The crazy cat lady stereotype isn’t reality, says new research


The ‘crazy cat lady’ isn’t a thing (Picture: Getty)

Oi, you.

Next time you dismiss a woman as a ‘crazy cat lady’ just because they bought their kitty an iPad, have adopted more than six cats, or their camera roll is filled with cat pics, just know that your rudeness isn’t backed up with science.

So there.

There’s no evidence to support the classic crazy cat lady stereotype, suggests new research.

Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, found that people who own cats are no more likely to experience mental or social problems than those with dogs or no pets at all.

Female cat owners weren’t found to be disproportionately depressed or anxious. They also weren’t more likely to be alone, so you can cross ‘you’re going to die alone with 11 cats’ off your go-to insult list.

In total 561 people took part in the study, with researchers asking about their pet ownership, mental wellbeing, and social lives.

The study says: ‘We found no evidence to support the “cat lady” stereotype: cat owners did not differ from others on self-reported symptoms of depression, anxiety, or their experiences in close relationships.

Did… did a cat write this? (Picture: Getty)

‘Our findings, therefore, do not fit with the notion of cat owners as more depressed, anxious and alone.’

This is backed up by similar research in 2017, which found no link between owning a cat and experiencing a mental disorder or symptoms of psychosis.

Plus, we know that lots of people say cats help them with their mental health, rather than the presence of a feline turning them into a ‘crazy cat lady’.

Sally, 29, previously told Metro.co.uk that her cat, Wizard, helped her through a tough breakup.

‘When I went through a difficult breakup a couple of years ago, my life fell to pieces,’ said Sally. ‘I ended up moving around a lot and everything was very turbulent.

‘It sounds mad but my cat felt like the only stable thing in my life at that point.

‘Even at my lowest, he loved me. And it occurred to me that he wasn’t aware of what kind of mess my life was in; he just wanted to be with me.

‘He was the only one who I didn’t have to feel guilty for not being ‘on form’ around. If I wanted to lie in bed all day, he would just lean his little head on my hand and nap with me.

‘He needed me, and that gave me a reason to stick around.

‘Although my life has completely turned around since then, when he trots to the front door after work it still brightens my day. And if I get anxious, the sound of his breathing is the only thing that really calms me down.’

In short: cat lovers aren’t crazy and anyone who isn’t a cat fan is missing out.

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