Ok, all you ladies who parent multiple cats! Do you buy them a ridiculous amount of toys? Post selfies with your feline babies on social media? Worry you're becoming the stereotypical "crazy cat lady?"
You can breathe a sigh of relief. You’re not destined for a life of misery, loneliness, or depression. In fact, you’re no more anxious or despondent than the next person who parents a cat, a dog, or no animal at all.
A new study conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles, suggests that no evidence supports the stereotypical crazy cat lady label. It's just a label many in society have tried to apply to women who love cats. The study concludes “crazy cat lady” is simply not a thing!
"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," the study said. "Our findings, therefore, do not fit with the notion of cat-owners as more depressed, anxious or alone."
There you have it. Next time someone tries to tag you with that label, you can toss their assumptions out the window. Their idea isn’t science-based. It’s just downright rude!
For far too long, middle-aged or older women with multiple cats have been unfairly labeled as crazy animal hoarders, thus the Crazy Cat Lady, a rather pejorative term. Some, including writers, artists, and celebrities, have tried challenging that derogatory label. They've suggested instead that a woman who parents multiple cats is not an animal hoarder, but an animal lover, with a sound mind and a healthy spirit of empathy.
At Modkat, we totally agree.
Seems scientists feel the same about reversing that negative connotation. UCLA's study isn’t the first to defy the crazy cat-lady label. A 2017 study by researchers at the University College London, U.K. also found no link between owning a cat and exhibiting mental health issues.
In fact, most cat parents will report having feline friends elevates their sense of well-being. Other studies have suggested parenting a cat can actually improve your mental health.
Just how the crazy cat-lady cliché got started isn’t exactly known. Most everyone growing up can recall knowing about that one house with numerous cats and an old lady who lived there. Almost every neighborhood had one. Possibly, that’s how the cliché has thrived over the years.
But now that the crazy cat-lady cliché has been debunked, we’ve come up with a list of some positive signs you just might be a cat lover rather than a crazy cat lady:
You parent multiples. You enjoy providing a loving home for multiple kitties. You take precious time to give them each a unique name—based on their observed personalities—and you can actually remember their names when you address them.
You “speak” cat. You have no problem spilling your guts to your furry friend. You’ll plop in the middle of the floor to share a few head nudges and will even utter a “meow” to coax a response and make a connection.
You create space for your cat. You welcome your kitties into your bedroom and don’t mind sharing bed space. You even create a pallet with a soft blanket or make room for a cat bed at the bottom of your own. Whatever you do, you make sure your kitty is comfortable and snug.
You post photos or join cat groups on social media. If someone could take a peek at your smartphone, they’d see more cat pics than anything else. You can’t help but capture special moments and then upload the photo to social media to show off your precious kitty. You might even use a filter to enhance the photo of your cat for a few extra laughs or to elicit an “ooh” or an “ah” from your digital audience.
You have a cat tattoo or own a lot of cat jewelry. You so love your cat that you sport a tattoo of him on your body. Your jewelry box has cat earrings, a bracelet with a cat charm, or a ring with a cat design. You might even own a coin purse in the shape of a cat’s head and most likely have a T-shirt with a cat image.
So, stand up and be proud. You’re not a crazy cat lady. Science says so. You’re a cat lover with a big heart! 🐈