Date my cat: China youth host matchmaking events for pets to relieve stress, pressure to get married, sparks online discussions

Event called ‘If You Are the Cute One’, inspired by Chinese TV dating show, owners post ads for ‘pet dates’. One platform has 3 million users annually. — SCMP

Young adults in China are hosting matchmaking events for their pets, a practice which has been described, tongue-in-cheek, as a bid to release the pressure they are under to get married.

The trend has even morphed into a new form of social interaction among the younger generation.

One such event that took place on May 25, was called “If You Are the Cute One,” and attracted significant online attention, Star Video reported.

The idea was inspired by the Chinese television dating show, If You Are The One, in which male contestants introduce themselves in video clips, and female guests show their interest by turning the lights on for “yes” and off for “no”.

During the pet matchmaking event, a male cat that was described as “having a car, a house and financial independence” stood out as a desirable candidate as he sought to find a partner.

Online matchmaking advertisments showcase cats and outline their “personality traits”. Photo: Weibo

The cat’s dating profile amusingly disclosed that he “has just turned two years old and is successful in his career”.

The profile went on to describe the feline as “introverted, appearing cold on the outside but warm on the inside, sexy and shy, quietly passionate, with a strong physique, and a lover of fitness”.

“Today, I am publicly seeking a suitable companion in the feline world, aiming to join paws with a gentle and lovely young cat to nurture a thriving family together,” it said.

Four female cats who were attracted to the profile described their family backgrounds, talents and other details.

The trend is not the only way the younger generation in China is creating entertainment for themselves while searching for a mate for their pets.

Many have also turned to second-hand websites, such as Xianyu, where they post ads for “pet dates.”

Owned by Alibaba, which also owns the South China Morning Post, Xianyu has about three million people using its platform every year to find partners for their pets and has even created a “Pet Matchmaking Corner” to facilitate connections.

Ads on the site are often creative and funny, with owners highlighting their pets’ attributes.

Online observers of the pet matchmaking trend suggest that it is an antidote to stress. Photo: Shutterstock

Some emphasise personalities, such as “adorably silly and honest” while others show photos of their pure breeds, boasting that they have “fur as soft as silk”.

The trend has sparked a lively discussion on mainland social media.

“Has the pet matchmaking market become so competitive that even male cats must be successful and financially stable?” one online observer joked.

“Whether it’s young people or their cats, one of them has to go on a date. It’s better if I’m single, rather than my pet,” said another.

“It seems that young people pressured to marry are passing their stress onto their pets,” wrote a third. – South China Morning Post

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