and you’re thinking that your cat-loving date might stay for the night. Unfortunately, that kind of spontaneity just won’t happen. Before the clock strikes twelve metaphorically, your date must leave. No they are not Cinderella, there is no pumpkin carriage waiting for them nor have they left you a glass slipper. The truth is, being a responsible cat parent, they have to go home to attend to their cats–to fill up their water bowl, clean their litter box, and most importantly, give their cats food.
- Texting involves a lot of cat emojis. Texting is a core part of modern dating. Whether you’re in a long-distance relationship or a conventional one, texting’s instant and asynchronous nature makes it the most flexible way for couples to communicate. When it comes to texting, emojis are an essential component. The use of emojis in texting allows you to say more in fewer keystrokes (or taps). Like regular people, cat lovers also use emojis during texting. But one difference sets them apart. Instead of the regular emojis like 😍😀, you’re more likely to get the cat version 😻😺 from them. They’re also likely to be heavy users of cat memes and GIFs.
- They will show you photos and videos of their cats. Cat lovers love to show off their cats. Nobody can really say if this tendency is due to nurture or nature. The internet has an informal cat tax which obligates cat owners to post photos of their cats whenever they talk about their cats. So social pressure could be playing a role in a cat lover’s tendency of taking too many photos and videos of their cat. Whatever the reason may be, you can be certain that they will be eager to show off their cat to you.
- You’ll be sent photos of other cats. While you shouldn’t have to worry about their loyalty, a cat lover is usually also intrigued by cats other than their own. So you should expect seeing other cats in your inbox too. For example, the cat lover might send you cat news, cat memes, cat GIFs, cat videos.
- At some point, you will see them wearing cat ears. I’m not joking. The cat lover may hide their true self when you’ve just started dating. But once they open up to you… sooner or later you will find them wearing cat ears in one way or another. It may be in the form of a cat-ear hoodie, headphones with cat ear design, a cat-ear hairband, Halloween cat costume, or if you’re lucky–a cute and naughty costume for intimate moments.
- They will want you to meet their cats and spend time with them. There are a few reasons why this will most definitely happen after a few dates. One, when you’re interested in (or in love with) someone, you’d want to share what you’re passionate with them. In this case, a cat lover’s passion is their cat. So naturally they’d want two of their favorites to meet. Two, the cat owner will use this opportunity to judge you based on your interaction with their cat. Are you good with cats? Do you hate cats? Perhaps you’re allergic to cat hair or cat smell. How their cat reacts to you matter. And you’ve just scored yourself some brownie points if their cat is friendly to you.
- They will take care of your needs. It’s impossible to take good care of a cat without being patient, empathetic, dependable, and attentive. An experienced pet owner with proven track record (of not abandoning their pets) usually possess some, if not all, of these positive traits. Of course, their expectation for you and their cat will be different, and they won’t treat you exactly like they treat their cat. But you can be certain that a cat lover will be attentive to your emotional and physical needs.
- You’ll always find cat hair on you. The thing about cat hair and pet hair in general is that you can never get rid of them completely, ever. No matter how many times you roll the lint roller on your shirt, some amount of cat hair will always stay with you. As if they’re saying “I’m never gonna give you up.” Even if the relationship doesn’t work out, the cat hair is here to stay until the end of time.
“One cat just leads to another.” – Ernest Hemingway, Famous Cat Lover / Owner
- Their cats might stare when you two get intimate. Cats are cute. They are also little loveable weirdos. Human rules and courtesy don’t mean a thing to these furry creatures. As such, they may decide that they need attention when you two are going at it. Or that they may become curious or concerned about their humans because they’re acting strange and making weird noises. Fortunately, this wouldn’t be a huge problem, you simply have to shoo them away–they act all high and mighty but cats are quite understanding.
- Buying gifts for cat lovers is easy. Getting someone a gift that they actually like can be a challenge. But not when that someone is a cat lover. When in doubt, just buy them a gift that is cat themed, like these lapel pins. Thinking of getting them a bracelet but not sure what kind of bracelet would appeal to them? A bracelet with a rose gold cat charm, of course! Thinking of buying pajamas for your partner? Get them some pajamas with cat print and they’ll be on cloud nine!
- You’ll want to bribe their cats to get their approval. For real cat lovers, their cats are considered part of their family. Their cats’ opinion of you matters to them. So you’re in a better position if their cats approve you. And it’s not like you have a real choice. It’s one thing if your lover’s cat ignores your existence, it’s another if their cat hates your presence. All the hissing and scratching and biting wouldn’t be very enjoyable. Lucky for you, unlike common belief, cats are usually quite chill if you just let them be. To gain a cat’s trust and love, understand that they are some of the most corruptible little creatures. Just feed them their favorite snacks and soon you’ll be BFFs. Here are some additional tips on how to get a cat to like you.
- You’ll learn a lot about cats. There are so many myths about cats that are simply untrue. For example, in some cartoons or films, cats are often fed with milk, but did you know that most adult cats are lactose intolerant? So don’t go feeding a stray milk because that may upset its tummy and give it diarrhea. You might also learn some interesting cat facts like the cat’s ability to rehydrate itself by drinking seawater (but only when necessary, processing seawater burdens their kidneys) or that cats are actually trainable–you just need to know the right way to do it. All in all, when you date a cat enthusiast, you can expect to learn more about what they’re enthusiastic about.
- It’s a deal-breaker if you’re allergic to or hate cats. Owning a cat is a commitment. When you adopt a cat, you accept the responsibilities of taking care of the kitty’s well-being from that point onward until its passing. So if you have started dating a cat parent and later found out that you’re seriously allergic to cats or that you really despise these little soft and (at times) cuddly fur balls, a responsible cat parent will break up with you for the better good.
- You might become a cat lover yourself. It’s easy to double-tap on a cute cat photo online. But coming into contact and interacting with a cat and actually liking it are definitely not everyone’s cup of tea. All cats have their own unique personalities but they do share certain some common qualities that put off some people. That said, once you get past their quirks and learn to accept them as who they are, cats are surprisingly awesome companions. In interacting with a cat up close in person, you might just discover that you’re a cat lover all along.