Local animal shelters often work together within a community, so don't restrict your pet search to just one type, such as a "no-kill shelter."read more
“SINGLE FEMALE CAT OWNER: Seeks male companion who likes cuddling, playing ball and doesn't mind hearing the occasional "meow" in the middle of the night.”
It used to be that lonely-hearted, pet-owning singles would take out personal ads, hoping a potential match wouldn’t end up being allergic or averse to their cat. Now there’s a way to cut to the chase: A variety of cat-themed dating Web sites and social networks have launched in the last few years on the premise that pet owners share a special something that they seek in a spouse -- or even in a good friend. That special something can be summed up by the feel of soft fur rubbing against one's leg, the purr after a satisfying neck scratch, and friendship of the feline sort.
"There are a lot of people out there who want to meet others who share a common interest like pets," says Robert Yau, who founded DateMyPet.com five years ago and more recently started the social networking site MyCatSpace.com.
Cat-themed Social Networking Sites
Joining a pet-centered Web site can help ease tensions on the dreaded first date. "Nobody can tell whether or not you're going to have chemistry based on something like a common interest in pets, but if you have a dog or cat, it's a great way to break the ice," explains Michael Carter, president of PetPassions.com, a pet-themed dating and social networking site.
These pet lover Web sites also allow your sense of humor to show through -- in your profile and postings. DateMyPet.com asks members to describe their pet's perspective on the ideal date. "It brings out the tongue-in-cheek," says Yau. People sometimes write quips such as, "If I was a cat, I'd just want to stay in my bed" or "If a member of the opposite sex comes to the house, I would hope they would have a big lap so I could sit on it."
But, as with meeting any strangers, it's important to be cautious. Experts advise that you guard personal information and go to a public place for initial get-togethers. Here is a rundown on a few pet-themed dating and/or networking Web sites:
Remember Your Cat
While searching for a new friend or date, keep in mind that your cat still needs companionship too. Consider adopting another cat, but if that's not for you or your kitty, make sure to set aside time each day to play games with your pet, enhancing the fun with soothing and comforting banter. Remember, cats can't directly post personal ads.
Elizabeth Wasserman, a Washington, D.C., area-based freelancer, has been writing about pets, among other topics, for more than 15 years. Her love of dogs, in particular, was handed down through the generations from her great-grandfather, Eric Knight, who wrote the book Lassie Come Home in the 1930s.