Cat lady

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A stereotypical cat lady, or cat woman, is a single woman who dotes upon her cat or cats. The term is usually considered pejorative,[1] though it is sometimes embraced.[2]

Usage and association

At least in the Anglosphere, women who own cats have long been associated with the concept of spinsterhood. In more recent decades, the concept of a cat lady has been associated with "romance-challenged (often career-oriented) women".[1]

The term is also used to denote an animal hoarder who keeps large numbers of cats without having the ability to properly house or care for them.[3] They may be ignorant about their situation.

Cat Ladies documentary

The 2009 documentary Cat Ladies tells the stories of four women whose lives have become dedicated to their cats. The film was directed by Christie Callan-Jones and produced by Chocolate Box Entertainment, originally for TVOntario. It was an official selection at the 2009 Hot Docs Festival, Silverdocs Festival, and San Francisco's DocFest.[4][5]

Naftali Berrill, Ph.D., Director of the New York Center for Neuropsychology and Forensic Behavioral Science told AOL Health, "These may be people who have a very hard time expressing themselves to other people. They may find the human need for affection is met most easily through a relationship with a pet." This devotion can sometimes signal mental or emotional issues such as depression.[6]

Crazy Cat Lady Syndrome

Recent research indicates a link between the parasite T. gondii, which sexually reproduces exclusively in cats, and numerous psychiatric conditions, including OCD.[7] The compulsive hoarding of cats, a symptom of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), has long been associated with "crazy cat ladies".[8] Mass media has drawn on this stereotype to coin the term Crazy Cat Lady Syndrome to refer to the association between T. gondii and psychiatric conditions.[7]

In popular culture

Cat ladies in popular culture include:

Famous cat ladies and their cats

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Kiri Blakeley (15 Oct 2009), "Crazy Cat Ladies", Forbes
  2. ^ Mark Ramirez (5 Aug 2009), "Do you believe in the Crazy Cat Lady?", timesunion.com
  3. ^ Davis, Susan; Flaherty (illus), Jake (2002), "Prosecuting Animal Hoarders is like Herding Cats" (PDF), California Lawyer (September): 26, 28, 29, 67, retrieved June 26, 2011
  4. ^ Cat Ladies - When cats mean "meow" to you than people
  5. ^ Cat Ladies on IMDb
  6. ^ Huso, Deborah (November 2009). "Some Live Among Hundreds of Cats". AOL Health. Retrieved November 2009. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)[dead link]
  7. ^ a b "How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy - Kathleen McAuliffe". The Atlantic. 2012-02-06. Retrieved 2013-06-03.
  8. ^ D.J. Moran and Jennifer L. Patterson (2011-06-16). "When More Isn't Enough". Psychology Today.
  9. ^ Celebrity cat lovers
  10. ^ Sally Quinn on life in Grey Gardens, W magazine, April 8, 2009