Friday 22 March 2024

Men are much more likely to adopt cats than women in the UK, study finds

A story in the Daily Mail reports on a study that challenges the ‘crazy cat lady’ stereotype, revealing that men in the UK are more likely to adopt cats than women. According to a survey conducted by UK Pet Food, over the last four years, 27% of men have adopted an adult cat compared to 18% of women. This translates to approximately 1.5 million new male cat-owning households, versus around one million female households.

The report also highlights that many pet owners, particularly those over the age of 45, find their pets to be a significant source of companionship, with some even expressing a preference for spending time with their pets over family members. Additionally, there’s a suggestion that pets could be beneficial for mental health, with one-fifth of respondents supporting the idea of pets being available on prescription.

This study underscores the changing dynamics in pet adoption and the important role pets play in providing emotional support and combating loneliness.

Comment: this trend, if indeed it is a trend, is probably due to cats being considered better pets when the caregiver is working away from home all the time. Unfortunately both cats and dogs suffer from separation anxiety when their caregiver is not around for long periods. If the reason is as I believe, it is a poor reason.

An added problem is that absent caregivers tend to put down dry cat food for day-long grazing which is bad for the cat under these circumstances as the cat becomes slightly dehydrated which combined with the stress of separation anxiety can lead to cystitis, an inflammation of the bladder due to a bacterial infection and/or for the reason stated below.

Separation anxiety in cats can lead to cystitis. Stress is considered a significant cause of Feline Idiopathic Cystitis (FIC), a common type of cystitis in cats. Anxiety can cause the protective layer of the bladder to become patchy, exposing the bladder tissue to harsh chemicals in urine, which can result in inflammation. It’s important to manage a cat’s stress levels to prevent such health issues, and if you notice symptoms of cystitis, consulting a vet is crucial.

I have personal experience of causing my cat to develop cystitis for the above reason, sadly. It was years ago but I still feel bad about it. I have not missed one day of being with my current cat who I have lived with for around 8 years.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

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