The Relationship between Women and Their Pets


When I was young, it used to surprise me seeing this single lady in my neighborhood staying with roundabout 15 cats. Oh right, 15! Those numbers hands down outweigh the headcount of her family. As a child, I found it very funny and absurd.

But recently I stumbled upon this article which talked about the psychological relationship between women and their pets. It said the dog or cat tends to be the anchor of support when family members are not available either physically or emotionally. The study also reveals that women living entirely alone with a pet are significantly less lonely than those living without a pet.

Once upon a time, dogs and cats merely filled utilitarian roles. But over the past 40 years, they are quickly becoming the Number One living creature we sleep with and are also becoming “humanized” (wearing them clothes!)

Yes, there are challenges of having a pet at home, but the benefits for women (companionship, exercise, socialization and joy) would seem to strongly outweigh them.

We are a social, loving species. As we move further away from family, our family size is shrinking. Many of our neighbors are either very busy or unknown to us. Our internet friends are now listed as being “emotionally closer to us than our families”. It is no wonder that our pet families are becoming more essential to our well-being.

And I couldn’t believe what I read in an article the other day which stated nearly a third of 2,000 women polled said they have equal affection for their pet and husband or boyfriend. And 39 percent seek affection from their pet when they get no attention from their men!

Perhaps a frustration for women is that they expect less of their pets but are still rewarded with endless affection and loyalty. And also pets can’t answer back with sarcastic comments or moan about the estate of the house so it’s easy to have a blissful relationship with a pet, which can’t always been said of human relationships.

There is a friend of mine whose maid never returns to her village out of worry who would look after the pets once she is gone. She sleeps with the dogs, talks to them as if they are her kids, cook special meals for those pets. I thought it was absurd at first, too. But apparently some people just have it! Heartwarming love for animals! Probably for the same reason pets provide more emotional support?